Response to EC&I 814

About Arts-Based Methodology

In Dr. Paul Hart’ class about research methodology yesterday, I just encountered the comparatively new arts-based methodology and was wondering how to transcribe visual data for further analyzing. When I started to read the assigned paper of  Immigrant parent–child interactional dance duets during shared art-making experiences, I found that it’s  just a very good example for me to study. In addition to get a clear understanding about the whole research process and the findings and reflections, for me, this article is a very neat and decent research article with a format that I can follow and think how I can develop my paper after doing a research.

Arts-based methodology has an advantage that the same data can be used for interdisciplinary research. When I was reading the discussion, I came to think that the different child-parent interaction patterns can also be explained by communication and psychology, or other disciplines. Then I read to the last sentence goes like:”The discussion about the intersubjective openness of the mind as expressed in the instances of attunement, mirroring synchronicity and turn-taking, and evidenced in the patterns of parent–child interactions described here, adds to the growing body of literature on multiple ways of being and learning imbedded in the landscape of space and cultural meaning.”(p.47) BRAVO!!

In this research,  the art-making workshop was recorded to videos and photos. Every small body or facial action is captured. It was so vivid when reading and my imagination was aroused during the reading experience. The mirroring pattern and synchronicity pattern are something that usually happen, however, the research gives them a “distancing effect”. This research revealed a dynamic process of child-parent interaction and it went beyond what was seen as an ending picture. During this dynamic process, we could definitely feel the unseen part must be the deeper cause and we couldn’t help to think about what was it. Then it comes to my second point.

Comparative Education

The discussion part made strong points with a comparative educational perspective.

This research applies materials instead of language to  mediate involvements to avoid a western, white, middle class dominant mode of preschool activities.  Participants with diverse cultural and educational backgrounds performed naturally in these situations and revealed their styles of how the parent and child get along with each other.

Not every family is use a western way. As I lived with a western, white, middle class family of two lovely daughters, every time I feel different when I step into a Chinese immigrant family which also has two girls. Everyday I hear dialogues like

“-Dad, come here! – How about you come here!”

“Where is my hugs and kisses?”

“Go play in your room! Papa need to play this video game!”

“-I love you! -I love you, too.”

Those ways of communication illustrate the cited Rogoff’s summarize in the paper that “In Euro-American families, interactions are individualised and dyadic and, even in
large group situations, are largely verbal and face-to-face. The face-to-face interactions
preferred in Western families resemble and support the back-and-forth sparring of a
verbal dialogue (Rogoff 1990).” (p.46)

This is different from my culture. A picture came into my mind as when I was young, my parents taught me how to write characters. Every time I encountered a character that I didn’t know how to write and ask for help, my father or mother might walk to my back and use his or her right hand hold my right hand and started to write. I think I can still recall my feeling when this motion happened since it happened frequently during my childhood- a big hand surround my hand and a stream of warmness started from my hand to my whole body. Although there is not much talk between my parents and I, I still feel their love, care and guidance to me.

I think my experience mentioned above illustrate the Rogoff’s understanding of non-European cultures. “In many non-European cultures, consistent with an orientation to the group, people are more likely to interact with multiple partners, often in embodied ways, and these encounters are usually side-by-side or more distant. ” I am not used to say “I love you”directly, I feel natural to tell my parents “Be careful of the changing weather” “Go to bed early” “Don’t worry about me” to express my care.  Chinese parents, I think, is apt to either yield to or directly command their children.

I feel true with the body and eye contact comparison. It’s very interesting to read  Rogoff’s comparison which jumps out of the American-European frame and examines different cultures with understanding instead of taken-for-granted critics.



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Reflection on topic 8: Plugging life by unplugging


I do agree that “despite being more connected than ever, more people feel more alone than ever“. But I don’t agree the vedio that to blame to the social media.

Increasing dependence upon our digital devices can negatively affect our relationships, interpersonal communication skills, and our mental health. It’s an increasingly problematic issue in mordern life. Our life is always plugged in. The hazards are obvious to know. For example, I am always distracted by my phone from studing or working. I kept on looking at my phone once a while. Actually there is nothing new on my facebook or twitter, but I just engaged myself checking them once a while. I’m not busy contacting someone, I just can’t concentrate on the things I need to do. Of course, it’s a waste of time of life and I have had a serious problem on my neck. However, should I blame the fast developement of social media or electronic devices? Absolutely not, I should blame to myself about the fail to resist attempts. 

In a more developed and diverse circumstance, there are more attempts for us, and technology is one of them. Resisting this attempts, is not equal to being totally upplugged. Just like Mobile Apps That Help Relieve Stress And Anxiety, we can make use of these apps and get back on track and create balance in your life without the hassle of unplugging. I agree that notion in Tim O’Reilly’s speaking. He thinks that people are becoming “more capable”. We need to find out how can we use the capabilities of our devices to build human experiences without unplugging. We don’t need to unplug, because devices are a better process in human development and making our human experience better.

