Network Learning Project #1 – Tuning the Guitar

Feb 3, 2014 by

I’m teaching an online graduate certificate class for Michigan State University. My students are almost all educators, and I never like to ask my learners to do something that I’m unwilling to do myself. So when they started on their Networked Learning Project (NLP), I decided it would only be fair for me to jump in and learn something myself. The NLP is simple in concept; the learners have to accomplish a task they’ve never done before using only Youtube videos and help forums. The internet would serve as their teacher as a means to reflect upon just how amazingly diverse and rich a resource the web has become. Many of my students were eager to get started; learning the cello, how to yo-yo, and stained glass were just a few hobbies chosen to tackle. I choose to learn how to play the electric guitar. My father was in...

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For Your Consideration…a Funky Twilight Zone Ringtone

May 31, 2013 by

I haven’t blogged about anything music-related since November of 2012. That’s criminal. Especially considering the last one was a lazy post with several different examples of teachers parodying Rebecca Black’s “Friday”. No I will not link to it, you can go search for it if you like. I’m going to pretend as though I never hit the “publish” button on that post. I feel as though I may have made up for it with this post; a special assignment from deep within the DS106 Audio Archives entitled “Make Your Own Ringtone“. Considering this is the summer of the DS106Zone, I decided to add a Twilight Zone twist to this audio assignment, creating a funky fresh, beat-heavy ringtone based on the iconic opening bar of the Twilight Zone theme song. It’s guaranteed to grate on your ears like a piece of broken chalk down a slate chalkboard. You can hop over to SoundCloud and...

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4 Teacher Parodies of Rebecca Black’s “Friday”

Nov 9, 2012 by

I’m not sure why I’m even posting this. Maybe because it’s 3:00 on a Friday afternoon, I’ve spent a good portion of this week running around doing “lunch and learns”, mini-workshops, planning for and leading the district technology leadership meeting, cleaning up lots of Google Docs, setting up some WordPress sites, helping run a community learning night, and managing to keep myself relatively sane thanks for copious amounts of caffeinated beverages. You can blame me for posting the following videos on the fact that my brain is mush, or praise the teachers in them for being courageous enough to do the videos. I leave that call up to you. I hope you enjoyed your Friday. The following video was the first teacher version of Friday, which is more or less the teacher’s just having fun doing a lip dub. Curious about the teacher holding the baby while sitting in the driver’s seat....

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Multitask This!

Jun 27, 2012 by

Kid these days… They can text rings around us adults, figure out the most complex of technical devices, and multitask so fast that keyboards are in danger of spontaneous combustion from all the furious clicking of keys, right? Wrong! I have yet to see any students exhibit on a mass scale the skills and innate abilities that those labeled “digital natives” are supposed to have (note, I never used the term digital native, I thought it was bogus from the start). The truth of the matter is, some students are more apt to be able to figure out complicated software, dart in and out of multiple windows, but no more so than the number of students who excel at football, complex differentials, or playing the guitar. I’m not saying that students can’t adapt, but rather the myths of multi-tasking (aka acquired inattention) need to be laid to rest, and replaced...

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Flickr + Freesound = FlickrSounds

Jun 21, 2012 by

cat by Nickym007 Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License Your browser does not support the audio tag. kitten19.wav What you’re seeing (and possibly hearing) above is the result of some rather clever code & mashup work done by John Johnston, an amazingly creative ICT Development Officer (which is U.K. speak for “educational technology nerd who likes to create nifty tools for others”). I’ve been finding it difficult to get back into the groove of things after last week’s rather anticlimactic end to the school year (we had lots of layoffs and the mood was grim). I thought I’d try a few simple tools found over on the ds106 assignment repository to just play around and see what I could find that I haven’t tackled before, and wham! Here I find this amazingly little tool that John cooked up called FlickrSounds! The concept of FlickrSounds is rather simple; enter in a search term, let’s...

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Serenity Now!!!

Mar 18, 2012 by

I’m a huge fan of the Seinfeld TV show. Despite being in middle school when the show first aired, as I began to understand the world with a bit more cynism and farce as I entered high school, Seinfeld came to be the lens through which I perceived the world of hypocrisy, people behaving poorly, and observational comedy. There was a particular episode during the last season, in which one of the main characters, Frank Costanza, had been diagnosed with having high blood pressure. In an attempt to relieve himself of stress, he is advised to repeat the calming mantra “serenity now” when he feels his stress level rising. In true comedic fashion, whenever Frank begins to feel stressed during the episodes he yells, “SERENITY NOW!” at the top of his lungs, completely negating the calming effects that a peaceful mantra might have, and providing plenty of laughs during the episode. I often wonder how many...

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