MUVE

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MUVE – Multi-User Virtual Environment

I used to play World of Warcraft with my husband and brother-in-law.  Because my brother-in-law lives several hours away from us and we did not get to visit in person very often, playing WOW together gave of the opportunity to interact on a more regular basis.  Most nights after the kids went to bed, we would spend a couple of hours chatting and visiting while we ran quests and dungeons together.  For me, the interaction that the three of us had together was much more enjoyable than the game itself.

Currently, my children and I play Minecraft together; my kids play more than I do.  They have built entire towns, with buildings and ships and roller coasters!  I find it amazing what they are able to accomplish in this game.  I am not one to let the kids play a great deal on the computer but I find that this particular game stimulates their creativity; it is almost like playing virtual Legos.

As for a professional use for MUVE’s, I must say that I had not thought about it much until it was discussed in my recent studies.  I believe that MUVE’s could be incorporated effectively as teaching tools, particularly in that the virtual environment could be utilized to help others be involved in situations (different languages, cultures, environmental scenarios, budgetary scenarios) that otherwise they would not be able to experience.  Because MUSE’s lend themselves to role playing, this type of personal involvement can give individuals a greater understanding because they are able to experience the situation.  Although it is a virtual experience, the level of involvement and investment are still high.

mine 2ndFor example, I was able to find some examples of how MUSE’s are being incorporated into TESOL education through an organization called Electronic Village Online (EVO).  One session being offered through the EVO will focus on how Minecraft is being used effectively in language learning.  Another session will also focus on language learning, this time discussing the use of Second Life and other virtual environments.


Facebook and LinkedIn

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In the professional setting, Facebook can be a useful tool in simply communicating information which in turn can generate greater interest in your library as a whole.  For example, we posted on Facebook pictures of our recent Women’s History Month display and also information about an upcoming Poster Session being held at the library.  This information is shared among our followers who also may share the posts with their friends.  It is an excellent way to reach people who otherwise would not know this information because they wouldn’t normally visit the library’s webpage but do check their Facebook posts on a regular basis. post whpost

It is evident that other organizations also take advantage of this opportunity within Facebook as evidenced by informational posts made on the IU School of Informatics and Computing page.iu

LinkedIn provides a different facet to social networking.  Previously, we discussed how Facebook can help organizations promote themselves.  LinkedIn allows an individual to promote themselves and to connect with other professionals.  LinkedIn was helpful to me recently as it allowed me to view the standing of a potential speaker that we were considering bringing in.  As I looked up the person on LinkedIn, I was able to see that many other professionals from the same field of study had rated the speaker’s knowledge as being very high in one area, but not necessarily very high in the area that we needed a speaker to address.  I must admit that this did influence my opinion and I chose not to pursue bringing this individual in as a presenter. link


Mrs. Miniver

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Mrs. Miniver could never be so easily defined and labeled as simply inspirational; there was a greater purpose behind the narrative of this film.  Granted, the image of Britain presented in the film sways further to the side of fiction than true reality yet, “the United States seemed captivated by the quaint olde world of cottages and country houses and trips to town” (Cull 182).  This ideological world created by Hollywood for the U.S. public and reinforced by films like Mrs. Miniver, allowed Americans to interpret the German Blitz, “understanding the facts by projecting the experience onto their imagined world of British fiction (Cull 182).  The goal of director William Wyler was to produce a film that would encourage the American public to support and become involved in the U.S. military campaign against Axis powers in Europe (Christensen 262).  Winston Churchill would later term the film “propaganda worth more than a hundred battleships” (Kozloff 459).  The ability of this film to connect with the viewer played a critical role in how audiences received the film and, in turn, caused Mrs. Miniver to be one of the most successful films of its time, taking home the Oscar for Best Picture, Best Director – William Wyler, Best Actress – Greer Garson, Best Actress in a Supporting Role – Teresa Wright, Best Black and White Cinematography – Joseph Ruttenberg, and Best Screenplay – George Froeschel, James Hilton, Claudine West, and Arthur Wimperis (Atkinson 27-28).

Mrs. Miniver, acted as a tool to sway American public opinion by illustrating how the new method of total warfare impacted the innocent populace of Great Britain.  Targeted towards the American audience, the message of the film expresses how the U.S. populace should not only feel a great amount of sympathy towards those in Britain who are suffering through the tragedies and heartbreaks of war but should also recognize “America’s situation is analogous to theirs insofar as even civilians, and thus potentially mainland Americans, are endangered by an enemy so ruthless and fanatical. The traditional MGM message coincides with the path of patriotic prudence: Americans should elect the integration that the British have been forced to adopt” (Christensen 263-264), referring specifically to the integration of the idea and practices of the total war.

American citizens were overwhelmed by the prospect of and subsequent involvement in a second world war only 21 years after the resolution of the first one.  Many of these had already faced the heartache of sending off their brothers, fathers, husbands, and sons to battle, thousands of them not returning home.  Many who served and survived now had children.  It surely pained them to know firsthand the horrors that would now have to be experienced by their offspring and how it would forever change their lives, if they were so blessed to still have their lives when all was said and done.  This sense of being overcome with grief is related in a scene from Mrs. Miniver in which the small village congregation had just learned the news that their country was again at war.  During the scene, the congregation sings the closing hymn immediately following the vicar’s announcement of war.  The camera goes to a wide angel shot of the Miniver family but they are actually located in the background of the shot, indicating that for the present, Wyler wants the audience to focus on some other aspect of the moment.

