An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube

Alec posted a link to this a few days ago, and I finally got around to watching the video. It’s Professor Michael Wesch’s presentation to the Library of Congress, where he talked about the anthropological effects he observed after producing his awesome video essay The Machine is Us/ing Us.

The presentation is a fantastic, rich, and deep investigation into the connections and their effects on communication and media. Free up 55 minutes and watch the whole thing.

K12 Online – More than cool tools

I had the chance to work on a presentation for the K12 Online 2007 conference. Alan, Brian and I started by thinking of doing an updated “Small Pieces” piece, and we wound up creating a 53 minute video presentation touching on 9 trends in successful online tools, and how they might be used effectively.

The trends are, in no real order:

  1. embed
  2. connect
  3. socialize
  4. collaborate
  5. share
  6. remix
  7. filter
  8. liberate
  9. disrupt

Here’s the presentation, hosted in chunky Google Video transcoded format. There are links to higher (and lower) res versions on the K12 conference page for the presentation.

There’s a live “fireside chat” Elluminate session scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 20 at 1pm GMT (which is 7am here in Calgary – so much for my day to sleep in…)

I’m thinking of writing up a blog post describing the process we used, which worked out surprisingly well (except for my inability to properly normalize all of the audio – sorry!). Final Cut Pro was used to pull together audio, images, and video from 3 presenters, and spit out the final product. I learned a LOT about using FCP during the process, and think I could do it much quicker (and better) next time around…

Out of Print: session recap

Our Out of Print session went off pretty well (I think) this morning. Jim worked his usual Bavamagic, weaving early American history, WordPress, wikis, and student conversations into a pretty cool demo. Then, I showed some of the OpenContentDIY resource site, and rambled unexplicably for about 25 minutes. From what I remember, I either sounded like the teacher in Charlie Brown, or somehow managed to touch on empowerment of students, open content and reuse as a moral imperative, communities (both in content and open source).

Some of the points that I was surprised to hear myself talking about were:

  • “flavours” of interaction imposed by various tools
  • although tools are relatively unimportant, the philosophies embodied within them subtly (and not so subtly) alters the nature of discourse
  • we need to honour and value the contributions of all participants – students add value to the conversation, so why should we lock their contributions behind a walled garden? Raving about John Willinsky’s “go public!” throwaway comment from Northern Voice 2007.
  • baby stepping from closed content, through walled gardens, and into the open. important to evangelize the importance of Going Public.
  • LOTS of great alternatives for tools (wordpress, openocw, drupal, etc…) – it’s more important to choose to be open, connected and social, than to worry about which tool(s) you use.
  • individual ownership of blogs is essential to meaningful conversations. Community/communal blog services lack individual “voice” in blogs – as opposed to more individual-focussed services like WordPress µ
  • likely a bunch of other stuff that’s blurry at the moment. hope it wasn’t blurry for the attendees…

During the presentation, Jim and I went off on some tangents that weren’t in the original plan. It felt like the tangents were much more important and interesting than the simple tech demo that was originally planned. I hope that’s what the attendees got. It was a bit strange for me – my thinking on the topic of Open Education and open content was shifting while I was talking. As I was speaking about this stuff, I could feel the thoughts coming together in my head. Thanks for the venue to cause that to happen!

After the presentation, I had the chance to talk with someone from Turkey (sorry! I’ve forgotten your name!) about the WordPress.com blockade in Turkey. I suggested she get in touch with Matt to see if there’s anything they can do together to move the blogs within Turkey’s borders so they can keep their communities going.

I also talked with Fred Mednick from Teachers without Borders. He’s looking for some help setting up some projects in Drupal – some pretty cool stuff that should help Make a Difference. If anyone can help Fred with some Drupal configuration and pimping-out, please let me/him know.

Canadian eLearning 2007 Video Party: The Movie

Here’s the presentation, with the clips and selections Brian and I used during the welcoming reception for the Canadian eLearning 2007 conference on Tuesday. I wound up not recording audio during the presentation, so you’ll just have to imagine witty and entertaining banter and intros for each video. Brian was responsible for both the witty and entertaining portions of the presentation.

