Innovating by Hand

EquilNote_2014_12_02

Blog Experiment 2

Blog Experiment 3

Blog Experiment 4

All of the text above was imported in, which is why I couldn’t hyperlink Touchnote. This is the only bit I’ve typed, save the title. As you can see, the pen has several issues, not least that it buzzes quite loudly. For some reason, the receiver picked up my ‘smooth’ lines as dashed and dotted above (perhaps it was my large sleeve), and this blog entry took me 3-4 times longer than a regular entry usually does.

Perhaps I can tell I’m innovating when it takes a long time, but feels like play… maybe.

Art Vandenberg and the World Community Grid

Today I went to the talk given in CURVE by Art Vandenberg. When I decided to attend, I didn’t know what the World Community Grid was, and now I know – and I think you should know too.

First, Art started off telling us a bit about himself. Here he is on the right:

I hope you all recognize that guy on the left by now :)

I hope you all recognize that guy on the left by now ūüôā

Art was funny, and personable, and the perfect person to be telling us about World Community Grid.

What IS the World Community Grid, you ask?

ArtV_1

It’s pretty much the most complex, yet most simple thing you can do to help save the world. Essentially, if you join the world community grid (make sure you join the GSU team!), whenever you’re not using your computer, and it’s on (this also works on android phones, but they have to be plugged in), the world community grid can use your computing power to increase their ability to solve data problems like producing clean water, or mapping cancer markers. It’s really that simple.

And what’s cooler, is that all of our library computers (CURVE too) are already running world community. When the library is closed, there is a lot of world saving going on in there.

I left the link up there at the top of this entry – check it out. And if you have additional questions, go ahead an leave them below in the comments and I’ll see what I can do to find you an answer.

SIF: positivity, morale and accomplishments

This week, the SIF overlords contacted me and asked me to collect and catalog SIF accomplishments so far. As someone whose default setting is >excited with bouncy option – I am excited that I get to do this job.

And while it may seem a little early to start talking about accomplishments, I know that I’ve already learned enough to fill a whole brain noodle – and I’m hoping that others feel the same way. So I created a Google Forms survey to send out to everyone – and Joe, and Brennan already beta-tested it! That was so fast!

I’ve used Google ¬†Forms before, but only as someone filling out the form. This time I got to make, not one, but TWO forms! I made one today for the beta test for the Tools Wiki, which I will send to a few of you in the next week or so, and one for SIF Accomplishments. The forms are really easy to make, and have a variety of options for users to answer – like multiple choice, scale, text, and so on. My favorite part though is that they have lots of themes to choose from that make the forms look a little more fun.

By the time you read this, you’ll probably have already filled out my form, and some of you may have already met with me. My hope is that by all of us thinking about the most positive and helpful aspects of SIFdom, we will be able to deliver an accurate picture of our accomplishments to the powers that be, as well as grow as a community of innovators.

And remember – if you’re having a bad SIF day, Zoe brings candy to the Exchange, Justin makes weird noises sometimes, and there’s always coffee in the common area.

National Day on Writing Success!

In case you didn’t hear, this past Tuesday was the National Day on Writing. And thanks to a bunch of people in the English Department, the Linguistics department, and some other organizations (I think there was a sorority involved somewhere), it went off really well.

I’ve talked before about the Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives, and the project I’ve been working on to find an easy, low amount of hardware way to record using iPad. I blogged a little about it a few weeks ago, and it turns out that the simplest result was the best result.

Here is a picture of the ultimate set up we decided to go with:

DALN_2

As you can see, it is very minimal in its hardware involvement.

We ended up investing in the adapter I mentioned in an earlier entry, which I linked above. The adapter is called the iPad Camera Connector and runs about $30. The snowball you can see in the picture plugs right into the adapter and then it just works. It took me a while to figure out that it needs no other software or authorization on the part of the iPad user – it simply plugs in and works with all the already installed iPad software.

We were at our National Day on Writing table from 10AM until just before 2PM and managed to collect 20 narratives ranging from ‘the first books I read’ to ‘When I learned to read music’ – each one was interesting and wonderful.

Here is a picture of Michael Harker explaining the paperwork to a student who gave a narrative:

DALN_1In all, the day was a big success – we even found we could upload the videos into the DALN system right from the iPad.

I’m pretty happy with how this project is turning out. I learned a lot about iPad interface and hardware (adapters) and a lot about the first things to try. Ooh – and that simplicity is pretty much the best thing ever.

So Рin the interest of being as hip as my fellow SIF bloggers, I leave you with a bit of inspiration Рnot a music video Рbut  drawing I did on a tablecloth and a restaurant. Enjoy:

Robot-VR

 

Rhet/Comp, Durkheim, Hybrid Pedagogy, and Me

In the last 7 or so weeks as a SIF, I have learned more than I ever imagined I would.

A few weeks ago, I decided to write an article featuring the SIF program. In a stroke of benevolence, Brennan gave me permission to spend some of my hours developing the article. So I set to work – basing the article on a footnote I harvested from Emile Durkheim’s sociologically ground breaking book The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life written in 1912:

‚ÄúA tool is material accumulated capital.‚ÄĚ

When I read that note, I knew I was going to use it for something – but I wasn’t sure what – until I began to read¬†Writing Teachers Writing Software by rhetoric and composition scholar Paul LeBlanc.

The article I wrote went live this morning at 3am on Hybrid Pedagogy. Here is the link:

Addressing the Elephant: The Importance of Infrastructure

iPad Research = iPad Play

Over the last few weeks, I have been playing with the iPad 2 for my Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives project I’m involved with through the English department. The goal is to find an innovative way to record video using the iPad. My focus has mostly been on sound, as I attempt to get to know the iPad and its foreign (to me) software.

