Tag Archives: Web2.0

Kissing, the pavement and squashing heads on Flickr

I think I’m in Flickr phase. I’ve had my Blue Period, and now I’m in the middle of my Flickr Period.

Today’s obsession will focus on Groups. There are so many interesting, sometimes strange, and varied groups on Flickr. I’ll give you some examples:

Beautiful Kiss

The pavement

Photo by splintered

Prints of darkness  A place where darkness comes to light, a place for smart photos that aren’t too bright…

Photo by Prudencebrown121
Vanishing beauty  As my father would say, “old things, falling down”

Photo by suspiciousminds
In numerical order  In Numerical Order, photographs are posted to the Group in numerical order.

Photo by vin60
Film noir mood  ;

Photo by Sanchi Saez Agurto

I crush your head “Inspired by Kids in the Hall, these will be pix where you take your fingers and squish the head of someone else.”

Photo by Jeff the Trojan

Social documentary photography A place for professional documentary photographers to discuss emerging technology, marketing and the impossible act of making a living through photography.

Photo by Andrew.David
Visit the world travel guide

Photo by Quejaytee

Gossamer glimpse  “this group is intended to showcase photos of (and through) transparent stuff. delicate fabrics, screens, dirty windows and other such veils will ideally fill our photos’ frames.”

Photo by ratsbeyfus
The secret life of plants 

Photo by Sammie Lynne

Graves, tombs and cemeteries

Photo by njpara31

Flickr fan art   “or any kind of artwork featuring the letters ‘F-L-I-C-K-R'”

Photo by alleluja

Macro photography

Photo by jamesdunbar42

Rural decay  Rural Decay, Pictures of Barns, Silos, Farms and other Rural buildings decaying.

Photo by Mattreynolds

Green is beautiful   

Photo by Peter Hajas

Tell a story in 5 frames

Photo by Robx

Colour and colours 

Photo by edi.peck

Whatever the weather  picures of cloud formations, weather patterns, rough seas, etc.

Photo by johnstravel

Altered signs 

Photo by _kriebel_

Apart from wasting (no! it’s not wasting; but it does eat up time) on these quirky little groups, I do believe that a little ingenuity in conjunction with these groups will lead to some interesting classroom projects.

Some of them leap out –  Tell a story in 5 frames

There’s no need for me to spell out the possibilities for an enjoyable project involving choice, creativity, visual literacy, storytelling skills, etc.

What about Rural decay  or Flickr fan art for art students?

Lots of photography ideas for sure. And don’t disregard the quirky ones, eg.

In numerical order and I crush your head.

There are many more groups and definitely many more ideas to be gleaned from these groups. What are your ideas?

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Filed under 21st century learning, art, creativity, Education, flickr, photos, technology, Web 2.0

Reading in the margins with others

goldennotebookproject

I’ve been involved in a discussion lately about different types of reading. Most people have agreed that reading a novel is very different to reading a website or anything else online. Some people think that deep thinking and understanding are becoming extinct since reading online has distracted a large part of the population. People are concerned that online reading is superficial, and that commenting revolves around less than challenging subject matter.

Well, today I discovered a very interesting project which combines serious literature with the trappings of online interaction. It’s called The Golden Notebook project.

Doris Lessing’s The golden notebook was digitised by HarperCollins. The book was allowed to be reproduced in digital form in its entirety without any cost.

Here is some information from the website:

What is this?
It’s an experiment in close-reading in which seven women are reading the book and conducting a conversation in the margins. The project went live on Monday 10 November 2008.

Why are you doing it?
It’s part of a long-term effort to encourage and enable a culture of collaborative learning.

What do you hope to learn?
We don’t yet understand how to model a complex conversation in the web’s two-dimensional environment and we’re hoping this experiment will help us learn some of what we need to do to make this sort of collaboration as successful as possible.

How come only the seven women can comment in the margins?
Good conversations are messy, non-linear and complicated. The comment area, a chronological scrolling field just isn’t robust enough to follow a conversation among an infinite number of participants. Seven may even be too many. [Note: the forums are open to everyone and we do hope that readers beyond the initial seven will join the fray there both as regards the text and the process. We really want to know what you think works and what doesn’t.

The seven women authors are profiled on the homepage. Towards the bottom of the page you can see recent comments, pages with the most comments, and recent discussions.

A reading schedule is included

We’ve developed a reading schedule; so for the next six weeks, you can follow along with the readers and discuss the same passages that they’re dissecting.

