A Busy Week

The last seven days have been very busy for me, especially with presentations. Here are some of the highlights, and a few things to come.

Last Friday (Nov. 21/08), I presented Academic Integrity and the Culture of Sharing to instructors of the Faculty Certificate Program with SIAST (in Saskatoon). View slide deck.

On Saturday (Nov. 22/08), I presented on the use of technologies in the research process for the Learning From Practice conference. I created a wiki to support this presentation.

On Monday (Nov. 24/08), I co-presented with Dean Shareski on The New Interactive Classroom: Education, Teaching & Globalization for the Talking about School & Society series. Related to this, there was something quite interesting that happened earlier that day. My colleagues, Patrick Lewis and Marc Spooner, were interviewed for a local CBC Radio program called Blue Sky. While this was going on live, I asked people from Twitter to call in and ask questions and email the program. Before we knew it, we had calls from Virginia and Massachusetts, and an email was reported from Holland. Not bad for local radio, and I really have to want to do more with this idea. The radio program is well worth listening to, so here’s the link.

On Wednesday (Nov. 26/08), I spoke to a group of undergraduate students about social justice and technology. We were INCREDIBLY lucky to have had Howard Rheingold join us from California to speak about the concept of smart mobs and technology for political action/activism.. Howard is a pioneer of online communities, has been doing great stuff recently with the Social Media Classroom, and is one of my heroes. I put together a wiki to support this presentation as well.

On Thursday (Nov. 27/08), I presented from my office to Manitoba for Awakening Possibilities. I was joined by a list of terrific presenters as we were tasked with “5 minutes to make a difference.” These presentations have been archived, and are available here.

And now, after this busy week, it is time to switch gears as I will be leaving to Ukraine next week. A colleague and I are involved in the project “Youth Development of Democratic Citizenship” funded by a Partnerships for Tomorrow Phase II grant. My role will be to look at how technology can mediate long-term partnerships in the Ukraine, and focus on concepts of democratic media, digital citizenship, and social justice.

And when I get back … I have a week to finish my annual review forms, and write a chapter on the concept of open teaching.

I am happy (and lucky) to be busy … but I’m just a little stressed.

Interactive Video Object Manipulation

Dan Goldman recently posted a video on Interactive Video Manipulation, a new technology being developed. This has great possibilities, and the demo is very impressive.

Interactive Video Object Manipulation from Dan Goldman on Vimeo.

I can’t wait until I get to play with a consumer version.

This demo illustrates our research to bring interactivity to video editing: Our system analyzes videos using computer vision techniques, enabling interactive annotation, browsing, and even drag-and-drop composition of new still images using video footage. This is a joint research project of Adobe and the University of Washington.

Networked Student – The Video

With a style borrowed from the Common Craft videos, Wendy Drexler has put together an excellent video depicting what she calls the networked student. This is a terrific description of how networked learning may look for an individual student. Thanks Wendy for your obvious hard work on this concept and video!

More info:

The Networked Student was inspired by CCK08, a Connectivism course offered by George Siemens and Stephen Downes during fall 2008. It depicts an actual project completed by Wendy Drexler’s high school students. The Networked Student concept map was inspired by Alec Couros’ Networked Teacher. I hope that teachers will use it to help their colleagues, parents, and students understand networked learning in the 21st century.

Centre for Future Storytelling

The MIT Media Lab has announced the creation of the Centre for Future Storytelling through a Partnership with Plymouth Rock Studios.

With the establishment of the center, whose research program begins immediately, the Media Lab and Plymouth Rock Studios will collaborate to revolutionize how we tell our stories, from major motion pictures to peer-to-peer multimedia sharing. By applying leading-edge technologies to make stories more interactive, improvisational and social, researchers will seek to transform audiences into active participants in the storytelling process, bridging the real and virtual worlds, and allowing everyone to make their own unique stories with user-generated content on the Web. Center research will also focus on ways to revolutionize imaging and display technologies, including developing next-generation cameras and programmable studios, making movie production more versatile and economic.

Future of Storytelling

This is an exciting project and I look forward to the innovation and possibilities that emerge in the coming years.

Edtech Posse Podcast: Copyright Chat w/ Dr. Michael Geist

Members of the Edtech Posse (Dean, Rick, and I) had the great pleasure of chatting with the brilliant Dr. Michael Geist last night. Dr. Geist is a Professor at the University of Ottawa and is Canada’s leading legal expert on Copyright law. It was a terrific conversation with a lot of information regarding current copyright/copyleft law as it applies to education. While much of the conversation covered the Canadian context, I believe that there is much here that will appeal to international listeners as well.

