Tag Archives: photos

What’s a stereogranimator?

What’s a stereogranimator  you ask? Well, I used it to make this 3D animated gif with photos from the archives of the New York Public Library.

GIF made with the NYPL Labs Stereogranimator - view more at http://stereo.nypl.org/gallery/index
GIF made with the NYPL Labs Stereogranimator

The instructions are sparse so I’m not sure if my picture is supposed to vibrate so violently – but what a concept! I read about this on the iLibrarian website –

The NYPL’s Stereogranimator lets users create and share animated GIFs and 3D anaglyphs using more than 40,000 stereographs. Users can browse through the NYPL’s collection of dual photos and then combine them to make a 3D image. This project was inspired by Joshua Heineman’s project that he started four years ago. The San Francisco-based artist was using the NYPL’s collection of stereographs to create animated gif images for his Cursive Buildingssite. His project went viral and the Library took notice and began collaborating with him to create the Stereogranimator.

Go ahead, make one yourself.

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I go away for 3 weeks and what happens… Still, I’m nonplussed ;)

A little over a week ago, my family and I (husband and two sons) travelled overseas for a very full 3 weeks. My husband and I haven’t been overseas since the early 1980s and neither of my sons have been out of Australia at all. We were probably a little too ambitious to cover so much ground in such a short time, but it’s difficult to decide between staying longer in places and getting to see more. The itinerary included Berlin, Prague, Padova, Verona, Milan, Moscow and Singapore, and when you consider how much of the 3 weeks is taken up travelling, it’s really only a couple of days in each city. If I did it again, I’d definitely go in milder weather – the heat and humidity was taxing – but with a son in Year 11, we didn’t really have any choice. And at the end of the day, we were very lucky that everything went smoothly, and now we have the memories and photos to savour.

So, I go away for 3 weeks and suddenly everyone has jumped onto a new social networking planet – Google+. Once I’m back, I have every intention of catching up but the effects of jetlag prevent me from comprehending anything. So, after a week of mental obscurity, I finally accept an invitation and go in to have a look around.

Did I expect to forgo the linguistic oddities in this new social network? No. So I come in, and people are huddling, creating circles, doing ‘hangouts’, sparking conversations. It all sounds very social and I’m interested in having a play so I can compare it to what happens on Twitter and Facebook. I’m not sure that Google+ works as a name, what with the ‘+’ symbol at the end which renders any punctuation after that ridiculous. Of course, I’m aware that Google+ is not a new, isolated product, but an extension of Google itself, a social extension so the name does make sense from that perspective.

I like the idea that Google is trying to create a one-stop shop for people already using Google, and the extensions make sense for people like me who already use gmail, Google docs, Google presentations, Google calendar, etc. And I’ve read that Google is trying to make our online connections more like real life.

Creating Circles of people in your life is the first step. I agree with Google that having different circles for friends and colleagues is a plus. Currently on Facebook I’m cutting back on the professional sharing because I’m aware that my non-teaching friends will find my posts annoying if they’re on Facebook to share photos and everyday things. So Circles makes a lot of sense. Also the idea of selective sharing sounds good; I’m not sure how to do that on Facebook except through messages and that doesn’t include the sharing of photos, does it?

 Circles makes it easy to put your friends from Saturday night in one circle, your parents in another, and your boss in a circle by himself, just like real life.

I like the fact you can drag and drop people into circles but I’m already suspecting that I may have created too many categories and will confuse myself. In terms of how many people you have in your circles, the recommendation is to have heaps for breadth, and I do that already with Twitter, so I’m okay with doing the same here. Although I’m not sure whether I’ll end up keeping up Google+ and Twitter AND Facebook – too many networks. I think many people feel the same, and I’ll be giving Google+ a longer trial period before I decide to delete any previous networks.

Sparks is also an interesting concept.

Remember when your Grandpa used to cut articles out of the paper and send them to you? That was nice. That’s kind of what Sparks does: looks for videos and articles it thinks you’ll like, so when you’re free, there’s always something to watch, read, and share. Grandpa would approve.

In fact, my mother still cuts things out of the newspaper for me and my sons, and I don’t have the heart to tell her we can read everything online. Still, the idea of sharing interesting information is a good one. I’ve organised my Facebook groups in a similar way so that organisations I’m interested in send me updates of interest, saving me the trouble of going out and looking for them.

I’ve yet to be involved in a hangout but I imagine if I enjoy webinars I might enjoy the opportunity to come together for an informal chat with friends. Let me know if you’re organising one of those.

Bumping into friends while you’re out and about is one of the best parts of going out and about. With Hangouts, the unplanned meet-up comes to the web for the first time. Let buddies know you’re hanging out and see who drops by for a face-to-face-to-face chat. Until we perfect teleportation, it’s the next best thing.

