Category Archives: Holy Multimodal Roundings

Writing Project Tech Pedagogy: Episode 14 (6/30/2016)

Often when you read tech pedagogy articles you get listicles. For example, you get “Top 10 Education Tech Blogs” or “The Best Ways to Use Padlet” or “7 Tools for Creating Classroom Blogs”.  All good stuff. Not complaining.  But I want to share how I am using tech not only in the classroom but professionally and personally.  What follows is one of those stories without lists.  And if you are open to it, you can annotate in the margins by going to this link which allows you to use Hypothes.is to comment on the sides.  I hope that conversation will be one part “director’s commentary” and reader’s zoo.

One of my favorite partners in creating is Kevin Hodgson.  In a recent post, “Resonation Points: Practicing Noticing and Connecting”, Kevin leapfrogged across a lily pad of ideas and spaces, distinctly non-listicle:

CLMOOC–>noticing–>Mary Ann Reilly’s  post “Love is a Story in Five Parts“–>using the app SUPER–>using the app Legend to pull out a notable quote from Wendy’s postcard project–>back to SUPER with a response to Anna via Melissa–>my shell game post–> a conclusion.

My name for these is ‘feldgangs’, field walks.  Imagine you personal learning network as a series of meadows with fervid hedgerow margins full of life and pastures, an ecosystem of nearly infinite complexity.  In a feldgang we pull out what we notice.  And what do we notice?  We don’t know until we go field walking. Or as Kevin says and I steal for a Pablo poster:

pablo (80)

I responded in Kevin’s comments:

Then I translated it into a poem

pablo (79)

Tech pedagogy has more to do with how you use your repertoire to make sense and create and share and reciprocate than it does with dazzling others with your technical capacity.  All of these tools are simple and derive from engaging with others online at the most basic level–text.  It all ripples out from there, from the comment and conversation and noticing what is happening on your feldgangs to the sharing and showing of the path.

Another way of thinking about it is what Nick Sousanis calls “unflattening” or what the writer James Scott refers to as “making legible” or what James Gray names “liminal thinking” or what Mike Caulfield offers us with Wikity and federated wikification or what Venkatesh Rao deems is ‘breaking smart’.

In other words all tech pedagogy and tech are about is helping us connect so that we can make and share meaning.  Pedagogy is learning turned inside out.  Tech pedagogy is just another way to turn ourselves inside out.  The reason we make a big deal about it is that it is a new way of doing and being that we pretty much suck at.  We are all just making one feldgang after another and coming back with a aptly round stone, a feather, a Solomon’s Seal dug up from the hedgerow and dirt under our fingernails.  If tech isn’t connected to life it is an inert idea, not even usefully dead like a possum that feeds a vulture or a blade of orchard grass hay from the pasture. I think it is more like setting a luna moth free.

 

 

 

Writing Project Tech Pedagogy: Episode Thirteen (6/24/2016)

Today’s post strays into a briar patch where only rabbits feel comfortable: the sense that the noise of the net is drowning the inner signal that is trying to get out of ourselves, our voice.

Here are five short screencasts that don’t even begin to scratch the high pressure stream of data that is my Internet life.

Tweetdeck

Chrome Address Bars

Happy Friends

Vellum

Inoreader

And what about mobile apps and YouTube channels and Roku and Chromecast and…my question to you dear readers, “Is there any controlling this giant game of “Crack the Whip” or the feeling of being a wee child tethered on the end and losing his grip?

I hope you don’t listen and watch all of the vids above. Just scrub through them and let us think about what our tech hath wrought and what we might do about it if anything.

When I get confused I write poems.  They help settle the silt in the muddy glass of water. Here is one. It helped me find the signal.

Dragonfly in a Bucket

A dragonfly

drowned

in the sheep’s

water bucket.

No,

wait…

It’s not dead.

I lift it

from the water

and hold it

up

to the sun.

I see.

Writing Project Tech Pedagogy: Episode Twelve (6/23/2016)

Do you need free?  As in “copyright free, CCBY,  public domain sounds and music for a student or personal project” free?  If so, your options are extraordinary and here are a few of them.