The video selections came to 48 minutes. We were given a 45 minute slot after the welcome reception supper meal. You do the math…

[flv:http://www.darcynorman.net/video/CanadianELearningVideoParty_320_240.flv 320 240]

Canadian eLearning 2007 Video Party Playlist

Here’s the playlist Brian and I used for our presentation during the Canadian eLearning 2007 conference welcome reception on Tuesday evening. I’ll try to compress a version of the presentation with our clip selections (we only showed short clips from many of the videos) but I won’t get a chance to do that until the weekend.

intro

  1. who the hell are we, and what the hell are we doing there?
  2. Brief riff on new abundance of online video and DIY creativity in era of YouTube
  3. Intro clip of Guy Caballero, followed by SCTV’s Hinterland Who’s Who, followed by the Crack Spider version.
  4. Overview of Online video awards

changing nature of education

  1. Ken Robinson – TED Talks 2004
  2. Spare Me My Life! Cultural values implicit in instruction

web 2.0

  1. Doug Engelbart- The Demo
  2. Apple’s Knowledge Navigator Video
  3. Web 2.0 … The Machine is Us/ing Us
  4. 2014 EPIC, by Google
  5. Le Grand Content – information visualization

Hallucinatory Interlude:

  1. Safe tripping

creative commons and open content

  1. Creative Commons – Wanna Work Together?
  2. A Fair(y) Use Tale
  3. The Future is Open

mashups

  1. Rick Noblenski- Blasting Caps Expert and Wiki Advocate – an edu. reuse of old content
  2. Winnie the Pooh meets Apocalypse Now
  3. The Shining Recut
  4. Monty Trek
  5. Instructional Video: Mash-up made from instructional videos

Online Video Party @ Canadian eLearning 2007 Conference

I learned long ago, that when given the opportunity to do anything with Brian, I should jump on it. Doesn’t matter where, or what. Just do it. It’ll be interesting, or at least fun. Most likely, it’ll be both, in spades.

I was handed the chance to do something fun with Brian as part of the welcome reception for the Canadian eLearning 2007 Conference in Edmonton next week. It’s something new for the conference – entertainment as part of the welcome reception. What to do? People will be eating/drinking/talking, so a full-on presentation wouldn’t go over very well. What to do… What to do…
How about an Online Video Party?

So, we’ve picked a selection of videos, and will be queuing them up with some intro and discussion blabbidyblah. But mostly, we’ll watch some cool videos, and try to see how many people get freaked out by the trippy safe trippin’ test video. The first 3 rows will get wet.

I’ll have our video selections playing in a nice Keynote presentation, and will convert that to a web-friendly version after the event. I’ll also try to record audio during the session, in case anything interesting happens.

Live, from Edmonton, it’s [Tuesday] night!

MediaWiki as a presentation application

I gave a presentation this morning as part of Faculty Technology Days 2007. I was asked a few weeks ago if I'd like to talk about weblogs and wikis, and I couldn't come up a reason why not, so they slotted me in. In the meantime, I've been doing a lot of thinking about weblogs, wikis, academic publishing, and being Open, Connected and Social. So I decided to try to subvert my presentation slightly, into a more open-content-is-good kind of talk (but still based on blogs and wikis for much of it). What better way to do that, than to present directly from a wiki? It's worked very well for Brian Lamb – all of his presentations are wiki-driven.

Yesterday, I came across a link to some Firefox Greasemonkey scripts for use with Mediawiki. (aside: I'd thought I'd seen the link via Twitter, but can't seem to find who said it there – I remembered it being from Scott Leslie, but it could have been through del.icio.us, or via a comment he made on a blog somewhere…)

Anyway, on scanning through the list, one jumped out at me. Not literally, but that would have been cool. The "Wikipedia Presentation" script sounded very cool. I'm a big fan of the wiki-as-presentation style, and this mashed up a Mediawiki page with the awesome S5 html presentation engine. By installing this script, it automatically enables viewing any Mediawiki page as a full-screen slideware presentation.

So, I installed it.

And it failed. The current version of the script has been updated for the current version of Mediawiki. I'm using an older version (because my server doesn't have the latest PHP bits to run the latest MediaWiki). Older Mediawiki pages use div elements to mark sections of a page, while newer versions use spans. After some extremely complicated editing of the Greasemonkey script (changing the 3 instances of "span" to say "div" instead) I was off and running. My modified (i.e., reverted) version of the Greasemonkey script is available here.

The cool thing, if you're using a Mac (and, really, what ISN'T cooler if you're using a Mac) is that you can install an application called Mira to enable using the Apple Remote to control Firefox. I bound the back/forward buttons on the remote to the left/right arrow keys, and I was navigating through a Mediawiki page as a full-screen presentation, using a wireless remote.

With the script installed, the wiki/presentation page for this presentation should show a "Start Presentation" link right beneath the article title.

