Tag Archives: images

Learnist – a bit like Pinterest and a little bit like Scoop.it

learnist

I might be late to the party, but I’ve just discovered Learnist. It looks a lot like Pinterest so I was excited from the start. It combines a few bests, including images, easy collaboration and sharing and educational content. And, as always, what I really like about it is finding people who take the time to curate quality resources. The excitement is in the lucky dip aspect; I like to search specific things but the unexpected joy of discovering something you didn’t set out to find is what makes this addictive for me.

featuredauthorslearnist

Once you start browsing the categories, you’ll realise how open-ended these are. It’s interesting to see what interests people. I’d like to experiment with Learnist as ‘wider reading’ for students. Wouldn’t it be nice to give them time to browse within a general theme or topic to find something that catches their interest instead of prescribing their focus?

attitudelearnist

Learnist is very user-friendly. As with many social networks, it allows you to browse, rate and comment, as well as find out a little about people and follow them or their boards. Learnist has enough statistics at a glance to give you an idea of whether the board has attracted many viewers or commenters. You can add a suggested site to a board or a tag – very similar to Pinterest and Scoop.it. It’s also easy to share a link with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn or email the link. It would be valuable to create a shared Learnist board with your faculty, or even create a cross-faculty board, or better still, one for the learning literacies we should be embedding across the curriculum, for example, digital citizenship or critical literacies.

Basically, Learnist allows people to learn with and from each other. That’s the way I like to learn. And the mix of text, image, video and audio is a great way to engage learners.

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First Melbourne TeachMeet 2013 #tmmelb

Well, hello. It’s been so, so long since I’ve spoken in this space, and I’m not even sure I still have an audience.  Nevertheless, I’d like to do a quick post to rave a little about Melbourne’s first TeachMeet for 2013. Given that we’ve only just gone back to school, lamenting the long Summer break behind us, how lovely to meet in casual surrounds at Lt. Markov-Bar in Carlton. Thank you, Roland (@rgesthuizen), for organising ICTEV TeachMeet @[The Pub}. I’m not sure what I enjoy the most – the social part or the exchange of expertise – but fortunately we can have both. Seriously, if people get together in their free time on the weekend in the name of education and learning, I think that says something about the event.

If you take a look at the line-up of 2- and 7-minute presentations, you’ll see a variety of educational foci including Lauren Sayer’s (@lilylauren) project-based learning revolution at The Royal Children’s Hospital, Jenny Ashby’s (@jjash) 24-hour skype fest, Heather Bailie’s (@hbailie) chat about the Red Cross initiative, Disaster Resilience education, and much more. Do take a look, and think about coming to the next TeachMeet. You don’t have to present, and you’ll meet people who are passionate about education and work in different fields. Thank you to all the organisers, and it was good to see friends and familiar faces again, as well as new people.

Anyway, for what it’s worth, here is the visual presentation part of my 7-minute talk. It’s about using Pinterest as an awesome image resource, and I show how I’ve used it to curate images for Visual Communication Design. I’m thinking of presenting a longer version at some point with a cross-curricular focus. Hopefully the pictures will make some sense without the spoken part.

(For some reason I can’t seem to embed the Google Presentation doc, so it will have to be a link for now)

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/14Ab22j2yRT4vLkpe_pz61_uQtugYd1z8GwYrf9UW21c/pub?start=false&loop=false&delayms=3000

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Seeing things in a new way. Suddenly we are all librarians

Photo source thanks to John

Much has been said about Pinterest. Has it? I’m sure it has. Like other forms of social media, you can always find a broad range in terms of quality. It’s so easy to use and it looks great.  In case you haven’t checked it out, Pinterest allows you to easily ‘pin’ pictures (and videos) to a board. Unlike Scoop.it, you can collect any number of boards which can be named and renamed, and which look great at a glance. So easy to find stuff. Of course, I have too many boards but, hey – many people have even more. But wait! there’s more. As with any form of social media, the best part is finding people and following them, repinning what they’ve collected, and finding more awesome people and resources by looking through whom they follow. But a word of warning – it’s addictive. I mean seriously addictive, particularly if you have a weakness for the visual as I do. Do not, do not, start browsing late at night because you might not get much sleep.

Social media platforms like Scoop.it and Pinterest have given a new look to the curation of resources. Visual layouts are engaging and easy to scan for what you need. The key word is sharing – love it! As a teacher librarian, I’m a finder of sorts, and so these networks are invaluable for me. And enjoyable. My job is to fossick and mine for the jewels amongst an overabundance of mediocre or irrelevant resources, and Pinterest makes it easy to do that.

