Throughout the decades we have been expected to sit in classrooms, listen to our professors, write down “organized” notes, complete homework and take tests. It has been the same for years, the same ways of teaching and learning are still expected today to be the same. Think about this routine, hasn't it been forced upon every student? How do we know for sure if this routine works for everyone? With all the research neuroscientists have done about how we all think and learn very differently, why should we call a way of brain processing a disorder?
Research has been done about students that have ADHD succeeding better with “goal directed persistence” from the professor. The result from a “goal directed persistence” method in the classroom was proven to be positive (Martin), but if you think about it, shouldn’t all professors implement “goal directed behaviors” ? (Martin) A goal is a goal, you give it, you plan it, you take the first step and you achieve it, shouldn’t all students learn what a “goal oriented” classroom feels like? The idea of implementing goals into a classroom can be a key to better overall education, not an excuse to cure a different way of thinking.
Psychologists talk about different strategies for professors to use with students that are diagnosed with ADHD, one of them is to “increase the novelty of lessons by using films, tapes, flash cards, or small group work or by having a child call on others” (Child Development Institute) does this sound like classroom with children that only have disorders? As far as I know, these methods are involving a more hands-on and social behaviors way of learning, some call it “Team-Based Learning,” something that we have not done frequently in the last decades of education. Therefore, we still insist that students have some kind of disorder because they can not adjust to outdated ways of learning.
“Team-Based Learning” has had successful turn out in the classroom. The results were that students in a “Team-based Learning” environment agreed that this method “assists with critical-thinking, problem-solving, and examination preparation” (Frame). The description of the list of “Strategies for Cognitive and Impulsive Children,” describe “Team-Based Learning,” very close. These are methods that every professor should apply to their teaching, but it should not be categorized as a way of teaching for students who have a “disorder.”
ADHD was first mentioned in 1902 where children needed to be seated quietly in a classroom and were not allowed to brainstorm with each other or to fundamentally create their own workshops. I work very close with a friend who has was been diagnosed with ADHD, she says “I think so quickly that I’m so good at multitasking, I’ve learned my own way of organization and I don’t use the same methods as everybody else, I still succeed.” Does this sound like someone who has a disorder? To me it sounds like a different way of thinking.
The same old industrial revolution set up is a reoccurring method that classrooms have not changed until this date! Yet, we decide to give it a name, some drugs and be done with it. While the educational system in this country continues to force the same methods of education upon individuals that simply organize their thoughts in a different manner and learn in unique ways, just like everybody else.
Frame, Tracy R., et al. "Student Perceptions Of Team-Based Learning Vs Traditional Lecture- Based Learning." American Journal Of Pharmaceutical Education 79.4 (2015): 1-11. Academic Search Complete. Web. 13 Oct. 2015.
Gale Encyclopedia of Diets, 2nd ed., Detroit: Gale, 2013, pp. 610-613.
Martin, Andrew J. "Improving The Achievement, Motivation, And Engagement Of Students With ADHD: The Role Of Personal Best Goals And Other Growth- Based Approaches." Australian Journal Of Guidance & Counselling 23.1 (2013): 143-155. Academic Search Complete. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.
Child Development Institute. ”Suggested Classroom Interventions For Children With ADD & Learning Disabilities." Child Development Info. Child Development Institute, LLC, 2015. Web. 2015. <http://childdevelopmentinfo.com/learning/learning_disabilities/teacher/
1. How did you start in film and developed your passion for filmmaking?
Film inspired my life in a very early stage of my childhood. I was very fortunate to be surrounded by creative software at it’s very early stages. I remember sitting in front of my iMac G3 (Strawberry Color) using one of the first copies of Adobe Illustrator, I was 6 years old. I thought I was a scientist that could somehow translate digital art work into something emotional and inspiring. Then I became engaged with editing software that existed within my computer’s operating system. With the editing software, I explored the endless different ways of composition and making my mother cry with from horrifying images of the heartaches in Venezuela. I was born in Caracas, Venezuela and at that time my country was aiming towards a dangerous and emotional journey. Editing became the new language for me to express and to speak for those in fear. The moving reaction that my family had when my slide show was viewed, was the most fascinating part to me. The composition of a film quickly became the tool for change and impact. That is when I knew I had a passion for innovation, the brain and film.
