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27 March 2012

"Le vent" in slow motion

Another in our "Seeing the un-seeable" series





This super slow motion video  shows Marina Kanno and Giacomo Bevilaqua of Staatsballett Berlin performing several jumps. The footage was captured at 1000 frames per second.

This video was create by Simon Iannelli  - click through to his website and look at some of his other work.

Watching this film made me think about our Enery and our Force and Motion units of inquiry.  In this slow motion, can you see the dancers' muscles preparing their leaps and turns?

23 March 2012

"We, our digital selves, and us"

Alan Levine  has been a web "friend" and mentor of mine for a number of years.  He's a pillar of my Personal Learning Network.  Yesterday, he posted this video on his blog:



He writes about the idea behind the video,
"I got interested in the frame of “Manage your own online identity rather than have it managed for you”. I also wanted to tap into questions I have about the not so sharp line between what we do online and (is it really cliché to say “offline”? “f2f”) the “other place”. I wanted to get away from the typical identity banter of fear and theft.
So I had the idea to create this video as a conversation between three of me- Alan.offline (away from the computer, outside), Alan.online (me always appearing Max Headroom like on a screen), and some version fo Alan that is both (me holding a piece of technology)." (link)
I'm very interested in his idea of the "blending" of online-offline, and what it implies for how we teach our students to use the Internet, and manage themselves generally.  ISOCS has been a 1:1 school since it opened; next year we will add tablets to the mix of tools.  I think this will change the students' relationship to the web, and our relationship to the students' relationships in ways we can only imagine today in our planning stage. We need to re-think the whole "digital citizenship" and "information literacy" picture.


Background reading, links and resources mentioned in the video can be found on this wiki.  I recommend you read both his original blog post, and have a look at the wiki.

19 March 2012

IPad app review: Trash Chaos

This is a guest post by Graham, a Middle Primary student at ISOCS.

I am reviewing a iPad App called Trash Chaos.

screen shot from the Apple apps store
What you have to do in this game is to collect and sort the trash into the proper recycling bins. Depending on which level you are on you have more trash to sort. There is: Glass, organic, paper or plastic. I  am only on level 3 and I can't wait to see level 4.

 Each time you finish a level a yeti Comes up and asks you questions about  recycling. I like this game because you have to sort quickly so you can save the earth from polluting and zap monsters at the same time.

This app was 99 cents, but I got it for free on appsgonefree.com.

The media is the message

(First, you need to know that  Pecha Kucha (Japanese: ペチャクチャ, chit-chat) is a presentation methodology in which 20 slides are shown for 20 seconds each (approx. 6' 40" in total), usually seen in a multiple-speaker event called a Pecha Kucha Night (PKN).)  (link)

A post at Art Education 2.0 sent me to this video of a Petcha Kucha presentation by Brian Dettmer.


Brian Dettmer - Remixed Media from Alfredo Aponte on Vimeo.
"Brian Dettmer is a sculptor who came to our 10th Volume of Atlanta Pecha Kucha to show us how he celebrates and exploits the materials that he interacts with on his current work.
Atlanta Pecha Kucha is an informal forum for creative work that mixes it up -- bringing you activists, animators, arbiters, architects, artists, chefs, community organizers, coolhunters, critics, curators, designers, dreamers, enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, fabricators, fanatics, fashionistas, historians, rabblerousers, scientists, students ‹ all manner of insiders and outsiders."
 

 Listen for the words "systems", "content" and  "form" as you watch the video.


"Dettmer's work involves the appropriation and alteration of media to transform the physical form and/or to selectively remove and reveal content to create new works of fine art. Dettmer explains: “Old books, records, tapes, maps, and other media frequently fall into a realm that too much of today’s art occupies. Their intended role has decreased or deceased and they often exist simply as symbols of the ideas they represent rather than true conveyers of content. ... When an object's intended function is fleeting, the necessity for a new approach to its form and content arises.” (Valdez 2006)" (link).

On his page at the  Kintz and Tillou Fine Art Galery web site, Brian Dettmer's work is  described: "(He)carefully selects and sifts through stacks of old books to uncover the perfect source and subject for his cultural archaeological explorations and sculptural possibilities. He first determines the presentation, engineering and construction of his altered book or books. Then, with the precision of a surgeon, using scalpels and hundreds of x-acto blades, he alters the pre-existing information and images by selectively removing and manipulating elements to propose new ideas and map new visual journeys."
You can also read about him on a Wikipedia page, and see his photos of his work on his Flickr stream (below).

 

What do you think of Dettmer's work?  How does it relate to the ideas of form and function, causation and change? Think about it through the lens of  Marshall McLuhan'a famous phrase, "The media is the message"?

Do we do the same thing to information when we present it, albeit in a less spectacular form?

10 March 2012

Poetry Publishing

One of the blogs I read regularly is iPads at Burley, which recounts how "a public elementary school in Chicago integrates the iPad into its first through fifth grade classrooms".   Catching up on my reading today, the post from 27 February 2012, by Ms. Ziemke Fastabend caught my eye: Poetry Publishing on the iPads.

I'm especially interested because our Middle Primary Class is also publishing their poetry. Some of the Chicago students wrote some of their poems on iPads, and I was captivated by the beauty of the pages they were able to create with Drawing Pad.  The Burley post is an interesting recount of the class's writing process, and it has eye-catching screenshots from the student iPads.

Screen shot from iPads at Buley

Our students created their poetry on their laptops, using MS Word, where adding color and graphics is a bit more arduous. I envied the Burley students their creative possibilities.

I'm looking forward to the promised epub poetry anthologies from Burley, and am wondering what interesting formats we might use to present our poems from ISOCS...

iPad for...



07 March 2012

In a day on the Internet...

What do you do on the Internet in a day?  How does what you do fit in with the rest of the world?

