Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Reflection on Day 2

Day 2 of SWIFT began with a journal from Mairead which recalled the activity of Day 1.

On Day 2 Ann and Finin contributed two very different demos.

Ann showed us a short movie - The White Dress - and we discussed the work along a continuum which ranged from bias and trying to interpret the director's motives to examining the piece from a purely technical perspective.  Ann urged us to consider the film in terms of sound, setting, lighting, number and type of scenes, camera angles etc.  In the course of discussing the film we explored the discourse of film; we also read the screenplay for the work which linked nicely with Ferdia and Christina's contribution on Day 1.  Ann finished her lesson by asking us to devise and create tableaux for another scene, a new one that we created in small groups.

Finin's demo reminded us of the strong theoretical framework that can underpin our work and helped us to understand what it is we are trying to achieve.  His emphasis on the work of Vygotsky, the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) and the More Knowledgeable Other reinforced the social nature of our learning and how teachers and fellow students can stretch and bolster us.  The theory was made practical in part in a collaborative writing exercise in which we built a story (across two flip charts!) with a range of characters, different setting and an outlandish plot line :-)  The prompt for the story was anything that had caught our attention on they way in that morning. These ideas, listed together, these facts, formed the basis for our fiction.

The rest of the day was given over to agreeing guidelines for writers' groups at SWIFT (noted as a separate post) and hearing from two of last year's fellow, Trish and Donna.  Trish and Donna brought us through 'new ways to new worlds' demoing a range of technologies that they employ in their teaching.  For a self-confessed Luddite, it was hard for me to grasp just how much technology exists out there that could be usefully employed to bring more life to the classroom.  Equally, it was reassuring to hear from Trish and Donna that they had successfully negotiated their ways into these world and that on several occasions their students had helped them come to grips with new media.

We finished the day urging folks to complete 15-20 mins of writing that they will present at writers' group on Thursday.

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