2. What is your position in the industry right now and where do you want to take your career or see yourself in the future?
I have many positions in the industry, currently I focus on producing experimental shorts. Today this industry takes us many different roads and so we must learn multiple different positions and roles. I mix a lot of my passions and talents to create the next big project. I love innovative projects and technology that changes people’s lives. I would like to take my career to research and the relationship between cinema, music and the brain. FOLLOW ANDRES #photoessay project @andrescuervo
FOLLOW my journey @CineVibes
Carlos Andrés Cuervo
What will the future look like when our brains cannot distinguish what is real from what is not? This has been a question when considering the advantages and disadvantages of Virtual Reality (VR). Although VR is not a new technology, in recent years, it has become a trending topic among software developers and manufacturers. Does the new buzz about this technology mean that we are in the verge of a renascence for multisensory experiences? Or is it just another gimmick that the entertainment industry is trying to push to generate revenue? It might be too early to answer these questions, but one thing is certain: Audiences are expecting the next “big thing” after the theatrical experience has decreased, and technology today is enabling the growth of interactivity. This makes Virtual Reality not only an interesting field to explore but also a thriving new business in the entertainment industry.
When defining Virtual Reality, it is often referred to as a derivate from 360 live action audio-visuals. VR is a completely immersive experience in all directions where the viewer can see 360 x 360 degrees. There is also computer-generated VR which is software based 3D graphics. In the VR experience, the viewer is the one in control of what parts of the screen he or she will see. Because VR is captured as an unwrapped 360 image that resembles a flat map of the globe, it is necessary to process the resulting images into a spherical visualization. All of this can be done either in camera or with stitching software, such as Kolor’s AutoPano Video or VideoSttich. The combination of capturing spherical images and processing them with software to compose large panoramas is just part of the process, as VR content needs a special system for viewing.
The history of VR could be dated back to the Victorian Stereoscopes of the 1800’s. These were cards with two images printed side by side, one for the right eye and one for the left eye. When the separate images were viewed through a double set of magnifying glasses, they appeared as a single image giving the illusion of depth and perspective in the z-axis. Nonetheless, most experts in the field of VR attribute the beginning of modern Virtual Reality to Ivan Sutherland, a computer scientist that invented an electronic head-mounted display to view rudimentary computer-generated graphics. The inventions of Mr. Sutherland were primarily incorporated in military research, where the army’s top engineer, Thomas Furness, developed the first flight simulator system called the “Super Cockpit”. This system allowed military personnel to visualize the complex tasks of flying planes and driving tanks.
The military wasn’t the only one interested in “real looking” visualizations. By the 1970’s, the film industry as well as video game makers entered into the realm of computer graphics and simulations. Filmmaker Mort Heilig came out with a design that could be the first live action VR system. His first prototype was named “Sensorama”. It was an arcade-style cabinet with a 3D display, vibrating seat and scent producer. In Heilig’s imagination, his box was the "cinema of the future”.
When the floodgates for VR were opened, films in the late 70’s and early 80’s embraced the idea of Virtual Reality. Movies like Star Wars, Terminator and Jurassic Park benefited from the evolution of computer graphics, in the quest for virtual images with realistic rendering qualities. Cult films like Tron brought great attention to VR, and the idea of experiencing someone’s life through machines was explored in movies like “Brainstorm” and “Strange Days”. In the midst of this first “golden age” of VR, a feature film entirely produced with computer graphics, “The Lawnmower Man”, was probably the first immersive narrative experience in 360 degrees.
However, one of the precursors of modern Virtual Reality interfaces was the video game called “Dactyl Nightmare” - a first person shooter game that incorporated flaying dinosaurs in a pixelated landscape. Since then, video games have become an entry point into VR.
The first “golden age” of Virtual Reality faded away as the clunkiness of the systems and the primitive aesthetics of the images discouraged audiences from fully engaging in the experience.
