Animating Text for Kinetic Poetry

I’ve long been fascinated by Kinetic Text or Kinetic Typography (I’m never quite sure what to call it) in which words and/or letters of words are animated. In the Connected Learning MOOC (CLMOOC) this week, we are exploring animation and GIFs, so animated text has come to mind for me.

You can read about my explorations a bit here, at the new National Writing Project/Educator Innovator site The Current (formerly Digital Is) and in there are some of my reflections on creating the following poem with Powerpoint and its animation features that are built within. (Note: the resource is a few years old now and not every link to resource might be working). You basically have to use a single slide, and make every word you want to animate a different “object” so you can move it independently from the rest.

A Warning: An Illuminated Poem from Mr. Hodgson on Vimeo.

And there is one, done in similar fashion in Keynote as part of another exploration of technology and poetry:

And last year, during CLMOOC, we kept an open document as a slow chat, and I took the comments in the margins to make this poem in Keynote:

Lately, I have been using an app that Terry Elliott showed me called Legend, which allows for short textural animations.

You can’t get as detailed as some of the above with individual words, so you lose some of the emphasis. But I like the app for what it is and how the limited text and features forces you to focus on the words.

By the way, in Flickr, the way you host and share out animated GIFS (which is not immediately obvious because the site seems to flatten the animated gifs) is to upload your file and then go into the Download/View All Sizes button, and find the “original” and that location will allow you to right-click and grab the link of the animated GIF (that might be another lesson learned from Terry).

Peace (moves in strange ways),
Kevin

Small Moving Parts: Gifs and Animation

We’re exploring the use of GIFs and animations (including stopmotion) in the Connected Learning MOOC (CLMOOC) this week. If you’ve been wondering how to create small animations, and what the value might be for both creativity and learning as well as the connections to popular culture, come join us during this Make Cycle.

GIF skeptic

There are lots of resources in the post for this CLMOOC Make Cycle and folks will be sharing out work and ideas all week long. We have a Make with Me Hangout tomorrow — Tuesday 1 p.m. EST — and a Twitter Chat — Thursday 1 p.m. EST.

One early share for me is a simple animation, using paper cards (or the corner of a small notebook). We used to make these in school in our books (don’t tell the teacher). It’s a Flip Book, animated by the simple flipping of pages. I made this one a few years ago during a Claymation/Stopmotion Movie Camp that I facilitated, and we had kids make them. It was a lot of fun.

I also created a website resource some years back (and which I try to update as much as possible) for teachers wondering about stopmotion animation movies in the classroom. I used it for workshops and as a clearinghouse for remembering resources for myself.

Making Stopmotion Movies in the Classroom

Check out Making Stopmotion Movies

See what you can make …

Peace (moves along),
Kevin

Taking Lines for a Doodle Walk (Disrupting Thinking)

Disrupting Thinking Doodle Collage

All this week, as part of CLMOOC (Connected Learning MOOC) focus on doodling and drawing for deeper understanding and creative fun, I’ve been reading Disrupting Thinking by Kylene Beers and Bob Probst.

Schools get hijacked ....

I would read some of the book, highlight salient points, and then circle back around to find a line or phrase that stood out for me about ways we can “disrupt” our schools to provide more avenues for learning for all of our students.

Gone underground ...

Beers and Probst focus primarily on reading, and press us educators to push back against the “testing climate” and find ways to spark the love of reading in our students.

Disrupting Thinking: Become More

I would then take that line or phrase for “a walk” in the Pencil app on my iPad and try to illustrate the scene.

Disrupting Thinking: sticky notes

I did this all rather quickly, so some came out better than others.

From the heart ...

But I like how the doodling and drawing forced me to not just reflect but also to internally defend why I had highlighted what I had in the first place.

Inside School/Outside School

Lots of teachers are reading Disrupting Thinking this summer in various online reading groups, I see, and my overall experience with the book itself was a positive one, although I suspect the use of the term “disrupt” is a marketing touch.