And the group chat sounds like a fantastic idea so I can’t wait to try out huddle.

Texting is great, but not when you’re trying to get six different people to decide on a movie. Huddle takes care of it by turning all those different conversations into one simple group chat, so everyone gets on the same page long before thumbs get sore.

Instant photo upload I don’t get at all yet. Photos uploading themselves makes me nervous – what does that exactly mean? And the video doesn’t make it any clearer so I’ll have to do a bit of research there.

This post is already too long so I won’t elaborate any longer. If Google+ is a way to manage online your real life and real life friends, then I’d better go back to real life. Bye.

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Learning: that’s how we live

Learning is not something that can be captured, predicted or assumed. It doesn’t fit neatly in a table, it’s not defined accurately in a chart, a survey, it doesn’t happen the same way for you as it does for me.

We try to prove that we understand it, control it by conducting research, analysing results, following assessment rubrics, but we should just keep our eyes open and watch. It’s happening around us, at breakfast, in the classroom, the playground, during the holidays, on the bus, and even as we sleep.

Sometimes, as educators, we think that we haven’t influenced the learning process in any of our students (or even our colleagues). We may have been too impatient, too hasty in making that assumption. Evidence of learning can surprise you at the most unexpected times.

I have to admit I wasn’t thrilled to return to school after many weeks of holiday, but it had to happen. Last year I was very happy to join forces with a dear friend, teacher of English, who was brave enough to weather the uncertainties and hazards of ning learning. We tested the Web 2.0 waters together, and made learning interactive with real-life connections and conversation for our students. It seemed that this kind of teaching and learning was not going to catch on fast.

In the first couple of days at school this year, to my delight, several teachers have approached me to help them create a ning, blog or wiki for their class. I’m stoked. I hope that this year will be as fulfilling for them and their students as it has been for me in my own participation in learning communities online: learning from each other wherever we are.

One (or even two) of our classes will be participating in a photo blog project with Marie Coleman in Florida, USA, and Sinikka Laakio-Whybrow. Inspired by our own experiences in the Flickr 365 day photo challenge (and similar projects) – and this is how we met – we wanted to try this out in the classroom. With a weekly theme for photos, we hope that students will enjoy learning from each other,, and that literacy development will naturally spring from curiosity and an exchange of cultures.

A seemingly simple task, posting a photo and writing about it, can actually be a higher order exercise. Marie’s and Sinikka’s posts attest to the depth of thought which can be achieved.

Sinikka’s post:

Today’s Daily Shoot also became the theme of my 365 photo:

“Let’s have some fun on a Friday. Make a photo that goes with the title (or lyrics) of a song. Interpret away!”

Another ordinary day at school, in the familiar red-brick environment. I am thinking what is the state and purpose of education today. I’m sure many students would still sign Pink Floyd’s message of not needing any education from back in 1979. At least not the same old, numbing and repetitive, factory style.

Aren’t schools still too often working like the meat grinder in the brilliant Gerald Scarfe animation of the song where kids are dropped only to spew out uniform minced meat at the other end? Is there any space for individual thinking, learning methods and goals, or chances for each individual to realize their full potential? Why does it seem that the spark, the passion, the joy and creativity are all buried and forgotten inside these walls? Can our students, in their bright pink and red coats, be themselves, and not just other bricks in the wall?

By the way, there is a Finnish expression ‘counting the ends of bricks’, meaning to serve a prison sentence. Sometimes, for me as a teacher, the brick school seems prison-like, too. There are too many outside pressures, constrictions, national assessments and rigid attitudes, which tie my hands.

Marie’s post:

While keeping an eye out for right angles (today’s @dailyshoot assignment), it became apparent that there were a large number of examples in ‘man-made’ structures. On the other hand, there were fewer (or perhaps less obvious) instances in nature and humankind.

Though there is an expectation of support from the angled structures, this cobweb’s network may exemplify the ‘real world’ much more accurately! It certainly reflects the ‘hyperlinked’ nature of today’s youth in their learning and in the interconnectivity of the Internet and all of its tendrils. The web is also much more appealing to the eye, but where would it be without the support and structure of the foundational right angles – guess we need the synergistic relationship of both!

I think these examples illustrate the depth of thinking and fluency of writing which can result from a single image selected to address criteria which still allows choice.

One more thing…

The learning that springs from passion is a wonderful thing. My elder son, who has never studied photography or even art (as an elective) at school, has recently discovered a love of photography, and is learning on the fly. He has joined Flickr groups, and has challenged himself to a daily photo blog. Just last week, he was approached by Zulya and the Children of the Underground for a photo shoot for their next album!

