Video Games in the STEM Classroom

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Is there anything quite so vilified as our students’ love of video games? The slightly lame-sounding trope in the teachers lounge is, “If they’d just study and stop playing those games!

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Thru Jerusalem – what makes this video come through?

This post is intended for the class on ‘New Media’. Kutiman, has just released this music video which shows Jerusalem, through music and sounds.

Look at the videographic detail, post your thoughts and comments about it in terms of how it is filmed, your observations and how it captures and stimulates the audience’s emotions…

Mr. Khan’s Academy – teaching ‘virtually’ anything

I think I had a sort of epiphany upon listening to Salman Khan… I mean… really…and  drama apart, I just love what this guy is doing…

Khan, has indeed founded the Khan Academy, and notwithstanding the fact that there is a humongous amount of resources which can be accessed and downloaded freely from the site, this guy is indeed revolutionising the whole notion of learning as being encapsulated within the classroom walls.

I look around me and I see educators, teachers, academics and other people involved in the great institution of Education (with a capital E) who are nothing but pessimisting, deluded and cynical bureaucrats concerned with all the petty issues, getting lost on the way, and forgetting what the true notion of providing education is. To me, education and educating is about freedom – everyone’s right to and duty towards freedom… it is the freedom to know, the freedom to learn, the freedom to live actually, because to my mind learning is like breathing…we breathe without being all the time conscious that we’re breathing but we definitely need it to survive. In the same manner, we need to learn, otherwise we would not be better than a cabbage (with all due respect to the cabbage) in a vegetable patch.

So what excited me about Mr Khan, is this idea, that he is not really concerned with the petty nuts and bolts of the institution or of the curriculum for that matter. He can’t seem to be bothered with classifying students as ‘A’ or ‘D’ students, or anywhere in between for all it matters. He is only bothered with providing an insight of a particular concept and he has found the video as his most preferred medium – which is fine. I mean I don’t necessarily think that all the videos are brilliant for all the classrooms we have or that video is the only resource that one should use from this day onwards… far from it… I am sure that there are more and better resources… but it is the concept of it which is thrilling.

If only teachers, teaching specific classes could make use of this concept. This is not saying a lot, it is saying… listen, let the students do the learning elsewhere… when they come to class – they will carry a luggage, and your role then (as teacher) is that of helping them pack, (add or remove) items to their luggage. It’s easy, yes? However I wonder, if this can indeed happen in our classrooms… well at least not until we change the way we teach, assess and THINK…

3D animation and modelling – New Media Class

The scope of this blog post is to have students following my lectures on New Media, share their contribution to the lesson by posting comments, views, and links which they find and sharing them online.

To students: You are free to repost on Facebook or retweet… the essential scope is twofold: 1. to share our knowledge, to share our resources.

Animation primarily is considered to be the prelude to immersion into the digital reality with the essential goal of recreating a movement, whether it is for a character, ambience or object, which resembles the physical reality as much as possible.

Some questions which I would like to discuss with you all here and to which I would like some answers through your comments are:

  1. What is the essential difference between 2D and 3D animation?
  2. What is the 3D World Space?
  3. The Pyramid of Vision reflects the way the immersive animation is perceived by the user. Give examples to explain this further.
  4. What are the Transformations into the 3D World Space? Give practical examples.
  5. Cameras and lighting play a very important role in 3D animations. Give more detail.
  6. Points, lines and Curves in 3D Modelling software.
  7. Primitives, surfaces and textures…the what and how.
  8. The character animation and advanced modelling procedures.

For the purpose of this class we shall be using the Blender software to experiment with some simple 3D animation. Kindly download using this link. Your comments can include links to videos, or other resources which you find online as well as your own personal views, experiences, and other information which can be relevant and shared with the others.