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Last Build Date: Tue, 25 Oct 2011 16:25:26 -0500


Review of Drive (dir. Nicholas Refn, 2011, starring Ryan Gosling); OpenPlan Film Criticism Collaboration Sample / Tool

Tue, 25 Oct 2011 16:25:26 -0500  E-Learning Queen is delighted to offer an OpenPlan Film Criticism Collaboration Paper example and template / tool. This OpenPlan offering is designed to help overcome some of the problems that accompany online collaborations. For example, lack of motivation and confusion with course procedures can cause online collaborations to fall flat. However, with wikis and other documents sharing programs (Google Docs, for example), collaborations can be the highlight of an online course. The key to successful collaborations is having a good instructional strategy that includes a topic that is intrinsically motivating. One of the most engaging collaborations can be to develop movie review teams, and to create reviews. The structure can be very flexible, ranging from a back-and-forth point-counterpoint approach (or a thumbs-up, thumbs-down exchange), to the production of a seamless document that successfully melds together the two voices to create a satisfying, engaging read. There may be some utility in maintaining a bit of the rawness in the process. In E-Learning Queen’s OpenPlan Film Criticism Collaboration Paper In the example below, some of the data is presented at the end as a kind of mini-appendix. NASH & LYNCH REVIEWSDrive (dir Nicholas Refn, 2011) by Susan Smith Nash and Seth Lynch Drive (dir. Nicholas Winding Refn, 2011) features a gorgeous noir city with sharp-edged skyscrapers and pinpoints of light above the labyrinth of roads that constitute Los Angeles. The opening voiceover refers to the seeming infinity of interweaving streets, the labyrinth of physicality and solitude, which wind and converge. One might think that the taciturn Driver is the hero of the film, but it's much more complicated than that. Like so many self-reflexive films, Drivecontains interpenetrating references and allusions to elements in the popular consciousness: the first that come to mind are video games (Grand Theft Auto, Midnight Club), cartoons (Speed Racer), classic car chase sequences (Bullit, The French Connection), and the cars themselves -- gleaming, fast, classic (‘73 Chevy Malibu). One of the elements of Drive is extreme, almost surreal precision. The Driver (or “Kid”) meticulously plans his heist getaways. For example, in the opening scene’s basketball game getaway has been planned to the second. The film begins with him in a hotel room with the game on the television. After the opening getaway scene, nowhere else in the movie does it show him watching or listening to sports. While in his deliberately anonymous Impala, he simply listens to the game for the timing, knowing the exact moment to lose the cops in the arena’s parking lot. He dons a team hat, but he doesn’t wear it again. He has no interest in the game other than using it as a getaway. His sole focus and purpose is driving and when Irene asks him what he does for a living, he responds, “Drive.” Of course he follows this by saying he is also mechanic, but only after Irene asks if he drives for the movies. Precision shows up in other aspects of the film as well: the Driver carefully works on an intake manifold and gangster Bernie Rose (Albert Brooks) slices the veins in the hapless Shannon’s arm with surgical finesse so that it bleeds out quickly and “painlessly.” Like the Damascus knives that Bernie Rose collects, precise engineering can either mean the ultimate heist getaway – allowing mere mortals to transcend the limits of our corporeal existence, both in the bodies that bind us, and the laws – or the ultimate meting out of carbon-steel justice. You transgress, you pay. One might think the gangsters in the film are uniformly clocklike in their precision, as is the Driver. They are not. In fact, the gangsters are refreshing in that they are not filled with hubris and do not have ostentatious lifestyles. Instead, they are fearful and essentially greedy. Their vio[...]

Virtual Good Deeds Society: A Network to Join Now

Sun, 22 Feb 2009 12:44:39 -0500

Podcast. You and your school can participate in a "Sister School" program with a school in another country.  Establish a "Virtual Good Deeds Society," which can help kids overcome feelings of loneliness and isolation, and develop a spirit of kindness and cooperation, that encourages freedom of expression.

The Good Deeds Societies recognize that bullying, fearfulness, self-harming, and despair often weigh kids down in our world today, and they have few strategies for bringing themselves up.


Plus, it can also often be difficult to make friends, and to feel trust and true acceptance. In a virtual Good Deeds Society, students communicate with their sister schools. It's a great opportunity for students to share ideas, get to know each others' cultures, and to get involved in outreach.

