Citation Workflow – Diigo/Pinterest to Google SS

Talking to Bud the other day he mentioned that generating the citation page for his digital stories was something of a pain. I’ve thought about it a bit since then and decided to try to simplify a workflow for this. Odd thing I learned – – CHAR(10) is the official way to get line breaks in Google Spreadsheet formulas. Flickr to Diigo to Google Spreadsheets Initially, I looked at the Flickr galleries because that’s the option that Bud normally uses. I saw that the gallery was in a standard HTML list format and I had some hope. Google spreadsheets lets you pull lists and tables like these in via the IMPORTHTML function. Martin Hawksey has some good instructions and examples over here. So that failed but I could import just about every other list on the page. So, I decided doing this through Diigo would make pretty decent sense for a number of people. Assuming you choose a unique tag for the images you plan to use- this example just uses “flickr”, I’d suggest something story/movie specific. So the basic Diigo URL you’d get is https://www.diigo.com/user/bionicteaching/flickr. Trying to make this really easy for people, I set up the first page to allow you to paste that URL in and our friendly formulas transform it into https://www.diigo.com/rss/user/bionicteaching/flickr. The example linked here […]

A Non-Definition of OER

THe following two photographs of slides are from David Wiley’s presentation on open education (which was awesome). I am playing against his definition for a variety of reasons which may become clear as I progress. (1) Any kind of teaching materials- textbooks, syllabi, lesson plans, videos, readings, exams “Teaching materials” are in the eye of the beholder but leading with this phrase puts people in a certain mindset around content and one that is actually harmful. People make fun of “educational” resources for good reason. A large part of what needs to be opened is our ideas around what content might be educational and how we might use that content. (2) Free and unfettered access, and (3) Free permission to engage in the “4R activities“ I won’t argue much with #2, although I do realize I “pay” for access to some of this content when a 3rd party tracks me. While I recognize the importance and goodness of #3, I hate to exclude all the content that falls outside that definition. I’d rather have a larger “house” of content and a few rooms that help people decide what they can do with it. I think it’s actually good that content might be ephemeral and might eventually go away. I am ok that I can’t remix certain things. I still find […]


Like a Car Chase

This project was inspired by a Sklar brothers bit that I heard on the VA Beach AM comedy channel the other day. An edited and condensed version of track 16 is here. Now on to the assignment . . . Take any video.1 Add your voice over as if you were a local TV news anchor attempting to provide color commentary without stating anything as a fact or with certainty. Add all the hedge words and banalities that exemplify this kind of coverage. If you’re looking for the DS106 tag/aggregation for the assignment go here (AudioAssignments, AudioAssignments1085). The basic idea is this is almost the opposite of what we want students to do with writing. We want them to be specific, to eliminate hedge words, to make a strong argument, and to take a specific stance. In a class, I might flip it both ways. Have one understated version with no definite statements and then do another version which overstates things (like this Daily Show clip description which I may dig up the video for at some point). Or you could simply give them the option to either understate or overstate the commentary. This is a quick and dirty example where despite my efforts I accidentally say a few facts. For instance, there’s no way I could really know that […]


Google Form as Choose Your Own Adventure Tool

Just a quick proof of concept for a session I’m doing at VSTE. I’m trying to show how you can use most things in all sorts of ways despite what they were intended to do. Apparently the example Google put out for this way back when actually used choose your own adventure to demo the concept. I promise I didn’t know that. Embedded below is a simple example of a choose your own adventure story using the branch logic options in Google forms. It’s a little hard to keep the pages straight at first but it gets easier as you go. Were I doing something large, I’d probably have to map it out first. Loading…

19 Strangers

It has taken me quite a while to get to 19. Clearly, I tend to do this project in fits and starts and I do much better when I leave town. Because the Universe has a sense of humor, I will be in Las Vegas for BlackBoard World and I’m hoping that will result in some interesting opportunities. Despite the practice, it still isn’t an easy thing for me to do. I’m always fairly awkward asking although I think I recover better than I did initially. It is interesting to look at the gender, age, and race of the subjects. It probably says quite a bit about me. I’ve only been turned down three times. 86% is a pretty decent success rate. One of the rejections was from a police officer who “got in the habit” of refusing to have his picture taken when he was in an elite military unit1. In any case, I’m glad I started this project. I intend to finish all 100. 1 Unverified by external sources

Minimalist Poster

My try at a minimalist movie poster. All1 sorts of people have already done it. Although most don’t seem to be tagging with visualassignments572 it so that it aggregates under the assignment on the ds106 site. That’s going to make it harder for Jim to count every assignment by hand when he does the big data infographic design fest at the end of the course. Process I had a number of ideas. Most of them centered around putting the tux bow tie around things like the Walther PPK. I did that and didn’t like it. Things looked too cheesy. To get the tux look, I started with a still from a Bond film and then ended up using the Polygonal Lasso Tool to trace the outlines. In the end I made the lines more angular and iconic. I added in some of the defining lines (to help define the bow tie and to illustrate the shirt split). 1 Frank got 007 stuck in my head and Alan forced my hand. 2 DS106 Complaint: Make these tags shorter and non-plural. Now pretend I called into the radio show to say that.

Picture 10

Strangers #5 and #6

This little girl was at a birthday party for some family friends. She alternated between closing her eyes and sticking out her tongue (in a non-annoying way that made me like her more) and that real smile. Her older sister was there too but she was old enough to pose. She smiled but it wasn’t real. She said she didn’t like her smile. That was a pretty depressing statement for an 8 year old to make. Already self-conscious. This picture was taken in the computer lab in the building where I teach night classes. Tien Shu (spelling? seemed rude/stalker-ish to ask) is a math major. She seemed fine with having the picture taken but there might have been a communication problem. I asked her a few small talk questions but all I got were smiles and nods . . not sure if it was a language issue, or just too much time in the computer lab. It was not as satisfying as a number of the other shots but I do like that she manages to smile with just the lines on her face. Her lips remain completely straight.   It is interesting for me to look at this series all together. I wonder if the closeness of the photographs relates to my comfort level or that of the subject. […]

Stranger Portrait #4 – David

David was suspicious of my motives. It seems explaining that you take pictures of strangers to interact with new people and work on your photography skills is not seen as a normal motive for doing something like this. I soldiered on and (semi?) convinced him I was simply odd and not evil. While suspicious in the photo, he was smiling by the time I left (coincidence?). I did position myself so that he had to turn towards the light some. So I was actually thinking more about the photography aspect of things this time. I’ll consider that progress.

One Picture Story

The goal was to take one photo and chop it up to make something that tells a story or creates some kind of tension by breaking the image into pieces. I had the idea for the “assignment” after seeing this shot1 on #FFFFFound. I’ll rate this one a partial success. It’s not quite what I want. I don’t feel the upper shots are as interesting individually as they should be. I wanted to make it seem like the boy was walking into the woods seeing nothing, then as he traveled deeper he spotted the deer and that moment- when he froze finally seeing the deer is the moment captured in the final pane. 1 Which isn’t a single image but is close enough for me.

Stranger #3

Michelle is from a small “hick” town (her words) outside of Austin. She has a younger sister who she basically raised because their father left and their mother had to work. She is on her way to visit family in Germany. This is the first time she’s made the trip to Germany without her sister. We actually talked to a while about photography and technology. In the end, Michelle got her camera out and took my picture as well. So I think I avoided the creepiness factor on this one.