Lesson Pie Chart – March 2, 2012

Now it’s time to get really serious. We’ve just crossed the midway point of the semester. Next week I’ll be submitting your midterm grades to the main campus so you will know exactly where you stand in terms of grade. Though after your exams are returned today, you should have an exact point total. I will have Daily Creates scored by the end of the weekend – the scores will be posted on your Feedback Form Google document. Keep an eye out for it.

But let’s be serious for just a moment. The remaining six weeks will either make or break you in terms your final grade. There remain another one hundred points on offer in the second half of the course. They’re just waiting for you to take them. You need to ask yourself a question: are you up to the challenge? Based on what I’v seen so far, I know most of you are. I can’t wait to see what sort of greatness you guys put online in the remaining weeks.

I’ll be doing all I can just to keep up with you.

Anyhow, here’s what’s on tap for today:

Fear and Loathing Online schedule:

  • Everywhere Malware:  3/2 (lecture)  |  3/7 (group discussion)
  • Privacy and Surveillance: 3/5 (lecture)  |  3/9 (group discussion)
  • Vice Online: 3/7 (lecture)  |  3/12 (group discussion)
  • Copy Right and Wrong: 3/9 (lecture)  |  3/14 (group discussion)
  • Repression Control and Propaganda: 3/12 (lecture)  |  3/16 (group discussion)

Note: Individual conferences will take place between 3/12-3/19

Everywhere Malware:

I will mail everyone the URL to today’s Prezi after the presentation. As mentioned last time, I would appreciated if you guys would turn off your monitors and try your best to direct your attention to the front of the class during this 20-25 minute presentation.

Return Midterm Exams:

We will go over the midterms for the remainder of the lesson. I would like to collect the midterms at the end of the class so that I can do some additional number crunching on the results. They will be returned for you to keep on Monday.

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Fear and Loathing Online Introduction

As it doesn’t seem possible to embed a Prezi on wordpress.com blogs, here is the link for this morning’s presentation.

The image used in this Prezi: Tribute to Fear and Loathing by Hagamon and is from Deviant Art.

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Coming Soon: Fear and Loathing Online

Actually, we are technically into the third of our four course sections. My bad on misreading the schedule.

During Monday’s lesson, I will preview what’s on tap for the next eight or nine lessons. I might need to be away one day next week and will adjust the schedule accordingly should that happen.

Some of you might have noticed recent tweets connected to my ScoopIt account. If you haven’t made yourself familiar with the various topic channels I’ve set up, you soon will. As I’m still knee deep in working through feedback forms for the “State of the Net” section, I’ll have to make this preview brief.

Heer’s a link to the ScoopIt channel for the first topic we’ll be talking about: Everywhere Malware! (unfortunately this can’t be embedded in a WordPress.com page)

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Infographic Presentations Round 2

Here are the Prezis for today’s group presentations:

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Infograph Presentations Round 1

I hope we can begin the presentations shortly after 9:00 A.M. – below is the order of presentations with links to each group’s Prezi that I have received so far (if I don’t have it yet, please tweet it to me so I can update the entry):

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Video Demo – Setting up Daily Create Pages

As promised, here is the video tutorial for how to set up separate pages for your Daily Creates.

I will be checking and scoring the Daily Create project early next week so it would be a good idea to have your pages finished by then. The page created in the video can be seen here.

NOTE: My apologies for the poor video quality. I didn’t have the proper screen capture space and this caused the text on screen to be unreadable in many cases. Still, I think the steps presented can be useful for those who haven’t set up Daily Create pages.

I’m going to try another one soon that shows how find, embed and attributed Creative Commons images from Flickr.

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Infographic Presentation Schedule

Image via morguefile.com

We will have presentations of the original infograhic each group has prepared on Wednesday, February 22 and Friday, February 24. I’d like to begin shortly after 9:00 A.M. on each day so everyone please try to arrive on time.

Your group Prezi presentations should roughly be between 5 and 7 minutes. After which, I’d like there to a round of discussion with the whole class.

As you will have noticed, I’ve not given specific guidelines for how your presentation is to be prepared or delivered. I would prefer to leave such decisions to each group.

In deciding the order of presentations, I used an online random sequence generator and came up with the following:

Here then is the order of presentations:

Wednesday 2/20 Friday 2/24
7, 4, 2, 6 8, 1, 5, 3

The only two things I’m hoping for in this is that you do your best and try to have fun in doing it.

Image Source: dsc02514.jpg by Aigarius through Morguefile licensing.

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Re-M*A*S*H-ed Game Cover

I’d noticed Jim Groom tweeting various bits of trivia about Atari game systems over the past week or so and thought something must be up. Sure enough, he just created a new assignment called Remixed Game Covers. I got a kick of seeing what he did with the old Atari Bowling game box and the Big Lebowski for his first entry. As someone of an age to have vivid memories of wanting and eventually getting an Atari 2600, this assignment was an invitation to revisit ancient memories. Additionally, it seemed like it would be a pretty simple assignment to do as all it calls for is:

Take a video game cover and remix it to change up the meaning or play with the general idea of the game.

Jim mentioned he’d try to use an animate GIF in his next attempt so I immediately decided to try to beat him to the punch. I scrolled the hundreds of scanned boxes at the Atari Age site until  I found M*A*S*H. As this was a program that I watched for many years (at one point it was possible to see five episodes a day in rerun on the various cable channels – and I did) in junior and senior high. Then I jumped over to YouTube and found a clip of “Funny MASH Moments” set to Yakkety Sax.

