Sunday, November 20, 2011

WK 4 Publishing Presentation Project

Over the course of the past year, I have gone through a complete project investigating the coalition of collaboration and critique and its affects on Motivation on a small adult group. The group's prime focus was on education and the improvement of lesson plans. After processing all of Phase 1 and Phase 2, I shall finalize my findings and explore the possibility of a Phase 3. This has been such an eye-opening experience that I wish to share my findings with everyone. I believe that "there are certain things that should be done in person" and the presenting of my experience needs to be done by me, not to be left in the archives of the net, never to be seen again. This is important and I wish to share it with everyone. My topic can be shared in a broad enough circle, not only including education, but within the groups of business and technology fields. Since I have never done such a thing before I needed to find a place with a more willingness for inexperienced/first-time presenters. I have selected PodCamp Cincinnati 2012 for their welcoming approach to presenters and their broad range of topics, mostly centering around Social Media. Forums aren't enough anymore, as people (young and old) require an online platform with more features and a centralized location for resources.

PodCamp Cincinnati 2012 Home Page: http://www.podcampcincinnati.com/

WK 2 Think Out-Loud PPP: To Present or to Publish?: Link

WK 3 Think Out-Loud PPP: The UnConference: Link

Presentation Document: Link

Embed:

WK 4 Peer Comment: Michelle B.

Michelle B's Post: http://meeshcapeesh.blogspot.com/

Wk 4 Reading: The Art of Possibility Chapters 9-12

So here is the last blog post for the Art of Possibility (Zander & Zander 2000) and I must say that it has been a very good read. It’s definitely going to be in a few Christmas stockings this year. I was particularly inspired in chapter 9 when the author spoke about working in the inner city schools. Newham is actually the first local authority I worked for and where I got started on the road of education. As a teacher it is almost a per-requisite to inspire, not only those we instruct but also those I work with. Empowering those around us in life to allow them to find their inner flame, facilitating a safe space to radiate their gift to the world, which is their individuality! How poignant, we are all co-creating the reality we experience around us! It’s never really just you or me. Just think about how dependent we are on electricity. Could we harness that power without someone turning that switch on? Another point to be mindful of is the choice we have over the quality of our experience. Once we take responsibility for our lives in this manner, we are then master of circumstance rather than victim. One thing I try to remember is this; imagine you start your life as a cup filled with water. After a while you need change the water. Putting in what you choose, dirty water or clean water. All of these fundamental truths have so nicely been put together in this book. It is easy to read, not too abstract and can strike a chord with so many different people. A Wonderful song for life.

My Comment:

Wow, what great insight you possess. You have taken pages and pages of text and summarize into a few quick sentences. Filled with such thought provoking messages and analogies. Hearing about where you started from and your relation to the story in the text must make it ever so much more meaningful for you and you must have gained a great deal more being able to relate to the text in tat fashion. I believe fully in "Once we take responsibility for our lives in this manner, we are then master of circumstance rather than victim", you are absolutely correct. I also wonder if it is possible to harness the power without having the need to turn on switch. Such great thoughts. Thank you so much for sharing.

P.S. Yes this would make a great Xmas present.

WK 4 Peer Comment: Marc H.

Marc H's Post: http://marchunt.blogspot.com/

MAC: Week #4 - Reaction to Reading

This book for this course in previous weeks was a real quick read however, this week it seemed a bit drawn out with the examples the author used. I agree with him that they were necessary but I found myself hoping the concert with the young students would come and also end.

On a positive note, I thought the idea of avoiding the "downward spiral" by the use of enrollment was really quite good and also relatable. My job depends on how many students want to take the video/sound production course so this chapter gave me a sense of urgency for sure. I try to find the spark in the students and also those who come by to either shadow the class or even just drop in for a visit. I also try to look back at what my curriculum map has and be sure to update that each year in order to keep current with industry trends and also try to point those trends into the students interests. I can see how easy it is for people, teachers, and students can get into that downward spiral by saying no and not having a solution or even asking for a solution like the author did when he asked for the two quarters.

The other take away from the reading I had was "becoming the board." This was very interesting. Imagine how many of us could take some stress out of projects and life if we take ourselves out of the equations and figure out what the "player" was looking for. Cool idea and way of thinking. First I was a bit confused and list but when the conversation between yourself on how to get your boss to hear the ideas you have then made sense. For educators I am sure we are told too many times "no" on certain classroom ideas, but, if we find a way to bring up those ideas where we can show how it relates to the current school agenda or even state's changing standards then those conversation might actually gain more approvals.

My Comment:

The "Being the Board" chapter was also a great take away for me as well. It would indeed eliminate all the stress from the projects and keep yourself in check with one's responsibility and commitment to the project. For "Lighting the Spark", this was a given to me as one tries to motivate others' to be inthralled with the project there will be other who are not. But now I have a clearer understanding about the process and have gained some more tools. Thank you for your reading reflections.

WK 4 Reading: Being the Board




The entire reading for this month has been so refreshing and enlightening. It has been such a great experience. Trying to refrain from my last Reading post, I shall leave it to a single chapter in which I can relate my experience to for it will suffice. The chapter of which held the most significance to is Chapter 10. Being the Board is such a profound expression that I shall hold within for as long as I am. By being the board, and not just the chess pieces it asks you to retain a state of responsibility at all times, or as often as your calculative self will allow. I know a great deal of responsibility and and accountability from a leadership camp I attended during High School. The camp experience was both zany and significant to who I am today and has taught me to lead a life that asks me to be responsible and show that to others as an example. However, the reading takes this ever so much more, a step further. For one can take leading by example as test to others or a stake to claim as it were, but this chapter asks us to eliminate to the example part entirely and to be responsible and accountable regardless of the situation. There is no right or wrong or a revamped version of the "blame game", but to entirely be acceptable of the moment, the present and to break the wall of the future and to open up to more possibilities.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

WK 3 Think Out-Loud PPP: The UnConference




As much as it pains me to not want to Publish and to miss the ISTE 2012 San Diego Presentation submission deadline by a few weeks despite my involvement with them I have come to this new conclusion. I have figured that due to my status of being a new Masters and the fact that I have not professionally presented at a conference puts my standings/rankings as a relative newbie; I have found myself looking at experimental conferences. One such conference is Podcast, which is the "unConference" of Conferences and is rather welcoming to new speakers. PodCast Cincinnati 2012 is accepting submissions for speakings and I do not see a deadline on the page. The fact it revolves around social media/Web 2.0 tools and the added benefit I can bring to its relation to Education is a plus and gives me a good chance at being accepted. This has a good feeling about it and I feel it is the best option available to me. Even though I do not think I will be accepted, I secretly hope I will be so that I can share my experiences with others so they do not fall into the same pitfalls that I have.

