Soundscape Story: From Sunrise to Sunset

Sunrise 2014-07-06 1
I’ve been challenging myself to do something around the theme of “light” this week at the Making Learning Connected MOOC, using only audio to tell a story. I failed at it many times. It turns out that telling a story completely with sounds is pretty difficult, even with the experience I had doing this with DS106 earlier this year. I had one story idea of someone wandering through a dark house, lighting candles. I had another one with an alien invasion. They didn’t work and those stories were abandoned.

Finally, I realized I should stay simple and soulful …. I should create a soundscape story of a day that begins with the light of sunrise and ends with fading into sunset, as told from someone reading a book. The audio becomes the story the reader is reading. I still had troubles here. I struggled with how to represent parts of the day in audio only, and then realized I could use church bells ringing out the hours as a sort of anchor point for the listener.

All the sounds come from Freesound.org, where people openly post and share out sounds they have recorded.  Just know … I didn’t record any of the sounds. I pulled them together in Audacity editing software to produce the story, so I am appreciative of the Freesound users for sharing their sounds with the world. (See list of credits at the end of this post of the audio files I used)

You will hear an odd sound near the end of the story. This was created by someone using a software program that turns a bitmap of an image into audio wave files. The image he used is of the moon. So the sound is of an audio interpretation of a picture of a moon, if that makes sense. I want to dig around for that software program, because I think it has possibilities for storytelling, right?

I can’t say I am completely happy with the results of From Sunrise to Sunset, and I am left wondering: Does the story drag on? Does it capture the splendid beauty of morning as light hits the world? The liveliness of the day as we move about under the sun? The slow settling of the night as the Earth turns away from the sun? Is light even really a theme, here? Or just an artificial storytelling construct? You know, I got questions for myself.

Sunset in Tazacorte

I am making the soundscape story downloadable for anyone to remix, as part of the ethos of the CLMOOC.

Peace (in the story of light coming and light going),
Kevin

Sound Clip Credits:

  • Pages of Book Turning 1 and 2
  • Church Bells ringing at noon and 6
  • Sound of the moon
  • Rooster in the morning
  • Dusk insect sounds
  • Daytime street sounds

Find Your Muse: Making an Animated Meme

I’ve tinkered with animated GIFs before (most notably, with DS106) and when I saw a fellow traveler in the Making Learning Connected MOOC world sharing an animated GIF meme, I thought: I gotta try that.

So, I did. Here’s how I went about it.

First, I found a clip on YouTube that I liked (of Lisa Simpson playing her saxophone).

Then, I grabbed the url of that video and went into a site called Make a Gif, which does what it sounds like it does: it creates animated GIF files out of YouTube videos. I took just the first three seconds of the video, as the loop of Lisa playing while Homer kicks back and dreams of other things while Lisa kicks out her saxophone jams.

Then, I went into an online photo editor called EZGif, which allows you to layer in text on top of animated GIF files.

I’ve run into problems hosting animated GIF files before and I have found that if I use Flickr and grab the “original” image (not the embed code that Flickr gives you, as that will flatten the GIF down to a static image) via copy/paste, and place that original upload file directly into my blog post, it will remain animated.

The result?

 

Pretty nifty, eh? Go give it a try and share out what you made as part of this Make Cycle around memes. We’re moving to shift gears out of this Make Cycle but it never really ends. You can enter into the conversation with the CLMOOC whenever you arrive.

Peace (in the sharing),
Kevin

Emoji Movie Poster: Screenface III

Screen face #tdc873
Yesterday’s Daily Create was to create an emoji movie poster. I suppose this could have gone a few ways: we could have made a poster for a movie told entirely in emoji (which I don’t think anyone did) or we could made a poster for an emoji movie (which is what I did). There are probably other options, too, but that’s the beauty of the Daily Create.

I went into Webmaker Thimble, using a Movie Poster template that walks you through all of the steps, and remixed it for a fake movie: Screenface III. What’s funny is that the emoji I used got blown up (not literally) so large that you can only see the top of its head, with odd eyes on the horizon of the page. I tried to fix it and then realized: it works better this way. Or  maybe I just got lazy and realized: good enough.

Peace (in the theater),
Kevin

 

Slice of Life: Making CLMOOC Game Cards

WRITE a slice of life story on your own blog. SHARE a link to your post in the comments section. GIVE comments to at least three other SOLSC bloggers.

I’ve been having a blast making teasers for this summer’s Making Learning Connected MOOC (Massive Open Online Collaboration). This is the second year of the CLMOOC, and last year was so much fun, we are doing it again –with various wrinkles to allow last year’s folks to keep playing with learning and enough entry points for new folks to come on board and have fun.

I am one of the facilitators of the CLMOOC, leading up the “support team” that will make sure folks feel welcomed and assisted as they move their way through the Make Cycles of possible activities and reflection. But as we move towards the “hard launch” of the CLMOOC, I’ve been tinkering around with various means of “teasing” folks to sign on up (it’s free! lurkers welcome!)

Alan Levine, over at DS106, recently shared out an online generator for creating your own Monopoly game cards, and I thought: Gotta use that! So, I’ve been creating Chance and Community Chest cards with a CLMOOC bent, and sharing them one at a time on Twitter (our hashtag is #clmooc). I decided to move all of the cards into a comic, too.

