Monthly Archives: June 2012

Archiving Insights

I’ve just returned from three excellent professional development events: BC Campus Online Community Enthusiasts (#OCE2012), Northern Voice (#nv12) and Society for Teaching, Learning in Higher Education (#STLHE2012)

I have more specific reflections on each of those events but a very interesting question arose this week that I really want to explore.

To which I responded:

Which was followed by:


This generated a bit of discussion and I thought it would be interesting to take a more detailed look at each of these options.

Starting with my suggestion to use tweetdoc, here is a
PDF archive of all #STLHE2012 tweets

This is really easy to set up and can be done at any time but ideally at the end of an event. The caveat is that it only captures 500 tweets at a time. So if there is a lot of twitter activity you will need to break apart the conference by dates. I had to create two archives and then merged the PDF files into one. This isn’t ideal and there are probably duplicate tweets overlapping the days.

So what about Storify? I’ve used storify for a few different events and really find it is best when you want to include a variety of media: tweets, flickr & instagram pictures, videos, etc. I don’t find it works as well for an entire conference or any scenario where there are more than 25 artifacts. Filtering plays a big role. Also, I’m not sure about the long term viability of using this format for archiving. It relies on multiple tools in the cloud to maintain the status quo. If my work with online courses and linking to external sites has taught me anything it is to expect things to change.

Here is a short storify I created from the closing panel which seemed to get the some of the most twitter activity for a plenary during the entire conference. This is created from the Storify site and you specify which tweets you want to use. This allows you to filter out repeated retweets and/or choose the tweet that really captured the quote the best. Selection is done manually though, so the act of curation obviously takes more time.

stlhe2012 Closing Plenary: Student Panel

Student leaders speak on the future of Canadian post-secondary education

Storified by Giulia Forsythe · Sat, Jun 23 2012 01:10:37

Students run the panel to close #stlhe2012. Yes!Christine Adam
Really looking forward to hearing the student voices in Montreal #STLHE2012 Fox
#stlhe2012 student leaders about to speak! Looking forward to hearing their voices, thoughts, and ideas!Trent Tucker
First student panel at #stlhe2012 Blind Curves or Open Roads?Veronica Carr
#stlhe2012 Student plenary: fun to hear them getting excited about things their institutions doing well. Reinforces my desire to innovate.Catherine Rawn
Inspiring vision – to translate passion for teaching and learning to community engagement. #stlhe2012Natasha Kenny
Cegeps rescue students from high school… LOL #STLHE2012Jaymie Koroluk
#stlhe2012 student leaders motivated to wake up asking, "how can I contribute today?" #stlhe2012 – to actualize their potential!Natasha Kenny
brilliant insight for life! @ProfTucker: #stlhe2012 student panel: it is not about having the right answers but asking the right questions!Natasha Kenny
#stlhe2012 Imagine if all our students "got it" like these students seem to! When I teach a class of 300+, how can I reach these students?Catherine Rawn
Model, inspire, motivate & build hope“@cdrawn: #stlhe2012 When I teach a class of 300+, how can I reach these students?"Natasha Kenny
Teach towards engaged and informed citizens, inspire curiosity, explore core truths, encourage reflection, generate meaning #STLHE2012Joanne Fox
#stlhe2012 Alexandre: PSE gives you the "shoes" for the rest of life’s journey…Trent Tucker
According to student leader: those who don’t fail in higher ed didn’t try hard enough (or party enough) #stlhe2012Megan Fitzgibbons
Beautifully elegant – Those who did not fail, did not try hard enough – we need to inspire failure in order to succeed – #stlhe2012Natasha Kenny
These students are AWESOME #STLHE2012 Asked for audience participation and says, "I know you hate it when students don’t put up their handsJoanne Fox
These students are brilliant! Emphasize the importance of metacognitive learning within the curriculum #stlhe2012Natasha Kenny
#stlhe2012 "it is better done than said" — Selena on experiential learningTrent Tucker
#stlhe2012 Johanna on the future of PSE: "nurture critical thinking"Trent Tucker
Johanna (articulate student!): one goal of academic enterprise should be to question the status quo and hegemonic structures #stlhe2012Megan Fitzgibbons
#stlhe2012 student suggests CSL and prof who uses old reading list just says yes. Sweet fantasy. Love itBilly Strean
Student mental health on the agenda at #stlhe2012 student panel. Thank you, Mimi! #destigmatize Adam
If you think education is expensive just try ignorance. student voices heard #STLHE2012Joanne Fox
Tell your students to bring their hearts to class, not just their brains #stlhe2012Natasha Kenny
Wonderful to hear fluently bilingual students. #STLHE2012 Sorel
Always impressed by how articulate and vibrant 3M student fellows are #STLHE2012Jaymie Koroluk
Hearing from students was the perfect way to end the conference. Thank you for the honesty and challenge of your words. #stlhe2012veebs
Student panel = fantastic way to end the #stlhe2012 conference. Agree that more students should be in on the conversation!EDC

Similarly, you’ll notice that I’ve embedded tweets into this post using twitter’s new built-in embed tool, which is easier than the now-defunct web app called Blackbird Pie. There is still a Blackbird pie wordpress plugin but I don’t see any advantage using the plugin over the built-in tool.

embedding tweets

embedding tweets

I guess my main concern is the lack of control you have over that content. You are only linking to it and if the owner deletes the tweet or twitter comes up with some Murdoch monetizing scheme and changes our access or terms, then we will no longer have the content at all.

