In my Quest … video

I made it a bit of a mission this year to investigate the possibilities of integrating audio and video into my web presence, both for personal use and for educational use, and it has been quite a learning-curve journey with many more miles to go, I suppose.

This morning, however, I came upon Wired News feature The Year in Online Video and I assume this is probably the first time that this category has been created and used for such a feature (I may be wrong, but I don’t think so). In the article, which has embedded video right in it, there were some cool clips, such as:

  • Real Life introduction to The Simpsons
  • The Mentos versus Diet Coke experiment
  • OK Go and their funny sync-dance music video (on treadmills)

But what is most fascinating to me, I think, are the two videos where people took photographs of themselves every day for a period of time (in one case, a year, and in the other case, six years) and then pulled them all together into a video. The effect is quite fascinating.

Video has many possibilities, some of which we can’t quite yet see.

Peace (and good year ahead),

Radio: An Illustrated Guide

Thanks to Paul O. for recommending this very cool graphic book called Radio: An Illustrated Guide by Jessica Abel and Ira Glass. The book chronicles the experience of creating a radio show for This American Life, hosted by Ira Glass. The graphic novel is perfect for this venture, I think, because it shows you different nuances of how a radio story comes together over the course of many weeks, from one idea to an emerging theme.

Ira Glass at the microphone

For anyone interested in getting a look behind the scenes of a thoughtful and frenetic radio program, this book is for you.


Another Excellent Resource

I stumbled upon the Teaching Hacks Weblog this morning (via the so-called Top 100 Education Blogs list from something called Online Education Database) and there is a free resource at Teaching Hacks for teachers wanting to integrate such Web 2.0 tools as RSS feeds, tagging, social networking, etc, into their toolbox. The booklet seems like a nice companion to Will Richardson’s book (Weblogs, Wikis, Podcasts, etc).

Check out the PDF file called Web 2.0 for Educators by Quentin D’Souza



Edublog Awards: the winners

The winners of the 2006 Edublogs Awards were announced this week and although TeachingTeachingTeachers (one of my favorite group sites) didn’t win, the range of sites across the board.  And the organizers did post the voting breakdown, if you are interested in seeing that information.

Meanwhile, if you are just starting up an RSS aggregator, this is a good place to begin to create your own Blog community. Click through the various links and add the sites to your aggregator. You will be inspired, entertained and educated.

Head to Edublog Awards 2006

Peace (with RSS),

Puppets on Display

My sixth grade classes spend much of the end of November and into December working on their own puppet play performances, starting with mapping out a story along a plot arc, developing character, and integrating a moral into the story. They must also invent a winter holiday and use that as the setting for their stories.

Then, they work with the art teacher and myself to make puppets, and use a wonderful hand-carved puppet theater at our school to perform for younger grades (which actually begin today!). This year, I video-taped each small play (there are 20 total plays this year) and will be publishing the videos online in the coming days via our classroom Weblog and the Homework Weblog site we use for families.

For now, though, I created this short teaser for parents and students.


Peace (with puppets),

Vote for Blogs

If you want to find some good blogging, you can’t go wrong by checking out this list and casting your vote for some of the best educational blogs out there. This site is the home of the Edublog Awards for 2006 and, if you are anything like me, you’ll be stealing some ideas left and right. And I would like to put in a plug for Teachers Teaching Teachers, which is a wonderful venture to have teachers talking and podcasting and writing about their work in the classroom. It is a collaborative venture all around and well worth your attention.

Head to the Edublogs Award Site and cast your vote!


Innocent Boy

I recently discovered Photo Story software by Microsoft and have been tinkering with it as a real alternative to MovieMaker as a digital storytelling device. It seems simple to use, has some built-in music features and allows you to get the Ken Burns effect with relatively short learning curve.

As an experiment, I created two stories: One is about my childhood, using old pictures that I converted to digital by using my digital camera to take pictures of pictures and the other story is about my three young sons.

I also recorded a song I wrote about my kids called Innocent Boy ( I used Audacity, so the quality is OK but not great) and inserted that song into the digital story as background music. The results were pretty nice, I have to say, and I can see introducing Photo Story to my sixth graders later this year (they are already tinkering with MovieMaker).

You can listen to my song, Innocent Boy song

Peace (in pictures),

Created in Darkness … lists from McSweeney

We all need to laugh … so here are some excerpts from the lists that end of the very funny collection of funny stuff from McSweeney’s Created in Darkness By Troubled Americans: The Best of McSweeney’s Humor Category:

Less Popular Board Games (by Neil Chamberlain)

  • Chute and Chute
  • Slumlord
  • Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Spouses
  • Tax Cheat
  • Cannibal Adventure
  • Pet Rock Divorce Court
  • Desperation

School Yard Games for Unpopular Children (by Gren Knauss)

  • Hide and Be Lonely
  • Teeter
  • Goose Goose Goose
  • Kick the Can, over and Over Again, Angrily
  • Very Easy Tag

Phrases That Have Never Been Uttered in Human History (by Marshall Sella)

  • Look out, God — behind you!
  • The New World has that New World smell
  • Yummy plague!
  • Let the ant-shaving begin!

Buy the book! It will have you chuckling for days! (or visit the List Website for new and exciting lists!)