Tag Archives: School’s out Friday

School’s out Friday

I admit it. I’m a Spiderman fan from way back. I remember being so desperate to see the Toby Maguire film version when it was released that I took my then three year old son along with me, thinking it would be reminiscent of the cartoon version I watched religiously as a child. Not a good idea in hindsight. There are moments of your life when you fall into the category of #badparent, and that was one of mine.

Your three year old will be fine with Improv Everywhere’s latest ‘Movies in real life’ version of Spiderman. I love the crowd reaction when he jumps off that building. Even better, read what really happened as this was their annual April Fool’s day hoax video. I admit, they got me on that one – I replayed that jump a few times trying to work out how they pulled it off so effectively!

Enjoy the weekend ahead. Soak up the days before the return to school next week. (if you’re a Victorian, that is!).

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School’s out Friday

OK. I am prepared to admit right here, right now, that I was 19 years old in 1984 when the original Footloose movie was released, and that might have something to do with why I find this Jimmy Fallon segment so appealing. If you’re from my era, I’m sure you’ll find it appealing too, and if you’re not from my era, I’m laying odds that you’re going to enjoy it even if you don’t know the context it is derived from.

And to help you with the context, here was something that was prepared a little earlier, in 1984 to be exact. The final scene from the original Footloose movie, where Kevin Bacon  shakes up the dance floor with his smooth moves. Compare it to the Jimmy Fallon segment, and you’ll see that Kevin hasn’t let 30 years affect him too greatly. I’d like to say that I can still shake up the dance floor like I did 30 years ago, but I don’t get all that many opportunities to test that theory out. Unless, of course,  you count dancing in my kitchen without an audience as proof of concept. I can lay testament to the fact that I’ve kept up with the times and could give Beyonce a run for her money, but I think my kids (who sometimes are my unwilling audience) would contest this.

Enjoy your weekend. Find a dance floor and shake your booty – even if it’s in your kitchen. The world needs dancers. ;)

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School’s out Friday

If Google was a guy‘ was a video I shared a while back. Here’s the follow up vid – it’s worth watching for the last 20 seconds. You’ll understand why when you get there. :)

End of a big week and I can feel my throat swelling. What’s the bet I’ll be laying low over the weekend then find myself feeling good on Monday morning! Always the way.

Enjoy your weekend. Hope it’s a good one for you. :)

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School’s out Friday

Are you one of the 46,089,523 (as at 9.45pm Melbourne time March 14th) who has seen ‘First Kiss‘? I saw it for the first time today when my students said I should watch it after we’d watched ‘Good looking couple sing Frozen’ as a bit of fun and exploration of a viral video at the end of class.

Did I take it at face value and think it was an interesting concept that held mass appeal?

Yes, I did.

Was I surprised when I discovered tonight it was clothing advert starring actors for the brand Wren Studio?

No, not really.

I’m getting used to clever videos that appear to be genuine turning out to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. They aren’t insidious, but they do leave you feeling a bit cheated especially when you’ve made an emotional investment while viewing them and have perhaps then gone on to share them with others in good faith. The lesson in all this is to not take things at face value and to investigate further.

I’ve spent a little (not a lot!) of time tonight looking into ‘Good looking parents sing Disney’s Frozen‘, and I can’t detect anything insidious behind this one, other than wondering who on earth would include ‘Good looking parents’ in the title of their uploaded video. It seems that Samuel and Nia Rader of Terell, Texas are just the kind of people who do that. Here’s a bit more about them from the description accompanying the video on the Youtube page.

Just a little about us. We’re high school sweet hearts, been together for the past 10 years, married for the past 4.5 years. We have TWO children, our five month old baby man is sitting behind me. My wife is a stay at home mom/wife, and an amazing one at that.She creates decorative wreaths in what little free time she has. I’m a full time ER nurse and do wedding photography on the side…

Lovely. But would I be at all surprised if in two days time something surfaced that demonstrated an underlying intent behind the posting of this video? No, I wouldn’t. I’ve come to expect it, especially considering that YouTube is to teenagers today what television was to me as a child.

Anyway, enough of the speculation. Enjoy it as you contemplate the weekend ahead. I’m thinking about buying a Go Pro and taping it my windscreen so I can record myself singing Pharrel Willliam’s ‘Happy’. I’ll upload it to YouTube and call it ‘Middle Aged Woman kidding herself’. :)

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School’s out Friday

Ahhh… something from Improv Everywhere to make me smile after a busy week at work. I love the look on the volunteer runner’s faces as they round that corner and see the waiting crowd. We need more levity in this world – moments where we come together, even in the spirit of playful pranking, to make people smile and feel connected.

Enjoy your weekend. Open Day at my school tomorrow, so it won’t officially start for me until after 3.00pm tomorrow. I’ll be looking forward to it! :)

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School’s out Friday

Sir Fedora, you’ve won my heart. How does a young kid post a video hoping to get one like, and then end up amassing close to one million views in the space of a few days? Well, making it to the front page of Reddit and having that community vote your video up is one way to do it. The video above is the follow up to this young boy’s initial posting, where he thanks the YouTube community for giving one like to that initial offering.

