Where Science Meets Muse

R.A.D. Curricula Needed in Techie Times

Posted by Plish on November 20, 2009

I was recently in a discussion about a do-it-yourself digital camera called the “Big Shot“. 

The main point of contention was whether or not this device actually helped kids learn about photography.

Make no bones about it, the Big Shot definitely has an impact on kids – especially the inner city children that were able to try this out.  The Big Shot is a great tool for getting children together, for giving them pride in what they build, for getting them to socialize, to share their creativity.  Rock On, Big Shot!!

However, with regards to actually teaching about photography, I’m not sure it hits the mark. 

To have a powerful impact teaching anyone anything, the teaching should inspire:

R-Respect for the past

A– Awe of the present experience

D – Dreams for the future

Teaching should be R.A.D. !

Following the R.A.D. model I would propose the following kits and curriculum:

Respect for the past – A do-it-yourself single shot camera kit that lets kids see film developing; A pinhole camera; A contact photograph of a leaf would all be instructive about light and how people took and still take pictures.

Awe for the present experience – Build the Big Shot.

Dreams for the future – This actually happens naturally when ‘R’ and ‘A’ occur.  Ask them to dream based upon what they’ve experienced. 

When the R.A.D. process is followed, people (adults and children alike) see themselves as part of a continuum, not just techno-consumers.

In today’s day, it’s too easy to see technology as a stand alone solution to our problems.  Sure, technology can be helpful, but real solutions start in the locus between the ears and behind the eyes, the place where we bow respectfully to the past, get excited with awe about the present, and realize there is so much more that the future holds, and we’re all a part of it. 



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