2012 sabbatical findings: part 1


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This presentation explains five strands of research that are blending in my approach to building sensory literacy tools that empower children to understand their sensory sensitivities as gifts instead of pathologies and to develop sustainable sensory life skills.

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  • This presentation explains five strands of research that are blending in my approach to building sensory literacy tools that empower children to understand their sensory sensitivities as gifts instead of pathologies and to develop sustainable sensory life skills.
  • 2012 sabbatical findings: part 1

    1. 1. NEW MEDIA & SENSORY LITERACY(PART 1) Alexandra Bal, PhD. RTA School of Media Ryerson University SRC lunch, Nov. 12th, 2012
    2. 2. AUTO-ETHNOGRAPHIC CONTEXT Academic: Media Production: Socio-constructivist & Experiential learning constructionist (Simulation) New Media Education Critical Making DIY Communities Over timeNicaraguaLife Detox Communit(ies):Voices of Digital “Different” peoplenatives: living, thriving andChildren use of Digital achievingMedia Children Sensorial Health & Literacy
    3. 3. STRAND 1: NEW MEDIA?New media (art) is a set of practices:“to take up the products of the technology industries (...) and apply them to its own diverse ends, in a cultural domain. “ (Whitelaw, 2004)New media is a cultural and social innovation framework that existsin a variety of technological platforms.
    4. 4. NEW MEDIA IS PART OF A MEDIA LIFE CYCLE New Media Creative Framework & New Aesthetics Develop “New” narratives Emerging MediaTechnology Standard Economy, Social &Engineers Industrial Frameworks MatureHistorical MediaOut of common use, Massive Peer to Peer, DIYContent = Artifacts, Collected Integrated individual practices,Need to be Archived/Preserved Social Capital Mass Media Integrated in Institutional and Home Practices Cultural Capital, Legal and Ethical Norms Established
    5. 5. SOCIAL-CONSTRUCTIONIST INNOVATION FRAMEWORKInnovationfocus on creating platformsfor users innovators (Shah Participants Innovatorsand Tripsas, 2007)whocreate their own socialreality and influenceinstitutions(Berger andLuckmannn, 1966).Learning while doing Ratto Institutions(2011), in a digital socialcontext (Bal, 2013)
    6. 6. DIY ACTORS CO-EXIST WITH INSTITUTIONAL ACTORS IN A NEW MEDIA SOCIETY New Media Artists/Researchers The Public, engineers, entreprene urs, Corporate Actors, etc. Emerging MediaTechnology Standard Entrepreneurs/MarketersEngineers, Researchers. The Public. Engineers, The Public, Artists, etc. Corporations, Cultural Artists, Researchers Historical Media Cultural Institutions Massive Peer to Peer, DIY Family or corporate Archives, Etc. The Public “Everyone” Mass Media Corporate Actors, In all sectors of society The Public, Researchers, etc.
    7. 7. MEDIATED COMMUNICATION IS NOT NEUTRAL Are these new actors (re)- defining our Cultural and social domains? Are they distributing different meta narratives (Lyotard 1968)?
    8. 8. STRAND 2: “DIFFERENCE” AS NEW MEDIA Era of Trauma (Griselda Pollock, 2010; Bonnie Bright, 2011) 5000 years of treating difference (physical, mental, cultural, etc) and diversity as pathologies and/or diseases that must be rectified, cured, eliminated, etc….
    9. 9. DIFFERENCE = DISABILITY … a lot of people fighting that label …2004 : A visual “human” library emerges via YoutubeNew values are massivelyArticulated:i.e. Aimee Mullins on Youtube2009: Super-Abled human discourse
    12. 12. COGNITIVE “DIFFERENCES” ARE GOINGTHROUGH THE SAME PROCESS http://customedia.com.au/an-introduction-to-continuous-cognitive-engagement/
    13. 13. AUTISM, ADHD & LEARNING DISABILITIES  Broad spectrum classification to label:  “non understood”behaviors in children  from “unknown” causes.  “Learning disabilities” identifies different ways of understanding/perceiving (visual, kinesthetic, auditory, etc) as pathologies.  What is known: Their mind seems to process things differently.