But it sure does look pretty and it is very functional while it still works.

That brings us to wonder about If This Then That, the magical-do-anything-you-can-think-of with just about any tool that has an API.

I browsed through existing recipes and not surprisingly, someone has set up the simple template to capture tweets with a particular hash tag into Evernote.

ifttt twitter to evernote

If This Then That: Twitter to Evernote

Authorize both your twitter account and your Evernote account, set up your own parameters and you are set to go. The only trouble is that it doesn’t seem to be able to capture tweets from the past.

Since I started this experiment after the end of STLHE, it’s fairly useless in capturing anything about that conference after the fact.

But with 20,000 K-12 educators descending on San Diego right now for National Educational Computing Conference ISTE12 I have a very active hash tag to experiment with, which will definitely be a test of the robustness of this application.

As suggested in the recipe, I created a public #ISTE12 notebook in Evernote. There were other options for archiving, including avatar, which might make the notebook more visually stimulating but I’m going for simplicity first time out. The sheer volume of tweets may cause some kind of complications but let’s push this to the boundaries, right?

So far after 12 hours there have been 566 tweets. But the conference hasn’t actually started yet so we’ll see what happens after a few days.

Shared Evernote notebook capturing #ISTE12 tweets

Shared Evernote notebook capturing #ISTE12 tweets

What are your thoughts? Any other tools you use for archiving all the wonderful things said and done at conferences? How does this aid your reflection (if at all)?

Surreal Moments

So I’m sitting here at Toronto International Pearson Airport en route to Vancouver for Northern Voice, grabbing a bite to eat. On the television, Germany beats the Netherlands in football. Passersby stop to watch momentarily.

I’m not watching the soccer game, however, I am tuned into and the surreal moment of my twitter and professional networks colliding and watching @timmmmyboy @grantpotter @rushaw present at the #nmc12 conference while @heloukee and @allyson1969 shake hands.


I look down to my beer and what. the. >???????

um. excuse me, waiter, what is Slide Guy doing in my beer?

cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by giulia.forsythe

The backstroke?

Wäscälly Wäbbits Weception

Big virtual party as we (sorta) gather all the pictures of the Wäbbits for our big group photo.

Listening to the wisdom of my RSS feeds, Ben reminds us that camp counselors should lead by example. Fellow Wäbbit, John saysKeep Calm and Make a GIF. Not sure how to take Bava’s below the belt advice, but since he was inspired by our other Wäbbit Chanda it must be good.

In honor of herding Wäbbits, I have made a special group photo and included a couple of the animated gifs I made this week. Do not adjust your set. This is the technical difficulties assignment!

Special appearance of @dlnorman‘s bathroom shark (from the storybox)

Too much Coke for Bava

Too much Coke for Bava

and the Gladiator

Please Stand By. Wäscälly Wäbbits are just warming up.

Minecraft Me

First of all, I had NO idea how FUN Minecraft is. I think being in creative mode makes all the difference. Also using the TeamSpeak server for chatting was so great. It really felt like I was in the same room as Andy, Tim, Shannon, Ben and Allyson.

Being the most experienced of the crew, Andrew Forgrave was especially helpful and patient. He even wrote a great summary of our evening and did some awesome animated GIFs. He assigned us homework to get our own custom skins for the next time we signed in. Et Voila!

cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by giulia.forsythe
One of the best things about DS106 is that when you don’t feel like doing one of the thousand existing assignments, you can just create a new one.
And that’s what I’ve done, right here with Minecraft Me

I used a very roundabout method to make my skin. I found a NERD Skin at SkinDex.



Then I imported into Photoshop and edited the tiny little PNG.
Nerdy G!

Nerdy G!

Zoom in and it looks like this:
G Magnified PNG

G Magnified PNG

I couldn’t figure out how to see what I looked like so I stumbled upon this cool editor called Minershoes which let me upload and preview my edited PNG. Of course, I see it’s really simple to just edit it right there and perhaps that would have been smarter, faster, better.

I also see that Andy has a whole new amazing post about skins which is worth checking out, especially if you are a Monkey!

Thanks to Martha, I figured out that you can toggle through the Function + F5 key to change your view option and see what you look like in game. I had already dragged Allyson back in with me, bless her, she took some great shots of me.

In fact, I wanted to use the picture that Allyson was nice enough to take for me but, *sniff*, *sniff*, her pics are copyrighted so embed wasn’t allowed.


Actually most new Flickr accounts are set up like this and it’s kind of tricky to find the settings to make it different. So, on the chance that copyrighted is not the desired sharing preference, here’s how you change the settings:

You > Your Account > Privacy & Permissions > Default for New Uploads > Creative Commons

I choose Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike but apparently that prevents some Wikipedia use, so I’ll let you decide what works best for you.

Creative Commons, as you may know, is a really nice way to allow sharing of your content right up front.

Before DS106 I didn’t really appreciate how helpful it could be for me to release my content under creative commons. With all the riffing and remixing we do off each other, I now realize how useful it is when you are trying to write blog posts and make art.

Of course Larry Lessig really explains it best with his TED Talk. I’m repeating myself here, but some things are worth saying every single semester.

Anyway, I hope my Wäscälly Wäbbits bunkmates can organize a time to hang out in Minecraft again sometime soon. And I hope some of you find time to do the Minecraft Me assignment and get some unique looks going in game!