Monthly Archives: April 2011


I just responded to JJ’s comment about my AR submission to Life Eroding, wherein I think his project is a great example of authentic assessment. A real life project, real life consequences and real life connections.
Now I see that Martha Burtis has posted about DS106 authenticity, where students are concerned that their work is so good that it might not be considered to be authentically their own!
Graduated 21st century associate teachers- tech cohort
Jim comments:

“This gets at a lot of important issues, but I find that the tone need not be so somber”

Damn straight! This is not a moment to be somber. This is something Martha (and Jim) should celebrate. Instead of mandating some sort of reflection or iterative process that would act as proof, this student blogged the proof as a form of SELF-SATISFACTION! You gave a project that he was proud to complete. So proud that he wanted to show process.

Isn’t that what is at the heart of true self-directed learning? Isn’t that the essence of what children are naturally born with, and then institutions slowly and deliberately systematize, standardize and make mundane, forced and inauthentic?

The truth of the matter stands that academic dishonesty *is* a huge problem. Students have a lot of pressures on them and at the end of the day getting a 78 or a 80% could mean loss of a large scholarship. The key to promoting academic integrity is in the assignment design. In the case of an academic paper, this could be the annotated bibliography and a series of rough drafts. Basically mandated a series of reflections, revision and an iterative process to track progress so that it is impossible to lift someone else’s paper.

This is actually quite helpful in assignment design, even in creative assignments, because it provides a framework for the process to flourish.

In my opinion, since DS106 asks students to blog process- so in a sense this type of iterative, reflective process is being provided as a framework . There just isn’t a checkbox, ready to be ticked by a teacher for each blog posting. It’s more organic. And yet, the end result is a better quality final assignment and a student who reflects on the process for self-satisfaction!

This actually started as a comment on Martha’s blog but got to be so long, I figured it could use its own post. But what I started to say, and (am trying to get to here) is- Congratulations Martha & Jim- for creating a course that inspires self-satisfaction!

Life Eroding

As per @cogdog’s moving tribute and prompt, I am playing along with the crowdsourced Augmented Reality music video project, which will be produced by a class of 20 students on the Tokyo campus of Temple University.

The sorrow I am trying to convey is about the erosion of childhood; both through the passage of time but also through circumstance. I wish I had been able to protect my daughter from the sadness and anger in the world. I know that there are millions of children without clean water, shelter and enough food to eat, so my daughter is extremely lucky to have been born in North America. On the other hand, she has had more than her fair share of adversity compared to her peers. She is a wise soul in an 11 year old body.

Technical details:
I had a bit of a problem getting the videos off my iPhone and didn’t bother to check that the aspect ratio was wrong until too late. I should know better so I’m quite disappointed with myself.

Also, the AR printout was lucky enough to travel with me for 2 weeks, so it got a bit dog-eared near the end. I hope that doesn’t modify the AR ability.

I wonder about the positioning too. I’m very interested to see what works best.

Anyway, there’s a few scenes to add to the movie. I hope they find any bit of it useful (for better or worse). I’m definitely looking forward to watching the progress.


Whoah, @cogdog blew up all our blogs (I am so honoured!) But like my comment when Jim Groom tried to annihilate his network, we are not so easily stopped.

It was a busy Easter weekend around here. Again I feel like I missed so much LIVE #ds106radio and #ds106tv activity. I did manage to catch Jim Groom’s “Good Friday” afternoon talkatchoo session on #ds106tv. The backchannel chatroom was quite hilarious. With EdWebb, LisaMLane, Noiseprofessor and Nottrivial all speculating on the irony of an unkempt beard on a man named “Groom” and his next likely term to flow forth from that beard. Seemed like the perfect opportunity to play Ed Tech Jargon Bingo.
Ed Tech Jargon Bingo

LisaMLane found this awesome resource:

@giuliaforsythe have you seen the educational jargon generator? bingo possibilities #ds106 (via @bethstill)less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

Combine that with some sort of HTML5 and we’ve got the next greatest app EVAR. 10 years ago, I could have called it a learning object!

Gollum for Prime Minister!

You know it’s telling when I ask an 11 year old what she thinks would be a good mash up and the first thing she can think of is Gollum & Stephen Harper

I wanted to mash up Carrie with High School Musical. Or Sherlock Holmes with Blues Clues. Or Dora the Explorer with the Grateful Dead. Or NoiseProfessor with Toy Story mutant toys. But she wanted Gollum & Stephen Harper. I’m an equal opportunity democracy supporter, so I gave some Gollum voice to all four white male candidates: Stephen Harper (Conservative Party of Canada), Jack Layton (New Democratic Party), Gilles Duceppe (Bloc Quebecois) and Michael Ignatieff (Liberal Party of Canada).

I guess you could call that an endorsement for Elizabeth May, the Green candidate, who incidentally was not invited to the debate. That reminds me of my favourite, most accurate tweet of the debate:

i think elizabeth may won the leaders’ debate.less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

DS106Radio Memory Lane

This is your brain on DS106Radio:

21st century Learner - take 3

Actually, the image was requisitioned by Dr.Rutherford and Dr.Figg for their upcoming teacher education presentation. They wanted an image to represent the 21st century teacher. I figure a 21st century teacher is focused on the learner and so that’s why I did that brain in the cloud. My inspiration, was of course, the best thing to happen to my “learnin-lovin” brain- the magical, mysterious, mountain of awesome that is Digital Storytelling 106.