They're Reading

The two authors, whom I respect and who have have written important books about teaching, urge us educators to be more thoughtful in how we sustain rich reading lives for our students, as reading is a key to learning in all content areas (not to mention, a key to a creative life). Their emphasis on a framework they call Book-Head-Heart is a logical way to begin to get young readers to move what they are reading beyond test questions and surface knowledge, and more into connecting with their own lives and experiences (in our school, we call this “reading beyond the text”). I’ll probably write a longer review for Middleweb.

My Story

Do you doodle when you read?

Peace (think in disruptions),
Kevin

Games That Draw You In to Doodle

I’ve been remembering two (but I suspect there are more) video games that integrate the player’s doodling skills as CLMOOC (Connected Learning MOOC) explores the elements of doodling and sketching this Make Cycle.

The first game is one that I have often done with full classes with interactive boards. Draw a Stickman is easy to use, and has some fun elements that will get the whole classroom engaged, and I often use the activity as an introductory lesson around plot design, foreshadowing and character.

All you do is follow directions on the screen, drawing what you are prompted to draw, and the website uses your doodle to move the story along to the next chapter. The Epic app, which the website promotes, is designed along similar lines for mobile devices.

Go on. Give Draw a Stickman a try. It’s fun.

The second game that came to mind as we were doodling this week is Drawn to Life, a Nintendo game that we have on Wii here at home and my older kids once played it on mobile devices, too. I have only watched the game a bit and remember reading about it, as when it came out, the whole concept of player agency was a big deal.

I suspect the unexpected nature of players as artists is difficult to design for, as the parameters of what a player might draw or want to use can shift at any moment. But I like that concept of the player’s art skills and imagination being baked into the design of a video game format, and wish there was more of that.

Any other major drawing/doodle games that I am missing?

Peace (and games),
Kevin

Turning Mountains into Molehills

My CLMOOC (Connected Learning MOOC) friends, Wendy and Karon, have been having some interesting creative conversations about data and design and poetry and music and more. I accepted an invitation to dip in. I gathered some sound files from music notation they were writing in Noteflight (music composition program) based on the data of conversations and worked to create a sort of fugue piece of music in Soundtrap (music recording program), using their melodies as loops and composing with their sounds as my paint.

Wendy has written a bit about what she and Karon were up to and also, Wendy also shared this post that is sort of like a map that leads you to other compilations (See this padlet and this Thinglink).

They have called their project Wendy’s Mountain, but I like to think the remixes are more like Molehills, entry points into underground landscapes that connect together in interesting ways.

Peace (sounds like overlapping melody),
Kevin

Doodling, Noodling and Wondering

#clmooc make with me sketchnoting

We hosted a Make with Me hangout yesterday as part of this week’s Make Cycle for Connected Learning MOOC (CLMOOC) and it was a pretty lively journey into the world of Doodling. I tried to sketchnote the conversation as it unfolded (see above), as visual notetaking (which I want to do more of with my sixth graders this coming year).

See the CLMOOC newsletter for this week, which is full of ideas for doodling and drawing and making meaning through art.

We have a doodle-themed Twitter Chat coming up tomorrow (Thurs) at 7 p.m. ET, using the #clmooc hashtag. Pop in. Doodle a bit. Be part of the conversation.

Peace (in lines and dots),
Kevi

Doodling Every Day (in July)

Doodle Prezi

I spent part of every day in July taking part in a Daily Sketch Challenge. I want to keep practicing at art, which comes more difficult for me than words. Each day on Mastodon, there was a drawing theme. I used the Paper App for my doodling.

Here is a collection of my 31 doodles, via Animoto.

I also tinkered with the new Prezi Next (not really sure what is different from regular Prezi except I can’t seem to embed it here, which is rather frustrating, but maybe that it some paid tier function now). I used the format of a book of sketches …

Take a look

All this connects nicely with this week’s Make Cycle theme in CLMOOC of Doodling. Why not join us for some sketching? We have a live Make with Me Hangout later today (Tuesday) at 5 p.m. ET and a Twitter chat coming up on Thursday at 7 p.m. ET.

Peace (in doodles),
Kevin

 

 

#CLMOOC: Where Color and Music and Collaboration Mix

Color collaboration

In an email this week to Karon, Wendy and Ron, I noted that if this project I am describing here were all that came out of CLMOOC (Connected Learning MOOC) for me this summer, I would be quite content and satisfied. (Happily, there is much much more coming out of CLMOOC this summer). These three friends of mine all collaborated with me on a musical piece called Coloring the Muse that arose from the theme of art and coloring during the first Make Cycle, and then was transformed by our collaboration.