As reported in 2013 by Fast Company, videogame sales have surpassed those of movies and music sales worldwide. This phenomenon has dramatically changed the way studios and manufacturers are looking at entertainment consumption. Some major companies are developing the next level of video game interactivity, while prominent brands are investing in VR as means for advertisement. According to the electronic news site TechCrunch, giant social network Facebook acquired Oculus VR in 2014 for a staggering $2 Billion. This acquisition put one of the pioneer VR projects on Facebook’s portfolio and paved the way for other big companies to follow. Soon after, Google announced its desire to develop their VR platform. Starting with project “Jump”, the company focused on creating and distributing VR content in their ecosystem. The “Jump Rig” is Google’s camera solution for capturing multiple angles for VR. While “Google Cardboard” is the company’s answer to the Oculus viewer at a fraction (virtually free) of what other systems in the market would cost. Along with these hardware developments, Google updated its YouTube player to reproduce 360 videos and use the gyroscope in most current smartphones, navigating the video as the device moves in space.
Following the footsteps of the two technology giants, more companies are creating hardware, software and viewing systems for Virtual Reality. Other players entering into the VR field are sports, live events and concerts, real state, architecture, travel, science, health, etc.
It seems as if Virtual Reality has entered a second “golden age”, full of potential and new challenges. One of those challenges is creating content that utilizes the technology in a way that is not only innovative but that also makes sense.
Computer-generated graphics have come a long way from the early days of “Dactyl Nightmare”. But it is in live action video that VR really shines. In order to create the perfect environment for “suspense of disbelieve”, filmmakers need to produce high definition images from multiple angles and stitch together the resulting images to reproduce a 360 x 360 image. This technique requires a special rig for several cameras; monitoring the recording is almost impossible, not to mention the considerations needed to hide the camera, sound and lighting equipment. This is crucial because in VR everything around can be seen.
The challenges to produce VR content continue in post-production. Unless the stitching of the images is done in camera, Special software is needed to process big amounts of data from each camera. Then, the editing application needs to find and compute the physical information on each frame to seamlessly join the multiple angles into a large panorama, before it can be conformed into an aspheric image.
Once this process is completed, it is important to understand where the content is going to be viewed. VR is essentially a single user interface, although new techniques and technologies are in development to create an experience for multiple users at the same time. Because the majority of VR headsets are designed to work with current smart phones, this makes it a very convenient platform for distribution.
More than ever, companies are jumping into the VR frenzy and offering free or paid services for hosting and deploying 360 content to mobile devices. Some of today’s leading companies are Vrse, Jaunt, Wearvr, Wevr, Streamvr, YouTube 360, among many others.
While it is true that producing and distributing VR content is somehow cumbersome, it is not nearly as expensive and difficult as it was back in the 70’s and 80’s. At the same time, the most important challenge for VR is in how the technology really appeals to the masses. Just as not every 3D movie is a hit the theatres, not every VR experience is well executed or interesting for the viewers.
Filmmakers have to adapt to the new storytelling rules and concentrate on ways to direct the viewer’s attention to specific parts of the screen or follow along a storyline.
But once the challenges are embraced, new creative ways to tell stories emerge and the potential of VR can really be taken to an entire new media, one that promises unique perspectives and brain-stimulating sensations.
Finally, the next frontier for VR continues to be the narrative space. Creating an immersive environment and directing the attention of the audience are just some of the things that filmmakers will have to figure out and master. Ahead, there will be more technical challenges such as maintaining exposure, stitching camera angles, managing large amounts of data, limited resolutions, and how to go beyond a single user experience. Nonetheless, Virtual Reality will be here for a long time. Manufacturers and content creators have already made major investments. VR has proved to be the platform of choice for immersive gaming, and with the games will come more movies, commercials, performances and live music shows.
In the near future, companies like Microsoft will integrate their augmented reality technologies with motion tracking and virtual reality to create the ultimate virtual universe. Households will display an array of interactive gadgets and appliances and products like Oculus, Kinect, Magic Leap, HTC, and others will resemble the living room in the iconic movie Back to The Future II.
Whatever the future looks like, it is certain that VR will be there, not only as an interesting field to explore, but also a thriving business in the entertainment industry.