    14. 14. THE MIND? The mind: Consciousness, Subjective, Embodied and Social Experiences. (Dan Siegel, 2012)“The mind is an embodied and relational process that regulates the flow ofenergy and information with self-organizing properties”.Mind Sight: Our human capacity to perceive the mind of the self andothers.
    15. 15. THE BRAIN AND OUR RNA… PAY ATTENTION AND ADAPT Mirror Neurons: Empathic abilities. Eye Cells Neurons: Making direct eye contact with someone gives a feeling of special connection because these “eye cells” in the Amygdala, process emotions and social interactions. We grow new neurons and proteins based on our experience. “The brain changes by driving information flow through its circuits in something called attention. “ (Siegel, 2012)
    16. 16. ATTENTION? Narrow and Broad attention (Iain McGilchrist, 2010). Broad attention is key to developing empathy.
    17. 17. ATTENTION SENSITIVITIES = PATHOLOGY ADHD, Autism, learning “disabilities”….  Sense more and differently.  Feel overwhelmed by their sensory inputs.  Adhd: Broad Environmental Focus  Autism: Broad Social Focus  Hyperfocus (Autism, ADHD).  Acting out (ADHD, Autism).
    18. 18. ATTENTION SPECTRUM= INTELLIGENCE SPECTRUM According to Howard Gardner (1989) we have 9 types 1. Naturalist Intelligence 1. 2. Musical Intelligence 2. 3. Logical-Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart) 4. Existential Intelligence 5. Interpersonal Intelligence (people Smart) 6. Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence (“Body Smart”) 3. 7. Linguistic Intelligence (Word Smart) 8. Intra-personal Intelligence (Self Smart”) 4. 9. Spatial Intelligence (“Picture Smart”)
    19. 19. STRAND 3: HIGHLY SENSITIVE PEOPLE(OR SENSORY INTEGRATION SENSITIVES)Naturalist Intelligence : Designates the human ability todiscriminate among living things (plants, animals) as well assensitivity to other features of the natural world (clouds, rockconfigurations).
    20. 20. HIGHLY SENSITIVE & GIFTED CHILDREN 15-20% of all life on earth (animals and human) are highly sensitive to the world (Aron, 1996). Strong mind sight: Sense energy and information flow in their body, other people, the environment and between us. Perceive in HD: with more detail, depth and clarity. Intense thinking, emotionsand reactions (sensitivities) to stimuli (chemical, sensorial, emotional, social, etc). Strong empathic sense. And tend to be gifted in other areas.
    21. 21. GIFTED BEHAVIORS ARE OFTEN MISDIAGNOSEDGifted characteristics behaviors (Dabrowski, 1967). Over-excitability. Intense (hypo and hyper) of feelings, sensitivities, behaviors. Positive disintegration. A-synchronic development. Perfectionists: The myth of the high achiever. Depressive. Specialists often can not dissociate between ADHD, Learning Disabilities, HSP and Giftedness. Or Asperger, HSP, Learning Disabilities and Giftedness.
    22. 22. OVER-STIMULATION/OVER-EXCITABILITYAccording to Susan Meindl a Montreal based psychologist, stimulation comes in on all sensory channels: sights, sounds, smells, vibrations, touch.HSP’s typically respond strongly and quickly reach their natural level of tolerance in loud, bright or chaotic environments.Five kinds of over-stimulation HSP struggle with(1) Chronic environmental overstimulation.(2) Internal bodily stimulation.(3) A rich and stimulating inner life.(4) Interpersonal over-stimulation.(5) Chemically related over-stimulation & depressive responses.A vicious circle…The intersection of these factors may create a “perfect storm” for some HSPs.