Let me explain .. but first, let me share the project itself ..

This project all began with our explorations of color in the first Make Cycle of CLMOOC. Much of that Make Cycle centered on the Collaborative Coloring Book project. At one point, though, Karon and others, in our Google Community, shared some links that connected the color spectrum to the music spectrum, linking how we hear sounds to how we perceive colors. I found that fascinating, and began to think about how one might “paint” with colors to make music.

I tinkered a little bit with a melody line, based on some color patterns, and shared it back. Karon, whose CLMOOC connection I appreciate each summer, took that melody and used a music compositional software program called Noteflight to begin the process of composing a song, with harmonies and variations. The software program does kick out an audio file, so we could hear the parts in progress.

But I wondered if we might take the song into Soundtrap for some live collaborative recording. So I did, and I invited Karon and Ron (whose many talents include art and music via keyboards and programming) and Wendy (also a talented artist and musician). Soundtrap allows for distant, and global, collaboration on musical tracks. Ron is from the Netherlands, Wendy is from Australia and Karon and I are in the US. Perfect.

Color Muse, in Soundtrap

As I began laying the first tracks, though, I kept the main melody line and some of the harmony ideas, but didn’t exactly follow Karon’s compositional ideas. Instead, we played with the song, using Karon’s ideas of variations as a springboard, weaving percussion and counter-melodies throughout. I added some alto sax after Karon wrote out the parts, riffing off the main line at times, and using some sound effects to create a layered variation. There’s even a bit of planned dissonance, creating tension. The ending of the song is a piano part that Karon composed, but the track is actually the compositional software’s version of the piano, with Wendy’s clarinet as melodic accompaniment.

I also knew that I wanted to use the song as the soundtrack to a video with color, and I spent some time trying to find a way to do that. I could have done something more original myself, with iMovie or something, but I had this vision for an idea that I could not create myself, with colors dancing in time to the music. I ended up at a site called RenderForest, which has some neat templates but it is rather expensive to use if you want a video without their intrusive watermarks. I did find a coupon to discount it, and plunged to pay, since I really felt driven to have this color visualization be the visual for the music inspired by color spectrums.

That’s not all … Wendy has now taken the song, pushed it through another remix program, and then created her own video version of the song and its colors. And Ron wrote about an earlier project of his, connecting music to color, and shapes.

This is what CLMOOC is all about — emergent ideas that become the source for collaboration and creativity, following our passions through connections.

Peace (sounds like),
Kevin

Time-Lapsing My #CLMOOC Postcard Collection

More CLMOOC Postcards

We’re talking postcards this Make Cycle of the CLMOOC (Connected Learning MOOC), and in the past week, I received eight postcards in the mail from CLMOOC friends. You can find more information about what we are doing, and how, as well as lots of ideas for connecting, at the CLMOOC website.

I was holding my huge pile of postcards after our Make with Me Hangout the other night, and wondering how to share them all this week. There are more than 100 of them. An image, or two or three, would not really work. I decided to use my iStopmotion app on my iPad and just time-lapsed me putting each postcard down, making a pile as the lens went click click.

What’s neat is the artistic range of the postcard, from handmade to images to quirky postcard themes. I love seeing them this way, all scattered into a pile of connected creativity.

There are two Twitter chat today for CLMOOC. The first one — at 1 p.m. EST — is centered on Connected Learning and collaboration and the second one – at 7 p.m. — is centered on the postcard project. Come to one. Come to both. You are invited! Use the #CLMOOC hashtag on Twitter to follow the discussion and add some thoughts.

How_to_Survive_a_Twitter_Chat

Peace (by post),
Kevin

 

Hanging Out, Making Conversations

Last night, we had a fantastic discussion in a CLMOOC Make with Me Hangout that centered on the principles of Connected Learning; making and sending postcards through the year as connector points; collaboration among peers (and how CLMOOC might filter into our classrooms); and more.

Check it out:

Peace (connect with it),
Kevin