I’m holding onto these examples of learning in the hope of making a difference to student engagement with learning, not for grades, but for life.

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Filed under 21st century learning, learning, networking, photos, teachers, teaching, technology, Web 2.0

More great quotes about learning and change

Originally uploaded by colemama

I’m spending more and more time on Flickr. It’s a rich resource in terms of creativity and content. I wanted to remind you about the Group Great quotes about learning and change.  I’ve mentioned it before, so forgive me, but I think it’s worth featuring again.

greatquotes

 Contributors to this group add photos with quotations about 21st century education. I like the succinct way quotations express multiple ideas and concepts, but coupled with an apt image they are even more effective. These can be used as posters to stimulate thinking, to promote discussion or even to remind yourself daily of what’s worth thinking about.

Top contributors currently are Dean Shareski, Scott McLeod, Darren Kuropatwa, Langwitches and Darren Draper.

There are other people who are using images for conceptual purposes on flickr. I stumbled across a few today. Amongst these was Costel Mago who uses beautiful photos to support his insights.

Here’s one of his that resounds with me:

All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast.

pidgeons

Personally, I find that I’m turning to images more and more for a powerful and succinct way to express ideas. Flickr is a well of shared thoughts and ideas, as well as images. Dont’ underestimate what you will find there. Find the message in the picture.

I’ve been finding so much that’s valuable to my personal and educational life on Flickr lately; I think I’ll write another post about what I’ve found for learning and teaching in Art. See you next post.

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Filed under 21st century learning, flickr, networking, photos, Web 2.0

Random facts I learned from Flickr today

They may be random, but I’m still learning.

Flickr is fun to browse, but more and more, I’m discovering Flickr to be an interesting way to learn. The photos take me into places I’ve never been, to things I normally wouldn’t see, often providing interesting background information.

Here are a few random things I learned from Flickr photos today

This photo was taken in Russia by seriykotik1970

russianbuilding

An art nouveau building near my office that was gutted by fire last week. Sadly it’ll now probably be demolished and ‘rebuilt’. In Moscow fires of this sort are often started deliberately by unscrupulous developers.
Designed by Lev Kekushev in about 1910.
Photographed in 2007

Turkish roosters are very colourful

turkishcock1

turkishcock2

Smarthistory is a group on Flickr which complements the website smarthistory.org. The purpose of this website and Flickr group is to enhance or replace the traditional art history textbook.

For example, you can learn about Matisse’s Red Studio from a short video using Flickr pictures of art collected by group members. 

Redstudiomatisse

If you read About Smarthistory, you will understand the motive behind the creation of this website and Flickr group:  

We are dissatisfied with the large expensive art history textbook. We find that they are difficult for many students, contain too many images, and just are not particularly engaging. In addition, we find the web resources developed by publishers to be woefully uncreative. We had developed quite a bit of content for our online Western art history courses and we had also created many podcasts, and a few screencasts for our Smarthistory blog. So, it finally occurred to us, why not use the personal voice that we use when we teach online, along with the multimedia we had already created for our blog and for our courses, to create a more engaging “web-book” that could be used in conjunction with art history survey courses. We also realized that this content would be useful to museum visitors and other informal learners. We are committed to joining the growing number of teachers who make their content freely available on the web.

Smarthistory is an excellent example of what can be done to create high-quality, free educational resources through collaboration. You’ll understand the scope of this project when you look at the site map which provides a hyperlinked timeline of art history. I also like to check out the discussion in groups.

The best thing about learning on Flickr is that you don’t expect to.  That’s why it’s so enjoyable.

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Eric Gjerde – Origami tessellations

twist

Still continuously amazed at what I find on Flickr. I used to think it was where people shared photos of their family, sunsets and the such, but I realise that its potential is far greater. It’s such a rich store of images, ideas, creativity.

Today I’m not feeling well, and so I’ve been living on the couch. No concentration for reading so I thought I’d browse flickr images.

Every discovery is like Christmas. Eric Gjarde is my discovery for today. On his Flickr profile, Eric describes himself as a geek.

I’m a massive geek. As with most geeks, I’m fascinated by all things technological; it’s what I do for a living, as well as a hobby (and obsession?)

What I really respect Eric for (apart from his awesome folding skills) is his willingness to share his knowledge and creativity about his specialty.

So while I enjoy folding all kinds of things, I’ve just been posting items which I have created myself. all of the items I post to flickr are independently created/invented/dreamed up by me, unless otherwise stated.

It’s a big deal for me, as I really dislike the lack of information sharing in the origami world- I want to bring some of the open-source style sharing to them, preferably via the Creative Commons licensing ideals. I’ve made some headway on that front by releasing diagrams and crease patterns under a CC license, available on my website – it’s located at www.origamitessellations.com.