No longer can librarians boast about their classification skills. So many people are willingly spending enormous amounts of time finding, selecting and classifying images and videos into Pinterest boards for the picking.

Recently I’ve been focusing on images to support the teaching and learning of the Visual Arts, and more specifically, VCE Visual Communication Design. I’ve spent an obscene amount of time doing this so, as a form of justification, I’d like to share these with you. Eventually my goal is to nicely embed these into a Libguide or two but in the meantime I’ll share the links. I’ve chosen people who are experts in the Visual Arts. Some of these are teachers but most work within the field.  My selections are only some of what these people have shared.

Toshio Miyake (graphic designer)
Kent Loven

Marc Sublet (graphic designer)

U Soma (design, branding, communication)

Marcus Hay (Director of Creativity, Styling and Interiors)

Steven Vandenplas (graphic designer)

Dubbu (design, film, collage)

Seeke (illustration, typography, art)

silja p (designer)

Hege Vestbo Saetre (design)

Chris Dangtran (design, typography, photography, products)

Ben Serbutt (designer, art director, illustrator, typography)

Ya-Ting Maggie Kuo (design, infographics, typography)

Johnson Yung (mixed media, abstract, photography, animation)

Joao Henriques (typography, design, packaging, infographics)

(collage, photography, design)

Masayuki Nakazawa (director of photography, Tokyo)

Maja Moden (Swedish illustrator)

Folkert Hengeveld (Creative Director at Amsterdam based design firm Formlab)

DOMO-A (graphic design, typography)

Rhian Edwards (graphic design)

Jorge Heilbron (design)

Kazuya Arakawa (graphic design, typography)

Ale casinelli (graphic design)

Zachi Diner (designer)

Frederic Chollet (photography)

Silja p (designer)

Emma Fexeus (designer)

Design Boom – home of design, architecture and art culture

Sayuri Maeda (graphic design)

Galen Lowe (graphic design, architecture, photography)

Robert Melotte (Urban Photographer. Architecture and photography, abstraction of graphic architecture. Melbourne-based)

Maria Rufus (graphic design)

Fernando Baeza Ponsoda (architecture)

Archibald Woo (architect)

Griffen Lim (graphics, architecture, interiors) Melbourne-based

Fosco Lucarelli (architecture, design)

MoMA Design Store

Ryutaro Kishi (graphic design, product design, fashion, photography, typography)

Architizer (everything architecture and design)

Arslog (Contemporary Art, Science, Technology)

Emanuela Marcu (a bit of everything)

Astrid Trobro (art director and web designer)

Paul Waltz (architect, sustainable initiatives)

Ginny Christensen (Director of Digital Arts, California)

Sylvie Wibaut (illustration, photography, graphics, furniture)

Janna Gougeon  (Line, pattern, symmetry)

Doris Cook (photography, mixed media, illustration, diagrams, graphic design, street art and more)

Lelle Laflamme

David Schultz (creative director)

Natalie Lowry (graphic design student)

Art teachers on Pinterest –

Donald Peters

Patricia Schappler (drawing in different media, printmaking and so many more)

Youtube on the Arts (Pinterest board)

Some of the design styles I’ve been looking for (so many people have these categories)

Art Deco
More Art Deco

Art Nouveau

Digital art

Typography by Japanese art director and graphic designer “c ktnon”

There are so many more resources on Pinterest to inspire, and to support teaching and learning in different areas. Here are my Diigo bookmarks for a start, but go ahead and search for your own area of interest.

Concerned about copyright and Pinterest’s terms of service? Here is an article I posted earlier. Who is still unhappy with Pinterest’s terms of service? I’d be interested in hearing from you.

I’ve shared my Pinterest boards before but here they are again.

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Google Image Search revealed (and a dilemma)

This week I created a presentation for Yr 8 Indonesian students who were in the process of researching and collecting images for their Indonesian Island project. Most of them were creating a Photostory or similar in Video Studio, and this was a good opportunity for a Google Search show and tell. Although googling is something students do naturally and frequently, experience tells me that most wouldn’t have lingered on the search page long enough to check out the options in the left hand navigation.

I put this presentation together very quickly and used ‘Sumatra’ as the keyword demonstrating the different possibilities for website and image search. Here is the link.

The screenshots I included as examples of different searches made it clear that Google offers much more than the basic search. Compare what you would see if you did a basic Google image search (shown below)

I do feel somewhat torn between getting excited about undiscovered aspects of Google Image Search and the fact that the images are not searchable by Creative Commons licence. I wonder if Google would surrender to pressure and provide free-to-use images along with their search options. Judy O’Connell has written about this issue in her excellent post, Stop turning a blind eye! Media literacy in action.