CLMOOC 2014 COMIC TEASER

I invite you to join our Making Learning Connected MOOC this summer. It’s sponsored by the National Writing Project and it is part of the Educator Innovator Network’s Summer of Make, Play and Connect. The MOOC is designed to get you playing, learning and reflecting, and connecting with other educators in a stress-free environment (hey, it’s summer). The whole thing kicks off in mid-June and goes until August, although you should feel free to enter and exit as your schedule permits.

I’m already making things …. come join me.

Peace (in the slice of MOOC pie),
Kevin

 

The DS106 Board Game Idea

Today’s Daily Create is to invent a Board Game for DS106. Here’s what I came up with:
DS106 BoardGame Idea
I created it with Coggle If the image is a bit fuzzy, you can do right to the project on Coggle itself and zoom around.
Or do it here with the embedded version:

Peace (in the play),
Kevin

Keeping on with the Daily Create

The Daily Create with DS106 keeps me on my toes. Even on days when I don’t do the Daily Create, I find myself thinking about it during odd moments during the day, as if I were creating in my head. It’s strange. But that’s the power of a good idea, right?

Here are a few Daily Create assignments I’ve been tinkering with in the past few days:

This morning, the assignment was to create a persona poem. It could be real or fictional, and I went with a poem about Charlie Parker (see my blog tagline).

Bird
Musical, Inventive, Groundbreaking, Addicted
Pioneer of jazz saxophone soloing
Who loves riffing off a melody, making music on the stage in a dark bar and escaping from banality of the ho-hum
Who fears rejection of lovers, uninspired moments that lead to boredom, and lost notes played at midnight
Who wants to see all music transformed by creativity, an end to racial inequality, and the acceptance of Jazz as an authentic original American art form
Parker

Sometimes, I share out this old digital poem about Charlie “Bird” Parker.

Bird: a video poem from Mr. Hodgson on Vimeo.

One of the strangest Creates in some time was something known as the PetSwitch. We went into a site that allows you to superimpose your image on your pet’s image, to create … this odd thing. The assignment was to write the story, but I could not get past seeing my dog Duke with my mouth and eyes, and so I went with a simple six word story.

What was in that kibble anyway?

And here is the image:
Dad and Duke
Weird, eh?

And finally, the other day, we had a Prime Number Poetry assignment, where we had to use five different prime numbers as part of poem where the numbers were the rhyming words of couplets. That’s not as easy as it sounds (or maybe it doesn’t sound easy).

Here’s what I wrote:

At the ripe old age of 89,
I came to the realization of something left behind
in a house whose address was 643
on Main Street, near the post office, by the big ol' tree,
and so if you would like to earn a reward of 109
dollars, I would be most appreciative if you took the time
to gather my stuff, including my pets, all 5,
if they happen to still be living there, and if they happen to be alive.
Give me a call -- my area code is 367
unless I've gone away, then you can text me in Heaven.

And how could I forget? The other day, in honor of my fellow dawg’s birthday (Alan Levine, aka @cogdog), the Daily Create theme was creating a dog-themed photograph for Alan, one of the minds behind DS106. I went into webcomic mode, riffing on a periodic cat vs. dog idea.
CogDog Party Time

Peace (in the creative spirit),
Kevin

 

Myself; My Selfie

Some convergence of “selfie” ideas came to my mind yesterday, with the DS106 Daily Create riffing off creating a “bad selfie” to someone sharing the cute video and CommonSense Media posting an interesting piece about girls and selfies and body image, and then I decided to do my own version of the Ellen selfie, but with webcomics.

This was my submission to the Daily Create, using a filter to warp my head an then photobombing my own selfie with my comic self.

Bad Selfie (with Webcomic Photobomb)

I love this video. It captures the oddity of the selfie with humor.

Selfie from Andy Martin on Vimeo.

And I did my own group selfie:
My Self, My Selfie (comic-style)

Peace (in the vid),
Kevin

Life, in Seven Words

life in seven words
The Daily Create prompt yesterday was a “tell your life in seven words” kind of activity. It reminded me of Six Word memoirs, which reminded me of the Mozilla Thimble template created by the National Writing Project, so I dug it up and worked on it for my seven-word-life-story. I was trying to get at the idea that even when I am nowhere near a pen or keyboard, my brain is always working on writing something. I just need to remember later what it was that I was writing.

🙂

Peace (Word!),
Kevin

PS — you can create your own seven word or six word memoir with Thimble, too. Either remix mine or remix the original.

Daily Create: Writing It All Wrong

Does spelling count? For today’s Daily Create at DS106, the prompt is to write a story riddled with spelling errors.  (That’s harder than it seems, particular for a teacher).

Here’s what I came up with:
BestestStorieEvreMispelled

Peace (in the storie),
Kevin

Daily Create: Get Crazy and Stay Creative

There is the very famous “stay calm” poster that you see variations of just about everywhere. Yesterday’s Daily Create via DS106 was to remix that poster’s saying. I went into Mozilla’s Webmaker tool and did my own version.

Get Crazy

What’s cool about Webmaker is that you can remix my project or you can go to the one that I remixed, and do your own. At the very least, check out the hilarious collection of remixed posters.

Peace (in the scream of creativity),
Kevin