Monday, August 30, 2010

First post, first day of CreaTe

Today was the first day of the Creative Technology programme. We started with the course "We Create Identity", which is divided into a lecture class and a collaborative / interactive class.

In the morning we had the lecture part. As the teacher of the course himself admitted later on, the course is pretty vague. He showed us some videos on an experiment from the New York Times in which people have to "disconnect" themselves for a few days: they have to take a break from using social media / technology, such as Facebook, Twitter, cell phones and email. He didn't tell us what we had to do with the information we gained from watching these videos, but I think the message is that it is sometimes necessary to take a step back and look at what the influences of these new technologies are. While there are no doubt a lot of advantages to using all these new forms of communication, there are also some disadvantages. One problem with constantly having to stay connected to the digital world is that it takes up a lot of time and distracts us from the things we are working on (e.g. our jobs). Moreover, because most digital "connected" devices have clocks, a constant air of urgency is created. So by not using these devices for a while the subjects got calmer and more aware of the real world around them. One of the subjects even described not bringing a phone along for two days as "a little adventurous and spontaneous". While this might seem to be a bit of an exaggeration, it illustrates the grip social media have on our lives.

The afternoon was spend in the Smart XP lab, in which the teacher elaborated a little on his presentation in the morning, after which it was time for us to come to the front and tell each other about our dreams in 20 seconds. Although 20 second may seem like a very short period of time, most people including myself were struggling to fill the time. The problem for me was that it is very difficult to just stand up and talk about your dreams when you don't have a strictly defined idea of what they are exactly and what is relevant to the audience. I think this exercise helps getting you comfortable with presenting your ideas and coming up with them on the spot.

At the end of the day it wasn't exactly clear what lessons we had to learn from all this but I think the main goal of today was to give everyone some food for thought and to set a creative mood.

Up tomorrow: Graphic design, for which you have to bring a photograph that means a lot to you.

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