So, although I still showed students the wonders of Google searching, I did introduce the issue of Copyright and ethical use of others’ information and images to the boys, and showed them Google’s Advanced Search using the ‘labeled for reuse’ option.

 

Although my conscience was barely appeased, I continued with the presentation, starting with the colour options. Green, for example, for ‘Sumatra’ –

Orange…

Here’s an opportunity to engage students in a discussion about why a certain search option would be helpful. Why would we want to use a ‘face’ search? Perhaps if we searched for a person whose name retrieved irrelevant results, then ‘face’ would push photos of people to the top. The ‘orange’ search pushed a whole new range of results which you might not have seen otherwise. In terms of colour design, this option is brilliant too. The black-and-white and photo options often retrieve older photos, so again, the results are different, possibly useful for a historical perspective. The line drawing option looks good for primary level.

One of the best image search options, in my opinion, is Google’s Sites with Images search. I’m sure students overlook this one, and it makes such a difference to the way you can use results. You have a clear window into which websites these images are coming from so you can evaluate the website before you click on the images. This is another important aspect of search which is worth teaching because it involves the thinking and evaluation process.

How much easier is it to sort through image results when they are categorised for you! Searching by subject is just as good –

And finding similar images couldn’t be easier – just hover over an image to find similar images or more sizes.

The LIFE photo archive hosted by Google  is a wonderful collection of “newly-digitized images which includes photos and etchings produced and owned by LIFE dating all the way back to the 1750s. Only a very small percentage of these images have ever been published. The rest have been sitting in dusty archives in the form of negatives, slides, glass plates, etchings, and prints.” A fantastic opportunity to find images you wouldn’t normally see, and excellent for history.

At this point I left the Google Image Search and featured a few of my favourite Google search options, starting with Wonderwheel. For students who interpret results better when presented in a visual way (that includes me), Wonderwheel is the way to go. It’s the brainstorming search option, providing you with different aspects of the original keyword. You simply click through all the suggested keywords to get to the precise one you need.

 

Wonderwheel even reminds you of aspects you may have overlooked.

For latest news and current results Past 24 hours search is brilliant –

I also pointed out to students the Reading Level search option which divided results into Basic, Intermediate and Advanced. The basic search results shouldn’t be overlooked by secondary students. I explained to the class that if they wanted a quick overview of their topic, the basic search result was very useful.

One of the most impressive of the searches is Google Timeline Search. Here you get a graphic representation of results for your keyword over time. If you see a peaking of results in a particular year, your curiosity will have you clicking and drilling down until you have zoomed into the results for that period of time. So much fun.

Finally I took the students into the Google Labs where creative play turns to new and exciting options, and showed them Google Squared Labs.

For easy reading and overview of facts and figures, Google Squared Labs does a great job of presenting the information in spreadsheet style. Although I haven’t had success with all my searches, it’s definitely worth trying for factual results.

Finally, I showed the students a few of my favourite visual search options, including Tag Galaxy (which never fails to impress),  Behold which finds free-to-use images, and Spell with Flickr for headings. Of course, there are so many more options for image search, even for Creative Commons images, and some of them are here.

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Filed under Copyright, Search

Are we Copyright Cops?

I saw this film on Tom Barrett’s blog post. It’s a powerful film about young people’s behaviour on the web and the extreme reaction of the law as they succumb to ‘stealing’ that which is to easy to take.

Not so long ago information wasn’t as accessible and tantalising as it is now. You only had one identity (unless you were a celebrity). Now people, predominantly young people, enjoy and possibly cultivate an online identity which may or may not be identical to their face-to-face identity. They enjoy audience most of the time through mobile technologies. Even when their blog posts claim that they are alone in their despair and will not be heard by anyone, they are generally enjoying the thought of being ‘read’ by their ‘friends’.

It’s an exciting time with the possibility of connecting with so many instantly, the possibility of finding so much information, viewing and copying so many images, so much music. It can be a confusing time, not knowing if something is true (as sometimes occurs with news on Twitter) or if it has been played with.

As educators we should try to understand the online existence from the inside, and from that perspective proceed with instruction and guidance so that young people approach that part of their life as wisely as we would hope they approach any part of their life. We should not overdramatise, not use fear-mongering, not pull them back. There is so much to be enjoyed, so much creativity possible. This needs to be tempered by an informed knowledge of how to use and share information, images and music responsibly and legally. So much is shared through Creative Commons, and it is a very good idea to attribute everything; it’s just manners.

I like the fact that this film is open source, and that it encourages people to remix and take a personal spin on what’s available.

It’s an exciting time. Let’s be open to it, be informed and respectful of each other. As educators let’s support young people in a world that doesn’t stand still, let’s not police them inappropriately.

