The Strength of Weak Ties

Everyone participates. Everyone contributes. Leveraging the power of digital networks to connect people, resources and ideas to drive creativity and innovation forward...and actually accomplish something!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

eBay Wikis

Recently, eBay announced the inclusion of wikis for their membership. Check out what they have done so far.

eBay Wikis

Recently, eBay announced the inclusion of wikis for their membership. Check out what they have done so far.

Edublogger Meetup at NECC 2006

We'll be having an informal edublog meetup at NECC in San Diego. Will started the ball rolling and I suggested that we meet at Rock Bottom in the GasLamp District. While it might be nice to have a more local San Diego feel (Rock Bottom is a national chain), no one seemed to know much about a potential spot in San Diego. So, we have Rock Bottom's in Illinois and they are pretty nice and would serve as a very nice meeting space. So, here are the details:

Rock Bottom
401 G St. San Diego, CA 92101

Thursday, June 6

Time: 8-?

Map of Gaslamp

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Two Tracks of Meaning

I've just recently completed a round of digital storytelling workshops in Texas. One critical attribute of digital storytelling that beginnners should understand is the relationship between the personal narrative and the script. In classic digital storytelling (there are certainly other interpretations), an author begins with a personal story (the narrative) of between 2-4 pages. This narrative is then reduced, or distilled to its essence, to form a script of about 3/4 to 1 page, double-spaced. The objective is then to build the story back up with the inclusion of the other multimedia elements (still frame imagery, video). The intent of this process is to develop two tracks of meaning, 1 auditory (the voice over of the script) and then one visual in an nature (the images and video). This double track system is what I believe makes a digital story such a powerful medium for communication, as both can be very emotional.

To create that emotion in the visual track, beginning digital storytellers should avoid illustrating their story literally. Outstanding digital stories use visuals to create deep emotion, and this can be accomplished by entering the emotion as a search term in Flickr. This is a natural for the tagging system of Flickr and works very well. For example, if I wanted to convey an emotion of loneliness, I would enter loneliness into the search box of the Creative Commons Attribution pool, and then be sure to click on the Most Interesting filter, which dramatically improves the quality of the photography. I might use this image of a sailboat (hey, it's from my photostream, imagine that!), this picture of a chair, this bench, or this shot of windows. Because I'm in the attribution pool, I'm sure that I can use these in my story as long as I include the Flickr screen name in my digital story, typically in the credits at the end of the digital story.

Excellent digital stories incorporate two tracks of meaning. Be sure to work with your students on the distillation process of narrative to script, and also strongly consider having kids convey emotion with using specific emotional search terms in image resources like Flickr.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Texas Storytelling...the Participants have their say!

I'm in Amarillo at Region 16 doing digital storytelling with teachers from the is what they had to say about digital storytelling:

It is AMAZING! The kids are going to LOVE THIS! Thanks!

My students will really enjoy doing this. What an enhancement for the English Program!

Fantastic workshop on using personal voice and point of view creatively through digital storytelling. Great handouts and webpage for useful information in the future. Thanks David for the helpful hints! Loved it!

This has lots of applications beyond the classroom. It could be useful for awsome family stories and events. The sky is the limit!

This was very interesting and easier than I thought.

This is the best workshop I have ever attended!!!!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

NECC 2006

OK, last year it was podcasting as the latest and greatest hot new thing? What will it be this year at NECC 2006?

You can follow my session attendance as I'll be blogging live from the conference floor. You can check out the entire cast of NECC bloggers here.

That's right, I'm not from Texas...

To borrow a line from Lyle Lovett, I'm not from Texas but I sure feel like it as the 2005-06 Out of Options tour swings makes its final swing through West Texas on Thursday and Friday of this week. I just got back from a very successful 3 and a 1/2 days working with the outstanding teachers of Floydata (thanks for the card, ladies!), Post, and Slaton on the process of digital storytelling. Their work ethic and commitment to their 1 to 1 initiative should serve them well as they add a truly transformitive learning process to their repertoire.

This week I'll be in Amarillo, working two sessions on digital storytelling with the Region 16 ESC. I've got almost 50 teachers over the two days who will be introduced to building digital stories with Photostory 3. If last week was any indication, I should be in for another outstanding time.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Digital Kids Club-Digital Storytelling

New at Adobe's Digital Kids site are resources dedicated to digital storytelling. While the site promotes storytelling with Adobe products (Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements), there is some good information for those getting started with digital storytelling. The author of the content is Bernajean Porter.