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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How To: Photoshop Magic Lasso

Jun 12, 2012 by

I’m not much one for creating “how to” videos, at least not ones that I share publicly on a regular basis, but I felt as though I owed it to some of the people whose blogs I’m following to help out a bit with the monolithic application that is Photoshop. Don’t get too excited though, I am far from being a Photoshop expert, most of my skills having waned since being a heavy Fark.com Photoshop Contest participant in the early 2000s. When I saw Melanie Barker complete the quick, but fun “Slide Guy” assignment (which coincidentally remind me of a lot of the Fark contests), I was impressed. When she said she did it because she was afraid of Photoshop, I wanted to share just a couple of simple tools that I use for cutting and pasting elements from one image to another. Below is the image I created for the...

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Sliding into Summer

Jun 10, 2012 by

The end of the school year is always difficult for me. Whether it’s due to the fact that I’ve lived my life by the typical North American school calendar stretching back as far as my memory will take me (K-12, then college, followed immediately with my first teaching job), or if I just have a difficult time making transitions, the creature of habit within me gets a little melancholy when the halls empty, and there are no more “in the moment” teaching tasks or challenges to tackle. Were I a bit younger, and prone to more publicly venting my weariness with the world at this time of year, you might mistake me for a rather pessimistic being, but truth be told, I’m usually the first to try and find the silver lining in most situations. Which is why I decided to write this morning (that and there’s another 14 minutes left...

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Slow Life Down with Photobooth

Jun 9, 2012 by

It’s the weekend, time for a few errands, grocery shopping, mending a bit of that landscape edging you promised your wife you’d get to a month ago, and spending some time with the kids. Truth be told, our weekends are usually all sorts of busy here in the Rimes’ household, and I’m sure any other family with younger children will agree, it’s far too easy to find yourself working harder on a Saturday than you might have during the week. We’d like to think of Saturday and Sunday as “lazy” days in which we can relax with our family and friends, and just enjoy the brief time we have before heading “back to the edu-coal mines” on Monday. Reality though, typically means that we plan more activities and structure instead of playtime on those two precious days (at least it feels that way in our house many weekends). So...

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ds106 Technical Difficulties

Jun 7, 2012 by

In honor of Jim Groom, who can’t quite seem to keep the H.M.S. DS106 in ship-shape (it’s hard, all of us passengers are always banging on the hull and tossing vital equipment overboard). As the counselor of Bunk House 5 at Camp Magic Macguffin this summer, I thought it be best if I lead by example. For starters, I’ve invented a new camp game, called “ds106 technical difficulty art” and for this week only it’s worth 36 stars! That’s right, 36 stars, which means I’ve topped Mr. Groom’s star count for this week of Visual Assignments. I will gladly add this to the official ds106 assignment repository once it’s back up and running. UPDATE I’ve now added this as an official assignment in the ds106 assignment repository, which means I fully expect a whole heap of ds106 technical difficulty warnings/labels/macguffins by the end of the current incarnation of the...

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