Mrs. Miniver In the foreground, a lone elderly woman stands, who is overcome with grief at the idea of having to endure another war.  The release of Mrs. Miniver came only 6 short months after the U.S. had entered the Second World War.  Surely this lady’s anguish resonated within the populace of the U.S.  To have to endure this pain again so soon after the First World War must have been devastating and even crippling for American morale, like pouring salt in a still open wound.

Films like Mrs. Miniver allowed the American public to experience an aspect of this new war they had previously not been exposed to.  The characters in the film warm the heart and it is almost impossible for audiences, especially audiences who were reeling from the pain of separation and loss caused by war, not to become emotionally invested in the lives and well being of the Minivers and their friends in the quaint little English village.  This film empowered Americans with a renewed sense of purpose.  The film gave citizens a reason to rally together – freedom.  For freedom is always worth fighting for, sometimes we just need to be reminded that our losses cannot possibly outweigh the exultation of being free.

 

References

Atkinson, John. Oscars. Pocket Essentials, 2005. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 7 Apr. 2012.

Branham, Robert J., and Stephen J. Hartnett. Sweet Freedom’s Song : ‘My Country ‘Tis Of Thee’  And Democracy In America. Oxford University Press, 2002. eBook Collection       (EBSCOhost). Web. 7 Apr. 2012.

“Carey, Henry (c. 1690 – 1743).” Bloomsbury Biographical Dictionary of Quotations. London: Bloomsbury, 1997. Credo Reference. 1 Jan. 2002. Web. 7 Apr. 2012. <http://0 www.credoreference.com.library.acaweb.org/entry/bbdq/carey_henry_c_1690_1743>.

Carroll, Lewis. Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland. ICON Group International, 2005. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 7 Apr. 2012.

Christensen, Jerome. “Studio Identity And Studio Art: MGM, Mrs. Miniver, And Planning The Postwar Era.” Elh 67.1 (2000): 257-292. MLA International Bibliography. Web. 2 Apr. 2012.

Churchill, Winston S. The Second World War, The Gathering Storm. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company,1948, p. 547.

Cull, Nicholas John. Selling War : The British Propaganda Campaign Against American       ‘Neutrality’ In World War II. Oxford University Press, 1995. eBook Collection       (EBSCOhost). Web. 7 Apr. 2012.

Folly, Martin H., and Niall A. Palmer. Historical Dictionary Of U.S. Diplomacy From World War I Through World War II. Scarecrow Press, 2010. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 6 Apr. 2012.

Jurca, Catherine. “What The Public Wanted: Hollywood, 1937-1942.” Cinema Journal 47.2 (2008): 3-25. Academic Search Complete. Web. 7 Apr. 2012.

Karwatka, Dennis. “Glenn Martin: An Early Airplane Manufacturer.” Tech Directions 63.1 (2003): 14. Science Full Text Select (H.W. Wilson). Web. 4 Apr. 2012.

Kozloff, Sarah. “Wyler’s Wars.” Film History: An International Journal 20.4 (2008): 456-473. MLA International Bibliography. Web. 7 Apr. 2012.

Marcus, Daniel. “William Wyler’s World War II Films And The Bombing Of Civilian Populations.” Historical Journal Of Film, Radio And Television 29.1 (2009): 79-90. MLA International Bibliography. Web. 2 Apr. 2012.

Mrs. Miniver. Dir. William Wyler. Perfs. Helmut Dantine, Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon, Henry Travers, Henry Wilcoxon, and Teresa Wright. 1942. Warner Brothers, 2009. DVD.

Nolan, Cathal J. Concise Encyclopedia Of World War II. Greenwood Press, 2010. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 4 Apr. 2012.

Rotter, Andrew Jon. Hiroshima : The World’s Bomb. Oxford University Press, 2008. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 4 Apr. 2012.

Rubinstein, Amnon, and Yaniv Roznai. “Human Shields In Modern Armed Conflicts: The Need For A Proportionate Proportionality.” Stanford Law & Policy Review 22.1 (2011): 93-Academic Search Complete. Web. 4 Apr. 2012.


Social Networks

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Social Networks –

noun
1.  a network of friends, colleagues, and other personal contacts:

Strong social networks can encourage healthy behaviors.
2.  Digital Technology.

  1. an online community of people with a common interest who use a website or other technologies to communicate with each other and share information,resources, etc.
  2. a website or online service that facilitates this communication.

“social network”. Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 24 Mar. 2016. <Dictionary.comhttp://www.dictionary.com/browse/social-network>.

 

Social networking, in my own personal experience, has a negative impact on forming strong face-to-face bonds with family, friends, and colleagues.  While I appreciate being able to see pictures of the newborn baby belonging to my second cousin twice removed, I have found that time spent sorting through these rather meaningless posts deducts time that I could be spending building relationship with my children, my husband, and my friends.  Also, social networking leads me to question the validity of the relationships being established through online interaction.  Simply because I know what you had for dinner last night does not mean that we have a meaningful relationship.  I think it would be wiser to invest more time and effort into those people that are standing right in front of us; to look into their eyes and listen as they share their day with us in order to form the types of bonds that will endure the ups and downs of life.