Sunday, February 10, 2008

Second Life

I really enjoyed using Second Life this week. I only got frustrated when I got stuck underwater, but after while of pulling my hair out, I finally figured how to get out. Once I figured out how to click on the world map to find EduIsland, it was easy to transport and find the class. I like the virtual environment very much. I would like to use Second Life for an activity for an online course that I want to develop for my dissertation. The topic of the course I am going to design is multicultural literacy instruction training and cultural identity development for teachers that work with minority students. It would be very interesting to see how students would design their avatars to represent themselves. This could be very valuable in cultural identity discussions.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Sociocultural Instructional Design

February 6, 2008 Blog Entry
CECS 6100

Duffy & Kirkley pages 49-60

Polin’s sociocultural instructional design places the student at the center of instruction. She respects her students’ maturity, independence, and learning needs. As an instructional design student, I think back on the countless memories of instructors putting themselves at the center of instruction. This is a major reason why I am pursuing this degree so that I can be the type of instructor that really cares about students’ learning! Not the type of professor that only likes to brag about the books he/she has written. As a classroom teacher, I design my instruction with the students at the center. Many people think that it is crazy to allow students to think and problem-solve. They think learning is dictating information and testing students on that information. In my opinion, it is the most pleasurable experience as a teacher to guide students through an experience of learning where they problem solve and share their work with their peers. Students like to share when given the opportunity.

I agree with Polin when she says that adult learners are very goal driven and that their time is valuable. Adult learners want to engage in activities that are meaningful and will help them achieve their goals. I can testify to excelling in graduate courses that allow me to think and problem-solve in regards to my own research agenda. As a graduate student, I appreciate assignments that will allow me to build and expand upon my existing research agenda. I feel that sociocultural instructional design not only places the student at the center of learning, but it also helps to build identity. With this approach to learning, I feel confident about my research. I feel like I am given the opportunity to do scholarly assignments that will amount to something valuable to me. A sociocultural approach does not eliminate the need to incorporate different types of learning strategies, but it does shift the attention from the teacher to the student. In this type of approach, learners can add something meaningful to them to the conversation as they decide what they need rather than what the teacher decides they need.

I will definitely add Polin and others from this section to my bibliography so that I can read more about sociocultural instructional design.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Distance Education

According to Duffy and Kirkley (2004), the quality of distance education depends on the design of and the students’ engagement in the learning environment. From a design stand point, and instructional designer must create a learning environment that shifts learning to student centered discussions and learning tasks. Students must be able to clearly understand text in the learning environment to accomplish learning goals. I once took an online course where the learning environment was cold because students had too many tasks to complete without deep understanding of difficult material. My frustration with this particular course caused me not to fully engage in the learning environment because my peers and I felt rushed and confused about key concepts and our discussions lacked depth. I think that many instructors feel that giving loads of work in an online learning environment is necessary. I feel that an online environment should give students clear directions and constructive tasks to accomplish learning goals. I feel that portfolio assessment is crucial in this type of learning environment so that students have record of their growth as a tool of reflection. This would help students stay interested in the online learning environment in which they are participating.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

X-Men 3

I really enjoyed the movie X-Men 3. Even though Storm was in constant battle with the other Black female super hero, at least both women were in progressive roles. I really enjoyed the diverse cast, and the overall message for marginalized people to stand up and fight for their rights. I would recommend this film to anyone; it has all of the elements of a great epic tale.

The Wonderful World of Disney

I enjoyed the video we saw about Disney films and the depictions of stereotypes. Many people think that maybe this conversation is taking this notion of stereotypes effecting people too far, but I really believe that not only do stereotypes shape the way people feel about everything from what to eat, to how to act, they also effect people’s perception of reality. I feel that consuming anything in the media without dialogue about the issues that are present is harmful. The problem is that not only do people lack global literacy which would allow them to think about issues globally, they lack media literacy and the ability to discern patterns and themes presented in mainstream media. It is up to the school system to educate parents and students about how to consume media responsibly.

Spike Lee

Spike Lee’s films always provoke people to think about the world we live in. The film Bamboozled raised many concerns for me in regards to how Black people are portrayed in the media. Spike Lee made comments that people before us had no choice but to take these types of roles because of the barriers and blatant racism they had to face. He says that artists of today have a choice and that they have no excuses. I feel that this a complex situation for actors today that want to break out of the stereotypes, but are faced with having to play such roles to get a foot in the door. It must be very conflicting for Black artists to take stereotypical roles for the sake of furthering their careers. I am not sure how this huge problem can be remedied, but I am sure that producing such works allows for scholarly discourse to begin figuring out real life solutions.

