366/2008 Project Complete

While mainstream media sites like the New York Times and Boston.com have already released their photos of 2008, they seem transfixed by the BIGGER picture. I say to you MSM, what about the photos that are most important to ME? Luckily, D’Arcy Norman inspired me (and many others) late last year with his 365/2007 photo project. I am quite proud and happy that I fully participated in the 2008/366 photo project. I took a photo each and every day of 2008, and managed to upload those photos daily as well. Here is the result of my work.

And here’s a direct link to the set if you want to see the description behind each photograph.

I have learned a lot through this project. I have learned tips and techniques that I think have made me a better photographer. I have learned a bit about myself in terms of my dedication and discipline to a project. I wanted to quit many times, especially on the days where I lacked motivation or inspiration. I learned to view the world differently and realized how many beautiful moments exist all around us. D’Arcy does a much better describing this through his discussion of “mindful seeing.” And, most of all, I learned what is most important to me. While we all take different meaning from the photographs we view, I am sure that from these photographs you can guess the things that are most important to me.

Thanks again D’Arcy.

And a Happy New Year everyone, all the best in 2009!

Ripping Through Tools

This first week of teaching my online Graduate course was as expected, many technical issues, some student frustration, and a few early successes. Here are some highlights (the good and the bad) of the week.

1) Adobe Connect was working fairly well in most of the tests I had with Twitterverse members prior to the beginning of the course. However, I have some criticisms of its performance so far.

    - Audio conferencing performance has been poor.
    - Screensharing features cause crashes.
    - Session recordings are missing significant chunks of audio.
    - Connect needs more granular permissions, if students are able audio/video enabled, then can then do a lot more (e.g., opening, closing Windows which effect all users).

The experience was better as we went along. However, it looks like I will be trying (the much more expensive) Elluminate next week.

2) I finally got a chance to play with Yugma and Yugma Skype. Yugma is a simple and very nice screen-sharing tool. However, Yugma lacks integrated audio. YugmaSkype is a modified version which integrates Skype directly into Yugma. While certainly you can just run both applications at the same time, it is nice to have these tools a bit more integrated, especially for novice users.

I’m thinking about Yugma and how it could be used as a tool for the hands-on sessions in my course. YugmaSkype would work fine for these, with groups under 10 participants. For larger groups, I’d have to find an alternate audio-conferencing tool as there are limitations on Skype conference calls.

Note: Yugma is now giving away free Premium accounts (connect up to 10 people) to bloggers show sign up before Jan 31, 2008.

I tried setting up a Skypecast, but I was never able to get a session running. I have tried Skypecasts from 5-7 times since they’ve been available, and I have yet to have one work. I am not sure what the issues is.

I then tried setting up several audio conferences through highspeedconferencing.com and each conference worked very well, and I connected up to 10 people without a problem. And, the pricing seems reasonable for this type of service. Participants are given the option to call via Skype (free), a toll free number or a toll number.

3) As a sort of personal note, I somehow managed to hit #1 on Tweeterboard.com this week. I am not sure what that means, it’s really more silly than meaningful. I know many people have done so already, but at some points I am going to write something on the importance of Twitter for my own personal learning. Honestly, it has been unbelievable. I love my network, and I have benefited so much from my new and old connections.

Number One Tweeterboarder!

4) Oh, and one last thing. I am having a great time with the 366/2008 photo pool project thingy (inspired by D’Arcy Norman’s very impressive work). Check out my 366/2008 photo set here, or check out the 366/2008 Flickr group with 28 current members. There are some great photos here!

To be continued.