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We live in a visual world

I’m hooked on pictures, as some of you may know. And since I haven’t shared for a while, I thought I’d throw in a few examples of the visual delights I’ve been discovering. Some of these go into my art blog for student inspiration and others are just chucked into Diigo.

I fell in love with this animation a little while ago.

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The Tadpole
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So much to love in this animation – the soft, translucent colours, the textures, the attention to detail and sense of wonder.

And how amazing is this paper art by Alexander Korzer-Robinson whose art focuses on the notion of the ‘inner landscape’.

The cut book art has been made by working through the books, page by page, cutting around some of the illustrations while removing others. The images seen in the finished work, are left standing in the place where they would appear in the complete book.

There’s something about Sea Hyun Lee’s red landscapes that I can’t define. That’s why you should read this analysis here.

Corinne Vionnet is the creator of a series of photographic works entitled “Photo Opportunities”, from hundreds of snapshots of tourist locations found on the Internet. By collecting and then bringing together successive layers of around a hundred similar “photo souvenirs”, these images conjure up questions about representation and memory of places.

I love the ethereal impression created by these dreamy versions of  cliched tourist landscapes.

Matatoro is directed by Mauro CarraroRaphaël Calamote, and Jérémy Pasquet.  Motionographer has a fascinating post with an interview with the film makers on the process of the making of the film.

Watch the film on Vimeo. You will not regret it; it’s brilliant.

You can see the rest of the pictures in mapolito’s Flickr photostream.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. If you have any art/illustration/animation/film blogs you would recommend, please share.

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Five Card Flickr – what a great lesson

Teaching is such an up and down thing. I always hesitate to say ‘teaching’ because I’m a teacher librarian, and we don’t teach the same way teachers teach. Our role is so diverse, and we are sometimes seen in the classroom and other times seen at our computers, madly reading or researching and creating stuff for teachers and students. But teachers we are, so it’s teaching that we do.

Anyway, as I was saying, I think most teachers would agree that during a typical school week it’s common to experience ups and downs, and sometimes so many of these that you just want out.

This week just past was one such week. Most of the time it seemed that it would just be a downward roll but somehow the last lesson of the week was so enjoyable that it redeemed the rest.

Sometimes simple things can work so well. So it was when I joined a teacher and his Year 9 English class to give Five Card Flickr a go. It’s one of the writing  prompts in my new blog called Storyteller. It seemed simple, we both decided to give it a go. Secretly I thought it might bomb since this was the last period of the week, and after all, these were Year 9 boys.

But lo and behold! it was a success! After a brief explanation the boys were bent over their laptops typing away. And they kept typing! Now I have to explain that our lessons are over an hour long so I thought there was no way that this activity would take up the rest of the period. But it did! There’s something heart-warming when you see a room full of 14-15 year olds engrossed in something at school.

So what’s Five Card Flickr? Simple: you go to the website and you’re presented with five photos pulled from Flickr – so they’re photos people have shared. Real people, and you can check out a little about these people because their usernames are hyperlinked to their Flickr page. So you can have a look at what else they have been  photographing.

Ok, so out of these five photos, you choose one, and as soon as you click on it, a new set of 5 photos appear, and so it goes until you have 5 photos which you’ve chosen for your piece of writing. Then you add your username, a title for your story and write it directly into the box provided. You save and then it’s added to a gallery, and you can also share it as a permanent link.

Photo courtesy of Nicholas Valbusa on Flickr

As soon as the boys started writing, they peered across to the student next to them to see what they were writing. Mr T. was also writing a story and his was projected onto the screen, and it was cool to see it evolve as a process along with the editing. After they’d written their first story, the boys were curious to read everyone’s contribution in the gallery. And that’s the whole point of this kind of technology – to open up to the group; kids like the social aspect of writing. They like to compare and have a laugh at each other’s stories. The sharing becomes the most important, most satisfying part of the experience. Compare that to writing something for the teacher full stop.

I think they were also chuffed to see their stories on the Web; they liked the fact that other people – people they didn’t know – would read them. I think it made them feel like mini celebrities. Never know who will read your stuff.

Five Card Flickr could be used in so many ways – in English class, ESL, foreign language. You could allow any kind of written response – we said write whatever. So they could write a poem, prose, a song, first person, third person, etc. After the first one we decided to specify genre, so they had to write a horror story. There are as many possibilities here as your imagination allows.

Pictures are such a good prompt for writing, and Five Card Flickr is a winner. You should try it.

Here are some of our boys’ responses:

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Filed under 21st century learning, flickr, Web 2.0, writing