Attendees at the Tech or Treat virtual conference were treated to Wes Fryer’s session on Playing with Media. Just as children learn through play, Wes urged educators to “play” with digital text, images, audio, and video as a way to become comfortable with these technologies. His book, Playing with Media: simple ideas for powerful sharing, is available in three eBook formats as well as in paperback. A very special bonus for session attendees was a discount code to purchase the book at half price. (Already have my Kindle copy downloaded. Thanks, Wes!)
Wes has put forth a “playing with media classroom challenge”. We, as educators, are being challenged during the 2011-2012 school year, to share online:
At least ONE student digital project
At least ONE student image project
At least ONE student audio project
At least ONE student video project
At least ONE student collaborative project
He even provides a place, share.playingwithmedia.com where teachers can share examples of these types of student-created projects where he says, “If digital student work is one “fruit of our labor” as educators, this website is all about sharing digital fruit.” There are some delicious examples of authentic student work being shared there. I really enjoyed Tom and the Dog by one fourth grade student.
Also on his Playing with Media website Wes shares a clear and useful way to teach students about copyright. Think “Harry Potter Can Fly”. What does that mean? Check out his explanation and a great illustration by Rachel Fryer. In fact, what he is sharing with everyone is actually the chapter on Copyright and Fair Use from his book.
1 Learners need to make stuff
2 Document and share what you make
3 Be guided by the ethic of minimal clicks
To expand on that last point I went to his book and found this explanation:
When it comes to technology integration in our schools and “playing with media” we do NOT want to restrict these activities to a limited group of innovators and early adopters. Rather we want ALL teachers (even the “laggards”) to adopt and utilize media technologies effectively to support learning. Given this goal, the “ethic of minimal clicks” is crucial to understand and embrace. Uses of technology which require fewer clicks can be naturally adopted by a larger percentage of educators than those which are more complex and cumbersome. Digital simplicity matters.
According to Wes Fryer, the World Wide Web is a global stage for students He also asserts that every classroom needs a home base (such as a class wiki), a newspaper (such as a class blog), and digital lockers (such as electronic portfolios for student digital artifacts). Wes shared a number of websites in the session, and more in his book. I especially appreciate the amount of depth his book goes into regarding audio projects, as I know I need to improve my skills in this area.
View his SlideShare presentation for the DEN and watch for the archive of his session to be posted on the DEN YouTube Channel. Thanks, Wes, for challenging us play with digital media shoulder to shoulder with our students.
Some resources mentioned in the session: