Nov 032011

Those of you who follow me on Twitter or Instagram may have already seen the photos I posted of the Rangoli Art at my school. This beautiful work was part of Singapore’s Deepavali celebration, and was done by Year 6 students guided by their teacher, Nick Coulter and Vijaya Mohan and her assistants. Every time I walked past this on my way to the canteen, it was in a different stage of development and I just couldn’t stop snapping photos and pausing to catch it at different angles as it unfolded. I think it’s pretty hard to dispute that the results were gorgeous:

Yesterday Mr. Coulter uploaded some video to show the student process of creating this breathtaking work. All I can say is, “Wow!”

For more cool stuff that happens at AISS, follow our YouTube channel and Twitter account. I’m very proud and excited to be working with such talented educators and creative students!

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 3 November, 2011  Posted by at 1:37 pm International Education Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  No Responses »
May 292008

Some of you already know that this week I submitted my Google Teacher Academy application for this June’s session on the 25th in Mountain View, CA. I was pretty excited, as this is the first time that Google is accepting applications from outside of the immediate area of the GTA, and indeed, outside of the U.S.A. Woo hoo! (I heard about this Google news via the Infinite Thinking Machine Blog, btw. If that blog isn’t in your reader, get on it!)

What an experience for me just to put together the 1 minute required video. Fun, but definitely challenging. For my reflection and for your enjoyment (or perhaps mockery!), here are a few things I learned:

  1. It is impossible for me to put my entire teaching philosophy about Classroom Innovation into 1 minute. Impossible! Perhaps I have too much to say…?
  2. I can definitely type faster than I can write. The screen vids of me inking those memorable quotes across the screen of my tablet didn’t make the cut because I can’t ink three words in less than 9 seconds. But I can type three words in 4 seconds! (Thanks to my university days as a temp, I tell you!)
  3. I have an incredibly talented partner who knows more about making music than I do, even on a computer. 😉 And I promise next time I will not ask him to do the music edits at 11 p.m. on a school night.
  4. I have a lot to learn about using video software, though I have discovered that it doesn’t get much easier than iMovie.
  5. The end of May is not a good time for me to be making movies (exams, report cards, people leaving, etc.). Mental note taken, stored, and written in cyberstone here. Amen. I think this vid would have been much better if I had not had 2398989712 things going on.
  6. The difference in quality from my raw mp4 file (pretty good) to the Google Video / YouTube upload is REMARKABLE. My exported mp4 (using iMovie’s “Expert settings”) looks great — super sharp and clear. Upload to Google Vid / YouTube looks grainy and all around sucky. Anyone have tips on this? (Note that I am new to this kind of thing; most of my contributions to the digital world have happened via written text and photo. Video is a whole new (fun) ballgame.) Sadly, what this means is that the Google Earth portions of my video are not viewable in the way I intended. Wah.
  7. I do not know enough about recording screen shots on video. Need to learn more about this.

And for those who are interested, the software / hardware I used:

  • CamStudio – on the Vista Fujitsu Tablet
  • Inspiration v.8 – also on the Vista Tablet (hat tipping to UNIS)
  • Google Earth – on the Vista Tablet, my iBook G4, and partner’s MacBook Pro
  • iMovie HD v.5 on my iBook, and then later v.6 on MacBook Pro
  • GarageBand on MacBook Pro

Lastly, for those who are interested, here is the vid itself:

Photo credit: Jan 24, 2008 “Reflection” by shannonpatrick17

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 29 May, 2008  Posted by at 9:46 pm Professional Development Tagged with: , , , , ,  2 Responses »
Apr 102008

This article from the lovely Creative Commons Blog caught my eye today, particularly because the forum aims to look at “how digital technologies and new media are changing the way that young people learn, play, socialize and participate in civic life.”  Definitely cool (and no surprise that it’s being hosted at Stanford, either).   However, I am rather curious.  They say that proposed topics include:

  • Teen Socialization Practices in Networked Publics
  • Understanding New Media in the Home
  • Hip Hop Music and Meaning in the Digital Age
  • New Media from a Youth Perspective
  • (emphasis mine)

    I feel like this is one of those segments on Sesame Street:  “One of these things is not like the other.”  Socialization and networks – OK.  New media in the home and from a youth perspective – OK.   Hip Hop Music and Meaning – huh?  This stands out rather unusually to me.  My questions:

    • Why hip hop?  Why not other genres of music?  Or maybe there is another topic:  “Classical Music and Meaning in the Digital Age: from Chopin to Garage Band”?
    • Why only music?  Why not video, television, and podcasts? (although perhaps these are the other “new media”)

    Anyone else?

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