Looking through Eric’s Flickr profile, I found the Flickr groups he has joined. Always good to see what else people are following.

Take a look at what Eric does when he’s not folding paper – it’s a mosaic film.

His origami sets are extensive and brilliant.

origamisets

Browsing through Eric’s other, non-origami, sets, I came across his mosaic set. If you have a look, you’ll be impressed with his mosaic tile photos. One of the best things about flickr is the possibility for conversation. And so, following this mosaic set, Eric answers questions about how he was able to make the mosaics, and offers links to further information. Fantastic.

mosaicphotoclose

Still discovering, and this time Eric’s comments led me to The digital library for the decorative arts and material culture. Anyone interested in the history of design and ornament for different cultures will love this.

Who said Flickr was just a bunch of pictures? I’m going to try and showcase Flickr and its educational uses at school.

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Filed under art, creativity, Education, flickr, Interesting, photos, Remarkable, technology, Web 2.0

Flickr – take a closer look

I use Flickr to upload my photos, when I need images, and to share photos and the stories behind these photos in groups.

Today I went for a walk around other parts of Flickr. Here’s what I saw.

I scrolled down to the bottom of the Flickr homepage and clicked on ‘Explore’. Here’s what I found.

This photo is from M_Jose’s photostream, and comes with a caption:

Sometimes (always), we “need” (no must) to stop and look inside (it is an option not an obligation)

Flickr explains the ‘explore’ option:

Flickr labs have been hard at work creating a way to show you some of the most awesome content on Flickr.

We like to call it interestingness.

What’s ‘interestingness’?

There are lots of elements that make something ‘interesting’ (or not) on Flickr. Where the clickthroughs are coming from; who comments on it and when; who marks it as a favorite; its tags and many more things which are constantly changing. Interestingness changes over time, as more and more fantastic content and stories are added to Flickr.

To explore, you can choose a month of selected flickr photos; here’s an example:

calendarflickr

When you click on one of these photos, you get to see more interesting photos for this day

jan1calendar2

 

You can also explore many geo-tagged photos, for example, I chose Manchu Pichu, Peru

geotagged

I picked Machu Picchu terraces from Stut’s photostream

An amazing photo of extraordinary detail. The rest of the photostream turned out to be just as impressive. Some people are very talented, not to mention lucky to be able to travel.

There are tutorials on how to explore, how to geotag your own photostream, or you can do a location search on geotagged photos.

Why not explore the map of the world? I entered ‘mosaic’ in the search box of the map of the world and got this

mosaicworldmap1

Great find for art classes! There were so many interesting results. Here’s one of them:

It’s from Nir Toba’s photostream. Fascinating to read about the photo.

All the photos in one layout.
It took about 15 hours, in 2 sessions, and every letter had about
30-50 takes until i got i right (and lot’s of gasoline!).

This is a part of my portfolio for graphic design school,
& if you we’re wondering: yes, these are real photos, not photoshop… 🙂

I also looked at the church of St George, Oplenac, Serbia by Katarina 2353

Interesting to note that the photo belongs to several photo sets that are also worth exploring (it never stops!): Serbia(Belgrade), religion and mythology, Balkans, and architecture. I love the information that’s included with the photo:

The church of St. George and the mausoleum of the Karađorđević dynasty was built at the top of Mali Oplenac (Little Oplenac). King Petar I decided to build a church and a mausoleum for both his ancestors and descendants to fulfil a wish of his parents buried in Vienna.
The church is covered with white marble from nearby Venčac mine. Interior is covered in mosaics, with more than 6 million pieces.

What’s also interesting is the interpretation of ‘mosaic’. This lends itself easily to various possibilities in art or English lessons. Compare the previous images for ‘mosaic’ to this one by Lucy Nieto

This belongs to a set ‘mosaicos de fotos’ which is an amazing page of colour and design

mosaicosdefotos

Here’s yet another interpretation of ‘mosaic’ by Katarina 2353

I could go on forever, but the trouble with that would be that forever is a very long time. And the Flickr site is always changing. Every time I reload a page, a different photo is showing. I think the post is getting too long, so I’ll hurry up my last observations. Other ways of exploring include popular tags, flickr blog, most recent uploads, and more. The camera finder  page checks out the most popular brands of cameras used.

camerafinder1

Why not look at the sitemap to get a comprehensive view of what’s out there. I know that I haven’t explored every aspect of Flickr, but I’m tired now, so I’ll leave the rest of the exploration to you.

Don’t forget to let me know what you find.

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Filed under art, creativity, flickr, photos, teaching, Web 2.0