Education Innovation in NYC

I made a 24 hour visit to NYC to check out two of the schools in their iZone project. It’s worth reading a little more about the concept at their site. New York City has designed the iZone to free schools from the compliance-oriented culture that has inhibited real innovation in our nation’s schools. Schools within the iZone are provided the resources and support to pioneer new models that transform what schools look like, personalizing instruction to the needs of each individual student, and dramatically improving student achievement. . The following comments are based on about two hours at each school during which we toured a few classrooms and got a variety of people related to the school telling us various things. Add my own biases and other personality issues and you’ve got a fairly superficial view of things but it’s probably more than you had before. I freely admit that this is surface level and probably more reflective of my own opinions than any sort of objective reality. School of One The School of One To organize this type of learning, each student receives a unique daily schedule based on his or her academic strengths and needs. As a result, students within the same school or even the same classroom can receive profoundly different instruction as each student’s schedule […]

First Blood Poster

This is an early iteration of a Rambo poster I’m working on. It was harder than I thought to find an iconic silhouette to represent a movie (at least a movie that I liked). Things I like- the knife- iconic enough to represent the movie (although it needs some polishing) the idea of the Vietnam and American flag blending to parallel the forces in the plot Rambo as blood on the tip of the knife. Where I doing this project in an English course, I could go into much more detail about how my choices reflect the movie. Things that need work- I think it’s too complex still. Rambo may need to be black and white. I don’t like the font. I may write First Blood instead (also leads to a First Blood/Vampire movie mashup possibility down the road) The dimensions are all wrong. I’m putting the not quite right stuff out there so anyone who might be interested can see the process and the thoughts going on. I think that’s good. I also don’t want people worrying about only posting perfection. This course ought to be fun and should allow people to brainstorm on ways to improve product together and continuously.

Community Chest

This is kind of what I’m thinking of for #ds106. I’d like participants to have a random selection of these cards and play them in the comments. They’d embed the image in a comment on someone’s blog and link to the post they’d like to see them act on (flip in this case). I think it’d add an interesting element of randomness and participation. I also want the cards to be open to interpretation. “Create the opposite” is a fairly wide open. It could mean opposite media type (motion vs still, text vs image etc.) or opposite theme, or any number of other opposites. I’m curious if others think this is feasible/interesting. Preferably, I’d like it to be both. Here are a few other possibilities. For what it’s worth, I think this could be a really interesting thing to do in k12 classes. You could give out these cards with assignments as well. Imagine assigning the topic and having students giving out the assignments, or choosing from their own options.

More #DS106 Possibilities

Some of this stuff is reposted from the distant past, most of it will work very well in English classes. Weird Books A site devoted to weird books. You can write the story, the book blurb, you can use as many titles as possible in a short story, build a video around the concept, interview the author, etc. etc. Augmented Reality Photo contest for the National Archives Remix Dylan Remix Dylan and some other tracks. Some aspects of this site I like, some not so much. You lose a lot of freedom to embed etc. but it is easy.


Sometimes you have to make things because they scare you. From the linked video which offers just an endless rainbow of animated gif possibilities.

More Animation

Enough is probably enough but I’m enjoying the useless entertainment of the process. I spent all day writing a far more useless report and got no joy out of it so this helps with recovery. There’s also the potential of making a reservoir of these gifs for people to remix into stories. Pulp Fiction This scene has potential but I failed here pretty badly. I may have to break it half and match up the dancers separately in FinalCut. I think that’d work but right now it’s too much hassle. Christmas break is coming. Rocky Of these two, I like the pushup one the best but the video quality leaves a lot to be desired. I need to order some of these on Netflix and get some decent resolution captures. There are a number of other scenes from odd movies that I can’t find on YouTube. Hulk There’s a slow zoom in there that messes up the loop. I started hand resizing the frames to cancel that out but that was not what I was in this for. I do want everyone to see the Hulk petting the bunny.

More #DS106 Possibilities

Silhouette Take a silhouette from a movie, fill it with another scene from that movie to create something evocative of both yet entirely new. Pay close attention to the colors you use. To increase difficulty make it monochromatic. -via FFFFound Coupons Re-imagine1 key elements/lessons/morals of the movie as coupons. -via SuperPunch Rid the World Think up 12 creative ways to rid the world of your worst enemy. Create media to represent each piece. Don’t limit yourself to 2d or visuals. -via SuperPunch Perspective Use perspective to change the story a photograph tells. CogDog Found this one and couldn’t resist posting it for Alan. Remake a movie in comic format with dogs as the characters. –via Blame it on the Voices 1 Copyright Jim Groom


WCYDWT English?

This post has to do with Dan Meyer’s What Can You Do With This? concept and my utter failure to come up with ways to do it the way I’d like in English. I seem to be struggling with the same things that Todd Seal is/was struggling with over on Thoughts on Teaching. I can come up with lots of ways to make media encourage actions (prompts essentially) but I’m failing to figure out ways to make questions that require specific skills/understanding1. The question is the key element it seems. The question has to drive the whole thing and be simple enough that people will take a guess without feeling over invested. This primes the pump so to speak. Every question I come up with ends up with possible skills all over the place but missing the requirement for a specific skill or set of skills. In English it often seems like you can accomplish an answer but it’s less a puzzle to figure out that will require specific skills and more of a task to accomplish that can be completed to a greater or lesser degree depending on a variety of skills2. I wonder if it doesn’t come down to the fact that in English we often lack a definitive “right” answer. It could be I’m just failing to […]

Average Color Ideas

Just yesterday Jim retweeted Psychmedia‘s find. Essentially, this post shows the first 1000 frames of North by Northwest by average color. Games you could play with these kind of data images1 Give someone the image. They tell the story based on the colors. The key here would be to map the writing to the image bands in a way that keeps it contextual. It also be nice to be able to stack columns of different interpretations out horizontally to see the different interpretations of the same bands. Take three movies and break them down this way. How do the colors compare? Why do you think that’s the case? You could break down three movies from the same director and look for matches or just do it randomly. Just doing this kind of analyzation and mapping to the actual stills would be a pretty intense assignment if you talked about whether the average color was representative of the scene/plot. Do dark colors always match It would also be wild to produce your own movie with this kind of color breakdown in mind. If you knew people would see this, what color choices might you make? I’d try to send odd codes or make the average colors very misleading. I love this sort of odd data display for common items. It reminds […]