The blog, a collaborative one amongst the women, is fascinating. Here’s part of a post on reading by Nona Willis Aronowitz

For me, what is inspiring and magnificent about reading is the sense of communion with one single other human mind. No other artform, I think, is so direct, so unmediated, so simple. There’s no need for lighting, makeup artists, camera operators or directors. There’s no studio or network calling the shots. No orchestra or actors have to interpret the work. I don’t even have to be in the presence of the artist’s personal handiwork. A scattering of printed characters on a page or a screen and I am in the presence of another person’s creation.

Here’s a short section from Naomi Alderman’s post

A recent story in The NY Times asked if stories have a future. If we’re blogging, texting, doing rapid response communicating, who cares about the narrative, tortoise slow and painfully digressive? Naomi’s comment that she needs to come up for air now and then from TGN to overcome the characters’ depressive tendencies makes me wonder WHY DO WE READ? What do we get from books; what are we getting from Lessing? I have just moved from NY to Portland, Oregon with 140 book boxes, the collected treasures of a life spent in books. In each box I am finding approximately one book per 30 worth saving. Looking at them all with fresh west coast eyes, I’m not sure what these books have given me. I can tell you what they’ve taken away: an ability to live a good life OUTSIDE of books.

I’m thinking about the possibilities of a pared down project for students. How would this look?

Fascinating… fascinating….

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Filed under Literature

Confessions of an online junkie

In leaving a comment in a discussion about the balancing act between actual life and online life, I quoted Lauren O’Grady in her blogpost “Hyperconnection!! Arggh this changes everything.. for me anyway” where she talks about a time when a friend made her realise how much her hyperconnectedness was affecting her relationships with family and friends. She also talks about Ariel Meadow Stallings whose addiction to the internet you can read about in her blog. After going to a workshop about finding balance between technology and soul, Ariel decided to unplug one night a week for a year – and then blogged about it (as one does). Her blog includes a video of her 52 nights unplugged on the Today Show. Kind of ironic. Like compensating for internet abstinence by embedding the experience online. Online therapy, if you will.

I have to admit that, since plugging in, my life has also been undeniably affected. I go to bed later, am less fastidious about housework, rarely bake, read less fiction, and never answer the phone! And I’ve started to develop some disturbing habits; I find myself scuttling furtively from blog to Twitter to Facebook to gmail to internet, and so on. And at the end of the day (well, yes, it’s already the next day by then) I find it almost impossible to disconnect cleanly, at least not without a final few rounds of furtive scuttling. Now I ask you – should I be looking at therapy?

I could justify my dependence on being online by saying that there is so much online that is interesting and important for my professional and personal development, but then I would only be saying a half-truth. Not everything I read online is absolutely essential; there are too many tempting forks in the road, and not so much forks as capillaries branching out like fractals. That’s why the question of balance is, for me, an important one while I still have my husband with me, and while I can still get out of the chair. I know I have to do something about it, but I don’t know what. And if anyone says moderation, let me say that I know that I should only eat chocolate in moderation, but how??

Stephen Downes, in his Seven habits of highly connected people, suggests that we should stop wasting time in order to make way for meaningful online time. Surprisingly, he includes in his definition of time-wasting such things as reading and telephone conversations. I had to re-read the paragraph about ‘connection’ a few times to make sure he wasn’t being facetious. I don’t think he was. We should be careful with our definition of what is a waste of time. There are always unproductive periods or times that could be labelled as time-wasting. But these times are hardly insidious. They might be essential for germinating ideas. Creative people – artists, musicians and writers – are not being productive all the time. We all have our ‘down time’, and I’m certain that this is some sort of ‘pause’ mechanism which gives us the break we all need. A reflecting time, a processing time, a human time….

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Filed under internet, Web 2.0

Teachers today on Youtube – how do you rate?

Is the picture of teachers in this video fact or fiction?
Let’s have a look at some of ideas here.
Firstly, teachers today work in a world that is fast-paced and rapidly changing.
Do we realise this fully?

Teachers today work together to facilitate, innovate, coordinate, participate, investigate, advocate and illuminate.
How are you doing so far?

Teachers today may have limited autonomy, opportunities and resources…
Is that true? Does that make you feel uncomfortable?

but their possibilities are unlimited; they are leading, shaping, finding new approaches, new technologies and discoveries.
Sounds exciting.

Teachers today instil curiosity, extend possibilities, make connections, engage students, excite learners to solve problems of the new generation.
What are the problems of the new generation?

Teachers today overcome obstacles, embrace change, redefine education, are fluent in technological tools, are aware of global concerns.
This is a huge job and an amazing responsibility.

Teachers today are challenging students …
to find solutions;
to find their voices;
to change the world.

I’m interested to find out how teachers react to the messages in this video.

