Fun With Stop Motion Video

I am often scanning the web for original ideas that I can share with my undergraduate students around the use of digital video. I came across the ‘stop motion animation page‘, and it looks like the creators were having some fun with a basic concept that is more time-consuming than difficult. I may have to play around with this myself … looks like I may have just blown my weekend.

Never Ending Photoshop Tutorials

Wow … at this moment, there are over 4597 Photoshop tutorials listed at Good-Tutorials.com, and the site claims to add one tutorial “per hour everyday this week”.

While I hardly ever get the time to play with Photoshop anymore, I used to be a graphic-manipulation junkie. What I like about the tutorials here are that they are usually simple, direct and can usually be completed in a few minutes. A great way to learn a few new skills when one has a few minutes to spare.

The Sofia Project

I just noticed the Sofia project, an(other) open courseware initiative. This particular project “encourages the publication and free exchange of community college level course materials on the World Wide Web.” It looks like some materials will be available through the initiative starting December 2004.

Sounds like another great open project, but superficially, what I really like is the tagline quote:

“Sofia – the wisdom and intellectual virtue achieved when striving after the best ends and using the best means.” ~Aristotle

I think this quote, in many ways, captures a portion of what the open source movement is all about … at least IMHO.

Nortel Networks Kidz Online

Today, I met a representative from Nortel Networks today who has been marketing the Nortel Networks Kidz Online resource. It’s a great set of resources with video-based tutorials and lesson plans covering topics such as 2D and 3D animation, producing digital audio and video, advanced Powerpoint skills, security, ethics and safety on the Internet, web creation and several others. It’s a rich, high-quality and FREE resource which I highly recommend.

However, in saying this, the tutorials are tied in tightly with the proprietary Windows Media Player/Internet Explorer formats, and while I can download the videos and play them on my Windows Media Player on my Mac, I basically have to use a PC and IE to get the full effect (e.g., viewer note commentary). Yes, it’s a great resource which I will use with my undergraduate students, however I really question why any educational data has to be tied so closely to a particular proprietary format when there are so many other options, other platforms and other users to consider.

redlightgreen.com

EdTechPost just alerted me of this really neat library search service located at redlightgreen.com. With it, you can reportedly search over 130 million library catalogue references. Sure, that’s impressive, but what’s REALLY cool, is that it automatically creates and stores citations of any references you choose in your choice of APA, MLA, Chicago or Turabian styles. The list of references is stored online for you so you can return to your styled list and simply cut and paste into a working document of your choice. Pretty neat stuff.

Pith Helmet … A Much Cleaner Web Experience

I just … very unexpectedly … realized the awesome power of Pith Helmet. On my last post if you caught it … it’s now deleted … I linked to a site with a controversial advertisement. What I didn’t realize was that there were tons of explicit pornographic ads littering the page … this was because I was viewing the page in Safari with Pith Helmet installed. Basically, Pith Helmet. removes all advertisements from the page … and therefore, I have been experiencing a much more utopian web … free of pornographic (or other) advertisements. For those who DID catch my last post … I sure hope you got a similar, censored version.

Recent Blogging Articles: Habermas, Access and Pedagogy

Stephen Downes’ OLDaily listed a couple of interesting articles today related to the blogging. Each article took an interestingly divergent yet similar focus from the other … and both are equally interesting.

Understanding Weblogs:
This post presents an interesting paper from Elmine Wijnia who takes Habermas’ theory of the ‘ideal speech situation’ and researches how the social act of blogging may move towards this ideal, power-balanced situation.

The Pedagogy of Weblogs:
This is an interesting post that describes the experience of teachers using blogs in the classroom. I love hearing the stories and seeing the actual posts from students. I know there is great potential here (i.e., blogging in education), but I do like to see evidence and experimentation of its use.