Assignment Wild Cards

by Blacklisted, on Flickr This series of thoughts (maybe just one messy thought) was inspired by No Good Reason’s post, although no one should blame Martin for what I have written here. I’ll speak in specifics regarding the #ds106 course but I think the concept can easily apply to any course where participants are creating products1. You would simply tweak the “cards” to reflect the content. So the basic concept is that all students are given X number of cards. These cards are something like the Draw Four Cards in Uno mixed with the Community Chest cards from Monopoly– only hopefully without the negative connotation. The students would get a variety of cards at the beginning of the course and to use them they’d tag the origin post and link to the person they want to be the recipient of the action. So, maybe I want to take CogDog’s #ds106 aura photography challenge and assign it to someone else to remix as a drawing project. I’d play my “Change Format2” card in the comments and indicate that person X should do it. They might make something like the design below. There are lots of possibilities for cards. There are lots of ways this might play out. It might introduce too much chaos but I think it has the chance to […]

Animated GIFs

Forrest Gump Not my favorite movie but I’m now randomly thinking of movie shots that would make good animated GIFs in my head during spare moments. Wolverines! Red Dawn was one of my favorite movies growing up. I lived in South Korea on an army base when this came out. I was totally prepared to live out this movie- full camouflage and survival gear every day, fully trained and prepared. I then go to Youtube and see if my memory has any fidelity. You see the results below. Messed up the speed on this one but I leave it here as a momento of a lesson learned. Even if it looks right in PS, don’t trash the capture file- EVEN if it keeps your desktop cleaner. Blues Brothers Another actual favorite.

DS106 Generators

As I’ve wondered/wandered around a lot of old and new posts, I’ve been thinking more and more about what an assignment generator for #ds106 might look like, what the categories might be etc. These were some of the things that I was looking at daily shoot, 5 card flickr, Darcy’s photography assignment generator, the Canon video challenge on Vimeo and the Director’s Bureau Special Project Generator (image below, that portion of the site went away). I’m still iffy on the categories but I think something like a slot machine that mixes multimedia and certain key categories would be an interesting way to do it. I wrote some of this last night and saw this tweet by Jim Groom today pointed to a random character generator created by bothered by bees (who also has a post from Dec 15th pointing to 7th Sanctum’s large list of character, plot and other generators.) It is interesting to see how many thoughts are coalescing around this course already. I think that’s the main reason that #ds106 matters. It’s providing a rough pathway for a number of people to wander down and around. I’ve already started communicating with a bunch of new people and the course itself has led to some interesting conversations with people I interact with in real life. The first question I […]

Restricting DS106

¬°Rayos! by Brujo+, on Flickr I’ve been brainstorming some broad categories of things that might be worth discussing as part of ds106. This is mainly a re-categorization of stuff I’ve written about before but I wanted to try to think about how some of this might fit together down the road and make sure I had examples in a one spot1. Now that I look at it, I should have put this in a spreadsheet and run it into exhibit. I didn’t think there’d be quite this much for only one category. I’m also seeing how examples will often fit into multiple categories. I should know better than to make lists in blog posts. It never does the data justice. Anyway, here’s draft #1 dealing with examples of restrictors. Restrictors These are stories/projects that become more interesting because of the restrictions involved in creating them. Text 25 word stories 6 word stories 6 word bios 6 word teen memoirs 6 frame comic summary Images/Presentations 4 slide sales pitch Pecha Kucha Restrict your images to any odd category. I used 98% medieval bestiary images once to talk about blogs. I plan to do an upcoming presentation using nothing but tattoo photos. Battledecks Battledecks – alternate rules Genre/Form Restrictions Survival Manual Wolverine Poetry Zombie vocabulary Passive Aggressive Notes GI Joe Filecards Lord […]

Animated GIF in Photoshop CS4 Tutorial

Inspired by the Noise Professor’s decision to make his animated GIF in Photoshop, I decided to play around with that tonight and ended up learning a good bit and with a much better process and product (fewer programs, higher quality). I didn’t know you could do this all in just CS4. Video to Images Capture video frames as stills to layers – you can even select portions of the video right in the import window. You’ll now have all the frames as images in individual layers. Animation Window Open up the Animation Window1 Eternal Looping I set it to loop eternally. It’s right there in the bottom left hand portion of the animation window. If you forget you have the option to set this again when you do the final export/polishing. Frame Speed Shift click to select all the frames and you can change the animation speed all at once. Animate the GIF I saw this was impossible in a number of places and if you go to the normal Save/Save As location, it is. There is actually an option below that on the menu that is “Save for Web & Devices.” Somehow I never saw that. You’ll have Animated GIF as an option here. Polish It Up 1 Never opened this before

Flava Flav

It’s not a movie but all the musical gifs got me thinking and I could not resist revisiting Flava Flav. While only his eyes are moving this seems to capture the manic energy I always loved about Flava Flavpre Flava of Love that is. This selection is from 911 is a Joke which remains one of my favorite rap songs. I trimmed down the clip in Quicktime (Edit>trim to selection) and then used GIFBuilder Carbon to export it to GIF. For those of you not playing along with ds106, the course doesn’t actually start until January 10th or something like that so wander over and sign up.


8 Bit Excel

Spreadsheet Invasion from Amy Thornley done in Excel. -via Flowingdata Excel is usually a place where people go to suffer1. It is time to reclaim it. Animate a scene using colored Excel cells as your medium. Want some 8 bit inspiration? 8 bit stop motion MW|WM 8 bit music 1 For the record, I actually like Excel.

So it begins #ds106

Jim’s doing a class on digital storytelling. The course is open and free. That means we can all play and assume multiple roles. This is going to be fun. Iconic Clash Take your two favorite movies. Make one iconic poster. For bonus points use only black and white. Closet Art Find the center of disorder in your house. Make it interesting. Make it beautiful. Make it art, if only for a moment1. Take a picture. Tweet, Tweet, Bang! Take an already existing tweet2 mash it up with an Audubon painting. Challenge yourself. It doesn’t have to be bird related. Say It Like the Peanut Butter Make an animated gif from your favorite/least favorite movie capturing the essence of a key scene. Make sure the movement is minimal but essential. 3. —All images are from which is pretty much the best place ever. 1 Try not to make it as pretentious as I sound describing it. 2 I will never forgive whoever made that the correct term. 3 Here are some directions on how to do it with free software. Don’t the let the command line scare you.

Cold Dog Food

Imagine all your life you’ve only eaten cold dog food. Day in, day out, that’s what you’ve come to know and expect. One day, someone comes along and gives you some warm dog food. It is quite an improvement. Warm dog food seems great. The bar is low. Your expectations are low. Education gets served a lot of cold dog food and, occasionally, when we get some warm dog food it seems great because we’re comparing it to the poor quality products and services usually categorized as “educational1.” Think about educational videos, ppts, educational video games, the LMS etc2. The bar is set amazingly low. When we see bad, but not bottom of the barrel, it seems decent. It is education after all. What can we expect? They did warm the dog food up for us. We need to start comparing our products to things people use and participate in when they are not coerced and when they feel they have options. Things involved with learning don’t have to be of poor quality. We see people learning and enjoying themselves in real life all the time. We know what good media is. We don’t have to accept less simply because we’re in education. We have not set the bar high enough for a long time. Companies continue to crank out […]