Music

The Free Music Archive (FMA) is always first on my list of sites to find free music (and sounds, too).  If you and your students need to get up to speed on Creative Commons and legal sharing of music , then please check out the FAQ from FMA and watch the best presentation I have seen to date on using ‘free music’ (also from FMA).  There are apps as well.

Incompetech has collections of free, mostly CCBY music.  All you have to do is give proper attribution.  I really like this one.

Sounds FX

First stop, Freesound. Click on the sample below for a simple and subtle train stop.

 

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under the Sampling+ License.

 

Next, Zapsplat. They are new and don’t have nearly as extensive a sound library as Freesound, but what I have used is quite good. They also have free music (which I have not tried yet).  If you kick in a donation (they are volunteer-run and no salaries are paid to anyone), you can get a few more benefits.  It is quite robust even if you don’t donate.

CC0 1.0 Universal License

And maybe you want to make your own SFX?  Watch this YouTube vid by Ryan Connoly of Film Riot and  get some ideas about how SFX are made.

Editing/Sharing Sound Online

Twisted Wave is a simple, easy to use sound editing tool.  Here is a file edited.  I cut 30 seconds from the end and I added fade in and fade out along with normalizing it.


SoundCloud Pro is my favorite storage space and with the recent infusion of money from Twitter I don’t worry about it’s longer term success as much. SoundCloud works with TwistedWave and other apps, but the best part about it is that it allows you upload any sounds to share publicly (or privately). It allows folks to annotate those files. It is in many ways the YouTube of sound. And…this is so cool I am beside myself… soon you will be able to turn your sound files into vinyl records.

And there is always, Audacity, the open source work horse of audio editing.  Free. Free. Free.

Fun

I think the best advice I can give you is to just have fun and then make stuff, your own music and your own SFX.  It has never been better for those who are not particularly gifted musically to have some fun making music.

Incredibox–this goes in the Internet rabbit hole and where the hell did that hour disappear to.

Hatnote–Hatnote is a fascinating big data visualization project which tries to recreate the sound and sight of Wikipedia as it is being created. I have used this as ambient music and saved it to SoundCloud and Google Drive.  I just use my SoundCloud app to record and upload. Then I use the TwistedWave bookmarklet to bring it into that app to be edited.

I paste a new file (my poem)  on top of the Hatnote file and ‘Bob’s your very uncle’ something new under the sun.

The value to me personally and professionally in using these files and making new rags from old is that creation makes me feel good.  Or as Heather Harvilesky remarked the other day.

pablo (65)

 

 

 

 

Writing Project Tech Pedagogy: Episode Eight (6/18/2016) Analog Meets Digital: the Fountain Pen as Strange Attractor

I love fountain pens. I love what you can do with a decent one. But I love cheap, too. That is why I am a denizen of bargain pen sites like Jetpens and Goulet Pens. (They also sell very expensive, boutique pens, too.)

My wife accuses me of being a pen porn video addict. OK. My name is tellio. I am addicted to cheap fountain pens. Below is a video of a recent purchase reviewed by Matt Armstrong from “The Pen Habit”.

I also love new ideas like refillable marker pens. I have always hated throwing away the plastic parts of pens and now I don’t have to. I use the Platinum Preppy Refillable Marker Pen. (You can also get refillable highlighter pens that use fountain pen ink and replaceable tips.)

 

It is a simple task to crossover from the analog to the digital.  Just use MyScriptFont to create a font from your handwriting.  In this case I took my new best pen friend, my Jinhao 450, and marked up the font template that MyScriptFont provides.

Scan it after you have used your fav fountain pen to mark in the squares where the letters go. Unfortunately, my scanner only goes up to 600dpi and I think you need twice that resolution. I also tried to take a picture with my phone but that was an interesting failure. So I will update you as soon as I can find a scanner with better rez. My point here is that the joy of analog and the joy of digital need not be mutually exclusive.

A “making of” video by KQED about the layered ‘hybrid films” of Manu Mukherje…

In the latest episode of Art School, Mukherjee unpacks the narrative and details behind her newest piece, Home and the World, which examines cultural hybridity, the aftermath of colonialism, and feminist questions.