The most recent DS106 project is El Mashup. The guidelines are:

*You can create your project using any (mix) of media: audio, video, images, Web sites, data, videogames, etc.
*Your final product should significantly alter or challenge the original meaning of your sources.
*You must be able to share your final product on your blog in some form. When you do so, you should reflect upon your creative process/choices and you must credit (and link to, if applicable) all of your sources.

Well, 2 outta 3 ain’t bad; I’m not significantly altering or challenging the original meaning because for this round of el mashup, I’m working with #ds106 retro-audio. Oh yeah, this is vintage stuff from January, February AND March! That stuff is filled with bags of gold, you know. There’s no need to alter meaning. Not yet, anyway.

Unaltered audio:
One of my first recordings was @scottlo from Tokyo’s debut broadcast (3:52):
I was so shocked to hear someone on the other side of the planet just pipe in like that, in the middle of my work day, as he roams the streets of Tokyo.

Then I managed to get short segment of@jimgroom in his Man Shed on his faux toilet(1:18):
Jim Groom’s Man Shed This one was definitely a late night recording. I just loved the vision of Jim seeking time for himself in this tiny shed. With a beer. And a fake toilet.

Slight Mod-audio
The last piece, however, I did alter some aspects slightly by editing out the silence when I lost the stream and perhaps a couple portions that I felt were off-topic. Okay, well 22 minutes that I felt were off-topic. There were numerous musical references, so I took the liberty of adding those in, where appropriate.
#nv11 planning panel – USA contingent

The whole thing runs a very long time: 23:20 (edited down from a midnight 45min session). The scenario is @DrGarcia, @mikhailg @jimgroom, @noiseprofessor, and @cogdog discussing their Northern Voice abstract submission and planning the presentation. They skyped in with @scottlo afterwards, but that really deserves its own segment because they talk about balancing sensational media exposure and the need to report, communicate the historic, catastrophic and tragic events in Tokyo.

Audio Channels in GarageBand

Screen shot of the Audio Channels in GarageBand

I used NiceCast to record the audio from the #ds106radio stream and GarageBand to edit.

I want a Spotless Mind

Is it better to forget? Or remember? Does it make a difference? Would it all turn out the same?

If I had an eraser I’d remove the part of my brain that decided to do this assignment 3 weeks ago and then refused to quit even though hours, days, weeks passed by with so little sleep and so little accomplished. I uploaded it to YouTube and Vimeo which both blocked due to copyright material.

So, I’m using the WordPress Plugin: Embed QuickTime. Sometime I’ll figure out how to resize the video. Not. Today.

This was almost the assignment that stopped me. It certainly dragged me to a very slow crawl. But I prevailed- as Leonard Cohen says: “I’m as stubborn as those garbage bags Time cannot Decay!”. Damn it was hard, though.

There is a lot to consider in a video essay after you get over the technical and copyright limitations.

The biggest drawback is that working with audio and video seriously interferes with my ability to watch ds106tv and listen to ds106radio. Add that to family and work. Too. Much.

The assignment affords so many opportunities to think critically; it is a multi-layered assignment. Obviously it’s multi-media, multi-modal but to select appropriate visual, audio, textual, and symbolic elements is quite a challenge.

Most importantly- you have to choose a film that’s worth watching over and over during editing yet it should still be worthy of a university level course. Of course, it should have nice visual elements, perhaps some symbolism and metaphors. Ideally, it a should be film that helps you learn something too. For instance, I learnt the difference between metaphor and metanym and this film has both.

The opening and ending scenes have Clementine & Joel discussing Clementine’s name. Huckleberry Hound is a metanym for Clementine because he is a linear association between her name and the song he is well known for singing.

Huckleberry Hound

The scene shifts to metaphorical. Even after brain erasure, Joel is still able to associate her name with clemency- forgiveness.

I love how her hair changes throughout the film. In the intro scene she names all the colours we are about to see and even exclaims, “I apply my personality with a paste!”

Starting with “Blue Ruin”, moving backwards through Joel’s memory from the breakup “agent orange”, comfortable stage: “tangerine” (matching her signature sweatshirt); passionate loving stage: “red menace”; to the beginning- when they first meet: “green fever”.

I’m considering using this as my mashup assignment too, since I put a little easter egg at 2:49. I have a ton of mashup ideas much better than that. Though it’s not for lack of ideas that slows this process down. It’s getting the time to implement. I’m doing these projects in the middle of the night, so my artistic “vision” can be realized. I think this assignment is not quite as coherent due to how often I ended up working on it at 3am.

I actually read a few articles about hollywood remix culture, too, since it coincided with the broadcasted class. Chuck Tryon even sent me his chapter directly! Twitter is so cool. I wish I had a deeper insight integrating Chuck’s work but my brain is mush and a successful upload to Vimeo will have to be my measure of success this time around.

For those who care: technical specs: I used Screenium screen capturing software to record the segments I wanted. Handbrake to make those clips importable into iMovie. I recorded the audio using Nicecast because GarageBand and iMovie were being too uncooperative. I hate hearing my voice and I’m horrified at the number of times I say “actually”, actually. Semi-technical note: if I were to be insane enough to try this again I would chose a much more obscure film, like The Saragossa Manuscript one or even Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are dead.

Final Disclaimer: I’m also concerned that a certain someone will read more into my film choice than they should. So, to clarify: this has NOTHING at all to do with any person or past relationship. It’s just a film I like, that a professor that I respect uses in her first year English course (Literature in English: Forms, Themes and Approaches). Period.