WK 3 Peer Comment: Wayne N.

Wayne N's Post: http://thenelsonianway.blogspot.com/

Week 3 Reading: The Way Things Are

The Zanders wrote that sometimes people are confused between physical realities and abstractions (creations of the mind), and these abstractions prevent us from being wholly present with the way things are. We believe things that are not true and these things prevent us from growing and living in the present. I think also coincides with living in the past. We get caught up in dreaming of what could have been rather than dreaming of what could be and how to get there. We waste a lot of time putting out fires rather than living the dream. I'm not sure if maturity and age have anything to do with it, or if at some point in life you just have to say "quit taking yourself so seriously" and live. For me personally, I was tired of dealing with those who think they no what's best for me, so I quit them and took a chance on an education from Full Sail University. As I keep focused and see my dream of teaching in a university, I continue to work toward that goal and keep aligned with like-minded people. It's difficult to stay positive if you surround yourself with negative people. All anyone can do is keep plugging along and make the dream happen.
My Comment:

Very short and poignant, I am quite envious of your deep and thought-provoking post. It is so insightful, I cannot begin to put it into words. I wish to put all the questions you pose within your post, and place them on a coffee mug. They are excellent. My current slight concern is in regards to being surrounded by negative people. You realize that those people are also barriers and abstractions/distractions and that we must look beyond these as well. That is why I feel that social cliques and stereotypes aren't as beneficial as people think. Mankind has always been about labeling things and making things easier to understand, but when you do these things, it makes everyone a one prescription for all kind-of-deal, but humans aren't like that and can't be treated all the same. You should hold fast to your dreams, as they (to quote) "are a wish your heart makes". Be true to your passions and to yourself therein lies true happiness. You will benefit most from re-reading chapter 8 again. I do not wish to step on any toes, but I cannot ignore the fact that it seems to me you are just discovering who you really are and you are having trouble finding people to accept that for your current ties do not share the same but new visions and ideals as you do now. Please tell me if I am wrong, but know that you will always have someone to talk to in me. I believe we share many of the same views and aspirations. P.S. Your Voki made me smile. XD

WK 3 Peer Comment: Lara L.

Lara L's Post: http://laralarge.blogspot.com/

MAC blog post #10- The Art of Possibility

I found the chapter on "The Way Things Are" to resonate with me. I pride myself on being a very creative, "out-of-the-box" thinker who can find new solutions for many of life's challenges and obstacles. I am also very determined and persistent about getting what I want. These qualities create a variety of effects; I often (but do not always) get what I want. When I don't get what I want I react in 1 of 3 ways; I find a new angle as a means to that end and try again, or I find a replacement goal and pursue that, or very rarely, I become angry and spiral into a black hole of loss of control. Being so adept at "controlling" my world also can have its backlashes; I have a tendency to WAY over-think things and second-guess myself into paralysis. Drives my mother crazy. I create too many options for myself which results in a condition I like to call FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). This is a Rule #6 moment; I am lol-ing at myself here... So I would say I have some difficulty with the practice of being with "The Way Things Are" (frequent yoga notwithstanding). Although the one exception to this for me is when it comes to other people and relationships in my life; I do not attempt to control people, I do not hold grudges, I do not often allow myself to be hurt by other peoples actions. This is another Rule #6 moment; people do not think about you nearly as often as you think they do, so don't imagine that their actions have anything to do with you.
However the sum of these parts may actually be aligned with the practice of "The Way Things Are". The result is that I consider myself to be in complete ownership of all of my choices; that I have been lucky enough to have made every choice and had all of the control, which has landed me exactly where I am today. And I am not built for regret.

My Comment:

Regret is a perfectly viable human emotion and has its time and place. Please do not be so dismissive as regret can also be a form of reflection. It should be short and practiced sparingly, but to be completely ignorant of it can be rather dangerous. It is great to hear you completely own up to all your choices and this tells me you don't flop around with things and you are equally responsible and accountable (sorry was looking at some job interview sites). Being accountable is an extremely great quality to have and you should be very proud in that. Lastly, you should never have to "replace a goal" as you have said. When you replace a goal, you're changing the vision and compromising with the set reality. No one would have gotten anywhere if they just compromised. You should have a goal and stick with it, regardless of how hard or tough it is. A revision or a modification of the goal is one thing, but to "replace" it is completely mortifying to me. In any way, great post. Reading your blog has been a great reveal into who you are and how you intend to use what you have learned here.

WK 3 Reading: How to be "Present" In Life?