Asian Women in Film

The video we saw on the depiction of Asian women in film was eye-opening. They have been stereotyped as the “lotus blossom” or the “fighting dragon” and are almost always shown as being submissive and inferior to men. I cannot think of anything in the media that portrays Asian women in progressive roles, except for Gray’s Anatomy. I think a great film and book to read that depicts Asian women in many roles is the Joy Luck Club.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Censorship In Public Schools

I am not surprised that the PBS documentary we saw in class this week was pulled from a local high school. The public school system is always resistant to new and innovative ways to get students involved in the critical thinking process. I am sure the teacher framed the lesson appropriately, and I am even sure that the class shared some very profound commentary. It is this type of censorship that hinders students from learning about the world they live in. This is exactly why I do not teach in the public school system anymore because you can never elevate your students with curriculum that will empower them to critique the world they live in. Its situations like this that makes me fight for curriculum reform in American public schools. The fact of the matter is, students need to be media literate, and the only way to facilitate this process is to show relevant documentaries like this to provoke students to begin to ponder solutions to society’s complexities.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Today’s discussion of the idealized male in fashion magazines provoked me to think of the term metrosexual. Please see this attachment at urban dictionary to read more about it This term came into play in recent years. I came to understand the term by the fashion styles and extreme hygiene practices of designer Sean Combs. The media has labeled him as a metrosexual because he is super clean cut, and is always decked out from head to toe. Many people have added their own perspectives to the definition, but however you define the word, it is interesting to see how some men have evolved from the stereotype of not caring about their appearance or being into fashion to being just as concerned about clothes and shoes as women. The typical metrosexual that is depicted in the media is usually a muscular mesomorph that has toned arms and abs and no visible body hair. I am not sure if you have to be borderline homosexual to be considered a metrosexual, but I think this adds to the discussion of the idealized man. Many ads are now depicting men as metrosexuals. I think they are doing this to appeal to gay men and heterosexual women, which Dr. Lambiase touched on in her lecture today about the ambiguous nature of men in advertisements that we saw in the Ambercrombie and Fitch catalog.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Shadow Project

Title: Clothing Worn by Females and Males in Music Video

Two Sentence Summary: For female artists physical appearance and sexuality tend to be emphasized more than musical abilities, as close-ups and revealing clothing are required components of their roles in videos.

Summary of previous study: From Page 36 in Sex in Consumer Culture: The Erotic Content of Media and Marketing, Reichert & Lambiase (editors), 2006, Erlbaum

Clothing Worn by Females and Males in Music Video
B)Year Videos Aired
C)Networks Sampled
D)Females in Alluring/Sexy Clothing
E)Males in Alluring/Sexy Clothing

Study #1: A)Sherman & Dominick (1986)
Study #2: A)Seidman (1992)
Study #3: A)Signorielli, McCleod, & Healy (1994)

Study #3: A)Seidman (1999)

Study #4: A)Andsager & Roe (1999)

Its most important foundation literature and how it relates to your own project: Gow, J. (1996) Reconsidering gender roles on MTV: Depictions in the most popular music videos of the early 1990s. Communication Reports, 9, 151-162.

Corpus and Method: Four music videos selected from Launch Top 100 music videos ( Content analysis (desription) of clothing worn by females and males in popular music videos (2 male artists Bubba Sparx and T-Pain; 2 female artists Shakira and Destiny’s Child)


Clothing Worn by Females and Males in 4 Music Videos on Launch (

Video: “Ms. New Booty” by Bubba Sparx
All female dancers are wearing short shorts so that their buttocks are showing, tight shirts so that cleavage is exposed, midriff tops to expose stomachs, and they are wearing boots and high heel shoes.
All the men are fully clothed wearing suits, baggy jeans and t-shirts.

Video: “Hips Don’t Lie” by Shakira
Shakira is the prominent female character for most of the video. She exposes her back, and stomach. The female dancers at the end of the video also bear their stomachs.
All the men are fully clothed wearing baggy jeans and t-shirts.

Video: “I need a Soldier” by Destiny's Child
The three group members wear fitting clothing that reveals midriff, cleavage, buttocks, legs, and thighs.
Male characters are fully dressed in baggy jeans and t-shirts.

Video:“I’m in Love with a Stripper” by T-Pain
The women are wearing tight jeans, midriffs, short shorts, panties, bras, short dresses, boots, and stilettos. Cleavage and buttocks exposed.
All of the men are fully clothed in baggy jeans and t-shirts.

Conclusion: In all four videos used in this shadow study, all of the men were fully dressed. Not one male was dressed in alluring/sexy clothing. On the other hand, in all of the videos, all of the women were dressed in some type of alluring /sexy clothing. What I noticed is that the message that the video is supposed to convey is lost by the distraction of women barely dressed. I could not follow the plot of the videos because I was distracted by the way the camera zoomed in on the breasts, legs, midriffs, backs, thighs, and buttocks of the women. From this shadow study, I conclude that women are still objectified as sexual objects placed in music videos to sell products, or in this case to sell more records. In all the videos it seems that dressing in alluring/sexy clothing is a trend for women in this small sample of music videos.

Women Silenced

The video we saw in class today was very disturbing. The Market Researchers demonstrated how they collect information on teenage culture with various methods such as physically going out into the streets and photographing teens that they think are cool or what they called the 20% of cool teens that influence the other 80% of un-cool teens, interviews with individual teens, and focus groups. The focus group included five males that were asked various questions. The males in this group were able to express their opinions. There was not a focus group for the females; instead we went on a bizarre journey into the world of modeling for young girls. This scenario exemplifies how women are being silenced and used solely for the purpose using their bodies to sell products and ideas. I was very offended that the young girls did not have the opportunity to critique their world. In essence, the girls in this video were portrayed as mindless beings. Women are being silenced everyday and the implication of this is evidenced in the hyper-sexualized behavior of young women today. There was nothing scientific to this research, instead it is a twisted way to delve into the minds of teen culture to perpetuate negative behaviors and increase revenue for companies.