Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Cheongna Dalton School's Sports Day 2017

The video was edited by me, but the photo and video clips came from various faculty members and students. It was a very enjoyable day and I think that comes out in the video. The sound track also features a song composed by me. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

PodOmatic and Soundcloud for Student Podcasts and Music

If you have students who create their own music or produce their own podcasts, your can use SoundCloud or PodOmatic to publish them on the Internet for free. Both websites offer free accounts that can manage a load of material without dropping any cash. The Slides below will walk you through the basics of publishing a podcast on each website. Youtube is another option, but I prefer SoundCloud and PodOmatic because they are specific for the task of sharing music or podcasts; Youtube is great, but video content is more the focus of the website. I've encouraged students to do podcasting in a number of ways, but my personal favorites have been when they promote their own music or opinions and learn to use social media to spread their content.

In my Presentation and Performance course, I would make podcasting like a journal assignment in my English courses. The idea was that each student published five episodes a semester and each episode was two to three minutes long. I left the content up to them, but I did require them to promote the podcast. Students were require to visit each other's podcasts and leave at least one comment for all of their classmates during the semester. Most of the students loved it. They had freedom with regard to content so they were interested in making episodes and promoting them. One student produced his own version of Car Talk; one student made videos of her singing her favorite songs and challenged others to make their own versions of the songs; and another student demonstrated different styles and techniques in applying cosmetics. One of the biggest benefits for students, other than learning how to make podcasts, was their appreciation for the sound of their own voices. A person sounds very different when recorded and played back and it gave students an opportunity to work on voice quality and control in a non-threatening way.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Delaying Gratification Isn't Always Wise

There has been a huge amount of talk lately about the importance of learning to delay gratification. People much more intelligent than me are promoting the idea and there was an amazing TED Talk called Don't Eat the Marshmallow by Joachim de Posada. Currently I'm living in the land of delaying gratification -- Korea. Korean students are told to work diligently and wait for everything good to happen later in life. There is even a children's book about not eating the marshmallow. First Koreans struggle to get into a great high school; then a great university; and finally into a great job with a major company. But my question is what happens while you are delaying all of your gratification? It is a little thing called life and it is important.

I'm not going to argue the pros and cons of delaying gratification. The research clearly demonstrates that children who learn to delay gratification lead healthier, more productive lives. But are we also raising a generation of people who never take risks? Sometimes in life you just have to try something just to see how it turns out. Sometimes you need to live with a little danger, a little risk, in order to feel alive. What we really want to teach our kids is how to delay gratification, but how to also pick times when seeking gratification is acceptable; even opportune. Imagine if Richard Branson had never jumped at the chance to own Virgin Atlantic? What if he had decided to "delay gratification" by not purchasing the other half of the business? His willingness to take a huge risk led to his amazing success. We want our children to do that! To spot times and opportunities that sometimes require us to not delay gratification, but instead to embrace gratification immediately. But not all the time! Basically we want to teach kids how to balance life.

As I stated before, I'm not suggesting that we stop teaching children the importance of not eating the marshmallow, but I am suggesting that there is more to it than that. Not eating the marshmallow is part of the picture, but knowing when it is the right time to eat it is just as important.