Zander & Zander (2000). The Art of Possibility. The next set of chapters were even more wonderful pleasantries that I thought were obvious. But I continue to put myself out of my open shoes and into someone else's shoes who aren't so open. Someone who has gone through life letting their "calculative self" take hold of their actions. It is so easy to forget this valuable lessons in these readings and fall back onto old habits. I have personally been a practitioner of the ever vivacious "The Secret" when I saw the DVD back in 2006 and reading the book soon after. It followed the same concept of looking past the dreaded wall, the blaming, and all the other barriers that keep people from thinking about the other possibilities. It was nice to see this method back in action and myself being all to familiar with it. I cannot give myself to much credit, however I am one to never forget to give credit where credit is due and not blame others for my mistakes. Leading from any chair doesn't mean everyone can be a leader, it just means that by taking the ideas and opinions of others, it helps to improve the quality of the end result/product. I cannot help but see it all the time in kid's cartoons, though I seldom see it done outside of the cartoon world and into our own (minus the limited charities and food drives that get their five minutes of fame on the news). I had been recently researching successful business strategies for the 21st century when I stumbled upon an article regarding the importance of employee morale and identity to increase productivity. Multiple times throughout this research there were multiple references to the Walt Disney Company and there practices and how they have had business "magic" in addition to bringing dreams alive everyday to their customers in their parks and through their products. They stressed that the Walt Disney Company has the best, in the world, business practices and are constantly sought after by other top business. Some of their practices include how they treat their employees. I have always wanted to work for Disney/Pixar as a kid, that's why I went into Computer Animation, but now as an adult I still have a reason too. Not only have the stipulations of employees shattered, but the norms and guidelines as well. The particular points I want to emphasize (I could spend a whole blog post on Disney Business Practices but I won't) are training, recognition, individuals and incentive. The Walt Disney Company stresses the importance of these four points by offering their "Cast Members" a weekly training sessions for new employees, a monthly "Gong Show" for the addressing ideas to company Heads and an easy incentive program to build up time and extras while you work. It figures a company that was grounded by cartoons would be able to embrace and use cartoon methodology in all their workings. But in all seriousness, why is this so easily lost in the real world? Then it hit me, because the calculated self is about survival and fails to take into account others succeeding with you instead of just yourself. I hate to hear/read that humans are selfish by nature, but it just seems that there is little proof otherwise. I for one try to change this caste and at least make more moves that are for the greater good and benefit more than just me. Rule Number 6, wasn't an actual rule until I realized that I had already been doing it without even knowing it. I am not one to constantly want comedy, I really need to be in the mood to watch it and I never tell jokes nor readily laugh when the occasion calls for it. This probably makes me look like a stick in the mud. On the contrary, it makes those moments when things are hilarious more special, and those moments where I am stressed more available to me when I need them to be. While I was reading this chapter, I couldn't help but thing about my final months of my Computer Animation degree. The last five months are the best equivalent to hell I have experienced, but a good kind of hell. Between the long hours of working, sleepless nights, constant critiques and the multiple amounts of technical failure, I cannot even begin to describe how stressful this kind of work can be. After going through it and being in retrospect it is not as bad, but looking back at some of my reflective writings during those months I'm surprised I didn't hang myself. In any case, during those long render times, I found myself wanting to laugh and I would constantly be looking for funny things to watch or listen to while I worked. Two things which kept me sane were Disney Parodies and Teen Titan clips (I have a strange sense of humor). I didn't realize until I read this book how I instinctively knew what I needed when I needed it. Due to the exuberant amount of stress, the best way to relieve such stress was through laughter and comedy, the important Rule Number 6. It is crazy how easy it is to forget laughter and comedy in a workplace. But it is important that being really serious all the time will eventual burn one out and you can find yourself in a downward spiral. This brings us to why being in the "Present" helps us get to our passions. No one wants you to fail (well this can be debated, but this is getting rather lengthy already) and its important not to get stuck in a rut or all the coulds, the woulds and the shoulds. One needs to not be stuck at the wall or the other barriers and just be able to find themselves at the crossroads of possibility. Think about what you can do, how can you make the most of what you have? It is as simple as that some time and our calculative self gets so wrapped up in this, that and another to be blindsided into thinking about the simple solutions that are right in front of us. Passion in it of itself should be the guiding light you should base all your decisions off of, but for the calculative self, its not so easy and we make more and more decisions not based on passion. I want to put that I have been facing this dilemma, although my drive has been geared for Passion, I can't help but think about the ifs and the buts. A Professor told me that if one is passionate about what they want, there will be a way, you just have to continue until you find your way. I remind myself these words quite often and have told others the same words to give them courage. True one can take the safe route in which they can survive but if you want happiness you can only find that by doing what you are passionate about and that means taking risks, unexpected turns and the occasional leaps of faith.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

WK 2 Think Out-Loud PPP: To Present or to Publish?




I have always been a writer, there is no denying that, but from what I have researched and read from my other classmates the matters surrounding Publish are rather scary to believe. Not only will I be unable to change what I have posted or updated, it means I will lose the rights to my work work as well. All emotion to aside, this does not seem right as there are new changes in technology and education that can affect my research causing for a change. So scientifically I can see why I am unable to to adapt my writings as it were. Finally being able to get published is one dream I have, but I do not wish to do it this way. Open Access allows you to keep an archived copy of your work that can be accessed by anyone.
Looking at the terms of presenting a Presentation in a public venue has garnered a lot of attention and seems to be more interesting to me and my findings. With the way technology is moving people would rather watch a TED video than reach a bunch of Research Papers. But with that in mind, where can I present for a newcomer like me? Looking through the list that was given to us, I recall seeing the name ISTE before. Looking through my computer for the answer, I found that I had attended a conference in Second Life and I had joined the group two years before. I am unsure what "validity" has to do with certain conferences, but the SITE Conference has a real conference and a virtual conference that sounds really promising. Though the expiration for proposals has past it will be something I will have to be mindful of next year. I really like the idea of doing a virtual conference and I am looking for more. The GAETC was something I had more possibility of going to since its only a few states away and was interesting to look at since it happened this past weekend. I couldn't find a place to submit my own presentation, but they talked about the types of Sessions they have which included: Bring-Your-Own-Technology (BYOT), regular, special, Birds-of-a-Feather and Smackdown. It was fairly humorous to read these names but the names are really about getting information out there. Hopefully once the hype dies down from the convention, they will a place to go submit for next year's conference. As often as I frequent to TED and would love to attend the TED Conference myself, I don't think I have any real criteria to go as a Presenter. My meager research is nothing compared to saving the world from itself. Since I think I will choose to do a Presentation, I still need to do more research on where to do it, I'd hate for all my hard work to be lost in the digital space.
In any case, I would like the opinions of my classmates before I make a definite decision. Please leave a comment, I will ask in my Facebook Group and ask the class during Wimba. Thanks again.

WK 2 Peer Comment: Shawn M.


Week 2 Reading Reflection

Reading "The Art of Possibility" by Rosamund and Benjamin Zander was enlightening, yet a repeat of ideas that teachers should base their classes on. Maybe I've been spoiled by 10 months of interaction with teachers and students in the EMDT program, but the ideas presented so far in this book seem like no-brainers to me.