Unplugging is just a method to make us realize how to live a better life while plugged in. Technology is not a bad thing to be blamed to. Now the digital age turned into the age of technological anxiety, so the next goal should be turning the use of electronics bake to a normal way. Use whenever they should be used  and however well they can be used with the pointlessness of unplugging.

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Summary of ECI830

As the course ECI830 goes on, I find that all the topics of the course are closely related to our life, however, I just let them go and forget to give them a deep and clearer thinking. So in this course, when we learn those issues using a debate format, it forces me to analyze exactly the good and bad effects. The conclusion leads to a balance and how to reach the balance so that we can turn the bad impacts into good results.


The first part of the course contents focus on the school change in a technology context. It includes:

Whether technology in the classroom enhances learning or not?

Should schools teach anything that can be Googled or not?


Openness and sharing in schools is fair or unfair to our kids?

In my opinion, it’s never a bad thing to teach a little bit more in school. No matter if it is written or not in the curriculum syllabus that the demand of teaching students of how to properly use technology, and regardless that is it morally imperative or not for teachers that undertake the responsibility to help students turn positive digital citizens and technology masters, we should try our best to teach in school.



The second part is about the living conditions and living ideologies in a digital age. For example:

Is technology making our kids unhealthy or not?

Is social media ruining childhood today?


Have we become too dependent on technology and should we need to unplug?

In my opinion, nobody can escape from the digital impact that society prevails. What we can do is to face the difficulty and conquer it. Technology is like a double-edged sword. It can kill our life, whereas it can also add fun to our life.



The next issues are focus on today’s social issues like:

Technology improves social equity or the other way around?


Has public education sold its soul to corporate interests just like Faustian made a deal with evil.

In my opinion, the existing inequity can reproduce bigger inequity. The technology is still a small power to defeat all the inequity. We should hold a positive opinion but we should also deal with problems at hand. Education field as a huge piece of the pie, will definitely attracts business giants who wanting to gain profits by technology invasion. The public needs to keep a clear mind to education and draw on advantages and avoid disadvantages.


After the class debates, I tend to know more clearly that technology has both advantages and disadvantages in most aspects. It won’t be 100% good or bad. But if we want to make the best of it rather than us turning to slaves of it, we need to find method to reach a balance. Especially as an educator or parent, it’s our responsibility to protect our kids from the harm of technology and help them learn to use it wisely.

I write the Lyrics to express my feeling about this course:

Debate debate here we go
Let us refresh our brain
Seems you’re correct but I’m not wrong
Let us discuss then

Those issues are heating ones
Existing in ED-Tech
Make them clear and figure them out
Benefits who we are

Contemporary in Education
There are more that we need to learn
Being a teacher is so proud that
we can’t stop and stay

Every coin has two sides
So does is with Ed Tech
If we want to make the best
We need to right the wrong

Oh Technology, in open education
It makes us happy,
and it can leave us suffering

Existing questions,
although they give us a headache
Find a way
We can then reach a banlance

Posted in EC&I830 2016spring | 4 Comments

Self-learning on topic 8

We have become too dependent on technology and what we really need is to unplug. Agree or disagree?

I kind of becoming the kind of person who can’t go without my phone, which makes me feel like I am naked. I  can’t fall asleep without playing with my mobile phone, looking again my facebook, weichat, weibo, twitter again and again. Is that because I need to contact with my friends so urgently? No, it is just because I need a kind of inner security and I am afraid of loneliness. Watching the video I Forgot My Phone is just like looking at a mirror.

Sherry Turkle: Connected, but alone? is a classical speech exploring the hidden loneliness behind close connection online.  We are so busy engaged online however, we don’t make any eye contact and real communication, no shaking hands or drink a toast, and we just looking through a small screen.

Empty, sadness, being a person by sitting there. Cell phone has the power making you hate while love. Especially for the new generation who are totally immersed in the digital age, the explosion of social media may disable their ability of developing realistic friendships and relationships.

This video is a beautiful poem telling us the missing possibilities and beauties in really life if we shut ourselves out by looking down constantly to our phone. Eyes is for the real beauties not only for what written online. Life is for life experience instead for just imagination. Virtually means empty.

Digital Dualism versus Augmented Reality offers another way of thinking. This article thinks that the on-line and off-line “digital dualism” which”digital dualists believe that the digital world is ‘virtual’ and the physical world ‘real’ ” is a fallacy. The author argue “our reality is both technological and organic, both digital and physical, all at once” and it’s relationship is not one subtracts from the other. Instead, they are combined and connected and virtual activities actually increase off-line interaction.

In The Disconnectionists, author use a lot of psychological theories and post-structure theories to analyse that “‘unplugging’ from the Internet isn’t about restoring the self so much as it about stifling the desire for autonomy that technology can inspire”. The online activities actually enhance the process that we build our personal authenticity and help to reflect the true self. In this meaning, disconnection, and unplugging, do no good to human being.

