On Beyond CLMOOC: Stay Connected

In the final Make Cycle newsletter of Connected Learning MOOC this week, we provided a list of ways members of CLMOOC can stay connected throughout the year. That includes you (CLMOOC is always an open experience and is now facilitated by participants).

Some suggestions for further connections:

  • Remain active on social media (TwitterG+Facebook, Instagram, or elsewhere).
  • Curate an eportfolio or a make log of the work you completed this summer.
  • Peruse the Make Bank. Reuse or remix an idea in your own learning environment or consider adding a make, an example, or a tutorial.
  • Participate in Kim Douillard’s photo challenges and #silentsundays (in which you are invited to post an image to a CLMOOC community with no context text).
  • Share out on #WhitmanWednesday of sharing out quotes from Walt Whitman or the #ThoreauThursday or invent your own with some more diverse poets
  • Form an interest group on G+, FB, Slack, Voxer or some other space concerning a shared purpose.
  • Come back to The Daily Connect for ideas and connections (Here is a random post generator.)
  • The Daily Connect is a riff off The Daily Create, a daily prompt for creativity from the fertile and collective minds of DS106.
  • Engage in a “Curiosity Conversations” by interviewing someone.
  • Plan your own Pop-Up Make Cycle or cMOOC experience (and if you do, let us know so we can spread the word).
  • Join the CLMOOC Kiva micro-lending team, and “make a difference” in the world with small donations to worthy projects.
  • Be part of the Goodreads CLMOOC Reading Club. We share books.
  • Join the CLMOOC group on Flickr.
  • Get a CLMOOC badge for your participation and collaboration.
  • Margaret Simon (a CLMOOC community member) often hosts DigiLit Sundays at her blog, where she and others offer up ideas around digital literacies and invite readers to share information.
  • Host a CLMOOC Flash Mob. Or CLMOOC Dance Party. Or CLMOOC Flash Mob Dance Party.
  • Join the #literacies chat for all things contemporary composition and communication!
  • Digital Writing Month often happens in November or December. Look for the possibility of a digital-writing-themed #CLMOOC Pop-Up.
  • The 4T Virtual Conference on Digital Writing is free and online and happens a few times a year. The next one is in October, and some CLMOOCers are presenters.
  • The postcard project continues, and people can sign up to be a part of it here.

Peace (let’s make it happen),
Kevin

 

A SmallPoem for Small Poems

I’m tinkering around with a visual typography app that Terry and Wendy shared out called TypiVideo. I like the effects of the moving text but I am having trouble with finding the ways that I can set animation and text (I know the controls are there, and I saw a tutorial that indicated where and how I can do more, but I can’t seem to have get to them to work on mine. Might need to reload the app.)

Anyway, the poem above is for another poetry venture elsewhere.

Peace (animated),
Kevin

Fracturing Melody

There’s a cool, strange project going on with some musical collaborators (Wendy, Karon, Sarah, etc.) that uses the concept of “fractals” as a way to build a musical “round” with a common melody that comes from some data points within the Connected Learning MOOC (CLMOOC) community.

Fractal refers to the mathematical concept of patterns, often mirrored and expanding patterns, emerging from a set of data points, but can be mapped visually. Fractals often emerge in nature, which is pretty intriguing. Or, that’s my understanding of it.

See an example of animation of fractals:

The CLMOOC musical compositional activity — being done in Soundtrap so we can collaborate online — stemmed from some sharing of fractal animations last week. We were chatting about how animation might be used for learning, and better understanding of complex subjects.

Someone suggested the link between the mathematical underpinning of fractals and the weaving melodic possibilities of music … and we were off on another collaboration …

I took a small section of the larger piece of music underway and then utilized a neat animation interactive I found online to create a fractal, and then used iMovie to pull the emerging audio fractal (or a slice of it) with the animation. I think it came out pretty cool. Sort of a fractal teaser.

Peace (mirrored and shared),
Kevin

Sprucing Up the Stopmotion Movie Site

Making Stopmotion Movies in the Classroom

I realized that my website resource for making Stopmotion Movies had a bunch of dead links and dead videos, so I spent some time this week making sure links worked and that old resources were replaced with new ones, etc.

Check out the Making Stopmotion Movies site. Use it and share it as you like.

As I note on the homepage …

Making movies encourages:

* Project-based learning
* Creativity
* Collaboration
* Story development skills
* Character development skills
* Presentation/Publication experience
* Technology expertise

And here are some links within the site:

We’re exploring animation and gif creation in CLMOOC this week. Come join us for a Twitter Chat today at 1 p.m. EST with the #clmooc hashtag.

Peace (beyond the camera click),
Kevin

Imagination, Animation, and Education

We had a rich discussion yesterday at the Make with Me Hangout for Connected Learning MOOC (CLMOOC) on the issue of animation and gifs, exploring the notions of learning, explaining and pop culture integration with video loops.

Since it was a Make with Me, I worked on shooting this short stopmotion piece in the midst of the session, using a Google Chrome add-on app called StopMotion Animator (which I learned about via Richard Byrne’s Free Tech for Teachers). I had made my little creature with WikiStix and then converted my video file (from the app) into a gif with an online conversion site.

Here is the full Make with Me, with Sarah, Niall, Terry E., Terry G. and Clare.

Later, I used another Chrome add-one to make gifs of each participant for sharing on Twitter, which Sheri apparently pulled into one larger gif.

 

The question we were considering, why gif and why animation? played out a few ways as Sarah led us in discussion. Niall talked about how using animations in science classes allows for a visual way to teach complex topics (and allowing students to make animations of a science concept would demonstrate learning).

Clare talked about using animation with Lego Avatars with medical students, as an alternative way to spark discussion about reflection of practice. Terry G. and Terry E. both talked about the aspects of fun and being creative with various tools, using short video to make a point or to tap into pop culture. I shared how often I find myself, and my students, “breaking” the technology in order to make it do things it was not necessarily designed to do.

And there’s more in there …

We have a Twitter Chat planned for tomorrow (Thurs) on animation and gifs, so come join the conversation with the #clmooc hashtag. It all starts at 1 p.m. EST

Peace (in forward motion),
Kevin

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