In the section about Giving an A, the authors discuss the need to remove measurement from the equation, and thus take the fear out of failure in the students. While this type of idea is not well supported by our current education system, due to everything being based on graded outcome, this idea should be at the heart of all educators: Allow your students to flourish, teach them that mistakes are part of the process, and allow them to concentrate on the person that they become through the knowledge that is gained, not the grade on the test.

Edit: Sorry, apparently in my "copy/paste" I somehow only grabbed only the first two paragraphs, so here is the rest:

I love the idea of "line up with her students in their efforts to produce the outcome, rather than lining up with the standards against these students." In my lighting course, my final project allows the students to choose a song, and create a lighting design for that song using the technical programming skills that they have learned in my course up to that point. For years I struggled with this project, as it could very easily become a grade based on my expectations, rather than the students' efforts and growth in their abilities. About 4 years ago, I introduced the idea of "concept" into this project, where the students must submit their overall vision for the project, as well as what they hope to accomplish through this, prior to them beginning work on the actual show. I use this concept, much like the authors used the "Why did I get an A" assignment, to establish the expected outcomes from my project, and see which students push themselves to reach and possibly exceed their own expectations. This really has taken me out of the picture, removing any preconceived notions that I may have as to what the final design should look like, and allows me to grade students based on their progress and accomplishment of their goals.

My Comment:

You have such good insight Shawn, thank you for sharing. I find it great that you are already taking what you have read and found comparisons to your current teaching method. The fact you remove yourself from the learning process is great as I feel the learning becomes more connected and it will be something they will remember longer and further down the line of their lives. Its good you have found the balance of being there and knowing when to step away from your students. Taking the fear out of the learning helps so much and is one less thing they have to think about. If only we could bring education out into the 21st century, it would make things so much easier. Great job!

WK 2 Peer Comment: Rosetta C.


MAC Week 2-BP1: Art of Possibility


Zander & Zander (2000) Art of Possibility, put into words several concepts and ideas that I have not been fully able to express. I believe in thinking outside of the box. A concept often quoted but never fully realized by those of us who use that term. But I have, for quite awhile thought outside of the box, which is why I do the things that I do the way I do them. Zander & Zander (2000) stated, “all life comes to us in narrative form; it's a story we tell.” This is how we learn, from the stories that we are taught about the past, the stories that we hear, the stories that we tell others and ourselves. Zander & Zander also stated, “It’s all invented anyway, so we might as well invent a story or a framework of meaning that enhances our quality of life and the life of those around us.” I like this statement so much, and I think it’s a wonderful way to look at life. I also liked the idea of the paradigm shift, shifting the framework to allow for the outcome that you want.

On the first day of class, I express to my students as we review the syllabus that they all start out with A’s and they decide if they will maintain them. It works for a shore time but the students still begin to be stressed over assignments and grades. I appreciated how the “A” concept was articulated and feel even more confident that I can relay the “possibilities” to my students so that they are empowered. I thought that the exercise of having the student’s write a letter from the future was brilliant. To gets students thinking about themselves in a different way, they write the script, and this gives them more control. It gives students the opportunity to verbalize the best of what and who they are. Zander & Zander also stated, “The only grace you can have is the grace you can imagine.”

All of this leads to the chapter on “being a contribution.” Deciding, making a conscious decision that you “have worth” and have something significant to contribute to the world changes how you function in the world. Understanding that your presence makes a difference in the world. It reminded me of George Bailey in It’s A Wonderful Life. Clarence the angel who had to earn his wings shows George what the world would be like without him. We often feel that if it’s not some front page, 10 pm newsworthy thing that we do, it’s insignificant. But I have found that just saying hello to someone you pass on the street makes a world of difference. “The only grace you can have is the grace you can imagine.”

My Comment:

Agreed with Shawn, you have done a splendid job at summarizing this book up thus far. I have to say that your metaphor to "Its A Wonderful Life" was a great comparison to the book. Teaching your students to look past the grades is great and prepares them better for the real world. Who gets graded in the real world? Its only used within schooling. Everyone can make a difference in this world, or make a world of a difference to a single individual and you, I feel have done both. Thank you so much for sharing with us your thoughts on the selected reading.

WK 2 Reading: The Brightness of It All




Zander & Zander (2000). The Art of Possibility. I have always been considered by others and myself as a "smart-pessimistic" meaning the fact that I think too much about everything. I can spend hours thinking about a particular one thing or action. While others are losing sleep by being reckless and partying, I lose sleep by thinking about how other things affect other things. I do not mean to be vague, but by things it could be a multitude of different subjects. I could be thinking about my dreams, the world news, the suffering during some war, a book, a different driving route, people (old and new) and the list goes on. This book, how often that I read and pause to think about what is happening and why it is happening... It really is a stand-alone. It doesn't require me to stop what I am doing and look up something in Wikipedia. I don't need to look at one of my other books to see what it relates to. I don't have to call someone I know to discuss the themes of the book. It really was such a nice book to read, and that fact it is my textbook means more. This is to be learned and not just to be shelved, or forgotten in the memory of my computer. The authors of this book have such a way with words. Not being too complicated or simple, telling what they need to tell without overdoing it ( a problem I still have apparently ). They way they intertwine their stories with the text. Its all rather nice. And the misconception most people have about this book, and I myself at first, is that they aren't really about being "optimistic". They have said it multiple times about "not because we have done a measurable amount of good, but because that is the story we tell" and they do that very well (p.56). We add the connotations of something being good or bad. We assign what an "A" means. We assign what a "F" means. Society takes something and we immediately have to categorize it as something bad or something good. We have evolved beyond basic primal instincts of survival. We have evolved beyond the need of living in homes of caves and trees. Why haven't we been able to look past the need to categorize things has good or bad. We need to believe that we have evolved far enough to know that by defining this labels we hurt ourselves i the process. We need to be thinking about how it is and why it is. The story themselves are nothing without reason, and we make it that reason. Our contribution as educators and teachers affect everyone we meet, whether we teach them in a classroom or on the street. A bit more worldly, even though we have been hired to be "teachers" our job doesn't stop like normal jobs from 9 to 5 and not everyone needs a license to do it.
As we take it upon ourselves to stop being just teachers in a classroom, we need to be educators teaching others and "life-long" learners when we are being taught. There are men and woman out there doing it everyday. We need to think past passing and failing and be more aware of "progress" and "contribution" for they are both without sides. The writers have done such a great job at explaining how to take good and bad out of the equation and simplifying thinking even more so. By "inventing" new ways to see the world has given me a great deal to think about, though not as I usual do. I will start every night before I sleep with "how have I contributed today?". I should sleep more soundly. The cure for insomnia isn't pills or warm milk but mind resolution, instead of thinking about the what-ifs and the worry of tomorrow, think of the possibility and what you can contribute.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

