June 27, 2007 at 9:08 am Comments (0)
I’m in a session called Information Fluency Meets Web 2.0, and it’s one of those “wow my brain is expanding” sessions. Joyce Valenza is a high school librarian who works closely with teachers on teaching strategies, finding and developing online resources, and more. The session will have a podcast up shortly after the conference ends. She’s got a blog about Web 2.0 too. She’s presenting with a teacher from her school who’s worked with her on many of these projects.
Here’s one great idea I wish I’d thought of, combining book trailers and the (often annoying) required reading list: have the students reading the book make a trailer about it. Then, the best of them goes up on the web site for all to see, and at the end of the year, they’re all shown to the students who’ll read the books that summer or the following year. It’s such an obvious idea!
This is the kind of session that NECC is be about at its best: fresh uses of existing tools that produce results, shown with enthusiasm that’s contagious. I just told them that they’ve nuked my brain, and it’s glowing!
June 25, 2007 at 3:55 pm Comments (0)
I spent all yesterday with Ellen and Will at a workshop celebrating constructivism presented by a new group, the Constructivist Consortium. Six companies got together and invited NECC attendees to this all day, project-based work/play/learn/reflect series of activities. They provided full licensed copies of key software titles for people to install on their laptops and take with them, and lunch, for a paltrey fee of only $25. And they seemed surprised that it sold out in just days. Spending the day feeling like you’‘re playing, and on review, realize you learned a tremendous amount – an excellent educational model, if you ask me.
Will spent both project periods – morning and afternoon – programming interactive projects and games using MicroWorlds EX from LCSI. He has his sights set on a Computational Media major at Georgia Tech, so this was just practice for him.
Ellen networked, especially spending time with Peter Reynolds, author, artist, and a leader (with his twin, Paul) of FableVision.
I spoke with Lauren Elliott about PNN.com, the Personal News Network, a multimedia-rich network/blog site. Lauren is the guy who created Where In the World is Carmen Sandiego
Their mission is a constructivist manifesto for companies; check it out below the fold.
June 18, 2007 at 8:15 am Comments (0)
Did Andre Gunther actually peg the true Top Ten Most Common Photographic Mistakes? Who knows, but it’s a good tag to generate interest. (It worked for me, or you wouldn’t be reading this.)
Andre Gunther’s “mistakes” are really aesthetic recommendations for improving your composition, and they all have to do with how you as a photographer see, and capture, the world around you. It’s a combination of careful consideration, imagination, and determining what to leave in and what to leave out… and not depending too much on Photoshop. Put another way, it’s a distinction between reacting to a stimulus – the near-reflexive whipping of your camera to your eye and snapping – versus a thoughtful response to what you see. To do it well, as with any skill or discipline, to do it well takes practice.
June 4, 2007 at 9:32 am Comments (0)
Ken Stone posts Steve Martin’s Final Cut Pro 6 – A First Look, which covers several new features from the point of view of “these new features make editing easier, and here’s how” rather than “I read the awesome Apple press release.” As always from Steve, useful explanations, detailed screenshots, and real-world examples, all written in a conversational style.
While I’ve heard it said that Final Cut Pro 6 does not have that much in terms of “new features” I would have to disagree with that assessment. I always base the value of an upgrade not so much on how many new “bells and whistles” have been added, but in the sheer weight of a given tool’s worth in terms of saving time and ultimately money. The mixed format timeline alone is worth the cost of the upgrade in this reviewer’s opinion. When looking at Final Cut Pro, it is now impossible to consider it apart from the suite of apps called Final Cut Studio. Apple has once again given us dollar for dollar, a most impressive set of tools unmatched by anything else in its price range.