Last week, I played with a microphone called a snowball, which looks like this:

snowball

taken from amazon.com

The snowball is a pretty high quality microphone, which I have used to record videos in a booth for the American Literature Videos Project. The Snowball plugs right into a computer through a USB port, which is super cool because it doesn’t even need a separate power source. The unfortunate part is that the iPad does not have a USB port. So I need this adapter:

I want this adapter so bad.

taken from http://bluemic.com/blog/2011/03/snowballonipad/

And we don’t have any at the Exchange. And the Digital Aquarium doesn’t have any either. And no one I know with an iPad has one, with the exception of a friend I have who works a LOT with macs – in Flagstaff, Arizona.

And so I went back to the drawing board and decided to start from the beginning. I realized I really don’t know what a direct video using¬†only the iPad sounds/looks like. I also discovered, during this journey, that the iPad has an app that allows the user to upload right to youtube, and even to edit right in the application.

Tuesday, I went to the Atlanta Collaborative Learning community Digital Pedagogy meetup, and I recorded some interviews with the presenters: one of those is Brennan Collins – so for your viewing pleasure, I give you the video I recorded with what I am referring to as “the naked iPad” (no external hardware helping out) – and with the youtube editing software/uploader:

DALN 2 – Researching to Innovate

As part of the project I’m working on for the Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives, I have been researching free apps for the iPad 2 that might help innovate the current recording process of the DALN.

Let me explain in more detail:

Representatives from the DALN go to conferences, usually rhetoric and composition, or other English studies related conferences, and collect live literacy narratives. I have volunteered for DALN more than once, and usually have a fun time doing it. the task involves roping people in to come and sit in front of a computer (always a mac) and record a short narrative about literacy. It can be anything Рreading, writing, digital Рwhatever. They talk into the recording device, which takes video and audio, and then when they are finished, we save and upload the recordings, along with a release form participants fill out.

As part of the project, I am looking at streamlining this project – innovating it, if you will. So instead of using MacBooks, I am looking at using iPads. So far, I’m sort of stumbling around in the dark, but I have found one fun, if not confusing tool:

Stage: An Interactive Whiteboard and Document Camera РAnd while this program will not likely work for innovating the DALN recording process, it may be useful for something similar.

The biggest difficulty I find myself having at the moment is the “free apps” part of the task. On iPad, movie maker is $4.99. This is problematic, and may lead to some interesting access-oriented innovations.

In the meantime, if anyone finds some use for this whiteboard app, please share.

Digital Pedagogy Meetup 1.0

This Monday was the first Digital Pedagogy Meetup of the school year. It was held at Manuel’s Tavern in the back room (though it’s really not as clandestine as it sounds), and is part of a larger atlanta studies community now called “Atlanta Connected Learning.

Nirmal speaks about Mahana - a part of Georgia Tech's first year experience.

Nirmal speaks about Mahana – a part of Georgia Tech’s first year experience.

Spearheaded by innovative faculty from several Georgia schools in the atlanta area, including but not limited to GSU, SPSU, Agnes Scott, and GTech, Atlanta Connected Learning is going to be an umbrella community that will eventually house several different educational and innovative meet ups designed to encourage the kind of innovation that is already happening in this community, but gather more followers and minds to take on all the projects to be tackled in the Georgia school systems.

Digital Pedagogy Meetups will continue to feature 2 sets of speakers who will talk, in a casual setting, about the projects they are working on to promote lifelong learning and a journey into the future of pedagogy.

Check out atlcl.org  for more developments, as the site will be developing and changing a lot over the coming semester.

Get on board, if you aren’t already.

Innovation and the Multitude

In my introduction, I declared that I would be attempting to define ‘innovation.’ This is one such time.

My dissertation is complex. It is theory heavy, and as soon as I start to describe it, 3 out of 5 people begin to lose consciousness. Instead of risking your current state of awake-ness, I’ll save you by telling you that my dissertation concerns itself with time – specifically the ways in which our American-dominated-yet-globalized world values the way we spend, talk and think about our time. The part I’m concerning myself with for this particular post is the “American-dominated-yet-globalized world values” part of that sentence.

Over the weekend, I dove head-first into¬†Empire by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, followed by an equally head-first dive into¬†Multitude, by the same authors, 5 years later, and it’s also the ‘sequel’ to¬†Empire.¬†Hardt and Negri first distinguish ‘Empire’ from ‘Imperialism’ defining ‘Empire’ this way: “The concept of Empire is characterized fundamentally by a lack of boundaries: Empire’s rule has no limits… as a regime with no temporal boundaries and in this sense outside of history or at the end of history…. Empire not only manages a territory and a population but also creates the very world it inhabits” (Empire xv). In short, we currently live in an Empire – one that is¬†very different than the sort we learned about in history class.

The next important thing to define is ‘multitude.’ I’ll do it quickly this way:

The people = 1 homogeneous entity
The multitude = the many, the diverse, including social stratification
The masses = the indifferent, lacking in social stratification, the passive (Multitude, xiv)

Within the multitude are knowledge workers – people like me, and Hardt and Negri who make knowledge like what you’re reading here. Now here’s the big finish:

At the end of the preface, Hardt and Negri explain that “The multitude is working through Empire to create an alternative global society… the postmodern revolution of the multitude looks forward, beyond imperial sovereignty” (xvii).

In being student innovators, I like to think that we are, in fact, looking beyond any upper-class sanctioned sovereignty – those that rule the masses – and creating our own globalized world – a world, with enough work – that will look very different from the world we know today.