Alice interviews James

A blogging friend — Alice Mercer — interviewed another friend — James Farmer, creator of Edublogs — for her Webcast Academy show. Nice job, Alice! And James seemed like a wonderful guest to have on her show (called Alice’s Restaurant).

It’s great to see people making connections everywhere. Their discussion centers on the future of teaching and conversations that have been sparked over at Will Richardson‘s blog.

Take a listen to Alice and James.

Peace (in podcasts),
Kevin

Four Slides and the Truth (kind of)

I was following Alice’s blog site, when she mentioned a “contest” over at the dy/dan blog in which people are asked to create a no-frills elevator pitch using slides (no video, no audio, no animation, etc). After reading through Alice’s variations of work, I decided to craft one myself, thinking of my students as my audience. Four slides …. not much room to work and forces you to get to the essence of your message.

But here it is:

[slideshare id=88903&doc=just-who-am-i-anyway3325&w=425]

Peace (in four pieces),
Kevin

Stories for Kids

When you have little kids, and an aversion to television (as we do in my house), it is helpful to engross them in stories and children story sites on the Net are something we turn to every now and then. This site — called Storybee — was launched recently by a family who lives not far from us ( a few towns over) and it is loaded with great MP3 files of engaging storytellers doing what they do best — drawing you into a story.

Another great site for stories is called Kiddie Records Weekly, and it revamps and shared old vinyl story records that are now part of the public domain. Some of the stories are very outdated but my kids get a kick out of listening to them from time to time.

For example, during the height of baseball season, we listened to Casey at Bat and then, during all the news about Jackie Robinson, we listened to a story that had the real Jackie Robinson in the story, talking. They could hear his voice and that was a thrill for them!

Peace (in stories),
Kevin

Amazing Animation — J Coltrane’s Giant Steps

Sometimes you stumble across something so amazing and intriguing, it makes you glad to know there is a wired world of inventors and artists. I love jazz, and I love John Coltrane (our cat is named Coltrane) coltraneand this artist used the classic song, Giant Steps, to create an animation based on the notes of Coltrane. It’s based on building blocks and notice how the movie shows the song and solo building up, and then tearing the melody back down again.

The movie is by Michal Levy and is wonderful. Be warned, though — there is a significant load time (100 seconds, I think) but it is worth the wait.

This is one snapshop from inside the movie

Peace (in jazz exploration),
Kevin

A decade of blogs

Last weekend, the Wall Street Journal published a lengthy piece about recognizing that blogging has been underway for a decade (although I bet even that is in dispute somewhere out here). It was an interesting overview of the evolution and transformation of the Weblog World and notes how the Weblog really helped spark the content-driven revolution that underpins most of our notions of the Web 2.0 world. I can publish, you can interact, we are connected.

Here is a quote:

The consumption of blogs is often avid and occasionally obsessive. But more commonly, it is utterly natural, as if turning to them were no stranger than (dare one say this here?) picking one’s way through the morning’s newspapers.WSJ

The articles goes on to profile some folks who blog and asks them to reflect a bit (Tom Wolfe blasts the idea of blogging while Mia Farrow discusses its power to a writer).

So, ten years? I have been married ten years. Interesting to think of the timeframe and how the world has changed in that time.

Peace (in decades),
Kevin

Mini-Movies from Camp

Here are a few more small movies made by kids at my animation camp in their free time. The first one is interesting because it is a take-off on the fairly famous (and wonderfully done) web-movie called Animator Versus Animation (and the sequel). I showed the kids how to do a version of it in Pivot but it is difficult (the original uses flash). Some of the movies have sound and some do not.

Download Video: Posted by dogtrax at TeacherTube.com.

Peace (in video),
Kevin

Shedding My Skin — a new look

It was a year ago that I started up this blog project (thanks to some friendly pressure from my NWP colleague, Maria) and look where I am now — 267 posts and 191 comments in 23 categories — plus over 700 spam messages caught and killed! (this, according to my dashboard page).

Recently, James Farmer upgraded the Edublogs network and one of the bonuses of that Herculean effort is a wider variety of themes so I decided to celebrate my Blogobirthday by adoption a new theme (which may yet change again, who knows?) It’s flashier than my old one, although if you use an aggregator, chances are you will never see the changes (which is perfectly fine and acceptable).

But if you are here, let me know what you think and thanks for being a reader over the past year. It’s been a wonderful ride so far.

Peace (with blown out birthday candles),
Kevin

What We Do Online

This graph comes from a report in BusinessWeek and is kind of interesting to think about, particularly in terms of generational divides, but also in terms of the amount of time people are using to create their own content online.

(You will have to follow the link to see the actual graph — this one came out too small to read unless you wear microscopes for glasses)

Here is a link to the article itself.

Peace (in ever growing numbers),

Kevin