WK 1 Wimba Reflection



We've been to plenty of Wimba Sessions through the course of this program, but I don't think it can compare to the amount of information incurred at one time. There was a lot to take in, but our class handles the task and always rises to the challenge. Getting more information on the assignments is always a good reason to come to Wimba and to ask the questions you need to for clarity. Learning more about our Abstract, Reflection and the Publish/Presentation Assignment was extremely helpful to me. The Abstract is to be precisely 120 words in which we are to create an introduction to our CBR. We are not to defend anything that happened nor make it a movie trailer. This assignment is to take approximately twenty to forty minutes. These specifics may be stressful to others but it provides me with great comfort knowing these details. I like to know the specifics when they are relevant. Free-for-all assignments always provide me weariness and I tend to overdo it. I cannot wait for the next Wimba session.

WK 1 Peer Comment: Jennifer W.


Media Asset Creation: Copyright Issues

Thank goodness for Ted talks. Watching these hours worth of copyright issue videos was enough to make a teacher quit her job. So, rather than dwell on the extremes that many of these videos did, I want to focus on the little bit of hope I found within the creative commons information and within Larry Lessig’s TED talk.


Lessig quoted John Phillips Souza in 1906 who said that these “talking machines” referring to radios will ruin the artistic development in this country. And, in fact, the 20th century became a culture of “read only” people. However the 21st century seems to be assuming artistic development again. Thanks to the $1500 computer, the tools of creativity have become tools of speech. It is what the next generation bases its life upon. Yet, Lessig insists, the law has not greeted this revival with very much common sense. It prohibits to such an extreme degree that legal creativity becomes stifled, at best.


Creative Commons offers possibilities and hope and does in fact seem to be a “bridge to the future”. This will begin our journey to thinking more about communities and less about content. However, in the meantime, educators have to find a way to give our students the tools and information they need to legally create, express, and use the digital technologies that are available to them.


My Comment:

This issue has always been since the late 1990s and the beginning of the twenty-first century. Even before the $1500 computer, its been the programs that have made it possible to allow the mixing of music and film. Most notable are the programs of Audacity and Windows Movie Maker, which have been free and available since 2000. I think the issue has escalated and things will only get worse or better because these freeware programs will only continue. The TED talks are always so enlightening.

WK 1 Peer Comment: Michelle B.

Michelle B's Post: http://meeshcapeesh.blogspot.com/

Wk 1 Reading: Copyright Issues pt.1-3: What's it all for?

Welcome to my first blog post for the Media Asset Creation course. In this post I will discuss copyrighting issues in this day and age. I watched a few different videos and read a few different articles. What I was surprised to notice was that there was little to no mention of the issue of moral rights in the USA. According to The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (UK) there are a number of different rights associated with work creations. Moral rights, which is one of them, is the right to object to the derogatory use of works. For example, if a piece of music was is in a pornographic movie, the owner can contest the use of the material on moral grounds. Though there are in fact many differences between UK and US rights, I’m afraid that it may take days to comb through them.


Why is it that more often than not it is these giant companies that want to sue the smaller party over copyright infringements. Have they really paid their dues? How many legendary jazz artists were just paid as session musicians? These musicians who never see pennies worth of royalties . . . I ponder. As the Swedish gentlemen said in the documentary Good Copy Bad Copy, what gives the big US Corporations the right to enforce their ideals and laws on other territories yet so unabashedly disregard those of other territories?


We are in an age where the World is at our fingertips. Even though the USA is the biggest exporter of popular culture it is by no means the ruler of the world. More and more we are expanding, experimenting, creating and remixing. And so the beauty of Creative Commons licensing allows us to safely share our creations without the big bad wolf coming after us. I just hope that great works of art, film and music do not become lost in the memory of days gone by because of licensing. A funny point here was that the company I worked for actually tried to get copyright permission to use the MLK speech in the course books but couldn’t get permission. Why would they deny the use for educational purposes? Should we then think about where the priorities lie for these licensers? Is it to better society or better their profits?

If you want to know a bit more about UK IP issues please follow the link below. http://www.ipo.gov.uk/types/copy/c-otherprotect/c-moralrights.htm

My Comment:

Michelle, I didn't know the whole "Moral" approach in the UK. That seems to be a very good aspect to take into account. I am not to sure how Creative Commons holds up in the UK. Because it is solely based in the US, I do not think it would work in a UK Court. This deserves some further research, but perhaps the internet is such a worldly tool, perhaps Creative Commons might cross continents. That is something to consider, thank you for allowing us to see things from another perspective.

