The following is my video for my Google Teacher Academy application. Having read about the GTA and when I saw that a GTAUK was taking place I thought this was an excellent idea and I had to go for it. Life however has a means of throwing curveballs when you least expect it and the last two weeks of been nothing short of manic. So two days ago I wrote the application sections and only yesterday morning I came up with the idea of the stop frame animation when I was looking at a pile of my sons toys. I had been really struggling with ideas for the video as lessons in school are very disrupted with exams and trips so getting pupils (and their permission slips) organised for the video would have been tricky. This was an acceptable solution!
Will I get in? Who knows … my video doesn’t go into educational theory and practice as much as other videos I have seen but I hope that it’s uniqueness as well as its message of using simple tools well to encourage ones students will be received well by those who will be reviewing it.
The following blog is adapted afrom a comment I left on a blogpost by Garry Fisher on Blog up North on the issue of how parents should respond to their mostly teenage sons wanting to buy violent computer games like Modern Warfare 2.
It’s a tough issue to come to a conclusion on – Im a parent of a boy not yet aged one so this sort of dilemma is something I will only be facing in a few years (and god only knows what sort of games he will be wanting to play in a decade or so).
The thing is as a fairly experienced gamer I have played and still play (on the multiplayer side) Modern Warfare 2. I am also a teacher (head of ICT) and I am completely open about my gaming to staff, students and parents. I therefore kindof inhabit the worlds of gamer and concerned parent and educator.
I too am deeply concerned about the pressure parents are faced when these games come out (one of my girls said her brother waged a month long propaganda campaign against his parents until they caved in – he is 15). I have ‘little’ objection to these games coming out as long as they remain only bought by adults. Its not just parents though who have something to answer for, its also the games publishers and retailers as well.
This game has been a tricky one – seeing it from a broad perspective Modern Warfare 2 is bonkers, illogical, slightly scifi warporn. The level of violence in the game (bar one exception) isn’t beyond most other FPS shooters out there (and there are some hardcore scifi shooters which are far nightmareishly worse – lookup Deadspace for one).
On a slightly more narrow perspective focussing on the ‘No Russian’ level the waters become a lot murkier. I was quite bothered by the level and feel it was a step too far. It can be skipped but as most of my girls said their brothers would play it regardless my advice to parents of teenage boys under the age of 18 has been as follows. Allow them to get the game but on one condition, the first time they play through ‘No Russian’ they must do so with you sitting right next to them and then discuss the level afterwards with them. It’s a high risk strategy but one which could possibly yield some positive results.