To quote a teacher recently:
‘Where does the academic fit into this?’

Isn’t it time we opened up our vision of what our role as teachers today is?

While you’re at it, have a look at Digital World: Kids today

Thanks to Judy O’Connell for putting me onto these videos.

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Filed under Education, teachers, Web 2.0

Why blogging is a selfish activity


This image compliments of Dean Shareski

One of the things that made me pause for thought during the PLP Kickoff yesterday, was when Will Richardson and Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach told us to participate in the NING environment just for ourselves for the time being.

I was talking to someone recently and we were discussing how blogging and participating in Web 2.0 applications is such a joy for educators because it’s feeding us. Teaching can be exhausting. Teachers are giving non-stop but not always replenishing their own supplies. The best part about learning through connected networks, Twitter, NINGs,etc. is that you get so much out of what others put out there. It’s the interconnectivity (long word for connection, I think) that is so good for you. And so much choice, you don’t know where to start. If you don’t refuel, you eventually stop.

We need to be selfish, that is, to feed ourselves as well as our students. To take time to read, think, discuss and wait before giving out. That’s not as selfish as it sounds. Fact is, when we’re bursting with ideas from meaningful interaction with others, people around us can’t fail to see this. Modelling Web 2.0 functioning is like sending sparks out.

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Filed under Education, Teacher librarians, teaching, Web 2.0

Animate your language lessons


This is a nifty little application I can imagine would make language learning fun.

Joe Dale (October 11) put me onto the Animate application for language learning on Jose Picardo’s blog

In the About section of his blog, Box of Tricks, Jose Picardo explains the role of technology in student learning:

Technology has been demonstrated to be a powerful motivator, helping to increase confidence and thereby encourage learning. Technology catalyses pupils’ interest, helping to establish an atmosphere conducive to learning and achieving.

Knowing how to make the most of the available technology is an essential skill for teachers to acquire in an age where pupils’ learning expectations are changing radically. Technology ensures that education remains relevant in our students’ increasingly digital lives.

Box of Tricks is full of great ideas for language teachers. Apart from ‘Animate your homework’ some of the many ideas include:

Using Animoto to promote speaking;
Podcasting in 5 easy steps;
Assessing with video: giving students control;
Edmodo: microblogging for the classroom;
Seeqpod: the easy way to take music to your classroom or blog;
Top 5 tips for creating resources for the interactive whiteboard;
Top 10 tips for using technology in your classroom;
Using Voki and a blog in a sequence of 3 lessons;
Wordle: using word clouds in a lesson;
Free comicstrip-creating website …. and much more!

Another great blog for language teachers is Nik Peachy’s Learning technology teacher development blog. Just have a look at his topics in the right-hand navigation. You’ll find exactly what you need for enjoyable and engaging language learning lessons, whether it’s a 5 minute fix or a new application you can add to your repertoire.

If you’re a language teacher and you think that you can’t use much technology in your lessons, think again!

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Filed under Education, humour, photos, play, Web 2.0

Super Google Earth and Maps

 

Google Maps and Google Earth have astounded us all with new possibilities in viewing the world, connecting our photos and stories to real locations. But, as the Read Write Web has pointed out, many of the top-down images have been unclear so far. All this is about to change as Google connects with GeoEye-1 to produce high-resolution images. Wired Science has posted the first Google/GeoEye image. Compare the new image to the one without GeoEye-1’s superior resolution.

Here’s some information on GeoEye-1:

GeoEye-1 is equipped with the most sophisticated technology ever used in a commercial satellite system. It offers unprecedented spatial resolution by simultaneously acquiring 0.41-meter panchromatic and 1.65-meter multispectral imagery. The detail and geospatial accuracy of GeoEye-1 imagery further expands applications for satellite imagery in every commercial and government market sector. To learn more about GeoEye’s collection and delivery capabilities, please visit our launch site.

Google is GeoEye-1’s second major partner after the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, a U.S. government agency that analyzes imagery in support of national security. The NGA will be retrieving GeoEye-1’s imagery at the maximum resolution of 43 centimetres, but government restrictions will limit Google’s images to a 50 centimetre resolution. Thanks to an exclusive partnership, Google will be the only online mapping site using GeoEye-1’s satellite photos.

As far as education goes, we’ve come a long, long way from the boring geography lessons, trying to connect the pale, coloured maps in our textbooks with real locations, mustering up enthusiasm for places we could only appreciate in fertile imaginations.

I’m happy to take advantage of Google Maps’ and Google Earth’s new and improved visual mapping – as long as they don’t come any closer to me.

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Filed under Education, photos, Remarkable, Web 2.0