The latter seems a deeper thinking logic. It’s a little bit against common sense but it seems more apply to a developed digital age. After all, we cannot go back to the original way of life pretending there was no social media. Accompany with the development of the trend is the development of modern human being.


photo from:

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Reflection on topic 7: Make a worthful budget

Is the application of technology in school is an invasion? Is it a deal with the devil? When rethinking of this question after the debate and the guest speaker, I think there’s not that bad to introduce multi financial resources to education.

Education turns to an industry is a tendency. It’s not only because higher demands are imposed on education today, but also industrialization are called for almost every field.  Although education is a welfare affair for public, it still needs variety financial supports.

With the help of coronations, what education has received is not only money, but also innovations just like technology does to the whole society. Change is nothing wrong, and the only thing never changing is changing itself. Like Vice President of Microsoft Worldwide Education Anthony Salcito says, “Our goal is to embrace the bigness of the challenge that government and society face in terms of transforming education in a holistic way”.

Photo Credit: rozipulous via Compfight cc

Of course, critics believe that this barrage of marketing in schools is atbest a distraction and at worst encourages students to make unhealthy lifestylechoices, and contentious, with manyissues, such as how to hold for-profit firms accountable, still to be resolved. Education turns to a product and the battlefield to make a profits. The article Pearson ‘Education’ — Who Are These People? is metaphoric question, indicating that education is controlled by some power. Companies such as Pearson’s political ties that is strengthening their stranglehold on the education system.

In my opinion, businessman is always run after profits of course. It’s time for education to adapt to the rules while keep the original mission. Those private schools are benefit from high tuition to provide high quality education show that with abundant financial and technological support, education will be a beneficiary. Actually just like our guest speaker said, education is always a kind of business, mostly by the scores, competitions or students behaviors. We should turn a open opinion to it. There is no need to feel like facing an monster. Yes, we do make a bargain, but not with the evil.

Posted in EC&I830 2016spring | 5 Comments

Self-learning on topic 7

Topic 7 is: Public education has sold its soul to corporate interests in what amounts to a Faustian bargain. Agree or disagree?

Free apps or Internet products such as GAFE, Edmodo, or Freshgrade has greatly changed the way of connections between teacher and students, school and parents or the way curriculum goes. Besides that, myriad tech giants are investing in related programs for students and schools or contribute to corporate social philanthropy  to support education. So far I can understand easily. We are able to see lots of recommended apps for learning in twitter. Using those hi-tech products is no more anything new.


However, there are other ways for capital affecting education like Bill Gates and Pearson do. They may launch the small schools movement or implement Common Core standards and turn the standardized tests of education system to a private profit. Worst, the corporations like Chromebook, may track and sell students data for more profits, admitted or not.

I’d like to ask should education be industrialized? Absolutely shouldn’t. Education should stay as a basic public welfare, and it shouldn’t turn into a economic market where big financial and technology giants make high profits. However, in practical, education as such a big cake, it can undoubtedly attract profits runner. Just as a proverb goes, “it’s a nature of businessmen to pursuit profits”. If public support turns weaker, then it will be easy to lose this battleground.



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Reflection on topic 6: Childhood is up to you.

In a digital age, children seems to get mature faster. In an information explosion context, children are easy to learn things online, which, in turn, lead them out of innocence. Besides, social media affects child mental health through increased stress, sleep deprivation, cyberbullying, and children are placed in a brutal society early.


In my opinion, it’s no use to be sad for the children’s childhood gets short or not better than what we had. Our kids just become more and more clever in such an easy access to information age. Large amount of information improve people to leave innocent is out of doubt. That’s why we find the childhood is not the same as ours. But it doesn’t equal to bad. Childhood is a thing can be decided by children and parents. With smarter children, the childhood should become more colorful.


Photo Credit: trois petits oiseaux via Compfight cc

As a parent, you can help nurture the positive aspects simply by accepting how important social media is for kids and helping them find ways for it to add real value to their lives. ” Just like learning through playing, Social Media can also be a entertainment tool that can be used to gain knowledge. Childhood doesn’t equal to stop learning. So social media is a tool that calls for proper guidance. Just as the proverb goes: no pain no gains. If we don’t spend time with our children, we have no right to blame anything that steal our children’s childhood.

Different cultures, different childhoods. We cannot define what kind of childhood should be or what is the best kind of childhood. Childhood is not what you define, instead, it’s a kind of thing that you can create. A nature process is the essence of childhood, no matter what is included in it, tolls, peer friendships, social media and so on. They are just a indivisible part when looking back.

The life rhythm is faster and faster, a good childhood is not judged by length but  should be left without regret. A parents participation is paramount in children’s childhood, especially in a smarter environment today.

Posted in EC&I830 2016spring | 2 Comments