Concept for an Interpersonal, Interactive, Traditional School

Today’s world has a variety of available technology such as computers, mobile devices, and video games and the children who are growing up in this world often have ready access and years of experience using such devices. The benefits to such access to technology is the access to the answer of virtually any questions at everybody’s fingertips and instant interactions with people at distant locations, but is all of this instant gratification healthy for developing minds (Mischel, Ebbesen, & Zeiss, 1972)? The charter school that I would design will emphasize interpersonal interactions between the students and teachers in the learning process, it will implement learning activities that will be hands-on and interactive between students and the subject of study, and it will be traditionally structured making minimal use of technological aids in areas where technology isn’t the subject of study. Continue reading “Concept for an Interpersonal, Interactive, Traditional School” »

History of Instructional Design and My Role in its Future

The history of Instructional Design is one filled with innovation that leverages available technologies to make the task of instruction more efficient. For ages the typical mode of instruction consisted of a teacher, chalkboard, and classroom discussion (Reiser 2001, p. 55). Some challenges that arise from the stereotypical modes of classroom instruction is the typical activity of a teacher lecturing as students sit passively and listen. The bulk of the efforts in development of the field of instructional design have been to flip that paradigm so that students become active participants in their instruction. A major aspect of activating students is to reach them through the lessons in an engaging way that makes them interact with the learning experience, whether mentally, emotionally, or physically. The 20th century brought about many advances in the technology and psychology of instructional design. Continue reading “History of Instructional Design and My Role in its Future” »

Shakespeare Illuminated

Even though the works of William Shakespeare are easily found in books and taught in English classes, his plays are primarily meant to be interpreted through performance. Since they originated in a day when the recording of performances was impossible, there is no record to indicate what messages Shakespeare’s plays were originally intended to convey. Because of this, it has become a rewarding exercise for artists of every kind to create their own interpretations of Shakespeare’s works, combining what is known of the playwright and the world in which he lived with modern-day sensibilities. My own interpretation of Shakespeare and a handful of his plays entitled, Shakespeare Illuminated (see figure 1), combines my interest in ancient illuminated manuscripts like The Book of Kells, and what the plays mean to me.

Figure 1 – Shakespeare Illuminated, by Dennis West

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Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day?

I’ve received permission from Bryan Ferry to animate to his musical version of Shakespeare’s 18th Sonnet. Here is a completed bit where I’ve worked out some of the processes and look for the thing. So far I’m happy with how it’s coming along.

Click here to view in HD.

The drawings and animations were created in Adobe Illustrator and Flash. It was all composited together in After Effects.

Ultimately, I want this to look like it’s actual ink and paint on paper that’s animated. I’d call the drawing style Book of Kells influenced.

Instructional designer with expertise in graphic design and media production.