A Partial Record of My Education

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“Those who love wisdom must investigate many things.” – Heraclitus

“I write-and talk-in order to find out what I think.” – Susan Sontag

In 2014, I graduated with my doctorate in education, and this seemed miraculous to me. A sustained focus, logical arguments, and the synthesis of an area of literature were inherent in the task of writing a dissertation, and I didn’t feel like I’d ever be able to live up to this challenge. As a child, I felt most comfortable with image and sound based communication. Music and visual art are such a large foundation for my thinking. I’m pretty certain this had to do with my mother taking me to museums and libraries, playing records in the living room regularly, and encouraging my growing interest in drawing.

Images could convey ideas that were both at the surface of my thinking and buried in my subconscious. Painting or creating something visually interesting and potentially communicative was something that came naturally. The imagery did not have to mirror reality. It could be completely conceptual. I was driven by the need to play with things that had an uncertain end. Not being driven to an actual destination, instead being propelled forward with intuition and curiosity, liberated me from having to make any sense of what I might be feeling in a way that would communicate to another. It was a drive to create.

This drive has pulled me in many directions at once. I have obsessively composed with sound, painted primarily textural (if not always aesthetically pleasing) images, and sometimes incorporated sound with paintings. Notes and small drafts of “diary” or journal entries have always been included as well. The outcome of these experiments was a amalgam of forms. I’m never quite certain how a thing may turn out…what form or hybrid it may take finally. I don’t even know if the outcome is the final version of a thing.

My default thinking is in fragments. If there are connections between the ideas or works, I have no knowledge of it during the process. It is always a dive into the unknown.

The past two months have included more than a few occurrences of fragmented thinking and organization that has not yet solidified into a coherent statement or group of thoughts. My regular lists of reading, listening, and watching have increased. I have rapid and incomplete connections between ideas and forms (text, image, sound, memory, etc.).

notebook march 2017

March-April 2017 Notebook, Thinking in Lists (more)

Recently, I have been reading Sloterdijk’s Spheres trilogy (Bubbles, Globes, and Foams) that have finally been translated, Hito Steyerl’s The Wretched of the Screen (2013), Kate Zambreno’s Book of Mutter (2017), Kafka’s late writings, Wittgenstein’s late writings on culture and aesthetics, Kadinsky, Susan Sontag, a biography on Eric Dolphy, so many disparate essays, and massive amounts of poetry.

Lately, I have been awed by the visual artwork of Rosy Keyser, Titus Kaphar, Fernando Zobel, Hito Steyerl, Julie Mehretu, Rebecca Horn, and Agnes Martin.

As I have written before, my sister told me once that whatever I put into my head must eventually come out. In what form will it arrive?

It eases my mind to know that others seem to have the same attraction to this process of discovery (like Sontag’s diary entry below).

From Sontag’s As Consciousness is Harnessed to Flesh: Journals and Notebooks, 1964-1980 (with my scribbles)

Probably due to the Sloterdijk, the fact that Eleanor is beginning to trace the letter O, and my attraction to the simplicity of the ensō, circles and spheres have dominated my visual thinking. I seem to find them everywhere. From the Book of Genesis to NASA’s documentation of space trash, I seem to collide with imagery that represents a circular/spherical containment or a cyclical process.

 

Day 5 of Creation (Book of Genesis Illustration, 1493 Nuremberg Chronicle)

From Alberto Manguel’s Curiosity (2015)

Iannis Xenakis- from Formalized Music: Thought and Mathematics in Composition (1992)

Iannis Xenakis- from Formalized Music: Thought and Mathematics in Composition (1992)

Quotes re: Phenomenology, Body, & Language

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“Saying that I have a body is thus a way of saying that I can be seen as an object and that I try to be seen as a subject, that another can be my master or my slave.” – Merleau-Ponty, The Phenomenology of Perception (1962)

“This is why I write: to unfold the electrical mat of my nervous system.” – Bhanu Kapil, Ban En Banlieue (2015)

“The enlightened man says: I am body entirely and nothing beside.” -Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1883)

“Our own physical body possesses a wisdom that we who inhabit the body lack. We give it orders which make no sense.” -Henry Miller, Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymous Bosch (1957)

