Friday, April 20, 2007

A Pale Imitation of Life

Childhood is time when we should nurture in our students “a sense of the beauty and sacred nature of all life.”

According to the Alliance for Childhood:

Students who grow up with a strong sense of the value and meaning of human life and of other forms of life will be less likely to choose high-tech simulations that are a pale imitation of life.
I disagree with this statement because with 3D technology development children would be spending in virtual reality more and more time, and this is inevitable. Although today most virtual worlds are still imperfect, grotesque, and awkward, in several years from now, it would be difficult to tell the difference between real and virtual worlds. The future of our education is 3D simulations; however, today, Second Life and Active Worlds are still pale imitations of life.

I would paraphrase the Alliance for Childhood’s quote:

Students who grow up with a strong sense of the value and meaning of life would make hollow, cruel, and bloody high-tech simulations more spiritual, humane, educational, and aspiring.

Students should exercise their imagination as producers and artists not just as consumers. This requires that "teachers are vigilant in doing the same” (Steve Goodman) and they develop “a new regard for imagination” (Maxine Greene).

It is more valuable to teach students to be creators of their virtual worlds, models and landscapes in the high-end 3D programs such as Alias Maya, 3ds Max, Bryce, Blender or SketchUp. 3D courses introduce students to the basic concepts of math for 3D modeling as well as to techniques of modeling, texture, rendering and animation.


“Media Education: Culture and Community in the Classroom” by Steve Goodman

Tech Tonic:Towards a New Literacy of Technology by the Alliance for Childhood

The image is created by 9th grade student in Bryce.

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