I Gif You the Bird

One of the assignments for #ds106 is to create an animated GIF of a scene from a favorite movie that captures the essence of the movie or a scene from the movie. Or something like that. I had trouble thinking of a movie, but I have been wanting to return to a favorite movie that Clint Eastwood produced about jazz giant Charlie Parker after seeing some of the rave reviews of Forest Whitaker for The Butler (Whitaker broke out in Bird, I think.) As a saxophonist, I was always in awe of Parker and Bird showcases not just the talent but the destructive streak, too.

I am no expert in animated GIF files and used a Mac program from the App Store called Gif Animator. You can move either video clips or single photos into it, and it will create animated GIFs. I’ve used it for a series of single photos before, but this is the first time using it for video. I am not sure I like it all that much. I downloaded a clip (with Download Helper add-on) from YouTube of Bird in the midst of playing a solo, which is where he was most powerful. Then, I dumped the clip (after converting it from flash to .mov with the Leawo video converter app, which costs a lot more now than when I bought it a few years ago) into Gif Animator. The first time, my clip was way too long, so I went into iMovie and edited it down. The clip was again way too long, and so on the third try, I reduced it down even further.

The result, though, is a GIF that is dark (literally and not just the dark soul of Parker) and in slow motion, for some dang ereason, so I suspect I need to tinker with the app settings some more. And I don’t have the patience for it right now. So I am Gif-ing you the Bird.

🙂

Peace (in the gif),
Kevin

 

 

Angles of Possibilities: Nurturing Disruption and Breaking Assumptions

Over at the #ds106 Headless Course, there were a couple of videos shared to start the headless adventure. One of them is this wonderful look at creativity and how to begin to break free of assumptions we have about everyday things. In our Making Learning Connected MOOC, we called this “hacking.” Here, Kelli Anderson calls it “disruption.” You might call it “modding: the world. Whatever the term, the idea is to not take for granted the use and function of things around us. Instead, break free of those assumptions and make something new. Re-envision the world.

In my classroom, I try to do this by helping my sixth graders shift from passive users of media and technology into the role of active creators of content. We do hacking activity, make video games, and engage in the world. But even at that young age, they are starting to fall into familiar roles, with assumptions about how things should happen just because that is the way they have always happened. It can be difficult to help them see the world from another angle — the angle of possibilities.

I’ll also note that the students who naturally do this – who see everything from that angle of possibilities — are often labeled “quirky” and “strange” and are all too often undervalued. If recent history has taught us anything, it is that this group of students will be the ones who will change the world in ways we don’t yet know.

I invite you to join the Vialogues of this video. (Vialogues allows you to post comments on videos, with time markers, so that your comments gets linked with a specific time in the video. It’s a neat way to have a conversation about a video.) The more, the merrier, and I would love to know what you think about Kelli Anderson’s presentation and her examples (check out the newspaper one … pretty nifty hack.)

 

Peace (in the conversation),
Kevin

The Headless DS106 Begins

headless
I am hoping to take part in the DS106 Headless Course that has just gotten underway, although I didn’t realize it had already gotten underway. So, we’ll see how it goes. DS106 is a site designed to get participants learning more about digital storytelling and using it for creative ventures. I am more in tune with the Daily Create — a daily prompt for creative work — but I am intrigued by how a “headless” (ie, leaderless) course develops and is run.

As far as I can tell, the first tasks were around getting a blog up and running. Check.

And the second task was telling a “key chain” story — using your keys as a way to tell something about yourself. I ended up using Vine to tell a six second story and to be frank, it wasn’t much of a story. So, I uploaded the video into YouTube and added a few annotations. Here’s what I ended up with:

I am curious to see what other folks will do with DS106 and how it might inform my own understanding of digital storytelling across mediums, and how that work might inform my teaching practice. I suspect keeping up might be a challenge but the nature of open courses is that you come and go as you need, and have time for. I need to give myself permission to miss assignments and jump in where it makes sense. (Shades of our Making Learning Connected MOOC.)

Here is the link for the DS106 Headless Course Weekly Announcements, if you want to come along, too. (please, do)

Peace (in the place with no heads),
Kevin

Making the Bread Come Alive

I created this quickly for the Daily Create at DS106 the other day. The assignment was to make a stopmotion video of something in the kitchen.
🙂

Peace (in the loaf),
Kevin

Panoramic Photography for DS106

Room Panorama for DS106 daily create
Yesterday’s Daily Create at DS106 suggested we take a panoramic photograph of a room in our house.  I am no photographer, so this use of imagery is very different for me. But I was game and I figured, there has to be an app for that, right? Of course there was. I first tried a free app for panoramic image but it was difficult to use, and I got frustrated with it. So, I pumped out 99 cents for an app called Panorama 360 Camera. It’s great, and includes an automatic helper for taking your photos. The app stitches them together for you into a 360 degree view.

I took the iPad and app outside and captured my backyard with it (I wanted to get my dog in every image but he would not work with me!), but used one of the app’s filters to create this different kind of 360 experience. It transforms my yard into a world, doesn’t it?
The Backyard

Isn’t that cool?

Peace (in the image),
Kevin

This is What Happens when You (me) Hack the NYTimes Frontpage

Tabloid Headlines for ds106
As much as I can, I am trying out the Daily Creates at the DS106 site. Each day, someone posts an interesting hack/remix/create idea and you do it if you can. No pressure. Yesterday, the Daily Create asked for folks to recreate a Tabloid newspaper with news about DS106. I used Mozilla’s XRay Goggles and hacked at the New York Times. I’m sure they don’t mind (ha). I decided to tweak the idea of how we write with my main article.

Peace (in the create),
Kevin

 

Making Jim Dance for DS106

A series of activities over at DS106 centers on the use of animated GIFs, and this particular activity has folks taking a dancing Jim Groom, from DS106, and putting him into new places. I decided to use Popcorn Maker, so that I could add a soundtrack (he’s dancing, after all). I don’t know Jim but he sure seems happy to be dancing.

 

Peace (busts a move),
Kevin

Just Another (Some)Body in the DS106


You can ignore this post. Or not. I am signing up for the Fall 2013 Headless Course for the DS106, and I want to test my blog category for the blog hub there. OK, so why am I joining DS106? (I’m writing so I might as well write something). I’ve started to participate a bit in the Daily Create, and have heard so much about DS106 through various channels in the past weeks (mostly through connections in the Making Learning Connected MOOC project).

It felt like the right move to sign on up and keep creating into the fall.

How about you? Come join in the fun. We’ll learn together.

Peace (in the ds),
Kevin