09.26.2011 to 09.30.2011

posted Sep 25, 2011, 6:51 PM by Kevin Chow   [ updated Sep 30, 2011, 1:56 PM ]
Focus: Consolidating what we've learned. Rather than moving on to another story and more terms, I'd like this week to be about capitalizing on what we've learned so far. So let's look back at what we've done, and see how our work was. I'll be getting your papers back to you; we'll look over our collected work and see what grades we might be looking at. We'll also look once again at one of the most famous voices of the 21st century technology movement - Bill Gates - and whether what he wrote in 1996 is still relevant (meaningful) today. We'll also re-visit TMDG by watching an 80 year old film, and 
Sites explored this week:

Review of Quiz 3. Further instructions on how to complete Fail-Retry for Quiz 3
WM: What information machines do you have in your house? Include all the ones you have access to, and not just the ones that are yours. 
CN: Demonstrate to students how to create an account in Voicethreads. Students are to form up into Trios and read "The Road Ahead" by Bill Gates, P. 446-450. In trios, complete:
  • RC 447, 449
  • LA 447, 449

Meanwhile, Red Members from each Trio go to computers. Their job: to create Voicethread accounts, then create a brief 20 second voicethread about their favorite movie or game, based off of three pictures they download from google. These students will be responsible for showing their Trio members how to do it later. Since we do not have microphones in the classroom, students will have to use text for now. 
HW: Complete any CN questions not finished in class. Then, create two sentences of your own in which you use the words "simultaneously" and "capacious". Try your best to make sentences that have to do with technology. 
Example: Jungle sets were also used for simultaneous filming of jungle scenes in King Kong.

We get to watch TMDG in Black and White glory! Meanwhile, Red Members simultaneously demonstrate how to create Voicethread accounts and make videos to their Trios. We'll do four teams at a time throughout the period during the film. Some interesting facts about this 1932 classic:
  • The actor playing "Ivan the Cossack" was Noble Johnson, a multi-talented African American who was a childhood friend of Lon Chaney. This is the earliest known instance of a black actor working in "whiteface" to play a Caucasian character.
  • Zaroff's dogs were Great Danes borrowed from Harold Lloyd. While big, Great Danes are not especially threatening, so with their coats subsequently darkened and they were filmed at an especially low angle to appear more menacing.
  • The trophy room scenes were much longer in the preview version of 78 minutes: there were more heads in jars. But there was also an emaciated sailor, stuffed and mounted next to a tree where he was impaled by Zaroff's arrow, and another full-body figure stuffed, with the bodies of two of the hunting dogs mounted in a death grip. Preview audiences cringed and shuddered at the head in the bottle and the mounted heads, but when they saw the mounted figures and heard Zaroff's dialog describing in detail how each man had died, they began heading for the exit - so these shots disappeared.
WM: The 1932 TMDG is quite different from the short story. One of the earliest action movies, TMDG is a classic more so because of how it created a whole new genre than its cinematographic virtue. In other words, it's famous because it (and the 1933 King Kong) set the stage for action movies like Apocalypse Now, Indiana Jones, and Anaconda. What is one difference that you liked about it? What is one difference that you didn't like about it?
CN: Let's talk about "The Road Ahead". Let's make a diagram for Bill Gate's argument: Video-on-demand will one day become a killer application that turns the broadband internet into a moneymaking, society-changing essential for everyone. (paraphrased from last paragraph on p.450). Discuss ways in which Gates' vision of the "future" has already come true. 
HW: R&A P.450 2, 5, 6. 

William Henry “Bill“ Gates IIIKBE[2] (born October 28, 1955)[3] is an American business magnatephilanthropist,authorand chairman[4] of Microsoft, the software company he founded with Paul Allen. He is consistently ranked among the world’s wealthiest people[5] and was the wealthiest overall from 1995 to 2009, excluding 2008, when he was ranked third.[6] During his career at Microsoft, Gates held the positions of CEO and chief software architect, and remains the largest individual shareholder with more than 8 percent of the common stock.[7] He has also authored or co-authored several books.

Gates is one of the best-known entrepreneurs of the personal computer revolution. Although he is admired by many, a number of industry insiders criticize his business tactics, which they consider anti-competitive, an opinion which has in some cases been upheld by the courts.[8][9] In the later stages of his career, Gates has pursued a number of philanthropic endeavors, donating large amounts of money to various charitable organizations and scientific research programs through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, established in 2000.

Bill Gates stepped down as chief executive officer of Microsoft in January 2000. He remained as chairman and created the position of chief software architect. In June 2006, Gates announced that he would be transitioning from full-time work at Microsoft to part-time work and full-time work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He gradually transferred his duties to Ray Ozzie, chief software architect and Craig Mundie, chief research and strategy officer. Gates’ last full-time day at Microsoft was June 27, 2008. He remains at Microsoft as non-executive chairman.

Friday (due to the Gosh-Darn We-Can't-Pay-So-Everyone-Go-Home Day)
WM: Try to imagine a killer app that will be common 15 years from now. As you ponder, think about killer apps that you are familiar with like Facebook, Netflix, Youtube, GPS, 3G/4G phone internet, Kindle, Phone Cameras..... 
CN: Let's watch Minority Report. As you do, I want you to list at least three killer apps in this future world. Make a few notes (sketch, diagram, a few words) for each so that you can remember them easily when we talk about then at class end. 
HW: Visit a web page that I will link to on Edmodo. Come to class tomorrow with some thoughts as to what you think about how the Minority Report world has "come true". 

Finish Minority Report. Parent letters (begun on Thursday). Progress Report grades go out. Hand in the notes for this week (Monday, Wednesday, Thursday). No Quiz. Over the weekend, do your best to create a voicethread about something interesting. It can be something you really like - skateboards, video games, a particular actor or actress... or it could be a cause that you feel is worth thinking about, like teens getting killed through gang-related violence, crime in your neighborhood, how many people are unemployed right now... whatever it is, make it no more than 3 minutes. it will be fun to watch some of these next week. you can also post them to edmodo if you would like.