There was one minor tweak I needed to make. By default, the content of the slide starts too far down the screen. When using a projector, you may be stuck at 800×600, and a bunch of that was sucked up by empty space at the top. So, I overrode one of the styles to make it start higher up. There are a couple of ways you can do this. If you have the Web Developer extension installed, just add a new User Style Sheet containing the style below. Otherwise, edit your Mediawiki skin (in my case, the file at /skins/monobook/main.css ) to add this:

#wikipedia_presentation {
margin-top: 0 !important;
}

I gave a presentation this morning as part of Faculty Technology Days 2007. I was asked a few weeks ago if I'd like to talk about weblogs and wikis, and I couldn't come up a reason why not, so they slotted me in. In the meantime, I've been doing a lot of thinking about weblogs, wikis, academic publishing, and being Open, Connected and Social. So I decided to try to subvert my presentation slightly, into a more open-content-is-good kind of talk (but still based on blogs and wikis for much of it). What better way to do that, than to present directly from a wiki? It's worked very well for Brian Lamb – all of his presentations are wiki-driven.

Yesterday, I came across a link to some Firefox Greasemonkey scripts for use with Mediawiki. (aside: I'd thought I'd seen the link via Twitter, but can't seem to find who said it there – I remembered it being from Scott Leslie, but it could have been through del.icio.us, or via a comment he made on a blog somewhere…)

Anyway, on scanning through the list, one jumped out at me. Not literally, but that would have been cool. The "Wikipedia Presentation" script sounded very cool. I'm a big fan of the wiki-as-presentation style, and this mashed up a Mediawiki page with the awesome S5 html presentation engine. By installing this script, it automatically enables viewing any Mediawiki page as a full-screen slideware presentation.

So, I installed it.

And it failed. The current version of the script has been updated for the current version of Mediawiki. I'm using an older version (because my server doesn't have the latest PHP bits to run the latest MediaWiki). Older Mediawiki pages use div elements to mark sections of a page, while newer versions use spans. After some extremely complicated editing of the Greasemonkey script (changing the 3 instances of "span" to say "div" instead) I was off and running. My modified (i.e., reverted) version of the Greasemonkey script is available here.

The cool thing, if you're using a Mac (and, really, what ISN'T cooler if you're using a Mac) is that you can install an application called Mira to enable using the Apple Remote to control Firefox. I bound the back/forward buttons on the remote to the left/right arrow keys, and I was navigating through a Mediawiki page as a full-screen presentation, using a wireless remote.

With the script installed, the wiki/presentation page for this presentation should show a "Start Presentation" link right beneath the article title.

There was one minor tweak I needed to make. By default, the content of the slide starts too far down the screen. When using a projector, you may be stuck at 800×600, and a bunch of that was sucked up by empty space at the top. So, I overrode one of the styles to make it start higher up. There are a couple of ways you can do this. If you have the Web Developer extension installed, just add a new User Style Sheet containing the style below. Otherwise, edit your Mediawiki skin (in my case, the file at /skins/monobook/main.css ) to add this:

#wikipedia_presentation {
margin-top: 0 !important;
}

Open, Connected, Social – the movie!

I had the pleasure of co-presenting a session with Brian, Alan and Jim for the MacLearningEnvironments.org group. We wound up breathing some new life into Small Pieces Loosely Joined, and building some demo sites and background wiki pages. Here's the video for the session:

Open, Connected & Social

The video is available in iPod format, and original lossless QuickTime format. Brian is also offering up an audio-only MP3 version of the jam session.

I had the pleasure of co-presenting a session with Brian, Alan and Jim for the MacLearningEnvironments.org group. We wound up breathing some new life into Small Pieces Loosely Joined, and building some demo sites and background wiki pages. Here’s the video for the session:

Open, Connected & Social

The video is available in iPod format, and original lossless QuickTime format. Brian is also offering up an audio-only MP3 version of the jam session.

Upcoming presentation – (Many, Too Many?) Small Technologies Loosely Joined: Open, Connected, and Social

I was asked a while back if I was interested in giving a presentation to the MacLearningEnvironments.org group. At first, my reaction was "sure, but what on earth would I talk about?" After some thought, an initial plan was to do an updated version of the Small Pieces Loosely Joined presentation I had the pleasure of doing way back in 2004 (with Brian and Alan). What would that have looked like if it was done in 2007? How would the changes in those long 3 years have affected things?

After hanging out with Jim at Northern Voice, it was obvious that the "3 amigos" (as someone else has called us, but the name somehow stuck) is now the "4 amigos" (and hopefully more). Jim is a kindred spirit, and so I had to include him in the mix. I'd also wanted to bring in Gardo (a 5th amigo?) but alas his schedule is already full on the day of the presentation.

Long story short, the 4 of us will be attempting another "jazz ensemble" presentation/panel, as an online session initiated by MacLearningEnvironments.org (but open to everyone).

