I feel like in my quest to "make the worse seem better" (Lady Gaga) in my narrowed view of the educational world I lost sight of my human story. I spent a fair bit of time traveling in my 20's and learned some incredible things about culture and the human existence. I remember returning to my tiny little town feeling so small, and that my extensive university education was only leading me to my life education. I have continued teaching and in the last 10 years endured personal challenges that have shaped my view of the world once again. Until today, and the re-awakening of my traveler's spirit by the inspirational keynote speaker this morning (Wade Davis), I had forgotten how my human journey was so influenced by the ethnosphere I have experienced in many different countries. I have been reminded of my threads woven in the world and how they are creating a tapestry of the life of Jones (hmm maybe a book title, oh wait to close to the "Life of Pi").
My escape out of Africa, as it were, was gilded with gold embossed tattoos of middle eastern culture and people. Over the past 10 years, as tattoos sometimes do, those cultural lessons and connections to people have faded in colour but permanently embedded certain filters from which my lens views the world. I was reminded today how truly paramount those filters are. How the layers of filters thrust in front of your world view need to be deep and plentiful. We need to collect as many filters as possible knowing that the world bank of filters is infinite.
Disclaimer: This is entirely my opinion and I welcome debate. I used the terms they/ them so as not to be binary or gender discriminatory.
I try not to be offended by other’s opinions and actually encourage debate about all topics as it promotes growth as individuals and as a society. I am often the first to play devil’s advocate to try to expand my horizons by viewing concepts from a different perspective. I find that “debate” has turned nasty on the internet. People don’t see, or maybe care not to see, the impact the words they type has on the people that read them. Its very easy to be a keyboard warrior, that slices through issues with the deftness of a hot knife through butter. I imagine that the warrior feels righteous and justified in their thought patterns and likely harbours a little narcissistic need to share their “enlightened” position with the ignorant masses that believe or are, something completely different from enlightened warrior. Here in lies the crux of my issue with keyboard warriors. As a human, that lives as a minority in society and regularly views the ill informed enlightenment of others, I am often flabbergasted at the cruelty and mean spirited evisceration of any and all individuals who are different from the so called “norm”. In the warrior’s pursuit to educate others they reveal their own ignorance about issues. I have used the word ignorant/ignorance a lot here, maybe I should define it because I honestly feel that it captures the the keyboard warriors true status of subject matters they feel so entitled to discuss.
Definition of ignorance (according to Meriam Webster Dictionary)
Warriors attack their victims with vehemence and vigor behind the shield of freedom of speech,thought and expression. They hide behind the front line defense that is the virtual anonymity of the internet and the screen from which their skin glows blue. There is an idiom that says “the pen is mightier than the sword,” in the digital age of social media I think that idiom is more relevant if we change pen to keyboard. We are bombarded by the written word in small 140 character bursts. We feel well informed from shared unvetted information passed around like notes on a crumpled piece of paper, written in haste and circulated in malice and obtuseness. The seeming revolutionary access to infinite information has been rendered to schoolyard bullying.
The digital age of enlightenment has manifested itself in pockets of societal evolution; however, as a human race we continue to perpetuate the very principles that have throughout history brought civilizations to extinction. Racism,bigotry,sexism,and phobias of all kinds related to humans and the human existence continue to plague our globally connected society in increasingly polarizing and violent ways. Napoleon's manifest destiny today, would be a numbered list ,in a bold, over a gradient background dotted with emojis and worded to reference the pop culture memes associated with the cultures he intended to destroy. Our modus operandi has not really changed simply our delivery has. I am reminded periodically that history does indeed repeat itself.
The keyboard warriors of today spewing propaganda and bias from a seat of perceived superiority is beyond frustrating to me. It is often down right desultory in its expansion of phenomena. It lacks true investigation and understanding. The question I often ask myself is “From what place of woundedness does the keyboard warrior derive their vehemence?” In my experience the traumas of existence often fuel the fire of oppression for others. It is an intellectual conundrum to metacognitively understand the source of a keyboard warrior’s bullying and simultaneously allow your emotional brain to have an aneurism over the intense hurt that it conjures.
I will continue to struggle with the dichotomy that occurs through interactions with keyboard warriors. I will use the online platform spread positivity, love, empathy, and to try to further my understanding of the primal need to create hierarchy amongst ourselves in order to feel whole.It occurs to me that this very exposition may to some seem condescending and the verbal mudslide of a keyboard warrior. The irony of sitting at this keyboard typing my thoughts is not lost.My intention is only to ask my questions and articulate my frustration. I hope that rather than insight pain and disgust it insights thoughtful and investigative discussion around our use and misuse of a very global platform .
I have spent a considerable amount of time trying to integrate my technology passion into our school culture. This has made me think outside the proverbial box about cross curricular application. I long for time to work with other teachers to co-teach but alas this is very difficult to come by. I have connected with a few colleagues but we are really using our own time to get any projects done. I recently reached out to our Global Perspectives, and Foods teachers. We have really been trying to create a sustainable food program at our school and one of the needs to commence this as "winter" project has meant finding space and the ability to grow food in a basement essentially. We have the necessary room and lights now to tackle watering. Given the school schedule there is not always someone in the building to water the seedlings. How do we get around that? This is where we come in. We brainstormed a way to water without actually being there. In other words we Googled automated watering systems. Instructables has a million DYI systems. We chose based on parts availability and the schematics presented. Away we went. There have been bumps thus far and we are by no means there yet but boy has it been fun! I will post a video of our process soon.
I have finally finished the whole course planning for all five courses. I have 3d game lab up and running in conjunction with MOODLE and all feedback from students and TTOC’s is that this is working well. Blended learning at its finest. I will post the lore(in another post) with some of the projects done so far of the 2 games running simultaneously on 3d game lab. The modeling and animation 12 course is linked to the modeling and animation 11 course so that they interact with one another. I am incredibly lucky that my 12’s are so willing to help the 11’s and act as incredible mentors (Ben and Chance you guys are so amazing!)
Striving to explore flip explain in order to engage!