“My favorite arts are the ones that can move your body or make a new world.” -Anne Boyer, Garments Against Women (2015)

“Writers…were out there creating a new language, one that I intuitively understood, to analyze our art, our world. This was, in and of itself, an argument for the weight and beauty of our culture and thus of our bodies.” -Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me (2015)

“The fluidity of the injured body’s referential direction is here manifest in the verbal habit of evoking all casualties as a single phenomenon once the war is over.” -Elaine Scarry, The Body in Pain (1985)

“There is only one antidote to mental suffering, and that is physical pain.” -Karl Marx

Education within the context of oppression includes “teachers talking about reality as if it were motionless, static, compartmentalized, and predictable. Or else he expounds on a topic completely alien to the existential experience of the students. His task is to “fill” the students with the contents of his narration-contents which are detached from reality, disconnected from the totality that engendered them and could give them significance. Words are emptied of their concreteness and become a hollow, alienated, and alienating verbosity…Education thus becomes an act of depositing, in which for the students are the depositories and the teacher is the depositor. Instead of communicating, the teacher issues communiqués and makes deposits which the students patiently receive, memorize, and repeat. This is the “banking” concept of education, in which the scope of action allowed to the students extends only as far as receiving, filing, and storing the deposits. They do, it is true, have the opportunity to become collectors or cataloguers of the things they store. But in the last analysis, it is the people themselves that are filed away through the lack of creativity, transformation, and knowledge in this (at best) misguided system. For apart from inquiry, apart from the praxis, individuals cannot truly be human. Knowledge emerges only through invention and re-invention, through the restless, impatient, continuing, hopeful inquiry human beings pursue in the world, with the world, and with each other.” -Paulo Freire, The Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1970)

“Shifting how we think about language and how we use it necessarily alters how we know what we know.” -Bell Hooks, Teaching to Transgress (1994)

“We take the oppressor’s language and turn it against itself. We make our words a counter-hegemonic speech, liberating ourselves in language.” -Bell Hooks, Teaching to Transgress (1994)

“We reconstruct for ourselves the order of the world in an image, starting from limited, countable, and strictly defined data. We work out a system for ourselves, establishing connections and conceiving of relationships between terms that are abstract and for that reason possible for us to deal with.” -Simone Weil, “Forms of the Implicit Love of God” (from Waiting for God, 1951)

“This is the crime of which I accuse my country and my countrymen, and for which neither I nor time nor history will ever forgive them, that they have destroyed and are destroying hundreds of thousands of lives and do not know it and do not want to know it.” -James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time (1963)

“Let us keep in mind the speech of the depressed- repetitive and monotonous. Faced with the impossibility of concatenating, they utter sentences that are interrupted, exhausted, come to a standstill. Even phrases they cannot formulate. A repetitive rhythm, a monotonous melody emerge and dominate the broken logical sequences, changing them into recurring, obsessive litanies. Finally, when that frugal musicality becomes established on account of the pressure of silence, the melancholy person appears to stop cognizing as well as uttering, sinking into the blankness of asymbolia or the excess of an unorderable cognitive chaos.” – Julia Kristeva, Black Sun (1989)

Sontag-like notes taken regarding course design in 2010

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These notes make little sense out of context. However, I save almost everything that I write or think about in writing. These wqere some notes (with lots of attached digital studies to back up my thoughts) in 2010-2011. I originally kept track of all of this, because I was trying to figure out the best way to explain solid course design from the perspective of UI/UX commonly associated with social media and gaming. That was pretty much a failure, but I was able to plant the germ of thought around these concepts with several individuals who had never thought about the motivational or social constructivism that should be a part of learning online (the same way these play such a vital role in face-to-face instruction). When I write things down, I tend to really remember them, even if I don’t return to the notes. Each of the studies or books contained in the notes have been read and considered prior to adding them to my thought process.

“Learning guides” and personal touch in online learning experiences:

Research behind “Learning Guides” showing up to talk to the learner at least five times during a lesson (Big Ideas, etc.)