From the session blurb:

In 2004 three of us presented a concept of decentralized connecting web content with RSS — "Small Technologies Loosely Joined" (http://careo.elearning.ubc.ca/smallpieces), playing off of the book title by David Weinberger. Looking back at what we might call "Web 1.5", using RSS to interconnect blogs, wikis, and chat seem rather simple. At that time, flickr and del.icio.us were still truly unknown betas, Google was just a search engine, folksonomy might not even had been coined as a term, podcasting did not exist, online videos were relegated to basic downloading to view– what a long way the web has come since then. However, underneath the shiny hood of the new tools, RSS remains a key integration factor Now we sit in 2007 with an explosion and continued expansion, of "small tools" leaving many educators overwhelmed and excited at the same time.

In this session, like a loose jazz quartet, four presenters will "jam" on the potential for teaching and learning as well as the state of web technology in four general areas

* bliki : can we genetically recombine blogs and wikis?
* mashups – bending the internet to do your bidding
* connecting people and information – RSS, Pipes, aggregators…
* insanely social software – putting the "we" in "web 2.0"

And more broadly look at the influence of open-content, connectedness, and social networking aspects.

So, if you feel like jamming with the band, book some time in your calendar on Wednesday, April 25, 11:00am Mountain (10:00am Pacific, 1:00pm Eastern, etc…) and tune in. It's going to be as free-form as we can get away with, so please feel free/encouraged to join in. It's happening as an Elluminate meeting, so we can share the microphone and screens etc… to keep things pretty dynamic in order to respond to questions and contributions on the fly.

Really, though, I was just looking for an excuse to bash some ideas around with Brian, Alan and Jim again. We've got some (hopefully) cool and useful stuff planned, and I'm hoping it takes on a life outside of the presentation.

Update: of course, I didn't mean to leave anyone out of the "amigos" – Scott is definitely in there, as is Stephen. And a bunch of others. Not meaning to sound like a boorish elitist…�

I was asked a while back if I was interested in giving a presentation to the MacLearningEnvironments.org group. At first, my reaction was “sure, but what on earth would I talk about?” After some thought, an initial plan was to do an updated version of the Small Pieces Loosely Joined presentation I had the pleasure of doing way back in 2004 (with Brian and Alan). What would that have looked like if it was done in 2007? How would the changes in those long 3 years have affected things?

After hanging out with Jim at Northern Voice, it was obvious that the “3 amigos” (as someone else has called us, but the name somehow stuck) is now the “4 amigos” (and hopefully more). Jim is a kindred spirit, and so I had to include him in the mix. I’d also wanted to bring in Gardo (a 5th amigo?) but alas his schedule is already full on the day of the presentation.

Long story short, the 4 of us will be attempting another “jazz ensemble” presentation/panel, as an online session initiated by MacLearningEnvironments.org (but open to everyone).

From the session blurb:

In 2004 three of us presented a concept of decentralized connecting web content with RSS — “Small Technologies Loosely Joined” (http://careo.elearning.ubc.ca/smallpieces), playing off of the book title by David Weinberger. Looking back at what we might call “Web 1.5”, using RSS to interconnect blogs, wikis, and chat seem rather simple. At that time, flickr and del.icio.us were still truly unknown betas, Google was just a search engine, folksonomy might not even had been coined as a term, podcasting did not exist, online videos were relegated to basic downloading to view– what a long way the web has come since then. However, underneath the shiny hood of the new tools, RSS remains a key integration factor Now we sit in 2007 with an explosion and continued expansion, of “small tools” leaving many educators overwhelmed and excited at the same time.

In this session, like a loose jazz quartet, four presenters will “jam” on the potential for teaching and learning as well as the state of web technology in four general areas

* bliki : can we genetically recombine blogs and wikis?
* mashups – bending the internet to do your bidding
* connecting people and information – RSS, Pipes, aggregators…
* insanely social software – putting the “we” in “web 2.0”

And more broadly look at the influence of open-content, connectedness, and social networking aspects.

So, if you feel like jamming with the band, book some time in your calendar on Wednesday, April 25, 11:00am Mountain (10:00am Pacific, 1:00pm Eastern, etc…) and tune in. It’s going to be as free-form as we can get away with, so please feel free/encouraged to join in. It’s happening as an Elluminate meeting, so we can share the microphone and screens etc… to keep things pretty dynamic in order to respond to questions and contributions on the fly.

Really, though, I was just looking for an excuse to bash some ideas around with Brian, Alan and Jim again. We’ve got some (hopefully) cool and useful stuff planned, and I’m hoping it takes on a life outside of the presentation.

Update: of course, I didn’t mean to leave anyone out of the “amigos” – Scott is definitely in there, as is Stephen. And a bunch of others. Not meaning to sound like a boorish elitist…