What is a Good Deeds Society?

* A club that is centered around the doing of good deeds.

* Good Deeds come in different flavors -- they are grouped in different categories, which include family, community, environment, pets, micro-finance/good stewardship, wildlife, learning and culture. *

Students can write stories about things that challenge them, and use creative writing and journaling for self-expression. They may wish to read the book, Good Deeds Society, or Klub Dobrih Dejanj.

* Students may compete in essay contests about good deeds. * Students think of their good deeds and then they do them. * They share the activities on their blogs and may communicate with other Good Deeds Societies in many different ways: MySpace, Facebook, Skype, Elluminate, Twitter, GoToMeeting, and webinars

*Student-centered, but sponsored by the school, with a mentor or teacher-guide. ** The limits of our imagination are the limits of our world(s).

*** Who are some of the winners of Good Deeds Society essay contests? Where are the schools? click here

Fringe Journal: They Will Lift You Up

Amy Winehouse: Tragic Camp of the Reinvented Bad Girl

Wed, 9 Jul 2008 10:40:51 -0500


Amy Winehouse's exaggerated bouffant, Cleopatra eyes, and her own songs, "I'm No Good," and her remake of "He Hit Me and It Felt Like a Kiss," remind one of all echoes of earlier times. The perception is of women gutted by the male gaze, controlled by Svengali managers and boyfriends. Amy Winehouse's costuming and public persona evoke the tragedy of Anna Nicole Smith and even Dorothy Stratten, the Playboy centerfold murdered by her manager husband. However, the key difference is that instead of being physically dominated and controlled by an ever-present manager/boyfriend/husband, Amy's husband, Blake, languishes away in prison, where he is being held for obstruction of justice. While she claims he is always in her mind, he, by all accounts, is utterly powerless in his role. If he is in reality controlling her, it is only through the idea that she herself holds in her own mind about suffering and subjugation.

In the meantime, each mark on Amy's body offers the communicating public an opportunity to participate in an ongoing and ever-morphing story. The story is about love, about loss, and about heartache. It is also about the way a cut, bruise, needle mark, or blemish can symbolize the chthonic; a subterranean repository of meaning that is not ever quite visible, except in manifestations that bubble to the surface in the form of cuts, bruises, scratches, tracks, and more.

For more discussion, please read the full article here:


Second Life: Art, Galleries, Artists - AM Radio

Sat, 21 Jun 2008 17:03:52 -0500 The 3D virtual world of Second Life has quickly become a place of interactive art, where artists can display their creations and visitors can interact with them. The result is a "living museum" or "living gallery" experience that invites the viewer to participate in what could be an updated version of a preceptor model. It is also a method to construct a learning community. Some artists also encourage community in a larger sense and encourage contributions to humanitarian endeavors. AM Radio, an artist working in this environment, has created an immersive, interactive gallery that allows visitors to join a community centered around self-expression and social responsibility, as individuals may donate linden bucks to a rural economic development organization, whose mission resonates with AM Radio's own art. link to full entry:

Haiku: A Learning System that Builds in Web 2.0 Functionality

Tue, 26 Feb 2008 22:32:21 -0500

Haiku has carefully selected applications that respond to learning preferences, so a robust and solidly grounded instructional strategy is possible, as students and teachers incorporate audio, video, images, and other multimedia. The drag-and-drop feature makes it possible to share the resources in many places, including the discussion board.  Finally, courses and schools that emphasize mastery learning and portfolios can combine the Web 2.0 applications, even using them in conjunction with Haiku's easy-to-use assessment, dropbox, gradebook, and calendar functions.

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Prestige University:  

To read the entire post, please click here:

Ruby On Rails: New Book Guides New Solutions (Review)

Sun, 6 Jan 2008 14:47:03 -0500


Ruby on Rails podcast

 A new book, just released by Packt Publishing, can help make elearning solutions more efficient by using the Ruby on Rails web development framework. The book, which is intended for users who have a basic familiarity with the framework, and who wish to develop their own applications or enterprise solutions, contains valuable guidance and insight. It is not intended for users who want to develop exotic uses, nor does it require users to be familiar with more complex web-based applications. It is most valuable for the ways in which it instructs users in the planning, development, and deployment processes. The book is entitled Ruby on Rails Enterprise Application Development: Plan, Program, Extend(image) .


For the entire text, please read the entry at ELearning Queen.  