Important to remember-

Wang, N., Johnson, W.L., Mayer, R.E., Rizzo, P., Shaw, E., & Collins, H. (2008). The politeness effect: Pedagogical agents and learning outcomes. International Journal of Human Computer Studies, 66, 98–112.

Mayer, R.E. (2005). Principles based on social cues: Personalization, voice, and image principles. In R.E. Mayer (Ed.), The Cambridge handbook of multimedia learning (pp. 201–212). New York: Cambridge University Press.

Moreno, R., Mayer, R.E., Spires, H., & Lester, J. (2001). The case for social agency in computer-based teaching: Do students learn more deeply when they interact with animated pedagogical agents? Cognition and Instruction, 19, 177–214.

Component 1: Multimedia Approach (illustrations over text, spken text or narration over printed text only)-

1. Seminal 2007 Study Link- http://www.scribd.com/doc/33972230/Richard-E-Mayer-Applying-the-Science-of-…

2. Novice-level users of technology and multimedia – attached below

3. Last text and cover attachments include a short couple of pages from e-Learning and the Science of Instruction: Proven Guidelines for Consumers and Designers of Multimedia Learning [Ruth C. Clark, Richard E. Mayer]- Breaking all sorts of copyright rules here…(and this is not a part of our coursework here in ID…but, this is an important book synthesizing these ideas and used at other state universities, like USF and UCF).

Responsive Design and User Interfaces

1. Examples and clear definitions of adaptive/responsive web development templates:

a. A List Apart (One of my favorite web blogs for design- definition of this component…Link)- http://www.alistapart.com/articles/responsive-web-design/

b. Examples using Goldilocks (attached below)

c. These things can be templates for further work-

http://designshack.net/articles/css/5-really-useful-responsive-web-design-p…

d. Defined through image (attached below)

e. Excellent example of a website (other than Boston Globe, which is brilliant) that “knows” what you are viewing it on- www.thinkvitamin.com

f. What I am using for UI wireframing and basic design- Keynote Kung-Fu and hotglue.me

2. Examples of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)…specifically for CSS3:

a. Really cool (examples of how content can live in a variety of amazing style sheets using CSS3)- www.csszengarden.com

b. http://demo.marcofolio.net/3d_animation_css3/

c. http://filamentgroup.com/lab/responsive_images_experimenting_with_context_a…

d. When can I use specific things????- http://caniuse.com/

3. Jason’s favorite UX/UI designer:

http://jamesadame.com/50769/453451/gallery/dunkin-donuts

More information-

Why it’s important and what it looks like-

http://uxmag.com/articles/designing-for-context-the-multiscreen-ecosystem#.…

The Designer’s Rise to Upper Echelons of Business Community-

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/mark-c-curtis/the-designers-rise-into-t_b_1…

Really great, innovative design takes lots of work. Simplicity is so complex. These guys rock at it.

http://www.fjordnet.com/

And, when you just want to get “cool”-

http://mrdoob.com/137/Voxels_liquid

Badging:

Social networking can be leveraged as a tool to promote deep communication and learning between learners and as a way to validate accomplishments of those learners. Badging and the curating of shared knowledge within this network (participants’ shared knowledge may be examples of lesson plans, videos, blogs, photos from the field, etc.) is a powerful way to building a structure that allows for meaningful learning in an online environment. This shared responsibility for curating the uploaded artifacts helps to motivate the learner and can be used to help assess the contributions and the outcomes of applied learning for every participant.

I have attached Baker’s 2007 AERA published paper as the “touchstone” document from which a great deal of research has been based.

 

Ease of Use:

IMPORTANT STUDY (as important as Roger’s book, Diffusion of Innovations, IMO):

  • Davis, F. D. 1989. Perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, and user acceptance of information technology. MIS Quarterly 13( 3): 319– 340. (attached)

  • Rogers, Everett M. 1962. Diffusion of Innovations. Glencoe: Free Press. Most recently revised 2003 (5th edition).

and, just because I like these books, and I’ve found them to contain a lot of truth:

Malcolm Gladwell’s Tipping Point (1st chapter attached)

http://www.gladwell.com/tippingpoint/

Norman’s The Design of Everyday Things

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Design_of_Everyday_Things

Learning activities:

Image