Only wish she could have gotten down to some of the nuts and bolts of her layering process. The video is worth watching on many levels including her chaordic studio. I love looking at all of her tools, how she has them at the ready, how idiosyncratic it all is, yet managing to work through to done.

You can also contribute to the conversation here if you wish with Vialogues. I am finding myself more and more using video annotation as a way to integrate image/sound/meaning in the unique medium that film and video are. I have taken my notes and put them here if anyone else wants a go at analyzing and curating what I have already done: https://paper.dropbox.com/doc/Collapsing-Colonialism-w-Manu-Mukherjee-NFCRTLY4aUUvlJajxwjxv

Source: A “making of” video by KQED about the layered ‘hybrid films” of Manu Mukherje…

Candy Blox Versus Pallet Liquidators

I was waiting in line at the Sav-A-Lot yesterday to purchase some bananas and milk. In the ‘impulse’ section next to $1 pregnancy tests was CandyBlox. Charming. Candy you can play with then eat. $2.50 a box. The frugal dude in me said, “Not a good deal. Don’t even think about it,” while part of me screamed like a six year old boy, “Please, please, please!” My frugal self won. The little guy will win another day. Still…such a concept.

Walking out to the car with my groceries, I noted a new store had opened where the Family Dollar had been. There is a continual churn of these stores which consist entirely of the contents of container ships from China and points east. There are no small clothing, hardware, or appliance stores in small town Kentucky anymore. Only these outposts for slave labor goods from around the world. Only this one was obviously an outlier in that group. They called themselves “The Pallet Liquidator Store”. I walked over to view dozens of tall, pallet-sized cardboard boxes filled with the leftover stuff from the contents of container ships from China and points east.

The phenomenon of salvage groceries has become entrenched since the Amish moved into our community over twenty years ago and started them locally. It is a national trend now. This is the natural extension from groceries to big box store leftovers. Commerce has devolved to the point where rural communities are the very tail end of the cloaca of 21st century consumer culture. Below you will find a twisted pair of videos that bespeak this low truth. Useless stuff re-packaged, but still useless. Similar to the Japanese idea of chindogu.

Feel free. Is this what crazy Yeats meant when he ended his apocalyptic poem “The Second Coming” with a question:

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Sometimes the best view of the apocalypse ain’t in some future urban blightscape. No, it is right where the beast hunkers down for the long haul in some small town strip in Kentucky with the nail salons, the tattoo joints, the adult GED centers and the great Sargasso Sea of plastic that is the pallet liquidation biz.

 

VS.

 

#Twistedpair : Epictetus | Mojo Nixon.

In the spirit of infinite play I am following a recent prompt from Steve Wheeler:

Choose a strange pairing from above (or make up one of your own, the weirder the better). Let your imagination run wild, go very slightly unhinged and dig deep into your knowledge of those characters. Some of the connections may be tenuous. That’s part of the fun.  Come up with an inspirational, satirical or thought provoking blog post about teaching and learning. Share it and include the tag #twistedpair. Don’t forget to also challenge at least three other people. If we get enough responses, I will create a page that links them all together.

My twisted pair are Mojo Nixon and Epictetus, the profane rocker and the profound Stoic.

OK, I am feeling resistance here.  I have had my fill of writing prompts over the years.  They often feel false.  Other times I recognize them for what they are–pump priming fuel that gets burned up in order to start the engine.  In this case we are asked to play.  I like play, but generating inspired, satirical or thought provoking stuff about teaching and learning?  This feels like managing chaos and a little forced. Isn’t the nature of the imagination that you don’t so much as give it permission as it seizes it?

It is true that both of these figures taught me something. I learned from both of them.  It is also true that I could draw many other connections.

2015-10-05_05-16-36

So I get to have cake and eat it and save some for later.

Here’s some Mojo to listen to, his only big hit, “Elvis Is Everywhere”

Here’s some Epictetus to listen to, his biggest hit, “The Enchiridon”

I recommend that you play both at the same time.  Twisted, dude, twisted.

