Wandy’s latest blockbuster hit, Transformers: The Digitizers Evolve, is set to open in theaters in April 2017. We sat down with Wandy to ask her about her inspiration for this new film.
Q: What inspired such a different direction for this film?
W: For the last 20 years, educators have been incorporating technology in their classrooms. The integration may be as simple as using the internet as a research tool, or as complex as blended learning as a means to achieve personal goals. I thought that a great Transformer character would be a “Digitizer.” An educator who is driven to use technology in transformative ways. They have many tools at their disposal like social media, apps, open education courses, and creative software, so they can constantly change shape to facilitate the learning needs of their students. It might be the best Transformer to date!
Q: What evolution can we expect to see the from the Digitizers?
W: The Digitizers are faced with the challenge of thinking about the mere mortals, or students, around them as individuals capable of learning and creating independently based on passion areas if they have the skills, tools, and support to do so. This shift in mindset is difficult as the Digitizers have become so accustomed to protecting the young humans, that they fail to see their strengths.
Q: Fans of the franchise are excited to discuss these ideas on social media platforms. Have you been able to connect with them?
W: Absolutely! I love hearing from them, and they’ve really inspired me to push the limits of what I originally thought the Digitizers would be capable of. Roxanne Leung shared What is Blended Learning? on Twitter and that gave me ideas to get the ball rolling. Jennifer Stewart-Mitchell shared Will Blended Learning Fulfill its Disruptive Potential on the EC&I 834 Google+ Community, which sparked lots of thoughtful conversation with other fans.
Q: What future projects do you have in mind?
W: Well, I’ve always had a passion for music, and with the inspiration of this latest film and its fans, I would like to create a prototype for a blended learning music class. There would be both synchronous and asynchronous components. I haven’t decided what type of platform might work best, but I’d be interested in getting some input from your readers!
Q: Do you have anyone to work on this project with?
W: So far, I haven’t encountered anyone else who is interested in a blended music class prototype, but I’d be interested in working with someone who also shares this passion. Maybe this interview will spark someone’s interest!
“I’d be interested in working with someone who also shares this passion.”
Q: Do you think that you will be able to transform this class with the help of blended learning?
W: Like the Digitizers in my film, I’m going to have to make sure that I reflect on my philosophy of education and make pedagogical choices that empower and engage students. Like Tony Bates says in Teaching in a Digital Age,
“What is the role of the classroom teacher when students can now increasingly study most things online?”
I haven’t worked through what this will look like exactly, but I want the change in platform to be meaningful to students.
Q: Thanks for doing this interview with us today.
W: Not a problem.
You can help Sarah choose an appropriate blended learning platform for her next project by completing the survey below.