WK1 Copyright Reading or the Realization of Change



I had no idea the Copyrighting Issue had gotten this bad. Perhaps the fact that I seldom watch the news or notice anything about this sort is probably reason enough. After going through parts one through three, I couldn't believe something like this had happened or had received so much attention. I do want to state I knew about copyrighting and those rights beforehand, but I didn't realize how big this has gotten.
Before I had get into the important part, I have a few things to say. I want to just thank the people who out together the "Good Copy, Bad Copy" Documentary. It was extremely well done, and it brought to light a lot of things I had never seen before. I cannot begin to say how many of those myths I believed, perhaps I am ganging up on myself but I felt really dumb for not being as knowledgable on the subject. It kills me to not be able to really tell people about it, when you don't know and are asked. I do know now and are able to tell. The "Fairytale" video featuring Disney made me laugh a lot and it was extremely more informative than I thought it was going to be.
On the serious note, I do feel in our current "remixing" culture that it is necessary for a society to thrive it must be able to recycle. There are plenty of old film and music that could be used copyright-free, and I too do not know why a system isn't in place to let people use it. If not our past will continue to gather dust and rot the selves.
I do feel that allowing others to reuse other creations is the greatest form of compliment and only benefit the author/artist, not if it is to downgrade or hurt another, the recycling of another's work should be allowed. I cannot begin to explain often I cannot find mash-up videos on Youtube or remixed music because it has been taken off or removed because they were forced too. These videos and pieces of music weren't bad or vulgar. They were forms of expressions from another that I had connected with. Isn't art all about expression?
A while back I was going through a very bad time, it was like most students at High School, it was a new school and I had no friends because I was going to a school outside of my normal district. Needless to say it was an extremely rough first year. The only thing that helped me get through it was focusing on my studies and listening to music. By that time Youtube was new and everybody was posting things on it, mostly AMV, Tributes and the sort. I had found an extremely moving video involving Disney's Stitch and RyanDan's song "Tears of an Angel". At the time, Stitch was my most favorite Disney character for many reasons, one of which was that I felt like Stitch, I felt like an alien in my school and I felt like no one liked me because I was bad or something. In any case, if you've ever heard the song "Tear of an Angel" it is one of those song that is both sad and uplifting. The moment I saw this video it made me feel like everything was going to be okay. If a movie, regardless of how it was made or who it was by, can help people, even if its just one, it should be allowed. The video has long since has been taken off, Youtube was much stricter in the early days, and I could not find the user or the video anywhere on the internet. I am better, but the video had great cuts, timing and flow and it just matched the music so well. I really think that as long as it doesn't change the "economic" value of something or isn't negative I think that a video has the potential to affect someone's life. Why take away that chance? Isn't a life worth more?
Getting off my soap box, along those lines of film, music too should be safe from harm with remixing. The Brazil music is bringing new life to old classics. I don't know how people can catch the same guitar chords from fifteen seconds of a song, when it is manipulated to sound like something else. That to me is rather excessive. If film can mix horror and comedy in B-rated films, I don't know why amateur artists can't be allowed to mix English Rock and Rap. I'm sure there is a matter of principle in all of this, and I am not saying that it can't be valid, but it doesn't make it entirely right either. Music to me is like feelings, not one person can own the right to exclusive own one emotion and no one else can have it. The copyright laws aren't as practical as they think they are. One of the videos claimed that before the 1920s Copyright lasted for about fifteen years, not seventy plus. Film and music isn't like traditional art that can be kept in a museum under lock and key or in a safe. Film and music has to be enjoyed and experienced . With the current technologies it is easy to make the same film and music to fit your needs, your moods and customize it to your preferences. Why make the original ones the only ones?
(I do realize this is becoming lengthy so I will wrap this up ^^;)
Creative Commons is out there for the new up and coming artists out there who have vision and wish to keep it. When all it takes is for a link to be passed out, no wonder it is just as easy to take it and claim it as your own. The new generation needs to know what Creative Commons is and use it properly. I use it myself on a User-Run News Site. When you post articles, you have to use a Creative Commons or you can post it. Writing articles on your free time is a great way to get your writing out there and it is about what you want it to be about. Having it stolen is not cool by any means. I know Youtube is starting to use it now too and other Digital Art sites and Photo sources, but I am not aware of any Music sites that use it yet. I wonder why that is? Creative Commons is a great way to protect yourself and protect your work. Please do not neglect this free resource.

Monday, April 25, 2011

BP8_RILS_Link_to_Comments




Follow this Link to my comment on Jeff's Blog.

Follow this Link to my comment on Jennifer's Blog.

Thank you, enjoy the well-deserved break everyone.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

BP_RILS_Project



In this post I will be discussing the lesson plan for using LibraryThing as an educative resource for sharing and discussing books in an online setting and preparing them for formal gatherings.

Target Audience: 18 and older crowd, well suited for a community

Materials: Computer with internet access and interest in reading books

Objectives:
  1. Create an interactive community through their joy of reading.
  2. Share resources, references and ideas with one another.
  3. Critique opinions in a constructive manner.
  4. Interpret themes and motifs of books.
  5. Discuss thoughts and feelings with valid reasons.
Procedure (steps to the process):
  • Create a safe place online that can be accessed at anytime and anywhere for the members to be able to post freely.
  • Start “springboards” for discussions based on book types, genre as well as a member lounge for casual conversation and a help board.
  • Create parameters in which to grade or evaluate; such as logon frequency, number of posts, profile filling, length of book list, quality of contributions and etc.
  • Frequently check to see participation outside of group, whether he or she is observing outside blogs, posting in other forums or talking more in social gatherings.
  • Create a set time frame to track accordingly.
  • Collect Data.
Web 2.0 Tool: LibraryThing. LibraryThing is a web tool that acts as an online book list that allows you to create, share and discuss books in forums or groups. It can be used by both teachers and students alike and allows users to swap books or show the books you own or have read and offers recommendations based on your preferences and bookmarks you tag.


Social Participation/Social Learning: Social interaction takes place through the replying and commenting to one another in the book boards and also in the "Lounge" area for more casual conversations.

Making Connections: Connecting through healthy discussion and reading, members will be able to analyze discussions and generate appropriate feedback that will ultimately benefit and enrich both the online and real life community.

Create/Produce: The end should be a growing community of members with the ability to discuss books and relevant subjects while providing thoughtful and meaning feedback with possible examples or links to other resources of information.

Assessment:

Reflection:
a. Group leader/educator will post a discussion that must be answered by all the members. This will act as a formal reflection upon the users. Questions will be asked; such as:
  • Do you like the process?
  • What do you not like about the process?
  • Will you continue to use the program?
  • Is there another way you can use the program?
  • Any suggestions or improvements you would like to make to the process?
b. Group leader/educator is recommended to keep a journal of the process and look over it to see how or if the members progressed during the time period. Take a moment to think about the overall process. Ask yourself if this was successful and what improvements you can make to the process.

Here is a video documenting the process. Here is the direct link to the video.


