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-   -   Wikitainment Project (http://www.zefrank.com/bulletin_new/showthread.php?t=11959)

Awed_Job 08-19-2007 07:12 PM

Wikitainment Project
Pair up teens on the other side of the digital divide with Sports Racer Mentors on this side to develop media literacy by producing video documentary dealing with their own lives. Determine most relevant and/or popular video by some means of voting. Either on the ORG's Quack Attack or YouTube Favorites.

Each Wikitainment participant would be outfitted with a video camera and computer for video creation, editing, upload and mentor correspondence.

BobofBobs 08-20-2007 12:12 AM

Cool. Logistically, though, how do we reach the kids? Do we have access to kids in non-mainstream areas? The kids for whom we would need to help develop 'media literacy' are generally lower-income, and...well, I'm just wondering how we would reach them.

Booalready 08-20-2007 02:13 AM

This is content. this would be a great lesson that could be used with English, sociology and economics off the top of my head but creative application of various sciences would work with it as well.

It would be cool if I could still see the original post while typing this as specific idea could come up.

As far as finding kids. What kind of numbers does everyone think will be needed.

I can get a few. But issues of parental consent will arise. I suggest working with a population already in existence and contact those organizations. Eco-teams, Key-Clubs, even the National Honor Society could help. NHL kids need hours of community service documented and this could be a way for them to do that.

Awed_Job 08-20-2007 04:08 PM

Originally, I planned on reaching potential participants via advertising in traditional media. Something along the lines of "We need 'n' students to tell us their story. Call now to qualify for your very own video camera and Mac to get started today."

Television is expensive but a few could be complimented with a blanket of radio adverts. IMHO it's the best way to reach the widest audience not familiar with the web.

Another method is to enlist a few ambassador Sports Racers to visit their local schools or community centers. Regardless of which way it goes, there will need to be someone in each geographical area to launch the project. They'll need to stick around for troubleshooting and upkeep for the duration.

Parental consent is not a concern for me. Set up the forms. Get the consent.

This project is similar to Chain Camera. It will however involve participants for a longer duration than one week. The mentors introduce an interactive component that will increase participant submissions. There will be more total participants and they will be spread out in more locations. Chain Camera was the documentary that got me thinking about the Wikitainment Project in the first place.

BobofBobs 08-20-2007 04:59 PM

I'm at a boarding school, and we're friendly with a good number of the many schools around us. Also, my school has connections to programs that help inner-city youth in New York. I could seed the idea with the administration and see what they thought about it. I also have connections in inner-city Atlanta who do youth development.

Also there's the issue of cost. Awed mentioned giving them a Mac; a lot of the programs (if we want to work through them) already have computers. On the other hand, most are probably cheap Dells without much software for media literacy. So a Mac Mini would probably be good to standardize training as well as the ease of iMovie. There's probably enough Sportsracer money to get one or two for proof-of-concept. Then there are the cameras. Are we talking your standard handheld Mini-DV tape camcorder? Or accoutrements like clip mics if they want to interview people.

Awed_Job 08-20-2007 05:21 PM

$400 per system. Reconditioned Mac or PC + Flip Camera. Keep at their house. Use for other things in addition to video production. Play is encouraged. That will assist learning.

The key is to approach those without much exposure to computers or video creation. Set them up with a mentor. Help them tell their stories using the new tools. When they talk about things that interest them, they develop a working knowledge of interactive media firsthand. After a predetermined length of time tally up the votes and pass out awards. Establish a definite end goal with recognition. Best comedy. Best music video. Whatever they decide to tell in whatever way they want to tell it.

bigmaggie 08-20-2007 05:44 PM

I like the idea of doing something to help bridge the "digital divide." I think one good option of reaching kids is partnering with charter schools. There are several nationwide charter/school reform programs that mostly operated in inner city areas where the digital divide is often very high, such as KIPP, Accelerated Schools and others, that may be willing to be involved in such an endeavor. Another important demographic, that often gets overlooked, is underprivileged rural students. Often they are cut out of the digital revolution in at least two ways: lack of financial resources to obtain access to computers/internet providers and a lack of local infrastructure providing high speed internet service. Often, these kids get overlooked by a lot of agencies that could benefit them, which frequently focus their attention on the inner city kids. Finding ways to serve these rural kids would be good, as well.

