Friday, February 13, 2015

What is a Machinima?

Machinimas are videos filmed in virtual worlds with avatars as characters. The importance of Machinimas is their motivational factor when used as educational products. Students who belong to the digital generation are used to engaging with fictitious characters from video games. When students are presented with machinimas, they pay attention and are more likely to become engaged with the medium and follow instructions better.

Machinima, a contraction of the words machine and cinema, is a genre of filmmaking that was originally created by gamers in the 1990s.

Since February 2007, a Machinima Institute has been located in Second Life (for those 18 and older) on the American Library Association Arts Infolsland. The institute is run by librarians and educators and contains instructional resources for teaching machinima.
Source: Tabitha, T. & Kelly, C. (2008). Machinima goes mainstream. School Library Journal, 54(2), 29-31.  

What is Instructional Technology?


Through the years several scholars has given different definitions to the term Instructional Technology. One of those has been adopted by Association for Educational Communication and Technology (AECT) as “the theory and practice of design, development, utilization, management and evaluation of process and resources for learning” (Seels & Richey, 1994, p. 129).

A critic of the above definition argues “This definition is too inclusive to be of practical use” (Anderson, 2003, p.33), and defines Instructional Technology as “those tools used in formal educational practice to disseminate, illustrate, communicate, or immerse learners and teachers in activities purposively designed to induce learning” (Anderson, 2003, p.34).

The two main tendencies in instructional technology focuses in the curriculum design and theoretical framework, or in the complement of tools (gadgets) for instructional support. Unfortunately the term “popular culture” sound to mundane to be use in academia, although ironically it is the adoption of technology and its consumption by the masses what has been forcing teachers and scholars to revise and adapt curriculums to the newest social trends.

The bottom line is that technology has become a “culture” where adopters share a group of widely established customs, communicate by a new globalized language, and engage in similar practices even beyond geographical boundaries.

In my view, Instructional Technology is the adaptation of technological innovations of mass consumptions for educational purposes, plain and simple. iPods, Wii, Virtual Environments, Touch Screen, Digital Cameras, Cellular Phones, Texting, Chatting, Bloggin, Web Browsing, YouTube, Tweeter, etc. are innovations that define how new generations of digital learners communicate and it is obvious that such resources are expected to be adopted by educators to connect with their learners in order to make more effective the educational process.

We Instructional Technologists are the facilitators trained to reconcile curriculums and teacher's skills with the educational needs of a new student connect to a global network of learners and evolving information.