it's baaack....

that's right - the 7th annual media that matters film festival is now online. they put it best:
"An image captures a feeling, a story shares a message, a movie becomes a movement. Media That Matters brings you 16 inspiring shorts by filmmakers committed to changing the world."

check it out!


unity (through) hope (might equal) peace

i took these photos outside of truce, a youth development and media organization located in harlem and part of the harlem children's zone. they have an excellent public arts project going on right now and are developing a garden and several more of these fence messages. the others read:
build love
build power
build hope
[build unity]
build peace

the message is hopeful, thoughtful, and curious. which comes first? i've listed the phrases as they appeared from left to right on the fences on either side of the truce building. i'm eager to see the project and the messages unfold, particularly as they are youth directed and youth produced. more pics to follow.

(note: my camera and the sunlight were not too sympatico on this particular afternoon, so i'm aiming to shoot the fences again.)


it's a bird, it's a plane...

it's another piece of digital technology banned from schools!


the ipod (and other digital media players)


b/c it has the potential to be an instrument of cheating.



at least seriously according to the principal at mountain view high school in idaho. the article also notes:
"The practice is not limited to the United States: St. Mary's College, a high school in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada, banned cell phones and digital medial players this year, while the University of Tasmania in Australia prohibits iPods, electronic dictionaries, CD players and spell-checking devices."

wouldn't it be lovely if we could be ahead of the curve on this one and think creatively about what assessment means in an age of instantaneous information acquisition and dissemination? at a dissertation hearing this morning, a committee member posed the question of assessment this way:
how can we assess what kids are doing (and learning) in this digital age?

to that i would add the following:
what are we assessing? and what does it mean to assess?
who is assessing what?
what do tests and other measures actually test and measure?
who is being evaluated when a student's performance on an instrument is measured?

codes are published for quicker advancement through levels of video games. we learn shortcuts for making simple things simpler. you can buy precut, pre-marinated, pre-cooked vegetables at the super market and live a completely heat-n-eat lifestyle. we live in an age of the spanx revolution, SAT tutoring franchises, and professional editors. where do we draw the cheating line? and who draws it? i'm not wholly anti-test or timed assessments. they're clearly helpful for olympic training and i was certainly the beneficiary of numerous 1st place "wins" on timed multiplication tables (the external motivation that always worked on me was the promise of leaving the classroom with a library pass or a resource room getaway - that made cramming for fierce competition with my fellow 3rd graders seem like a small price to pay). still, i wonder whether we sacrifice real meaning making and engagement with texts for the sake of time and curriculum coverage. at the dissertation hearing today, the issue of "real deadlines" in the "real world" came up, and naturally we all agreed that sometimes all of us must negotiate multiple timelines - and timescales - in our everyday lives. but are multiple choice tests or other "easily cheatable" tests the answer? the *only* answer?

and is it just coincidence that if we switch the 't' and the 'ch' teaching becomes cheating, and vice versa?