Once the parts were collected, I used MPEG Stream Clip to grab the five frame sequence of Lt. Col. Blake with baton and Cpl. O’Reilly on drums. I opened the Atari Box image in GIMP and brought in the five frames as layers and begin trying to make the GIF. All I can recall now is that it took more than three hours and I nearly quit more than once.

My intention was to have the animated GIF replace the game graphic on the box while keeping the orange/yellow sticker in the bottom and the red and white diagonal bar in the bottom right. There was a problem because the space was too tall for the GIF. So after I erased all of the graphic, I duplicated the box layer and chopped the top and bottom of either layer and moved them closer together (basically cutting out the middle). Then I had to duplicate the box layer 5 times and merge it down on to each of the five MASH frames. The delay on each frame is 250 milliseconds. I’m not sure if this ideal but it seems to work.

In terms of a story, for me it is trying to imagine how such a game would play. Today was the first time I’d ever even heard of this game. It’s not something I’d have been interested back then even though I was huge MASH fan. I didn’t see the movie until many years later but something about the show worked for me. I suppose it was the general attitude of contempt for authority. My favorite character was Henry Blake which might explain why I selected the clip I did. Thinking about his final episode, Abyssinia, Henry, still chokes me up. It seemed such a tragic and senseless turn of the story line which ultimately, to me, was a powerful anti-war statement. I seem to be drifting into middle-aged nostalgia which nobody really wants or needs so I’ll wrap this one up. Just to close by saying that once again I find myself stunned with what I encountered during the several hours of working through this assignment.

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Daniel Gunkel: What Makes Great Art?

ds106 Album Art - Daniel Gunkel

Assignment: The ds106 Album Cover assignment is one I never gave much thought to until I noticed such great stuff coming from so many students this semester. I think Bryan N. started the ball rolling with Smicropus several weeks ago, and just today I noticed Keiko’s brilliant Left to the Politicians featured on the assignment page. When I saw Alison’s By Any Other Name, I realized I could delay no longer and must make one of my own.

What is most appealing to me about this assignment is how through the use of pulling together a few random items, it is possible to create something that can be attractive and meaningful. The assignment directs you to draw the artist name from one random wiki page, the album title is derived from a page of random quotes,  and the image from a random Flickr page of recent interesting images.

Process: I followed the steps as directed to get Daniel Gunkel who happens to be a German soccer player and the quote (last four words from the final quote). It turns out the quote is from Ward Jenkins. For the image, I cheated a little. We were supposed to choose the third one but I didn’t think a Red Ferrari would work (now that I rethink, it could have been pretty good). Instead, I used Praline3001’s CC licensed image from Flickr of this New Orleans street musician which was adjacent to the Ferrari on the page.

Once downloaded (the trick for downloading images from Flickr seems to be to view them in all sizes and select the one of your choice to download), I opened it in Pixlr and applied an inverted pastel effect with the setting of 4. I don’t know what that means, but I like the softened feel it gave to the image. I then added the text. I used a 30 point Adobe Caslen Pro in semibold italic font for the album title and a 60 point Academy Engraved Plain LET for the artist’s name.

All together it took less than 30 minutes.

Story: Well as many of you know, I used to work in radio. One of the high points of the job was interviewing musicians and bands when they would come to perform in my town. To do a good interview, it’s important that the interviewer is familiar with the music and knows something about the artist.

Such was not the case when I was sent to the Roadway Inn in Waldport, Oregon to conduct a recored interview with Daniel Gunkel on his 1992 Oregon Coast Tour. I listened to his album “What Makes Great Art?” on my Walkman cassette player as I took the bus from Lincoln City to Waldport. The music was a fairly standard a standard blend folk guitar and harmonica with lyrics about struggle and solidarity. I was expecting to meet some older hippie guy from the sixties with a flowing white beard like the guy on the album cover.

I was totally shocked when I got out of the bus and was met by Daniel himself standing near his limo with the whitest smile I’d ever seen. He allowed me to record the interview as we rode in the limo back to Lincoln City for his concert. He was a thoughtful and humorous guy not afflicted with a superstar-type ego. He actually owned a company in the midwest that manufactured chocolate cookies. Music for him was more of a hobby than a career. The only question he wouldn’t answer was when I asked him who was the guy on the album cover. I never could figure out why.

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February 15 Lesson Pie Chart

Daily Create Pages: As you’ll notice, I’ve created pages on this blog for each week of the Daily Create project. The reason for doing this is so that all your Daily Create work can be found more easily. It has also been requested because some users have been unable to keep track of newly completed ds106 assignment blog posts since there have been so many Daily Create submissions.

I will demonstrate how to add pages to your blog and how to post the Daily Shoots at the beginning of the lesson.

Group Infographics: This Prezi file is still being tweaked but it should be sorted out by class time tomorrow morning. The Prezi file shows each of the first infographics selected by each group. I would like to briefly run through these and get a sense of where the various groups are with their analysis and blog posts for these infographics.

Also, please remember to set up your own Prezi accounts. After everyone in the group has done that, you will need to connect with one another so that you can work together on the same presentation file. This will be demonstrated in class.

Question Mark ?: I will have an announcement regarding the group project that should be good news to all. You won’t want to miss it.

And then what?: I encourage you guys to use Google chat or Skype or some other messaging software to communicate with each other on this project. Does Facebook let you do that? I think Google chat is pretty cool because in addition to text messaging you can also do voice and video (text is with multiple partners, I think speech and video are one on one). I’d like to demonstrate how to use that as none of the students I’ve asked about this seem to know what I’m talking about.

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