Friday, January 20, 2012

Collaborative Video Making

OK, so I should have written this blog post sometime ago, but for various reasons, mostly I kept forgetting to write it, I have not.  But here it is now.

A colleague of mine retired in December of last year.   I remembered seeing this post and video on Dean Shareski's blog, So I started this Google doc... and proposed the idea to my colleagues.  Dean created a video for Alec Couros' (who turns out to be a Prof at the U of Regina, I only mention this because I now live in Regina) 40th birthday by asking friends, and colleagues of Alec's, from across North America, to contribute a short video clip of them lip syncing a song. What a brilliant idea!  My colleagues loved it and said "Sounds great!  How soon can we record our bits?  When can you have it done by?"

In all honesty, I was not sure what kind of uptake I was going to get from my colleagues here at work.  I thought we are busy, not a lot of them are really technically savvy (I had visions of ... "How do I use the movie mode on my camera?), and I was not sure how many of them would be willing to "belly up to the bar" and do this. I knew this would not be every one's cup of tea, but I had to give it a try. But I figured I had to try. 

So I set-up a google doc/form just like Dean and sent out a massive email to probably almost all Kathy's colleagues (I figure about 50-75 people) asking them to go to the Google Form and sign-up.  I, of course, checked the results of the form about once an hour for the first day, and was really starting to get scared when by the end of the day I had 5 people signed up.  The number steadily grew until I had over 25 people willing to participate. 

Following Dean's lead, I used a google spreadsheet to identify every one's part and sent out another email asking everyone to record their little piece of video and then send it in.  I set a deadline of two weeks.  At this point, I had several people drop out, deciding that they were not comfortable doing it, and so I had to re-arrange some parts.  That was fine.  I had anticipated that.  I used Dropbox and Dropittome to collect the video and that worked great!   I had never really used either service before, but am a big fan now.  After two weeks I opened my folder on Drop box and discovered exactly 2 videos!   YIKES!   Some frantic emailing and phone calling later, the other videos started to stream in. 

It took me about 3 days to figure out the Premiere Elements software (great deal on Black Friday $50) and put the video together and sync it with the audio.

I was quite happy with the end product.  I know Kathy really likes it as well.

Outside of learning how to use Premiere Elements and Dropbox, I learnt something else that to me was far more valuable. I learnt that:
  • Many of my colleagues are far more tech savvy than I had thought.  I was only asked twice how to get the video off of some one's blackberry (and it was not easy).
  • My colleagues are a creative bunch.  
and it really reinforced something I already kind of knew.  When asked, my colleagues no matter how busy they are, and how different our work is, will step up and help me.  Whether it is for something work related or something completely personal like this project was.    So again, a big thanks to all my colleagues for your participation in this project!

Friday, January 13, 2012


Well its been quite a while since I wrote anything, but hopefully, for 2012, that will change. 

Earlier this week, I joined DS106.  I am really excited about the course.  Storytelling, technology, mixing the two together, how could it get any better?

The course has not officially started yet, but in the mean time, they are offering something called The Daily Create.  Each day a new assignment, either video, audio or photographic in nature that should take no longer than 15-20 minutes to create and post.   So far I have just done the photography assignments, but I am going to try and expand my horizons into the other two areas.  Here are my photography assignments (only three at the time of this post).

Hopefully the first of many posts, as I get back in the learning groove.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The pipe is more important than the content within the pipe.

I just finished reading George Siemens, Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age.   There were several ideas in this paper that really crystallized some thoughts I have had running around in my head for a while.  But one of the sentences that I really like is The pipe is more important than the content within the pipe.  As someone that works on a National Learning program on a daily basis, this is so true.  The content in my pipe changes on a daily, even hourly basis sometimes.  

But knowing how to the pipe works and how to get new, custom even, content into the pipe in order to accomplish my goals is what is more important, then the content that comes out of the pipe everyday.... Turning the right taps on at the right time...hope this makes sense..... 


Monday, January 17, 2011

CCK11 - My Second MOOC

This week is the start of CCK11 (Connectivism and Connective Knowledge 2011) and I am looking forward to participating in it.  I took part in PLENK2010, but found my involvement dwindled at towards the second half of the course for a variety of reasons.  I think part the problem was time, but it also my first foray back into something academic in almost 10 years, which I don't think I was quite prepared for.  I am eager to get involved in CCK11 though, I have a couple of colleagues who are also joining me on this adventure, which will help my participation as well as my learning, and I think I am much more prepared for this course than I was the last time.   I will continue to take notes in google docs and make them available for all, and of course to ppost here in this blog.  I may even try something new like a video or somethng this time around.

If you interested in the course, check out the site here:

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

xWeb, its looking for me...

In today's session, and in this week's reading we are looking at the eXtended web.  The eXtended web or xWeb can be defined as the web where not only you search for information, but data searches for you as well.  Here's my visual take on that.
Oh no, the data is looking for me!!!

I was going to draw the data as a hunter...

On a side note, this was my first drawing using a tablet.  Not as easy as it looks, but I am happy with the result.

Recommenders - What?

I just finished reading Rita Kop's blog post called The eXTended Web and PLEs. One of things she talks about are Recommenders. I think that the idea of having a tool / resource that would recommend things I was interested in would be great. But what does a recommender look like? Do they already exist? If so, what do they look like?

Thinking of my PLE, I tried to identify what, if any recommenders did I have in there?
  •  Friends and Colleagues - they know my interests and often share links, movie clips etc 
  • The Oldaily.  To me, this is a recommender.  I am interested in many of the same things that Stephen is, so when he thinks a link is good enough to be placed in the Oldaily, I take notice.
  • My RSS feeds, again, to me, these are recommenders.  I don't have a lot of them, but I am very interested in what ever they turn up.
  • My Twitter Searches - I have a coupe of twitter searches set-up in Netvibes which feed me twitters based on hash tags (#plenk2010 is one of them).  Again, these are to me recommenders.
What are some more recommenders out there?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My PLE - first crack at a visual representation...

I created this using Cmap, a free concept mapping software. Not sure I did it right, but here it is...