Britney Spears and other Celebrity Deconstructions

Thu, 11 Oct 2007 22:17:09 -0500


Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Courtney Love - the commodification of personal disaster is discussed from the point of view of a postmodern media confessional. This is a variant of the genre of the confession or confessional.

Susan discusses how the tabloid / media spectator confessional differs from that of, say, St. Augustine, or Rousseau, or even Thomas DeQuincey's Confessions of an English Opium Eater. The tabloid confessional creates a false catharsis within the viewer that drives a hunger for another catharsis. It engenders addiction.

We can apply the ideas of Baudrillard or Lyotard quite nicely to this; also Richard Rorty.

Please see eLearningQueen:

Britney Spears and other Celebrity Deconstructions

Fri, 31 Aug 2007 21:03:29 -0500


Each paparazzi shot of Britney is a treasure trove of "what's wrong with this picture" -- and, while it's fun to try to pick out all the things that are a stylist's nightmare -- it's also instructive. In a single Britney pic, one might find ill-fitting wig over shaved head, a shirt worn as a dress (revealing fleshy buttocks), a miniature Yorkshire terrier wearing a cast on its leg, a crying child, assorted "wardrobe malfunctions," and assorted food and grease stains on expensive fabrics.

With Britney, we get to hone our skills at being social beings and identifying non-verbal communication and symbol interpretation. We recognize that people convey images with their appearance, and their acts. Britney shows how quickly people turn vicious when their expectations have been dashed, and how they attack people who do not fit the norm (whatever the "norm" is for the category the person seems to fit in).

With Britney, we get to see the unraveled costume, which in unraveling, reveals itself to be a costume, rather than the wardrobe the real person would wear.

Further, Britney's own (probably unintentional) deconstructions of a pop star image make the construction process transparent. It's Frankenstein's monster with the thick stitching hanging out for everyone to see that he is not the creation of a real god, nor is he, a real monster. Like Frankenstein's monster, who was given to eloquent soliloquies and exquisite pathos, Britney Spears shows her humanity as she rages against her Frankenstein (her mother?) and the loutish or greedy villagers who seek to devour and destroy (K-Fed? Perez Hilton and other bloggers?).

 For full story, click here:

 E-Learning Queen:

Small College Turnarounds: Identifying Problems, Proposing Solutions

Tue, 21 Aug 2007 16:38:05 -0500


This podcast proposes solutons for small colleges and universities that find themselves in dire straits. Some of the colleges suffering from rising costs, declining enrollments, and declining contributions and endowments may have actually experienced a turnaround in the 1990s, but, due to circumstances, find themselves in trouble again. This article, by Susan Smith Nash, helps identify problems and proposes solutions. 

Full text, with links


Recommended sites on college administration and new visions in education:

Stephen Downes: Articles published online. An amazing collection, very useful.

Ray Schroeder's Educational Technology:

Mark Wagner's Educational Technology and Life:

Scott Leslie's EdTechPost

Recommended site:


Recommended book: Excellence in College Teaching and Learning: Classroom and Online Instruction

Smartphones in E-Learning

Tue, 14 Aug 2007 14:22:11 -0500

Podcast:  Smartphones in E-Learning (image) My Podcast

By now, everyone is familiar with the attributes of the iPhone, but what about the smartphones?  Let’s look at the Blackberry, the Blackjack, the T-Mobile Sidekick, Samsung, and others.  With the ability to download, store, and play mp3 files, video files, and images, the competition has heated up.  Smartphones are starting to have the functionality of handheld devices such as the Dell Axim.



New infrastructure and information architectures make downloading largerfiles and sending movies / images possible.  Here are a few innovations around the corner:


  1. HSUPA:   High Speed Uplink Packet Access. 1.5 Mbps up to 5.76 Mbps


  1. HSDPA:   High Speed Downlink Packet Access, with 3 Mbps up to 14.4 Mbps.


This is an improvement over the current method, WCDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access) because it will be fully 5 times the speed of WCDMA.


Future possibilities include:


  1. Delivery of Instructional Content to Massive Multi-User Groups


  1. Uniform, low cost, highly effective test preparation


  1. Virtual study groups


  1. Multi-user webinars via Elluminate or other conferencing software


  1. Synchronous professional development using polling and interactivity


  1. Asynchronous training and development.

Susan Smith Nash, Ph.D.(image)





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