A Date with October: A WIP (Work in Progress)

2ENSO2

I get a daily poem in my email from Poetryfoundation.org. Today’s is by a younger Robert Frost before he became the scary old man of American arts and letters. No, really. If you thought that “The Road Not Taken” was truly suitable for commencement addresses, then you need to dig down into its cruft. Not that nice. I know he must have laughed at the thought that others considered it an ‘optimistic’ poem. In truth it is a devastating one about death and despair. But not this poem, not “October”–I don’ think.

I was struck by the heartbeat of the iambics in it-lubDUB, lubDUB, ad heart-finitum. I wanted to read more and connect more with the poem and I wanted to connect the poem to the world it describes, my world on the farm here in Kentucky in October.

I want to have a date with October today starting with Frost’s poem.

2015-10-04_08-51-03

So many approaches, many of them redundant, but in the good way that the walnut tree makes more nuts than the squirrels can ever remember to eat.

This post will be a work in progress as I have lots of little micro dates with October the poem, October the month, October the place. I will return as I add links to this post. Consider them as reports from along the edges, the hedgerows, the bramble tangles, the fallen leaves, the wool and warp and weft of October’s loom and shuttle.

For example, I could go the annotation way:

Diigo
Hypothesis
Genius
NowComment

Or invite others to go the Hackpad route? This is a collaborative path that converges or diverges as much as anyone could wish. Create your own adventure, mild or wild.

Or I could go with a Storify slideshow?

Or maybe Z33ga?

Or Pocket? (The mobile version will read it back to you.)

Or Soundcloud? (Perhaps you would like to read the poem to us and I could put it here or on Hackpad or make a playlist there.)

Many stances. Some analytic. Some juxtaposing. Some emotional. Some analogical. So many stances to choose from, but all arising from the passion that arises from getting to know someone or something more closely.

Perhaps a Youtube feldgang and a Vialogue annotation?

What am I hoping for, what do I expect on this date with October? What is my null hypothesis? Where will this take me?

I know not.

&

that is OK.

 

Re’media’atate’: Why?

I found myself on Kevin’s website this morning at a loss to comment.  All I could say was, “I am feeling stuck in this week’s make: everything I do is remediation. Everything.”

Let’s take the original newsletter and its translation into a youtube video

Now let’s remediate that with Vialogues just in case someone wants to annotate our happy crew from Uof I Writing Project.

Or perhaps you are trying to close a blindspot about accessibility and tech equity especially for the visually impaired so you translate into audio

 

Then you think you might want to make this sound file annotatable so you upload it to Soundcloud.

 

Perhaps you decide that you want to use a multimodal tool to share your take on matters.  That would be PopcornMaker which is being (as the software folk delicately refer to) ‘deprecated’.  Since it is dying a slow death the YouTube mashup part of PopcornMaker no longer works so you have to use Soundcloud for your musical soundtrack. Roll with it, but save often.

Or maybe a gallery of animated gifs of the UIWP team

Or perhaps you want others to collaborate in your remediation with a Hackpad.

View Re’media’tion on Hackpad.

Or perhaps a Diigo annotation page full of remediation itself.

There are limits to this because it already looks like I am just gilding the lily here, but there are also some observations I can bear witness to.

Why remediate?

Remediation is a way to translate for yourself and to even internalize a learning object that speaks true to you.
Remediation is a way to give heavy duty reciprocation to someone who has made a difference. Likes, plusses and such are not remediation. They are kinda pusillanimous pussyfooting that I do too often instead of remediating.
Remediation is a way to understand an idea in a different way through a different medium or multimodal ways. The remediation here is not so much to create a product as it is to undergo a process. Even reading something outloud is a way to remediate a text’s power through the animating genius of your own breath.
Close reading of text is remediation.

I just call this ‘translation’. Do we need any more jargon? Is the term just a plea for attention when a simpler word would do? And is the new slant on the word just confusing? Does it get in the way? Perhaps it should more aptly be spelled re-media-ate. Yeah, that’s not going to work.

synonym

Convince me, UIWP. If you do, I will add it as a category in my blog here. That is quite a prize, a pearl without price.incredibledancehappy

 

 

 

 

 

I might even do a happy dance.

