The Jazz Singer

Frank Krasicki:

These days the technologists who remain vital are not experts and not generalists but rather techo-existentialists. The mantra is learn what you need for NOW and let it go – chances are it will change by the time you need or use it again.

Someone help me out here. How has clear, cinematic communication changed since The Jazz Singer first deployed synchronized music and dialogue in 1927? If, in fact, those conventions haven’t changed appreciably in nearly a century, shouldn’t the edublogosphere match its seemingly boundless enthusiasm for new media creation tools and new mechanisms for distributing those media with some reflection on the ancient, unchanged fundamentals of those media?

Case in point:

Alec Couros posted a video of an elementary school’s touching, deeply heartfelt rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide.” The ensuing commentary circled issues of copyright, walled gardens, global distribution, digital footprints, etc., but Darren Kuropatwa, out of all those technofuturists, hit the bullseye, noting the truly transcendental:

Darren: My favourite bit came at the very end when the teacher turned and spoke to the camera: “That was gooood!” That comment encompassed so much; about him, his students, and how they all feel for each other.

A milligram of sober deconstruction (“why do I like this?”) is worth, for my money, a kilogram of exuberant, big-picture futurism (“how does this change everything?!”). It would do this old curmudgeon’s heart some good to see some balanced restored to our discussions of ancient arts.

I'm Dan and this is my blog. I'm a former high school teacher, former graduate student, and current head of teaching at Desmos. More here.