Before going any further…
Our opening text has invited you to be with us during the following weeks and track our suggestions to keep families together around curated content that may recapture the sense of learning with our most meaningful ones. Today we will introduce you to a Rock Band! Oh Yeah!
Now…Are you ready? OK Go!
“I think every band is kind of surprised to find who their audience turns out to be (…) Definitely not how you start out a rock band, going, ‘Let’s teach!’”
Damian Kulash, OK Go’s lead singer
OK Go is the band that won a handful of fans among the educational community. Oh, yes! They even got a partnership with the Playful Learning Lab at the University of St. Thomas, Minnesota: a unity that thrives to create engaging, hands-on experiences for students and educators, with a focus on play. Together they have created the Playful Learning Lab “OK GO Sandbox”, where you may find free resources designed for educators to follow the STEAM-focused music videos. And this is all because this band is mostly known by their unprecedent videos: they travel in anti-gravity flights, they produce music in a rally car course striking musical instruments with extensions on each side, they dance on eight treadmills arranged in rows in opposite directions and they get inspired by Tokyo’s Robot Restaurant to perform choreographies on mobile Honda UNI-CUBs.
They make it possible to speak about math, science, physics, sports, geography, history, or world culture through music, performance and design.
Just have a look with your kids on their YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/okgo ! There’s content for all tastes!
Let’s start with “The One Moment” video and a clear explanation of it taken from Wikipedia: “the members of OK Go interacting with various props on an initially stark-white set. Many of the props are inflated balloons filled with colored liquid that splash across the set pieces and the band members as they are ruptured in time to the music. The bulk of the video is shown in slow motion, at times slowed at 20,000% from real-time speed to match the beat of the song”. From arts lessons to physics and mathematics we have a high range of themes to deeply discover and debate. Just take a look at this impressive colour blast:
With “Here it goes again” video, we have a great opportunity for math: “A treadmill is a great way to teach rate (…) because if you’re at 3.8 speed, that’s a rate. If you’re at 6.2 speed, that’s a rate.’ The video introduces questions and concepts, like: ‘How many miles per hour is that? How fast are you going? How much harder is your heart beating?’” (Nadworny, 2018*).
But when you think you have seen it all, be careful with this one: “This too shall pass”. No, it is not just that Persian adage on the transience of human condition. Or maybe it is, because nothing is split in human experience. But if you could have an insight about it not only talking about Philosophy but through Kinematics? Do you know what Kinematics is about? Just find out it in less than four creative and impressive minutes.
And the Oscar goes to the “Upside down and inside out” choreographic video, where you can see irregular things happening on what seems a regular plane that moves in zero gravity, what is enabled through a parabolic flight path of a reduced gravity aircraft.
But what seems really striking here is how they got a three-minute video when you can just fly 27 seconds on zero gravity! In fact, they were just happy with the final result after taking 21 flights! Check it out and believe it: “there are no wires or green screen”!
Hope these particularly uncertain times give us opportunities to learn with each other, to be closer to ours through meaningful transmedia content and just believe it: “This too shall pass”!
Hey! Before leaving… In the next weeks we will share suggestions about home learning experiences, aiming to assist parents, who are now co-educators alongside teachers, during this time of social isolation as a public health measure to slow down COVID-19 spread. So, let’s keep in touch!
Ana Mouta, Ana Paulino and Inês Sá Couto are Pedagogy Specialists at jp.ik.