Thursday, November 03, 2011

Image Attribution

Question mark

Images add a lot to blog posts but people often don't give attribution to the authors of the images.  Here is one way to give credit to the author of a photo from Flickr.
1.  Go to Flickr.
2.  Click Explore from the top of the page.
3.  From the drop down menu click Creative Commons.
4.  From one of the license groups, click on See More.
5.  Use the Search box to find a photo.
6.  Click Share.
7.  From drop down menu be sure that HTML button is selected.
8.  Copy the HTML code from box.
9.  In your Blogger post click the Edit HTML tab at the top of your post window.
10.  Paste your previously copied code at the very top of your post.
11.  Click the Compose tab to write text in your post.
12.  Now when you mouse over the image, you will see that the photographer's name appears and  if you click on the photo, you will be taken to the Flickr page where the photo appears.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

What is a Content Curator?


One of the best definitions of a content curator that I have found is in Rohit Bahargava's Manifesto for the Content Curator: The Next Big Social Media Job of the Future.  In his 2009 post Bahargava offered this description of content curators:
To satisfy the people's hunger for great content on any topic imaginable, there will need to be a new category of individual working online. Someone whose job it is not to create more content, but to make sense of all the content that others are creating. To find the best and most relevant content and bring it forward. The people who choose to take on this role will be known as Content Curators. The future of the social web will be driven by these Content Curators, who take it upon themselves to collect and share the best content online for others to consume and take on the role of citizen editors, publishing highly valuable compilations of content created by others.

Anyone  who works online has already felt the overload of the information explosion.  Although we try to stay current through blogging, tweeting, and social bookmarking, the tsunami of information often overwhelms us.  Hence, the birth of the concept of content curators, people who cast a wide net for information, filter it and offer their own perspectives on the gathered material.

In The 5 Models of Content Curation, Bhargava suggests 5 fundamental elements of content curation: aggregation, distillation, elevation, mashup and chronology.  These elements sound like tasks already performed by many people in my own PLN (personal learning network).     
However, it seems that the tools for accomplishing these tasks may have improved.   Steve Rosenbaum suggests some in 4 Promising Curation Tools That Help Make Sense of the Web.  Barbara Bray offers a good example of one of these tools on her page called Curate your Learning

Although I appreciate the concept of content curator, I'm not sure that many edubloggers or gloggers don't already do the same job with existing tools.  It will be interesting to see if the newer tools used by content curators really offer any advantages in managing information.  Are we witnessing an evolution of an online "content manager" from blogger to tweeter to content curator or are we just renaming the job already being handled in other ways?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Critical Thinking

Adam is Pensive

 I just read Michal Coughlan's piece, Thinking Deeply about the Shallows in which he discusses ideas from Nicolas Carr's book, The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains.  For me the main issue he is raising is whether the young learners of today are losing the ability to do vertical learning ("singular, in-depth focus on one topic") because they are more immersed in horizontal thinking "(multitasking possibly in connection with networks of people").
Personally I find that I tend to read blog posts and tweets more often than I write blog posts myself.  This is definitely because of the time and deeper thinking involved in producing a reflective piece as contrasted with finding intriguing snippets of information and retweeting them or putting interesting new websites in my Diigo account for further analysis.  (Unfortunately that further, deeper consideration often never occurs).
I think as educators we need to ensure that learners practice  both types of learning.   Some learners need to learn to utilize social networking sites for educational purposes while others need to learn to do read, reflect, and write.  Each type of learning serves a purpose.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Shape of Knowledge

 In Everything is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder,  David Weinberger tells us that knowledge doesn't have a shape.  There are just too many useful, powerful and beautiful ways to make sense of our world (p.83)   In a very entertaining way, Weinberger takes us on a historical journey through time to show how the basis for categorizing knowledge has shifted from "experts" to "us".  For example, he compares the Dewey Decimal classification system which is limited by the physcs of paper to give each book a spot on the shelf (p. 62) to Amazon which likes a friendly disorder, stuffing its pages with alternative ways of browsing and offbeat offers peculiar to each person's behavior(p.6).

 In chapter 7, Social Knowing, Weinberger contrasts the intransience of the entries in the Encyclopedia Britannica with those of Wikipedia which are in a constant state of beta.  This chapter also gives insight into how the citizen journalists of Wikipedia work to achieve accuracy and neutality.   His behind the scene peek at the workings of Wikipedia are well worth the read.  In closing this chapter, he offers a view of knowledge quite similar to George Siemen's concept of connectivism when he comments that we can see for ourselves that knowledge isn't in our heads:It's between us.  It emerges from public and social thought, and it stays there, because social knowing, like the global conversations that give rise to it, is never finished (p147).

Weinberger provides us with a conceptual framework to view how knowledge today is digitally organized on business sites like iTunes and social bookmarking sites such as Delicious.  He explains how folksonomy gives people more control over knowledge by making it relevant to them as individuals.  According to Weinberger, Reality is multifaceted.  There are lots of ways to slice it up.  How we choose to slice it up depends on why we're slicing it up (p.82).

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Playing with Tools for Digital Storytelling

I'm experimenting with different tools for digital storytelling.

Here's my practice clip from Animoto  Claire and Gypsy
I like the fact that you can combine photos, text, and music.

Here's the same type of creation using  Slideroll.

Create a Free Slideshow
I  like that you can add text (although I didn't) and music. It has an embed code, but I don't know if it has a link.

Stupeflix also lets you create slideshows with music and text and these can be embedded as this one below.

Voki lets you create an speaking avatar.  You can use your own voice or text to speech.  Here's my example.

Here is a link to a comic that I created using StripGenerator.  This tool allows emailing, comments and embedding.  However, I am unable to figure out how to make the strip small enough to fit well into a blog post.

I created  a comic scene I created with Lego City but when I saved it, it become a PDF file.

Myths and Legends seems like a great site with a storyboard and audio, but I don't know if you can link from it.

I tried Pikikids, but couldn't get the results to embed or link.

I had more luck with Dvolver which allows you to create scenes and write dialog.   You can both embed your creation or send it by email.   Here's a one scene  example.

 Here's a simple animation made with GoAnimate.  I couldn't figure out how to have each figure in the strip say something, but I'm sure it's just a matter of playing around with it a little more.  GoAnimate also has an education account.  I applied for one but it takes a few days to get a responses. The Advantage of Being bBlingual by maryanneburgos

Like it? Create your own at It's free and fun!

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

I am currently reading Toys to Tools : Connecting Student Cell Phones to Education by Liz Kolb and am changing my opinion of using cells for mobile learning.   I had previously dismissed the idea of cell phones for that purpose because of the small screens, but Kolb offers some innovative ideas that are making me rethink how to use these devices.