My #ISTE2015 Animated GIF Day

Jun 29, 2015 by

For many years I protested that I had no clear need to attend the annual International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Conference. From the social media streams and vendor receptions, it has the appearance of an ostentatious event focused on selling the latest and greatest gadgets, apps, and technology solutions to educators. Many of my colleagues and educator friends have protested, “but Ben, the connections?! How can you be missing out?” Truth be told, I’ve been intentional about the individuals that I’ve networked with; I’ve prioritized developing relationships with educators that I have the opportunity to collaborate with face-to-face at state-level or regional events. Many in the ISTE crowds would likely see my actions, and choice not to attend in previous years, as shortsighted, professionally unsound, and otherwise snobbish of me. All of that may be true. Regardless, I didn’t want to attend this major event until I had something to offer to...

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Pressing the Panic Button

May 26, 2013 by

It’s the end of the school year, end of term work is piling up on your desk and inbox,  it makes more sense to count the remainder of the instructional time you have with students in hours rather than days, and you feel like if a panic button magically appeared on your desk, you’d smash it without a moment of hesitation. That’s sort of where I am right now. I’ve been failing miserably in keeping up with the DS106 assignments for this past week (I managed a lowly 3 animated GIFS), the end of year PD plan for technology is falling apart, and I’m chasing the loose ends of all the conferences I’m attending his summer like a neophyte teacher with wide eyes. That’s not to say I’m not enjoying the experience! But after watching the pilot episode of the Twilight Zone, I’m desperately seeking a panic button for a few hours of...

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Enjoy the Garden, but Mind the Mushrooms

May 20, 2013 by

For regular readers of my blog, you may have already guessed that the dancing mushrooms above can only mean one thing….I’m about to succumb to another intensive 5 weeks of DS106, the best digital storytelling course in this universe, although I’m told it will soon be available in many of the other multiverses. For those that many be unfamiliar with DS106, or have only recently stumbled across my musings here on the web, pull up a seat for the next few weeks, as this simple GIF is just the first small speed bump on the road to the digital storytelling dimension known as the DS106Zone!...

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Animate 2600: Miners on the Moon

Dec 27, 2012 by

I’m having a blast with creating GIFs for the ds106 GIFfest, but I’m also enjoying Stella, the excellent Atari 2600 emulator that Jim Groom turned me onto before Christmas. I spent a few good solid hours playing some of my old favorites, including Miner 2049’er (just as difficult as I remember), Moon Patrol, and Missile Command (still as good as I remember). I wanted to create a bunch of separate GIFs from these games to try and capture the twitchy nature of 8-bit gaming, but I wasn’t quite satisfied with the results.     It was difficult for me to capture a moment in Miner 2049’er that conveyed the strongest memories I have of the game, which would be a still shot of my miner in a crumpled heap at the bottom of the level after falling from a high ledge. I created a GIF of the miner falling...

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Animate 2600: Missile Command

Dec 24, 2012 by

In the midst of the ds106 GIFfest came a flurry of posts from Jim Groom in which he animated some classic Atari 2600 games. His 8-bit Noir was brilliant, comparing Night Driver to the classic black and white film, The Killers. What really got me jonesing pretty bad to create one of my own was his Haunted House GIF. I’m not going to try and pretend that I have the same sort of nostalgia for Atari 2600 games the same way Jim and those a few years older than me do; I was born in 1979, and while my house was filled with bleeps and bloops in the 80s, I played most of the classic Atari games a few years after many of the era experienced these classics during their “first runs”. Still, I’d like to think my memories of these 8-bit wonders aren’t any less significant. Missile Command...

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