BobofBobs 08-20-2007 06:34 PM

I forgot where, but I think I've seen the results of this. It was like those B&W photographs from the gritty neighborhood of Manhattan, but modern--and still moving. Also, if the kid has little-no experience with computers, would the SRM (SportsRacer Mentor) help the kid?

michaelG 08-20-2007 08:44 PM

My reaction to this proposal is mixed. I am sure this idea could be successful in a community of limited scope,and it is obvious that 'Awed Job' experiences a level of satisfaction from proposing and 'executing' his ideas, but I do not think his proposals apply to the world at large. Media and the presentation thereof, do not address the basic problem of remote collabration.

Booalready 08-20-2007 08:57 PM

Remote collaboration could be addressed by the environment. Commentary after entries like in blogs can be very substantive. But such an environment would need to take into consideration audience and objectives, two things as yet undecided.

Awed_Job 08-21-2007 01:44 AM


Originally Posted by michaelG (Post 359167)
I do not think his proposals apply to the world at large. Media and the presentation thereof, do not address the basic problem of remote collabration.

In what way would a technologically challenged, underrepresented individual learning new tools to tell their story with the assistance of a local facilitator and an online mentor not represent the world at large or address the basic problems of remote collaboration?

Awed_Job 08-22-2007 07:34 PM

Malex's introduction post got me thinking about the possibilities of using Machinima for the creation of the participant's narrative. That would eliminate the need for a video camera. All content could be created in system. The cost would be reduced.

Two main problems with machinima are EULA issues regarding ownership of content created with game engine renders and its back-end complexity.

Game Play may be an easier entry point for those with a lower level of familiarity with technology. Still a video camera like the Flip is super easy to use. Use of "virtual worlds for the public good" is a MacArthur objective.

Installing and customizing a machinima solution for a few hundred systems is beyond my reckoning. Perhaps others could fill that void.

Does it sound at all interesting to you folks? Worth pursuing?

Aesahaettr 08-25-2007 11:50 AM

It sounds like a cool project, but I'm not sure it really applies to this competition yet. I take it you're looking at the Knowledge-Networking side of things, which means we need to find a way to take this from an abstract sense of "collaboration" to thinking about how it might apply to existing digital communities. You have some ideas about how people should be interacting... what tools can we use to implement that?

My concern is, you're looking primarily at starting a few kids off with some training, and counting on them to train others, yes? What is the incentive for the students to become teachers?

EDIT: If you're interested in machinima, I was just notified of a project in the works to produce a feature-length machinima movie. You can check out the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrASmNTnl3M

Awed_Job 08-30-2007 12:48 AM


Originally Posted by Aesahaettr (Post 359735)
It sounds like a cool project, but I'm not sure it really applies to this competition yet.

Specific competition qualifications will come a bit later. I prefer to start with a concrete idea and then determine the specifics while moving forward.


Originally Posted by Aesahaettr (Post 359735)
You have some ideas about how people should be interacting... what tools can we use to implement that?

This area of my idea needs more discovery and research. Beyond the well worn tools of the telephone, forums, IM and email I have not given much thought to tactical implementation. There is a new service called SpinXpress that I have played around with briefly.


Originally Posted by Aesahaettr (Post 359735)
My concern is, you're looking primarily at starting a few kids off with some training, and counting on them to train others, yes? What is the incentive for the students to become teachers?

The main objective is to mentor children in a one to one ratio. Competent adults listening to them and teaching them how to tell their own stories. Peer and professional review that provides a sense of accomplishment.

When a child or anyone learns a cool new thing, they want to share that newfound skill and knowledge with others. The students becoming teachers was a secondary, less essential component of my original idea.

Awed_Job 08-31-2007 02:17 AM

Aesahaettr got me thinking about just what kind of tools would be used in the Wikitainment Project. Obviously, a wiki but there are others. Below is an evolving list which I will periodically update.
SplashCast comment-abled, media-rich syndicator.
Asterpix like flickr "NOTES" using a flash layer but for video

Awed_Job 09-04-2007 03:36 PM

How Children Learn

Pediatrician Mel Levine of the University of North Carolina speaks at the Chautauqua Institution in New York about ways to adapt educational techniques to the way children's brains actually work.
Just heard this lecture this afternoon on the radio. link

It is quite informative and somewhat related to our discussion here.

michaelG 09-10-2007 10:57 AM

Awed Job get a Job
Get a job awed job, you suck at think-tanking.

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