I mentioned in one of my #50by50 posts (#50by50ish #37 – Take a photography course) that I was taking the Photo 101 course that Henry’s offers, and that I wanted to blog about the actual classes each week. Unfortunately, life intervened and I didn’t get to blogging each week, and the company has also altered their offerings to put more of it online or have one-day workshops than to offer in-person classes over several weeks. Nevertheless, I wanted to blog about it, so here I go.
Week 1 was about camera fundamentals, and if I called it “meet your camera week”, it would be a bit more direct. You learn all the basic controls, what they do, and because it is a generic photography class with everyone having different brands and models, a lot of it was hands-on instruction to walk various people through THEIR camera settings to get it into a relatively common set of options for everyone to start with in the class. » Read the rest
Back in 2016, I decided to “up my game” for photography, and I thought I would start with a class or two. Henry’s courses are popular, but there are also courses through the city’s annual learning catalog, and even through Algonquin College if I want to get really serious. But I wanted to keep it simple, so I started watching The Great Course’s “Fundamentals of Photography” series (Fundamentals of Photography – Class 01 – Making Great Pictures).
Recently, as part of my lingering 50by50 commitments, I wanted to get back into photography learning, but even in the last two years, my approach has changed. I have a decent camera — a Canon Rebel T5i aka the 700D — and it works well for me. It is considered a high-value entry level DSLR, but my needs are relatively modest, with just a couple of quirks.
My primary need is outdoors photography … waterfalls, landscapes, flora and fauna, hiking through nature, and friends and family doing both active and passive activities. » Read the rest
About three and a half years ago, I got excited by the idea of MOOCs — massive online open courses. I went through multiple sites like edX and Coursera, reviewed some online offerings from Canadian universities, and tore through the Great Courses catalog to try and identify “which courses should I do?”. The resulting list of courses I was interested in was massive, no pun intended. Literally hundreds of courses available to me, and since I wasn’t interested in certification or a degree (I already have those), these would be just done for interest. The true embodiment of lifelong learning, with a strong focus on flexible learning. I could download stuff to my MP3 player, I could read on my tablet, I could blast through printed materials. It would be awesome.
Yet I also knew I wasn’t looking for a dry boring course, it would need to balance the education and entertainment components, even if I didn’t exactly call it that at the time. » Read the rest
For the last week, they note that there are lots of types of games that are supposedly “serious” i.e. aimed at serious purposes. In the history, the longest running example are wargames, but there are also “tycoon” games that are about business simulations. However, the largest sub-genre are education games, such as the Oregon Trail or Carmen Sandiego. Over time, the educational starter series have moved into mobile apps, virtual environment, and training simulations.
Stepping back from the genre, I can see how they are dividing things. For example, there are:
– games used in instruction, where the game is an added medium (for processes or procedures); or,
– other games are used as a construction tool, and thus the game empowers the learning style of the individual student (explore and discover).
Games often have to walk a fine line between learning and fun/engagement, but while constructionist tools are often more “fun”, they are also ripe to be subverted by emergent play. » Read the rest
The first video for the week notes that “colour” is frequently used as a way of showing race, even when it is two armies — one red, one blue. As you go through the next four videos, it is expanded to show how race is used to indicate “the other” — an opponent, for example. Some examples for the week include:
Choices may often reflect external racism i.e. “black dwarves” are more evil than light dwarves, often as proxies for more complex situations;
Race serves as the basis for conflict, and conflict can serve as the basis for a narrative arc;
What is present is as important as what is absent;
Default characteristics can serve as “indicator” of what a “normal” character should be;
Character race representations look at cultures and roles within games, including options around protagonist or antagonist roles;
Fighting games often include game mechanics framed through a racial lens to control player attributes (strength, intelligence, etc.);