Strange Animations on Youtube

“These videos, wherever they are made, however they come to be made, and whatever their conscious intention (i.e. to accumulate ad revenue) are feeding upon a system which was consciously intended to show videos to children for profit. The unconsciously-generated, emergent outcomes of that are all over the place.”

https://medium.com/@jamesbridle/something-is-wrong-on-the-internet-c39c471271d2

I was walking around campus one day, a month or so ago, and in the market I saw an obviously exhausted woman with two children sitting at a cafeteria table. The woman was just resting, reading maybe, while the kids were glued to a laptop, watching one of these 3D animation Spiderman/Elsa videos on youtube (the ones near the end of this article).

My first thought was to go over there and explain to the mom that these videos are not good. But, of course I couldn’t do that, I wouldn’t do something like that.

Then I thought, she probably thinks these are just some strange North American cartoons that are all the fad right now, if she thinks anything about them at all. Being from another culture, how could she even tell this cartoon from one that wouldn’t be described as ‘disturbing’?

Would you ever intervene in a situation like this, one where there’s no imminent danger?

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Adobe’s Exciting Journey

“And now, we’re pleased to announce that beginning May 15, 2018, the full suite of Adobe Creative Cloud apps will be available to K-12 schools via their authorized Adobe reseller for $4.99 per user license, per year, with a minimum purchase quantity of 500 licenses for a single school, or 2,500 licenses for a school district.”

“We are on an exciting journey, collaborating with educators to empower the next generation to be lifelong creators.”

https://theblog.adobe.com/adobe-bolsters-commitment-k12-schools-new-creative-cloud-offerings-investment-professional-development/

So, Adobe is giving their Creative Cloud Suite to K-12 schools for next to nothing.

I’ve already started teaching my 10-year old Adobe Audition and Photoshop. She picks it up easily, and I honestly think that these are the sorts of skills that kids can learn easily if you just help them along with some fun projects.

That being said, I also try to maintain a balance. I keep her time limited in front of the screen and in using these programs. I’m not worried about her “keeping up to date with 21st century skills” or stuff like that, mainly because there’s so much non-digital things that she can use her time to experience now while she’s a kid, before her life gets taken over by virtual environments as she gets older.

This is nice news from Adobe. I would be a bit worried that this is one company, getting kids culturalized to one type of literacy, but that worry might be taking it too far (despite the red flag that comes up from that “exciting journey” sentence). My bigger worry is that introducing digital too much too early will detach future generations from our physical world and physical space.

There’s nothing wrong with scissors, glue, and cardboard paper – I hope schools are not so quick to discard such fun, fulfilling, and slowed down activities.

More: When Real Worlds Collide