 

 

 

Slow Viewing

 

 

forgodssakke

No, Charlie B, I will not shut up. In fact Charlie, if you don’t like it, turn around. It’s an experiment, only I am not going to use you for some vague research agenda. What I have found out over the last year is that asking people to give a damn is asking a lot. So this amounts to working out loud, for my purposes. If you get something out of it, well…I’d be surprised.

I am obsessed now and over the last few years about slowness. My last post was about slow living and slow learning. I live on a farm where it’s all about slow learning (unless a hawk is after a chicken and in that case the learning had better already be there for cluck’s sake).

The purpose of this post is to think and work out loud considering the concept of slow viewing. I take as my context Ze Frank’s recent talk about his work on Buzzfeed as president of their Motion Pictures division. I started watching the video on FORA (you may need to join to access the vid, not sure, but free) and I knew immediately that this was not something I could scrub through.  It reminded me of the awesome John Cleese video a few years ago on creativity where I did some very intent viewing. I needed to do a slow viewing.

Typically, I do slow viewing with the cloud  annotation tool, Vialogues.  Of late I have also been drawn to Thinglink’s relatively new video annotation tool.  For some reason I started annotating with neither one. I used les pense-bete, Post-It notes.

As I viewed Ze Frank’s talk, I started tacking them around the outer edges of my screen, but they weren’t the ultra sticky kind so the overhead fan kept blowing them off.  Plus, Frank’s presentation had lots of cool charts and I needed something more. I decided on grabbing screenshots and then put callouts on those shots in Snag-It.  That would fit my workflow quite nicely.

The best part of using a screencapture tool like SnagIt is that it forces me to slow down. I pause the video, grab the image, save it.    Folks like Charlie B are lightning fast and probably don’t need to slow down, to slow view, but I do need that pause to consider.

Videos resist slow viewing because they have continuity, a loop and flow that I am used to watching from start to finish.  I also tend to be a passive viewer of moving media. All of these characteristics militate against ‘reading’ video slowly.

At first I thought that others might be interested, perhaps Charlie B, but then I remembered–it is hard for folks to care and attend and read because they are going too fast. This is fussy, stop-and-go work unpacking video content, but the good stuff like Ze Frank’s presentation practically demands that treatment. It is rich and deep and complex and begs  to be explored, translated and annotated, even to be remixed and transformed.

And that is what I did below

howwebrandnowatbuzzfeed

 

 

 

But Charlie D says this makes no sense if I haven’t viewed the video.

buzzfeed approach to reach and impact

Exactly so, the purpose of annotation and slow viewing is idiosyncratic and personal. It might have value for you, but I know it has value for me. It slows me down to reconsider.

theexamplar

This post has been influenced quite a bit by Ze Frank but also by my recent work annotating Nick Sousanis’ graphic dissertation, Unflattening. In the former, I champion the idea Frank presents at the beginning of his talk: we are using images and video much as we used text in the Guttenberg Pause. And we have to acknowledge this in whatever discipline we happen to be working, learning in my instance. Actually, we’re all in the learning business. It is the parallel discipline for every practice. Frank’s talk is full of amazing resonance for learners and is worth slow viewing for that alone.

Sousanis’ influence is very similar. His book is an embodiment of Ze Frank’s idea above. Unflattening is an acknowledgement that the disseration as we know it may be insufficient for audiences post-Guttenberg Pause. And my slow viewing is also a recognition that we must do something more with video than passively take it in through the funnels of our eyes.

The real fun of slow viewing is that you begin to internalize some of the disciplinary habits of those you are walking with.  For example, in my SnagIt annotations I began to experiment with how I used the ‘callout’ boxes on the page by adopting some of the design principles I learned about in Sousanis’ work.  And I am looking at the “Sad Cat Diary” exemplar that Frank presents as a way to begin to look at how I “sell” folks on the CLMOOC “brand”.

So Charlie B, if you made it this far, it’s a miracle.  Here’s hoping you got something out of it, but in the end it doesn’t matter.  I wrote this in part for you, but  really this is just slow writing for me.  It is a form of intellectual and emotional occupation.  Like the Norman one, its likely effect is permanent, an inner tattoo on the mind.  What do you think of that, Charlie B?  Really? Damn you’re such a troll, but I love ya anyway.

anigif_enhanced-buzz-9459-1375200221-15