About one third of the world's population (c. 2,500,000,000 people) is connected to the Internet.  You can see how that breaks down by geographic regions,  and some other interesting numbers at the World Internet Stats web site.

If you're feeling lonely as you write your blog post, consider the other 2 million people who are also writing today.  Didn't get through your emails?  Be glad you didn't receive all  294 billion that were sent yesterday.  Found a good YouTube video?  What about the other 864,000 hours of video that were uploaded yesterday? Have a look at the info-graphic below for other interesting numbers, and to see how these numbers translate into another media (For example, the 864,000 hours of video is equal to 98 years of non-stop watching!).


A Day in the Internet
Created by: MBA Online

Thanks to Mashable for sending this to me
Cross posted at Triple A Learning Blogs

06 March 2012

Sneaking up on a lion

This morning the PetaPixal blog pointed me to the Burrard-Lucas blog, with a post about how these photographers  get close up shots of wild animals.  I've always wondered about that - how close was the photographer to the lion. what sort of zoom lens must have been used to get that shot? And, doesn't it look like the photographer must have been lying down in front of the lion? Well, in this case, maybe not close at all, and no zoom lens, but yes, the camera was on the ground in front of the lion.
Screen shot of  Burrard-Lucas.com
The secret?
Screen shot of  Burrard-Lucas.com
the BeetleCam:  a remote controlled, armored, buggy with a Canon 550D camera mounted on it. Another model included  a live video feed, HD movie recording and a Canon 1Ds MK III. read about the project, the process, the equipment, on  BeetleCam vs the Lions of the Masai Mara, The BeetleCam Projet, and, if you would like to buy your own BeetleCam, click here. (The starting price for a basic BeetleCam is GBP £1,250.  Each one is built to order.)

"Over the course of the next few days, we were able to gain new understanding and respect for the lions we were photographing. We were always mindful that we didn’t want to harass them or intrude on their lives. However, we came to appreciate that lions are incredibly curious cats and full of the bravado that comes from being the Masai Mara’s top predator. This resulted in plenty more raucous games with the youngsters and some wonderful encounters with older individuals, who treated BeetleCam with nonchalant disdain, deliberately ignoring it as it manoeuvred around them. However, we also found that lions can be very unpredictable; every now and then one would deliver a powerful bite that bent metal and left us wincing. As a result, we never knew if the next encounter might be BeetleCam’s last." (link.  Click through and read the whole story.)

If you had a remote trigger on your camera, could you camouflage it at your bird feeder, or in your garden, and sit quietly, waiting, for the right animal, and that perfect photo to come along?  Do you have the patience to do that?  Do you think a camera on a remote car would work, if you only wanted to get pictures of your pet cat or dog?  What precautions would you have to take?

Animating Amsterdam DNA

This post is about seeing the un-see-able, which technology is so good at helping us do.

There's an exhibition called Amsterdam DNA at the Amsterdam Museum, a 3D travel guide which takes you on a 45-minute historical tour of Amsterdam.
"Carefully selected highlights, including new exhibits and loan items, tell the interesting story of this multifaceted city in seven chapters. In each chapter, one exhibit forms the basis for the story of that period. These stories are told through exciting animations which are projected onto big glass screens in the middle of the gallery. Every visitor is given a travel guide which can activate the animations of each period in one of the ten languages offered, from Italian to Russian and Japanese..." (link)


And of course, there's an app for that! " ... Specially to mark the launch of Amsterdam DNA, four walks through the city have been created for the mobile phone. This MuseumApp guides you through Amsterdam, past places linked to enterprise, free thinking, creativity or citizenship."  (link)

Here's the video trailer:


Amsterdam DNA - Trailer from PlusOne on Vimeo.

"The Amsterdam Museum has opened an entire new department: Amsterdam DNA. This exhibition will take you on a three-dimensional 45-minute journey through our capital’s history. The versatile story of the city is presented in seven intriguing films, which we created. The trailer we made for this project you can watch over here.

In close cooperation with the curators, we (PlusOne Studio) developed seven scripts of about two minutes each, which shed light on the most important elements from more than 1000 years of Amsterdam history. Typical core values of Amsterdam were used as the theme for the films: entrepreneurship, freethinking, creativity and citizenship.

Visual material was collected based on the scripts. International collections were used in addition to the collection of the Amsterdam Museum, which has resulted in a selection of international renown. When visual material was not available or suitable, we had to develop the content ourselves.

The challenge was to bring the masterpieces to life without affecting their identity, or rather, their soul. We chose to add an extra dimension by making the images three-dimensional. Another dimension, sound, was added to make the whole even more appealing. Lifelike sounds and soundtracks that fit the spirit of the age add luster to the scenes." 


Here's a bit of  one of the sections,  "Revolt Against King and Church":


Amsterdam DNA | Revolt from PlusOne on Vimeo.


Read a synopsis of the origin and process of this project on the Motionographer web page:
"Specifically we were asked to create seven films, in 10 languages, accompanied with a start screen for each film that loops until a visitor activates the content with a QR code. This code is printed on a booklet the visitors receive at the entrance. Next to this they asked us to develop a video wall of approximately seven by three meters...:"


Earlier this morning, I watched a video about the process of creating an animation, which I thought might be interesting for ISOCS students.  Watch this little video below, and then read the description on the Motionographer web page of how PlusOne Studio created the Amsterdam project.  You'll recognize all the parts described below: initial presentation, plan, storyboard, script, music, dialogue, and of course, production and feedback.



The Story of Animation from Tumblehead on Vimeo.
"An informative film about using animation for business and corporate purposes, and in a simple way explains how YOU can use animation as a visual storyteller in your company."


In case this inspires you to start experimenting with storyboarding, click here, for a website tool that might help you.