I see the end of poverty and to the lack of interest in my classmates. According to the Census Bureau, “16.3% of Florida is below poverty level in 2009-2013,” and Florida schools are still required to go by the outdated 2011 Marzano Teacher Evaluation Model to evaluate the quality of teaching in educators (United States Census Bureau) (“Approved District Performance Evaluation Systems”). The model does not improve the interest in students, nor has it improved the quality of teaching in the State of Florida.
Florida continues to rank C in “State Academic Standards,” yet teachers and students are taught to comply with the standardized test investment and evaluation model by Dr. Robert Marzano (“2014 State Education Performance and Policy Index”) (“Approved District Performance Evaluation Systems”). Marzano designed an inefficient, incomplete and unsuccessful standardized model of evaluation in education. Through its Race to the Top program, the U.S. government funds Marzano’s outdated model for states and schools to compete for competitive grants and supposedly to “complete the global economy,” “improve instruction” and “turn around lowest- achieving schools” in the United States (“Race to the Top Fund”). With the results of this model in place, there is greater pressure on the states to mandate schools to increase their scores just for grant money. It causes teachers to teach for the purpose only of fulfilling the state’s bureaucracy requirements for “growth in test scores,” through a standardized test that determines 50% of a student’s passing grade level
(“Overview of Florida’s Teacher Evaluation System”). Teachers are spending more time in the classroom on simply teaching students how to take the test than on the quality of their teaching.
The Marzano Evaluation Model is not so “new” any more and does not offer any kind of realistic preparation to students for the rapid, innovative society that we live in (“Dr. Marzano's Causal Teacher Evaluation Model”). Therefore, this “industrial revolution” way of thinking (math, reading and science) continues to increase poverty in the American Nation through the root of education in our society. Real teaching quality will determine our future as a nation and the end to poverty. Quality implements different ways of teaching and learning, something Marzano’s model does not mention.
We need our culture to become innovative, motivational and prosperous for future jobs. Allowing educators actually to teach and make classrooms fun will increase enthusiasm in students and motivate them to go to school. If the competitive grant or Race to the Top programs focused on real talent performance and not on performance on a test that standardizes all students, it would increase revenue in our society because of the number of students that would actually enjoy school and later more effectively contribute to the work force ("Race to the Top Fund”). What we need is an increase in self-motivation in students to complete a degree, which would shift our culture toward creating more businesses that impact the economy. We would also need to change the evaluation model to increase the quality of teaching in educators. Once the quality of teaching improves, educators can be paid based on their evaluated performance and student results. The money invested in standardize testing can actually be used give educators a higher pay. Self-motivation in students will come from the quality of teaching in educators, increasing jobs and the end result to eliminate poverty in the United States of America.
We would start by changing the numerous evaluation models for teachers, including the state of Florida, and implement different ways of teaching. Improving teaching quality begins with expanding students’ interest in going to school. What follows is a list of successful teaching methods that promote quality in an educator, each of which can leverage the enthusiasm students feel to have fun in school; this list can also serve as a model for evaluating educators in the content of their classrooms. First, educators should pursue teaching according to their students’ interests; this will allow students to engage in any subject the educator is teaching. Teachers should survey their students to become aware of their common interests. For example, if a majority of the classroom likes basketball, the educator could teach the class on the school’s basketball court rather than in the classroom. When teachers get to know their students’ interests and teach accordingly, students become more engaged.
Second, educators need to motivate their students to participate in discussion. They need to not just motivate, but teach self-motivation. They need to teach what it is to be self-motivated and how self-motivation is important in the professional setting. Teaching about short and long term goals allows students to reach for something greater than them, it also demonstrates a path of how to start now instead of reaching graduation and the students still not knowing where to begin their career.
Third, teachers need to stress the importance of exciting innovation, and showcase how brainstorming and creating can become reality. This includes, for example, project management, and workshops that require analyzing and coming to an agreement on a solution. Another example is using art forms to stimulate different creative areas of their students’ brains, like using music and hands-on art projects.
Fourth, educators should teach the importance of completion. Students need to taste success and experience the sense of achievement that comes with the long and hard work of building something from the ground up. They need to have this experience instead of just completing worksheets from books.
