Archive for ‘EVO09’

February 5, 2009

Images4Education. Week 3.

No matter what your teaching objectives might be, a class activity is always addressed to a certain group. Consequently, it’s usually difficult for me to design an activity when I’m on holidays.

Our task for week 3 was to create three slide shows using three different tools: Animoto, Slideshare and the slideshow in Big Huge Labs. As there were no students around to bring some inspiration, I decided to build a slideshow for me. Poetry was already in my mind when I read Sandburg meets Flickr, by David Jakes.  Poems and images go naturally together.

I like the brevity of Pound’s In a Station of the Metro. The brevity, the lively description and most of all the beauty he discovers in a scene which is, for me, quite ugly.

What I did was very simple: I replaced adjectives and nouns by images.

[clearspring_widget title=”Animoto.com” wid=”46928cc51133af17″ pid=”498b0976619e7ca1″ width=”432″ height=”240″ domain=”widgets.clearspring.com”]

Animoto is so easy to use, it gives you immediate satisfaction and the outcome is always attractive.

I also prepared a presentation and uploaded it to Slideshere. There I could include the photo credits. You can add a youtube video to slideshare presentations. That’s how I managed to include the Animoto show in the presentation. (The image quality is lost when you send your show to Youtube.)

Pound first published this poem in 1913, and I wondered if I could get some photos from The Commons. I thought it was great to see those pictures in the BigHugeLabs slideshow as the photo information appears as the slides play.

Here it is, you’ll have to follow the link: it’s not possible to embed a BigHugeLab show.

View slideshow

This last one was an interesting photo search. And it was then when I could place my hypothetical students. Digging into the past, not through history books, but through pictures showing everyday life.

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January 29, 2009

People with Tools

My thoughts a month ago.

I already had the suspicion I was a a member of too many nings. In fact, I couldn’t even remember which ones I had signed up for. I accidentally found my Ning profile: 16. Impossible to participate, even impossible to read. Lurk? How would I lurk if I didn’t know where…

This time I lurked, I didn’t research, I just had a quick look. Which Nings are active? I concluded:

  • The ones that have reached a critical mass. Self feed.
  • The ones with an active creator that starts most of the discussions, sends messages to members, has enough energy and time and a clear objective to keep it alive.
  • The ones that in spite of not having reached a critical mass, still work due to community contribution. Those are the ones I love. They seem to cover a very specific need.

So, what to do with my own memberships? Just let them die at the bottom of those social networks? Conclude Nings are not for me and never join one again? Visit them all again and see if I get hooked?

I was in the middle of those musings, when something showed up: I registered for images4education. How to register? Join a Ning! Another one?, I thought. Well… so once more the paper work, your name, your website, your interests. Don’t they know all that?! They have myNing profile! Old Ning friends appeared on my page, I was not alone.

My thoughts now.

Ning was a good choice for the EVO session. Why?

  • You don’t need any special training on how to use Ning.
  • Everything is there, neat and clear. You just need to be ready to click.
  • Being able to add external links on the tabs is a great possibility for a course which is using other sites as well.All you need to access is just there on top, on a clean line.
  • The Group feature contributes to the organization of activities.
  • You have your own page, which you can even modify.This helps to create a sense of belonging.
  • There are different degrees of possible participation. One to one interaction through comments, and also private interaction through messages. Group discussions in the forum or groups.

Is that all? Of course it isn’t. That’s just the description of the tool. The most important thing is participants leaving their traces on that environment. Modifying it. Building new short-cuts.

If we were interacting through a mailing list, would the session atmosphere be so friendly, supportive, encouraging? I doubt it.

If participants and moderators weren’t ready to socialize, to add their 2cent worth, to respect each other, would Ning be fostering interaction? I’m sure it wouldn’t.

OK. But now I don’t know whether to wear that shirt or not.Photo
by davitydave


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