Flowgram is a nice tool that I think many educators would find useful. Flowgram allows you to take webpages, photos, or PowerPoint presentations, put them into a linear sequence and add audio narration and notes. The result is somewhat like a screencast. It is free, does not require a download, and Flowgrams are embeddable in your blog, or can be shared in other ways (e.g., Facebook, Delicious, etc.)

Abhay Parekh, founder of the company, created a Flowgram to demonstrate the capabilities of the tool. Click on the image below:

Flowgram may be useful to yourself, or students. I can think of a number of educational applications.

A Victory for (Video) Sharing

In a California copyright infringement case, Io Group v. Veoh Networks, the Court has granted the defendant’s motion for summary judgment, on the basis of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”), holding that the defendant’s video-sharing web site complied with the DMCA and was entitled to the protection of the statute’s “safe harbor” provision.

In its 33-page decision, the Court noted, among other things, that the DMCA was “designed to facilitate the robust development and world-wide expansion of electronic commerce, communications, research, development, and education in the digital age”, and rejected that plaintiff’s contention that Veoh had failed to reasonably implement its notification policy for repeat offenders. (link)

Read the entire 33-page decision here.

Living the Mashup

From BBC:

A Capuchin monk, Brother Cesare Bonizzi, is the lead singer in a heavy metal band which has just released its second album. The 62-year-old monk’s love affair with heavy metal began when he attended a Metallica concert some 15 years ago.

Brother Cesare: “I do it to convert people to life, to understand life, full-stop.”

Are you living the mashup?

Edtech Posse Podcast 4.5 With Ewan McIntosh

From the Edtech Posse site:

Ewan McIntosh came over from Scotland to share a pint and a pretty decent conversation with us. Rob Wall, Alec Couros, Dean Shareski, Cindy Seibel and Kyle Lichtenwald sat down with Ewan at Bobby’s Tavern in Moose Jaw. A big thanks to Dean for hosting a great get together in his home city.

Conversation with Ewan McIntosh and Friends
(Photo credit, Dean Shareski)

It was terrific to meet Ewan, and it was a great day for learning with good friends.


I just discovered MovieStorm, free software for Mac or Windows that allows users to create animated movies. The software download is quite large (in total, almost 500 MB), so if you are trying this, be sure to use a solid, high-speed connection.

MovieStorm Demo

Click here to watch a demo.

While I have not had a chance to dive deep into this tool, it seems fairly easy-to-use and has enough potential to keep more advanced users engaged. The tool could be used as intended for creating and narrating movies, and then sharing with a wider audience. Or, the program could also be used to plan, storyboard, or sketch ‘real-life’ video projects, including set design, lighting, camera angles, and script. While the tool is free, there are content packs that can be purchased.

I am not sure how long this tool has been around, or if there has been much work done with it in classrooms, but I am excited by the possibilities for movie production and storytelling.

New Lifelike Animation Technologies

Watch Emily speak about Image Metrics, “a marker-less performance driven animation company.”

Emily – the woman in the above animation – was produced using a new modelling technology that enables the most minute details of a facial expression to be captured and recreated.

Very neat stuff. Read more at timesonline.com.

Stephen Spoonamore on Hacking Voting Machines

This is an interesting interview with Stephen Spoonamore, CEO of Cybrinth, regarding the hackability of Diebold voting machines (or electronic machines in general).

I stress the importance of these points:

    – “There is no system, none, in the world, that cannot be hacked.”
    – “You cannot have secure electronic voting. It doesn’t exist.”
    – “Two graduate students in 3 hours successfully hacked the machine. And once they had completed writing their hack, they then successfully added a 4 line code of self-erasing virus to allow it to propagate across the network. That’s just two guys with two hours who had no interest or motivation in doing it other than scientific interest.”
    – “There are people out there, and there’s a lot of them, who don’t really want to win elections. What they want to do is they want to steal them. They have an enormous incentive for power. They have an enormous incentive for money, And, they have an enormous willingness to go and do it.”
    – “I don’t want to have a society where we’re not sure who won. I want to live in a democracy where there is a valid capacity to audit the entire trail.”

While this may come off as conspiracy theory, I do not believe it is as simple as that. When a democracy relies too heavily on electronic technologies to tabulate the outcome of elections, we must be extremely cautious. And while there has not been the criticism in Canada for voting machines as as there has been in the US, I would suggest all citizens monitor the possible ubiquity of such machines in the years ahead.

An Anthropological Introduction To Youtube

Do yourself a favour and take some time to watch Professor Michael Wesch’s brilliant presentation to the Library of Congress, June 23, 2008. The video is 55 minutes long, but is an excellent backgrounder to social media, user-generated content, and online communities through the lens of anthropology.

This will be required viewing for my students.

EdTech Posse Podcast 4.4 – Connecting and Disconnecting

This conversation is a mid summer musing by Heather, Rick, Dean and Rob on the great Scrabulous implosion, twitter, connecting and disconnecting. Shownotes are available at http://edtechposse.wikispaces.com/4.4

I had to miss this conversation as I was disconnected myself. Thanks to Rob for getting this up so quickly.