    23. 23. Neurotoxic chemicals can have a profound effect on the developing brain at levels that were once thought to be safe, [15]Image source: agefotostock.comPROBLEM 1: TOXIC ENVIRONMENTS Environmental factors are at play in 25% of learning and developmental disabilities in US children.[3] Image source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/jan/13/consumer-affairs- supermarket-ombudsman
    24. 24. TOXIC CULTURES  Schools are loud, bright and chaotic environments. (sensory overflow) Image Source: http://www.citizenshipfoundation.org.uk/main/page.php?447  Social life: stress in children is the #1 health concern. (emotional overflow)  Cultural Toxic environments: emotional, food, values. Image source: http://officialdeathschool.blogspot.ca/2011/01/boys-classroom.html
    25. 25. A DESCARTIAN SOCIETY No tools for mind sight development: Children can’t understand who they are, how to be or how to develop healthy sensorial strategies. Thus depression, addiction and other “numbing” strategies as adults.. Children are often medicated and/or tagged as “disabled”: can not learn how to become self- aware, self-regulate and develop appropriate and/or control their “gifted” communication abilities. Their over-stimulations are seen as “misbehaviors”
    26. 26. THEY ARE IMPORTANT TO OUR CIVILIZATION  They are our healers, “king counselors”, explorers, teachers and artists (Aron, 1986).  Past: Animism, Shamanism, Chinese culture celebrate SI Giftedness.  Future: It is necessary for creativity and innovation (Ely, 2012) and exploration of the unknown.
    27. 27. HYPOTHESIS 1: HSP INTERPERSONAL OVER-STIMULATION = DIFFERENT IDENTITY FORMATION When unaware of themselves: They define themselves by mirroring others via their sense of others instead of their sense of self. They are empathic chameleons: they mirror the dominant emotions and thoughts in an environment.
    28. 28. Hypothesis 2: Senses Awareness – HSP/gifted health Awareness Senses Modern Health Model Self Nature Environments Empathy Physical Others Psychological S Genetics Behaviors Emotional Culture Values People E H h S h Chemical Emotional Responses Image Source: http://takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/sites/default/files/imagecache/thumbnail/images/thumbnails/whe el2009.jpg Neurons TechnologyHolistic Health Model Traditional Health ModelH=Human Environment S= Senses E= environment
    29. 29. SOLUTION 1: SENSORIAL AND SENSITIVITIES LITERACY Self organizing mind sight tools: the ability for self-regulation, to monitor, to stabilize intention to better see energy and information flow in my body, other people and between us. Self-awareness, Self-regulation, Self-care, Self- reflection towards other-awareness, etc. Communication/The language of the senses. Emotional, chemical, social, empathic and sensory, environmental literacy.
    30. 30. SOLUTION 2: LIFE DIET/ “DIY WELLNESS”CURRICULUM Healthy/Sustainable/Balanced/Positive relationship to:  Food  Emotions  Environment  People  Self  Work  Media  Culture  Has to be personalized (genetic, cultural, socio-economic contexts)
    31. 31. HOW? Develop an individualized value system based on sensory, emotional, social and empathic intelligence. Help develop healthy sensorial, social and emotional, empathic intelligence safely and collectively. Must happen outside of regular context of learning and using informal processes. Must be co-constructed between different generations and cultures.
    32. 32. PHASE 1: DIGITAL ADULT COMMUNITY OF INTEREST 1. Informal Online Highly Sensitive Family literacy center: Detox Blog: thehighlysensitivefamily.wordpress.com 2. Informal Online Toxicity literacy center: Blog: ontariohealingfields.wordpress.com 3. Online source for DIY recipes for Sensory and Highly Sensitive tools for a healthy “Life diet”. 4. How to co-construct children communities?
