Sunday, January 31, 2010

White Rabbit ... I'm late

I feel like the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland.

I have just too many things on the go and this week I go back to work full time until I leave for Australia in 5 weeks. The rest of this post will be in point form so bear with me. The computer is uploading a video assignment to YouTube so I can post it in the Video Production (511) course screening room, downloading the Disney version of the White Rabbit's song so I can add it here, and opening an Elluminate session at Educon2.2. I wonder if my poor machine can handle the cognitive load? (Links to the sessions are supposed to be archived on the conversation page, but when ? A session by session Tweet archive is already together.)

So what am I working on this week?

a) finishing off the first video assignment which was due last week (Wilkes weeks run from Saturday to Friday). I managed to buy the only camcorder in the world that does not compress in a format which my editing program of choice (Adobe Premier Elements) can make use of. It's MPEG-4 files just get garbled in the timeline, and it took me a full day of reading and phoning to finally figure out that I had to buy Quicktime Pro (fortunately not too pricey), save all the clips as .mov files and then they will work beautifully.

b) I'm trying to work out the compression needed to get the file size below 40mb. I'm at 43 and each time I lower the quality or change the frames per second, the video becomes more and more pixely.

c) Listened to a collection of wonderful speakers at Educon2.2. Session 1 was a bust because they didn't have the technology working until later in the morning, but by Session 2 one it was much improved. Students at the host school did all the video, sound, and moderating work for us online participants. Mithun was the best moderator. I'm convinced the Elluminate people should hire him.

By session 6 I had to stop. It's a lot of work to try to listen to a session and chat in the backchannel of an Elluminate room at the same time. My CPU now needs sleep and time to unwind everything. What was very ironic is that I had to "tele-travel" via Elluminate to Educaon on Philly to meet up with a lot of Canadians -- some as close to home as 40km. We're now talking about the possibility of a Caneducon and I will see if I can make my way to ECOO (Ontario) in the fall.

d) taking a free online Drexel worhshop in Algebraic thinking . I haven't dedicated enough time to work on it much yet, but there's always tomorrow night.

e) doing the publicity for the Wilkes/Credenda Elluminate event on Feb. 16 with Dan Pink. He'll be taking about his new book "Drive". It's about motivation -- so is a timely topic after what I viewed at Educon. (Will post the links when this is ready).

f) preparing to host a 1 week math event from here in BC using Moodle which I have not tried before. For details go to -- I have to add my material to the moodle and send out some updates.

Biggest questions answered this weekend: What are Twitter hashtags for? What is backchanneling?
Best workshop I saw at Educon: Field Guide for Change Agents
Most interesting ideas: use a backchannel as students watch a video together in class to gather comments and questions; how to create a collaborative Google slide presentation as part of a workshop (Others to come -- see the intro above).
Most fun: met two Australian women who will be at ACEC 2010 when I'm presenting there in the spring.

Meanwhile here's my shot reel for the Wilkes course. I'm not sure I got the contract dolly shot right, but it was fun getting my husband to help me with my homework. (If you're taking this course, let your family and friends know they'll be pressed into helping out. You'll need performers. My brother is an actor. Maybe I can get his help for the last piece. If I go over and shoot it in the middle of the month, I'll be able to do the editing on the plane on my way south. My last week of 511 will be handled from down under. Must remember to order the books for the next one so I can take them with me. )

What I learned today: if you find my video slow to load, view it on Youtube and click the 4th box from the right below the video and change the setting from 360p to 480p. It will stop all the spooling and the video will play smoothly. Who knew?!!? I have no idea what that stands for but it's nice to know what it does.

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