IOGraphica: It had to be done

I blame D’Arcy for this. I kept thinking that it’d be interesting to take the results of IOGraphica and make it into stop motion animation. I looked for ways to download the image every X minutes but failed to find any way to do that in the program. I then thought, I could just remember to do this every hour or so. Then I realized I’d never do that even with a calendar reminder and besides, computers are supposed to do this stuff for me. My next attempt was to search for AppleScripts that might have been written to do this for me. I wandered around quite a bit and found nothing. I then looked to see if IOGraphica had anything in the AppleScript Dictionary (While running Script Editor>File>Open Dictionary> choose the App you want). Nothing there. Now I was stuck. I had invested nearly an hour last night searching for the answer. I saw a few other people interested in a solution. So, I dusted off a few of my old AppleScripting bookmarks in delicious1. The hassle with Applescripting applications without dictionaries is that you are pretty much shooting blind . . . unless you use the amazingly useful UI Browser. If AppleScripting were a class the teacher would ban the UI Browser. It not only helps you find […]

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.

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 […]

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.

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.

My Phone Coughs Politely

I’m a bit old school when it comes to phones. I habitually leave my phone on vibrate. I never notice that it vibrates. This occasionally makes people mad. I do this mainly because I’m absent minded and don’t want to be that guy with the annoying phone going off. The solution came to me the other day. I needed a ring that doesn’t sound like a ring, something that’d be a normal sound in most places1. I can make custom ringtones for the iPhone in Garageband. My phone now coughs politely2. In case anyone else wants to sound vaguely sick, but maintain politeness, here is my cough ringtone as a m4a and as a m4r ringtone. 1 The mosquito ringtone would not work for me because it’s noticeable to kids. I want something unobtrusive to everyone. 2 My guitar still gently weeps. I’m unaware what other objects I own do.

“Small People” Limited Time Offer

As an English or foreign language teacher I’d be all over the “small people” quote by BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg. It’s not going to be useful much longer so act now. Questions: Should this comment make people mad? What did he mean? What should he have said? It’s a beautiful entry to arguing about word choice, synonyms and nuance. In this case, one word really mattered quite a bit. It might be fun things like have students reword famous quotes/sayings using synonyms to make them offensive or otherwise rob them of power. “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” becomes “A chopped up house, will fall down.” Minnesota’s “Land of 10,000 lakes” becomes “Our state has a lot of standing water” After you get them written, you could have them post them in some way and students could try to figure out what the original quote was. Another bonus was I found that I could search MSNBC video by certain keywords- in this case, small people. It highlights those words in a transcript and shows the points in the time line where the words occur with colored dots for the video. A really nice way to quickly get where you want.

Survival Guides

Survival guides have some interesting potential for a variety of historical and literary analysis needs. This idea was jump started by the Brighid Survival Manual which was found via Super Punch. Here’s a quick example for the Witch in The Wizard of Oz. I’ll see if time allows me to make one for a Jamestown colonist. The problem is that these take a good bit of time and effort if they’re going to be good. That’s great in a project but it does make it harder on me. Anyway, lots of English and history applications. It’d be fun to write survival guides for self-destructive historical or literary figures- maybe Edgar Allen Poe or Custard.

Plague: Romeo & Juliet Poster

How do you make people want to know more before you start a topic1? I liked this whole series done for Science World by Rethink Communications. Think of this idea as visual pre-reading. The posters get you curious. Curiosity is good. I’d like to make a series before starting novels and post them around the room. It’d work nicely for history as well. The key, in both cases, is to focus on what would capture the interest of your students and make a strong connection to something they do like and understand2. It’s likely you and your English teacher friends are not like most people. You’re going to like oblique references to Kafka- your students, not so much. Remember to think about things normal people like. This is another reason it’s good to know your students and to pay attention to the many realms outside of education. A quick mock up of a poster for Romeo and Juliet. Rationale – Remember this isn’t meant to strictly portray what happens in the play but to get students curious and interested in what might happen. The line has been beaten to death but it seemed like portraying it more literally and with a dystopian-future twist would capture some attention. It also has a chance to resonate because of all the terrorism and […]