Digital Expressions

[staff/conf/mm] Learning in a Participatory Culture 

This weekend I went with Shawna and two of the incredible GK Teen Leaders from the Media Masters program to the conference "Learning in a Participatory Culture", put on by our partners up at MIT, Project New Media Literacies.

[mm/teen/conf] MIT Conference 

The Conference at Massachusetts was amazing! They had people from different places sitting together learning about Global Kids Media Masters and other types of media workshops. The best part of the trip is that we went to a Afghanistan restaurant couple blocks to the hotel, the food was delicious, the hotel was splendid but I was a little unhappy because we could only stay for one night but I totally enjoy that night. My favorite part of the Conference is that I had to tell people about Media Masters, it felt really great and I enjoyed learning about some other part of the workshops like Wikipedia.

The fun part was that I was asking people questions about the conference. One of them was What are you expecting to gain from this conference? It was really fun coming from Brooklyn, New York to Cambridge, Massachusetts. I'm very happy and thankful that Rafi and Shawna and Global Kids make their decision to take me on that trip it was wonderful. Thank You

[mm/teen/conf] MIT Conference 

Hello again.

Today my blog will be about the conference at MIT I attended today.

As you may already know, MIT's Project New Media Literacies is actually a partner for the program of Global Kids I attend called Media Masters.

Two of the students who attend that after school activity were chosen to attend it.

We left New York at about four and made it to Boston at around ten that night where, after checking into our hotel were taken out for some Afghani food, which I actually found quite good.

We arrived at the conference at around eight the next morning and were assigned cameras which we used to video the conference and do brief interviews with people attending which we conducted in between workshops.

The conference revolved mostly around a project called New Media Literacy.

This is actually a program that focuses on how media can be integrated in the classroom and has an actual curriculum for teachers to follow should they choose to partake in the program.

[mm/teen] Wikipedia, Judgement and Collective Intelligence 

Collective Intelligence is the ability to pool knowledge with others toward a common goal while judgement refers to the ability to evaluate the reliability and credibility of different information.

You are probably wondering how Wikipedia comes in to this. We had a group project in which we had to create a Wikipedia page on Prospect Heights Campus. All of the students involved in his had to 'collect' information on all the schools in Prospect Heights Campus and while doing so use their 'Judgment' to ensure that the information was credible, get where I'm going?

Once everyone had information on their assigned topics we then began to put the information on the site and below is the result.

[mm/teen] Prospect Heights Campus Wikipedia Page 

My memory on this is a little fuzzy but when we decided to create a wiki page on Prospect Heights High School Campus for our collective intelligence topic I was excited. Prospect Height Campus did not have a wiki page and we wanted people to know who we are!! So we broke it down in to sub-topics, like the different schools and themes, what the school was like in the past and some of the great things we're doing here. I was co-in-charge of the History section and the High School for Global Citizenship (my high school) and I was shocked by what I learned.

The first thing I learned and was completely shocked by the the fact that Prospect Heights was an all girls school when it first opened and went by the name of The Girls' Commercial High School (which I think now is not a bad idea!!). I also later learned that HSGC's prinicpal, Mr. Rau's grandmother attended The Girls' Commercial High School. Another shocker for me was the fact that Prospect heights high school ranked twelfth most violent among New York City's 125 high schools in 1990 by the Board of Education!! and it became one of the first schools to have scanning and full time police. I learned a lot about the other schools but it felt good to rep my school and make sure people know what great things are coming from HSGC!!!!

[mm/teen] Play 

Today I played another game. This one deals with life in Haiti and what one must do to survive in such an environment. Because of the country's current economic status and the fact that it is often a victim of many natural disasters it is difficult to make opportunities for yourself.

As the game begins you must choose out of four, what type of strategy you will have during the game. Whether it is to obtain money, to remain healthy, to obtain education or to keep happy, that will be your main focus in the game.

Unfortunately as the game continues you will find that the strategies will begin to overlap until, as per my experience, you will begin to focus more on obtaining money because that is what you will need to keep your family happy, healthy and able to get an education.

The concept of this game is to enable you to experiment with the characters so that you will figure out how to achieve your main objective.

Despite the fact that I cannot remember the exact site should one decide to type in ayiti games on google search you will find it.

[mm/teen] collective intelligence 

I have been working on a wikipedia page that myself and other classmates did. We all gathered information and made a page for Prospect Heights Campus , which is a high school located in Brooklyn New York. The school was formerly one whole high school but after certain problems the school was converted in four (4) small schools. The building houses Brooklyn School for Music and Theater , Brooklyn School for Science and the Environment, International High School at Prospect Heights and the High School for Global Citizenship.

This task was quite interesting because we all had to gather information and we had no idea what kind of information the other person had gotten so there might have been several versions of the same information . Also we learned information about our schools that we didn't know and also information about the previous school in the building and what had happened that made the school close down in the first place.

This was fun to do anyway, and by gathering our information we used other sources to get information also, to put on our pages. In the end our information was useful to make the page successful for everyone to visit . If you are interested you can visit wikipedia and type in prospect heights campus to learn more.

[mm/teen] Bhopal Gas Tragedy 

Today we looked at situations related to human rights around the world and my specific situation is the Bhopal Gas Tragedy in India. I hadn't heard about this before today (most likely because it happened long before I was born) and learned a lot. It truly is a tragedy. To put it simply, a pesticide plant in the city of Bhopal, India released extremely dangerous chemicals and caused the death of an estimated 8,000, with many still suffering from the effect of such a disaster. I looked at print and video media that was record then and ones that looked back on it but no matter how you look at it, its very sad. This tragedy led to the creation of The International Medical Commission on Bhopal which aimed at responding to the long term health effect and aiding those who have been hurt. That plant exposed nearly 500,000 people to the dangerous gas and even though this took place December 3, 1984, people are still suffering from brain skin, lung and other serious health issues.

[mm] Exploring Play, Simulation and Credibility through Serious Games 

This past Friday we had a really interesting workshop looking at serious games that dealt with real world issues. Through the lens of a number of serious games we explored the concepts of play and problem solving through experimentation, simulation and how representation of systems can happen in a game context, and credibility and bias involved in games, just as with any other media form.

You can check out the student blog posts about the different games they played below this post, and some of the fantastic pictures that were caught from the workshop.

[mm/teen] McDonalds Game at Media Masters 

Today I played the McDonald's video game at but this wasn't the first time i saw or played it. I can across this came I think about a yea ago with my sister. At the time I wasn't thinking about the point of view or message behind it, I only wanted to win, and to win you had to bribe important people, lie and steal. I don't want to think that this is what McDonald's had to do to get to where they are now. Basically the game made it seem like McDonald's was bad for the people and in more ways than one. They steal land, they produce and sell unhealthy products, knowing the food is unhealthy but still selling it, treating worker unfairly, all while CEO's tried to figure out how the keep groups who were against the quiet. It really is a shame if McDonald's is really like this. But its hard because even as I tried to play fair the only way to keep things going to to not play by the rules.