Our first film to watch is Bendito Machine III. Now those of you who know me will know that this type of animation doesn’t really appeal to me. So I am now feeling just a little out of my comfort zone. Anyway enough about me.
The animation is said to be about technological development through the eyes of ritual and worship. I guess this is quite funny and many out there will love it.
While I watched I could see the relevance of technological worship and addiction. To relate it to today, you only have to look at Apple products how they are marketed and sought after to see cult following and then if you consider social media… well you can clearly see addiction in some of us. At times the scary thing is that title could easily fit me. I love all things e-learning, especially social media.
Another interesting thing about this animation is how quickly they replaced their idol… not that much different to us today. We are asked to consider the question “Do the film’s characters have any choice in relation to their technologies?”. My simple answer is ‘No’. Someone in a position of influence guided the choice and chose when the idol was popular and when it was not and what would be the replacement.
As I continued to watch the film my thoughts turned to the influence technology has on educating and informing the masses. TV advertising today is a great example of how we use technology to influence potential buyers. The message is often if you buy this or wear this or consume this you will be … beautiful, youthful, popular, accepted etc and of course we fall for it. To me the animation was an example of social learning (if you are not sure go back and watch the part where they were watching tv and were now sitting on chairs with empty bottles at their feet). This was different to their previous behaviour of worship and adoration.
Social learning can loosely be defined as a learning opportunity where the learner observes the behaviours and attitudes of others and modifies their own behaviour based on the consequences observed.
Just in case you are not familiar, social learning is a theory often associated with Albert Bandura. Other notable theorists include Vgotsky, Lave and Wenger.
The concept of social learning is probably not that new to you. As a teacher you know that learners learn from their classmates all the time. Social learning can happen in face to face environments as well as digital environments. The animation was still locked into a traditional face to face environment but what happens if we consider this type of learning in the digital space?
When we consider the e-learning environment e-learning designers and facilitators incorporate social learning activities into their programs using a range of tools but in particular those offered by social media. In this post I will stick to education rather than the use of social media to influence the masses.
Social media allows educators to plan opportunities for feedback from both teachers and other learners in the learning environment; it encourages collaboration and group work; and if planned appropriately can facilitate relationships where learners have access to content experts, mentors and coaches. Many of these activities occur in virtual environments such as online discussion forums and virtual meeting rooms.
As the theme of this week’s content is Utopias and Dystopias I think the animation is an example of dystopia – the negative behaviours of those who worship technology. What do you think? Even if you are not part of the EDCMOOC I invite you to watch the animation and post your thoughts on the ritualistic nature of the animation and its purpose.