Parisian Love

After a few days of waiting to see what all the fuss was about, I finally saw Google’s Superbowl commercial. I had read Ira’s account of the narrative based in a series of Google searches, and was intrigued by the charm of the commercial is in its brisk, simple rendering of narrative through the universal ‘lens’ of Google searches. And there is the connection to Michael Wesch – of The Machine is Changing Us fame – and Marshall McLuhan carried in the youthfully eclectic and seemingly unconscious use of Google to:

… fully explain the full reach of our contemporary information gathering tools, from the academic to the frivolous, from the mispellings (“louve”) to the mis-searched (needing to add “France” to Paris is one search), from the maps to the photos to the comments on a location. This, for all those wondering what “students need to know,” is what students need to know.

Wesley Fryer asks the following question on his blog today:

It would be great to see students use this method of “storytelling via screencasted Google search queries” to tell other stories. What story would you tell? If your Google history could talk, what stories would IT tell?

And I think that this could \ should only be the beginning of our use of digital forms and perspectives to tell our stories. As Wesch declares modern media and its mediums of Google, Twitter, Flickr and a host of other 2.0 tools capable of shaping the possibilities for community, for identity construction, and ultimately for self-awareness, I can think of no more straightforward statement of education’s purpose than these three goals.

I am having the socials students tell digital stories this week, in Biopic film trailers, and campaign videos for Napoleon, and geographic public service announcements. And in the meantime, the class blogs are humming with reflections and assignments solicited as well as unassigned. All of which have resulted in a strengthening of the class’ internal relationships, but also its individual voices. Blogs and a variety of forms thus far – performance, writing, music and research – have lent the class opportunities to tell its own stories, in its own voice(s).

With the continuous advent of new communicative technologies becoming the norm, and mastery of an ongoing and fluid range of tools following suit, it is an exciting time to deal in exploring narratives and self-expression with young people (they’re the ones who know their way around the tools anyway).

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