Michael Geist

Thanks to Rob Wall who edited the audio, but unfortunately could not join us in the conversation. Heather Ross, our other Posse member, was also unable to attend.

Enjoy the podcast.

“Choose Your Own Adventure” Comes to Youtube

I fondly remember the “Choose Your Own Adventure” series of books from my childhood. While I remember loving the concept, I would literally stick my fingers between the pages as to simultaneously navigate multiple paths made by previous decisions. Years later, I tried to figure out why I could not let go of any particular path. I realized that it was not that I was afraid of failing because of a poor decision, it was that I might miss something of value, something meaningful, along the way. This has been something I have thought about for a very long time as choice, and living with choices that have been made, is an essential part of the human experience. For a better understanding of this concept, I highly recommend Barry Schwartz’s TED Talk “Paradox of Choice” (or the book by the same name.

Choose Your Own Adventures - Cave of Time

Anywho … these thoughts came to me when I discovered “Time Machine” today. This video is the first of a series by Chad, Matt, and Rob that brings the “Choose Your Own Adventures” concept to video format, and does so by making good use of Youtube’s annotation feature. This concept could inspire some very neat uses of digital storytelling with video. I know it will be only a matter of time before we see teachers and students bring this concept to life in the classroom.

So if you want to try it out, start here:

It is a very good thing I have multiple screens, I no longer have to use my fingers. :-)

Talkin’ About School & Society

My colleagues, Dr. Patrick Lewis and Dr. Marc Spooner, are initiating a series of informal discussions that will hopefully help bridge the spaces between university scholars and the general public, and hopefully result in some very important conversations with people in our community. I am excited that I have been asked to lead off the first conversation which will be themed around “The New Interactive Classroom: Education, teaching & globalization.” See the official poster below:

Talkin' About School & Society - Poster

Come join us for snacks, drinks, and most importantly, conversation. Invite anyone who would be interested, and it doesn’t have to be people connected directly to education. We’re hoping for a great turnout!

This first event is scheduled for November 24/2008, 7-9 p.m. at the upper level of La Bodega in Regina, Saskatchewan. I hope to see you there!

Support Net Neutrality in Canada: Take Action!

I have posted about Net Neutrality in Canada before, but the issue has still not been resolved, and is currently in the hands of the CRTC. I received this message from the SaveOurNet Facebook group today with details of an upcoming decision.

In the coming days the federal communications regulator will issue a landmark ruling that has huge implications for Canadians’ access to the Internet. The CRTC decision will determine whether Bell and other big telecoms can continue to “throttle” Internet service.

Please take a few seconds to tell the CRTC to stop Internet throttling. Your voice could be the deciding factor!

Take Action here: http://saveournet.ca/content/take-action

The commissioners have already twice delayed releasing their ruling, suggesting that they are struggling to make a decision. We need to make it very clear to the CRTC which side the Canadian public is on. http://saveournet.ca/content/take-action

Until recently, Canada’s Internet was an open network – a level playing field for free speech and innovation. All that is now threatened by a handful of corporations that want to control a “gatekeeper network” in which they decide what content and services get the fastest access to our homes.

These companies have been caught:

• throttling or slowing Internet traffic to businesses and consumers;
• blocking access to websites that criticized them;
• crippling consumer devices and applications.

The upcoming CRTC decision will have major and long-lasting implications for our Internet. Our online level playing field of innovation and free speech hangs in the balance.

Please Take Action and invite your fellow Canadians to do the same!

Start here: http://saveournet.ca/content/take-action

I Can Has Neutral Internets

Please, do something. Do NOT take take our current level of freedom and access for granted.

Photo Credit: SMN

The Airwaves Have Been Freed

From FreeTheAirwaves.com

On November 4, 2008, by a vote of 5-0, the Federal Communications Commission agreed to free the unused TV airwaves for unlicensed public use.

This is a tremendous victory for Internet users.

Thanks and congratulations to the more than 20,000 of you who signed the Free the Airwaves petition to the FCC. This historic vote would not have been possible without your effort.

To understand what this could mean for public wifi access, listen to Minnie Ingersoll of Google.

More at Google blog.