The project seemed to fail with the lack of community participation. I will personally continue with it to see if anything improves. Perhaps an observation past the set scope will serve me better. Other reasons why it might not have worked was the time frame, it happened during spring break and religious Easter. True within the five days maybe my expectations were too high and my aspirations were too hopeful. I didn't want this to fail, I wanted it to work and succeed. Further analysis is needed to fully label this a failure, so with lack of data this remains inconclusive and I will keep you posted if anything develops on the matter. Thank you and until next time, take care.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

PE5_LibraryThing



Okay, delving more into the LibraryThing I explored the extent of the forums, group creation and the special Zeitgeist feature. LibraryThing does have a decent forum setup, but keep in mind the forum boards are referred to as Talks, so the terminology is a little different. The boards go on forever and make it easy to search for whatever you are looking for and also autosort them by most recent and activeness which some sites don’t do. Making a group is easy enough. It’s a very simple form that you fill out and then you have a new Group, which has its own Privacy settings that allow you to adjust that to your heart’s content. With Groups, it creates a space for people or classes and allows all their things be in a collective cyber space, this includes discussions, posts, mail, messages and pictures. The only thing that bugs me a little is that I can’t invite people, or at least I don’t see a button for it right off the bat. You can even posts pictures within the group or umbrella it under your own personal Gallery. It let’s me do more than I thought it could. Also, the tagging feature also allows me to search a combination of forums, groups, interests, books and authors with user driven keywords, not the stuffy Library of Congress keywords that group everything under a handful of terms. O! when you are searching the database of books, its not only searching its database, but also that of Amazon.com, Library of Congress and its seven-hundred other sources. Neat yea? This expanded search functions allows me to search for user and allows me to monitor their activities as they fulfill their RILS. So this isn’t just a source for readers, but for writers as well, as writers can create and edit pages about them and their works. It’s a great way to reach out to your readers and get feedback. Not just for seasoned writers but for new writers as well that want to break out and tell readers about their books. LibraryThing also handles promotions so you can even give out free copies of your books to people in the community; it’s a really neat feature. Speaking of features, Zeitgeist is a statistics feature that takes a whole summary of the site like the current total number of members, books cataloged, tags, talks, books given out and other measureable numbers that prove most interesting. LibraryThing will be most useful for my RILS with its ability to search by user, create a group space and have a way to supervise my members that doesn’t give me all the power, or make its doesn’t seem like I do. With its over one million members, LibraryThing can only improve and grow. I encourage you to take a look for yourself and explore all this wonderful content and build your own library to add to the other online libraries. Until next time, time care and enjoy the weekend.

PE4_LibraryThing



This could quite possibly be the most exciting thing for a book junkie like me. It’s like taking all the best things from Facebook, iGoogle, and ebay! For someone that has a passion for books, one can easily get lost in it. I know I wasted a couple of hours building up my library. It’s as easy as typing the title of the book and then assigning the tags you want to give it. Just taking off the books from my favorite bookshelf, I quickly amassed a list of over one hundred titles. The only problem you can run into is finding the exact one due to various versions, re-releases and publication years, if you’re picky about that sort of thing. I was a little persnickety for my special books that were limited print, rare or antique. I have a few antique books, I’m trying to find some first editions of my top five favorite literary classics; “Alice in Wonderland”, “Sherlock Holmes”, “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”, “White Fang” and “Catcher in the Rye”. So far I only have one, and it’s a first edition, original American print of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic “The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”. It was a most enthralling discovery I made while visiting a cousin in Richmond, I am eager about my return to the Black Swan Book Store. They have a third edition Alice in Wonderland in their glass case that I couldn’t get at the time, but I am hopeful it will still be there. There is just something about old books, and new books I can’t get enough of. On this site it also features a book lending section, not that the site is responsible nor would I participate in it, where other users that want to read a book and there is another user willing to lend it out, the search function makes it very helpful. It also features a comprehensive library and book store directory based on state, making it easy to find those tucked away antique book stores. The profile was fun and easy and when I added books to my account, it gives out excellent recommendations for future books to read. All of the books have the book’s cover image with its title making it easy to search for what you are looking for, if you’re a visual person like me that is. There is also a separate section for not just the book you are currently reading, but for the books you are currently reading. I tend to multitask and read several books at the same time, in addition to the research papers and schoolbooks I am required to read. It even has a section for where you can show what ebooks you have and are reading. The site also features cool widgets that help you browse the site easier, sporting an expanded search function that not only scans what you are looking for, but also has the intelligence enough to books that are similar even if they don’t match your keywords. Its all very helpful and I don’t know why I haven’t stumbled upon this before. Well, I’m going to keep browsing around some more, thank you for tuning in. Take care until the next post my listeners.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

BP7



BP6

Follow this link to my comments on Jeff's blog.

BP5

Follow this link to my comments on Lara's Blog.

BP4_typingweb



Possibly one of the most overlooked aspects of online and E-learning, the skill of typing. Well, I for one have not forgotten this important art. People and students take advantage of this skill too often, but seldom continue to train themselves in its practice. Typing fast is considered to be a great trait to have and will aid anyone in this fast modern times. Whether you're typing up a newsletter, a blog or a short story the ability to do anything fast is always a great asset. Typingweb is a free online typing tutor with simple typing tutorials that help you learn the "home row" and the other parts of the keyboard. There are also fun flash games to help you build speed while having fun. In addition to that is also comes with a great Progress system that keeps in check how well you do by how many mistakes, trouble keys and words per minute. The statistics of the people or students can be linked to a teacher profile so he or she can see the results. Its all very neat and very free, saves you money on other expensive software. From novice to Professional typists, there is always something to work on. This site can even handle General to 10-Key Certifications, fully recognized by employers. This is practically your one stop shop for all your typing needs. Just create an account and start typing, its that simple. Please give it a try. Well that’s all I got for now, I’ll keep you posted if anything else develops.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

PE3_iMovie



video

Hey guys! I finished my Lynda.com iMovie 11 essentials video and got my certificate. Chow was a great presenter and was very knowledgeable on this program. Near the end he began to compare iMovie with Final Cut Pro. The distinct differences is that iMovie is a movie editor for the masses like Windows Movie Maker. iMovie is user friendly that's easy to pick up and comes with a lot of nice pre made settings. I especially like how the majority of iMovie's actions are represented by its own icon and graphical representation. Final Cut Pro however is a professional piece of heavy duty industry software that does require a lot of training if you want to use it. Final Cut Pro offers more options and is able to export to other professional software; such as Apple Color, Soundtrack and Shake. I will say that iMovie makes it easy to just share your movies with Youtube and Facebook, where any time saved is always a good thing. The realtime viewing is also a plus, where with most video editing programs they require you to render everything out before you can just preview it. They both have their pros and cons, but its always good to have another tool in your arsenal for the real world, kind of like an ace in the hole if you catch my drift. Until next time, take care and feel free to leave comments. Thanks for viewing my post.