Fifth, educators need to teach the importance of the “Why,” “How,” and “What” behind every business, and the success this “Golden Circle” has brought to numerous companies (Holmes, Nelson). Sixth, teachers should instruct on current events and how they affect our future. Seventh, educators need to teach time management, particularly instead of just marking a student tardy. They can teach what is it is to organize and schedule time effectively through fun projects that the class would be interested in.
This leads to the eighth item, which is to teach efficiency and how each project can be done at the right speed with the right coordination and focus. This relates to the ninth item, which is to keep up to date with new technology, constantly using technology to improve and showcase results, as well as to find alternative applications to intrigue the entire classroom and get them involved. Finally, educators should teach proactive decision-making and emotional intelligence. This includes, for instance, the mastery of keeping yourself positive when a difficult situation arises in a professional and personal setting. We need to implement this as part of our culture, “cultures in which we are raised do not only affect our values and outlook. They also shape our bodies and may even structure our brains,” states Ken Robinson in his book “The Element” (Robinson, Ken, and Lou Aronica 150).
Educators should focus on their quality of teaching in addition to learning which are the most effective ways for their students to learn. It is definitely not for the students just to listen and look at a white board. Humans learn visually, emotionally and socially, through hands-on, listening and reading, and with repetition. With so many options, teachers should break away from simply writing on the board and lecturing. Studies have shown how young participants sitting in the same room showcased similar brain activity but with “marked differences in neural responses between the older Western and Asian observers. In the Westerners, the lateral occipital complex remained active, while in Asian participants it responded only minimally.” This demonstrates that different cultures have different brain activity while seeing the same material. Our society is multicultural, meaning our educators need to make adjustments to their way of teaching depending on the students in their classrooms to make their teaching effective for everyone (Robinson, Ken, and Lou Aronica 151). We are evolving as a society; we need to move forward and do in depth research on how we learn.
Educators making these changes will motivate students to want to pursue their passions and professional goals. The more fascinated society is with education the more inventive businesses will be and the more quality jobs will be created. Focusing on the ways of teaching and different ways of learning will allow growth and aid in ending poverty in the United States.
"Approved District Performance Evaluation Systems." Approved District Performance Evaluation Systems. Florida Dept. of Education 2015, 1 Jan. 2014. Web. 17 Apr. 2015. <http://www.fldoe.org/teaching/performance- evaluation/approved-dis-performance-evaluation-sy/index.stml>.
"Dr. Marzano's Causal Teacher Evaluation Model." Marzano Teacher Evaluation. 2015 Learning Sciences International, 1 Jan. 2015. Web. 17 Apr. 2015. <http://www.marzanoevaluation.com>.
"IObservation." Marzano White Paper on Race to The Top -. 2015 Learning Sciences International, 1 Jan. 2015. Web. 17 Apr. 2015. <http:// www.iobservation.com/whitepapers/marzano-white-paper-on-race-to-the- top/>.
Holmes, Nelson. TED: Simon Sinek - "The Golden Circle" Clip. Digital image. Https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5Tw0PGcyN0. 9 May 2012. Web.
"Overview of Florida’s Teacher Evaluation System." Fldoe.org. Florida Dept. of Education 2015, 1 Jan. 2015. Web. 17 Apr. 2015. <http://www.fldoe.org/ core/fileparse.php/7503/urlt/0102688- overviewfloridasteacherevaluationsystem.pdf>.
"Race to the Top at a Glance." Ed.gov. U.S Department of Education. Web. <http:// www2.ed.gov/about/inits/ed/implementation-support-unit/tech-assist/ evaluations-teacher-effectiveness.pdf>.
"Race to the Top Fund." Race to the Top Fund. U.S Department of Education. Web. 17 Apr. 2015. <http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop/index.html>.
Robinson, Ken, and Lou Aronica. "Culture: Right and Thong." The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything. New York: Penguin Group USA, 2009. Print.
"United States Census Bureau." Florida QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau. U.S. Department of Commerce. Web. 17 Apr. 2015. <http:// quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/12000.html>.
"2014 State Education Performance and Policy Index." Alec. ALEC- American Legislative Exchange Council, 1 Jan. 2014. Web. 17 Apr. 2015. <http:// www.alec.org/wp-content/uploads/RC-2014-FL.pdf>.