    33. 33. STRAND 4: “VOICES OF DIGITAL NATIVES” Dr Jason Nolan (Principal) Dr Megan Boler (OISE) Dr Jen Jenson (York) Yukari Seko (Comm Cult)
    34. 34. SOCIAL RELATIONSHIPS EXIST IN SPACE Internal Mental Intimate Personal Social * Adaptation of E. T. Hall “Proxemics Model”.Relationships havedimensions*
    35. 35. DIGITAL HACKING SPACESOur social contexts form a complex ecosystem in a state of dynamic flux.Identity, communities, gaming, economic and social activities blend inlearning activities.Kids are “hacking” life in digital.Kids use simulation games to learn things they do not access in the realworld. i.e. Learning about Social, physical life, etc. Corporations Anonymous Parents Learning Family Siblings Field Autonomous Learning Family Field Anonymous Learning Friends Peers Field Media Media Educational Institutions
    36. 36. FLUID SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC BOUNDARIES Blending of boundaries between sectors:  Research & Education  Social Justice, Sustainability, Commerce & Education  Commerce & Education  Cultural industries & Education  P2P (informal) & Formal Education  Open Education Serving children in a variety of contexts  Homeschooling, De-schooling  Community based tinkering and learning (gaming, hobbies)  Personal Identity formation and experimentation  Gifted children
    37. 37. DIGITAL LIFE INFLUENCE PHYSICAL LIFE Physical Social Life Digital Life•We use in real life activities knowledge developed on how tomake things in digital space.•We discover new products/ideas, explore different cultures indigital which then influence there physical social activities.•We co-construct cultural artifacts which are often tied tocorporate/institutional culture.
    38. 38. HYPOTHESIS 3: DIGITAL REVERSESSENSORIAL EXPERIENCE Information/ Observation Mental Behavioral Social Sensorial Digital can act as a filter to simplify learning about the complex system. For example: playing wii to learn the rules of soccer and the type of behaviors that are acceptable and appropriate before playing.
    39. 39. PHASE 2: CREATE DIGITAL COMMUNALPLAYGROUNDS MINECRAFT Can provide a community for their difference (gender(s) /identit(ies)/culture(s)) Use of interactive technology as a safe (anonymous) experimental playground  a sensory, social buffer: focus to defocus the mind  A simplified sensory environment  A social learning tool  An enriched learning environment  A behavioral learning tool  A non stress play space  Engaging (appropriate mental speed) activities
    40. 40. NAO ROBOT Dr. Stephanie Walsh-Matthew, Arts DMZSummer 2013:Measure children’s emotionalResponse to the robot.Use the robot as a sensor to trackHow they feel while engage with digitalInteractive media.
    42. 42. HYPOTHESIS 4: DIY HYBRID MODEL Informal learning is being formalized: DIY incorporates informal learning opportunities: • acknowledging that innovation exists outside of institutions; • accepting peer culture within fluid institutional boundaries; • facilitate new infrastructures for informal learning; •personal interest drives learning. Education socializes us to: • mixed spheres of social/learning interactions; • the value of intrinsic interest and motivation; • the value of personal, practical knowledge; • alternative ways of knowing.
    43. 43. PHASE 3: BUILD A DIY SENSORY AND GIFTED COMMONS  Health-share  A storefront/playground that operates as  Health food & SI store/playground.  Sensory services (home/school toxicity evaluation)  Human Library.  After School and week-end clubs for the gifted.  Life Diet DIY/Hacking space (food, sensory tools, clothing, emotional, empathy etc.)
    44. 44. SCHEDULE: DIGITAL COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE Winter 2013 : Minecraft Club for Sensory & Gifted children. Media diet strategies Recruit from the gifted community to develop SI curriculum Winter 2014: form a community of practice Begin to co-develop with youth, children, simulation developers games and activities that engage children and youth in sensory, emotional, empathic and social intelligence development. Fall 2014: DIY sensory and gifted commons (clothes, accessories, health products, food, exercises, media, environment, etc)