Friday, April 8, 2011

PE2_iMovie



video


At the end of Chapter 6, it's easier to see things better. The good things about iMovie (I hate comparing them) is that I don't have to render effects, transitions or really anything I do in the editor, which is really nice and convenient, versus having to render virtually everything I do in Final Cut Pro. The Precision Editor in iMovie is extremely useful as slip editing can help save a lot of time, Final Cut Pro doesn't have anything like that to my knowledge. The bad things about iMovie is that it's trying to do too much and the extra stuff isn't all that good. Trying to imitate Apple Color, they tried to allow the user to perform very delicate color corrections in the Inspector, which really need more fine tuning and easily blow out or distort the quality image. Its nifty that they included a green screen and blue screen option that allows you to do video composition and editing all in one software. The problem right now is that it just does it and it won't allow you tweak how it does it and the cropping tool only allows four points. I would personally use Nuke because of its many options that only aid in the green screen process. For the casual person for fun events or family activities, this is an ideal software, but professional iMovie doesn't give enough options that allow for modification and correction that other video editing and compositing software offers. I haven't gotten to audio yet, so I hope that it meets up to par or has something new to offer. See you soon with the suspenseful conclusion of the iMovie Practical Experience.

PE1_iMovie


So, I felt this would be a good place for the first post. I'm at the end of chapter 3 and so far everything is fairly "hum-drum" for a video editing software. Mac likes making fancy friendly user interfaces, but other than that I'm not too impressed. The next chapter doesn't look very interesting either. I'm waiting for the audio editing and the transitions sections. I don't know where the audio options are and the last thing that seemed promising was the Transitions and the Background buttons in the tool bar. I'm an avid Final Cut Pro user, so it will prove interesting to see how the other one stacks up. I mean don't get me wrong, iMovie is one of the industry standards but I haven't seen anything particularly special that sets itself apart from the rest. We'll just have to wait and see... I wouldn't be very good at what I do if I didn't broaden my horizons and give this program a good run through. That's what I have so far, you'll be hearing from me in a bit.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

BP3_iGoogleScreenShots




Hey everyone. Not sure if I'm supposed to add something to this, but I am anyways. If you haven't noticed I like TMNT ^^. Who doesn't like martial arts and aquatic animals, lol. Anyways, hope you like it. Keep you updated as best I can, I'm out. See you later.

*TMNT belongs to their respected owners, cowabunga dudes.

BP2_Join.me


Hello, everyone. I’ve got a real ringer for you. I’m here to talk about “Join.me”, a web 2.0 tool that allows you to share your screen with someone else, or a group of up to 250 people. Pretty exciting right? You’re probably wondering why this interests people. Well, I’m sure everyone gets tired of assembling for meetings, or gets sick for a lesser sense. With “Join.me”, now you won’t have to worry about having a physical place for meetings. This web tool is fast and simple to use, with virtual no downloading. Share the code with your co-workers and presto, they are at a computer watching you present. It definitely takes the scary out of speaking in a room full of people who decide your future. “Join.me” maybe be a little scary, heck its like having a bunch of people watching over your shoulder, but no worries. This tool is anything but, its designed with the user in mind and it does what is says it does without all the bells and whistles. You share your screen with someone or anyone for that matter. It’s simple, effective and versatile for so many different things. So what else other than board meetings would it be good for? Well, let’s say your client or student is having trouble with a file on their computer, or something isn’t working right. Well, you could just share a ScreenFlow video, but where’s the feedback. There’s something to be said about showing someone how to do something versus watching a video on how to do it. With “Join.me” now we can show our student or client how to fix and address the problem while answering any more individual questions they may have. Not just with fixing problems, “Join.me” can also be used to teach your more “distanced” or online learners. When introducing new software or presenting a mulitmedia presentation, your students won’t have to wonder what’s happening and rewatch the video, but learn it the first time and be connected to it.


https://join.me/

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

BP1_ Welcome to my Blog


This is a month 4 assignment for my ETC class. Discovering and continuing the somewhat time-honored internet tradition of putting my opinions out into the cyberspace and hope someone finds it interesting enough, or cares, to view my postings. I'm still not crazy about this idea for two reasons. 1. I like to keep my personal opinions to myself and more often than not I feel uncomfortable with someone other than myself knowing how I am when I don't know yet, I don't appreciate people judging me, even when they don't know me. 2. Usually I censor myself for private information, but I hope the day never comes when I may slip up and someone finds it and then comes to, well let's just say, get me. Sorry in my skeptical and logical mind, a bit of paranoia has set in a little, and I am one of those people who triple checks to make sure all the doors and windows are closed and locked tight. I don't have a bad case of social awkwardness, but I tend to remain a little on the quiet side and keep my opinions to myself.

Sorry for the bit of a rant, but I wanted to set the mood on this most strange a subject. I am enthusiastic about the idea of technology and education working cooperatively, but its the how and the when that I need to work on. Catching you up on the stuff that isn't here, the things that happened before the post, we have gone through three very intense classes involving current educational theories and new technologies and tools that can aid us now and in the future. And to add more to the workload we also have a side project that ultimately becomes a pass or fail for the program, its called a "Challenge Based Research Project" and its quite intense, incorporating a literature review paper, an experimental challenge and an analysis comparison of the two. I can feel the work piling up and I work nightly on assignments and compositions that vary from presentations, podcasts, videos, concept maps and the occasionally reading analysis. Well I always hope for the best and I guess that is my silver lining for the time being. This should be an interesting enough venture for an introvert. I like to think of myself as an old-fashioned detective on a case and my friends are my sources. The case in question is the relationship between education and technology and how we can get them to work together. Let's get back to work and I hope to bring you more to light as the course develops and continues to enrich my knowledge. ( Look forward to more posts ) ^^