His reaction reminds me of the morning after I’d made my first post on this blog. I woke up to find two comments had been left by people whose blogs I read. If I’d had a video recording my amazement, you would have seen a similar reaction to that of Sir Fedora.

Perhaps we as educators need to take note of the power of publishing in public spaces. I’m betting Sir Fedora is motivated beyond measure to continue to grow his audience and develop content. The challenge he will face is realising that it’s going to be incredibly tough trumping the explosive first week he has just experienced launching his YouTube channel. Let’s face it, not many people find themselves remixed to honour their efforts!

Off to bed for me. It’s been beyond huge at school this week. I’ll try and tell you all about it in a post this weekend. Enjoy your two days off. Sleep in, seek out friends, soak it all up.  :)

 

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School’s out Friday

Yes, I’m sure this wasn’t a spontaneous act, especially given that it’s promoting the Grammys that are being held this Sunday, but I like it anyway. It’s a nice follow up to my previous post about Macklemore. I’d encourage you to read it if you haven’t already; he really is a fascinating person whose journey to fame can teach our young people much about the importance of persistence and self belief.

It’s been a big week. A new phone system has been installed and we’re launching Google Apps and Hapara Teacher Dashboard with our staff and students next week. The IT Staff who work with me have been absolutely unbelievable in their commitment to seeing these projects through. I’m very lucky to work with such dedicated staff who are willing to work above and beyond, especially when holiday periods are supposed to be the ‘quiet’ time.

Enjoy your weekend. I’m thankful for the Australia Day public holiday on Monday. Sleeping in will be a priority!

 

 

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School’s out Friday

Yep, this video just about sums up what it was like living in Melbourne this week.

I saw a tweet last night where someone said this hot and humid weather reminded them of Borneo. I can only agree. When I visited there with students last year to do community work in a village, we were working for six hours a day in conditions similar to those experienced here over the course of the week. Not exactly my cup of tea. I was very thankful for the air conditioning in my office at work this week – made the return to work just that little more bearable.

To end the working week (for me, anyway. I’m incredibly envious of those of you still enjoying a break!) here’s a very funny video from College Humour doing the rounds over the last day or so. Warning: suggestive scenes and expletive at the end. But yes, funny.

Have a great weekend. If you’re in Victoria or South Australia, enjoy the cooler weather. :)

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School’s out Friday

Now here’s something to put in the lesson toolbox for 2014. Chicago’s Magical Piano, currently sitting at 3,352,971 views on YouTube and looking for all intents and purposes like a wonderfully Christmassy feel good viral video from Amtrak.

But, it’s hard to get anything past the Reddit community these days. Here’s what transpired (from Mashable);

About two hours after it was shared on Reddit, a user named schwagro claimed in the comments that the video was fake. Schwagro posted a link to a notice about an Amtrak casting call for a video in Chicago’s Union Station with a “magical piano around Christmastime that seems to be truly alive.”

One of the examples given in the notice is that an actor might “play ‘Chopsticks’ … and we turn it into a duet,” which is exactly what happens to a young girl at the beginning of the video.

Kevin Nalts, at willvideoforfood.com has provided a scene by scene breakdown outlining the indicators to tip us off. Here’s what he had to share (I’d encourage you to visit the link to the site too);

  1. Girl playing chopsticks has almost no reaction at :28 seconds when the magical duet that occurs. Her “mother” at :37 seconds realizes her reaction is just as disingenuous so she covers her face.

  2. At 1:00 a business man gets frustrated in convenience proximity of the piano. As the music becomes tense, his hand stays up in a token gesture of frustration. People don’t hold their hand up like that when they’re frustrated, and if they do it’s for a brief moment. He somewhat convincingly barks at the piano at 1:07, but that’s a much more severe reaction that would have occurred naturally. In real life, the guy would have almost subconsciously walked away from the noise to keep focused on his call.

  3. At 1:25 a fat man approaches and almost convinces us he’s amused. But when he kicks into a manic blues dance at 1:44 we’re painfully aware that the moment is staged.

  4. By the time two other musicians stumble upon the piano (a trumpet player and a harmonica player) I could no longer continue watching.

  5. I scanned toward the end, and shouldn’t have been surprised to see Santa shooshing the piano at 3:33. I think that was actually the real Santa, though… not an actor.

I had my students investigate the nature of viral videos in my class last year and I intend to do a similar thing this year. I’ll definitely be including this as a discussion point, perhaps with the title, ‘When is a viral video not a true viral video?’ As our eyes tune in more and more to spaces like YouTube and less and less to mainstream media, we’re going to see more companies try and get their message out with entertaining videos that tug at our heartstrings and make us aware of their company or product. Westjet did it well with their Christmas Miracle video, but they were upfront about what they were doing. Therein lies the difference. Be upfront at the start, and you won’t incur the wrath of the Reddit community and the less than complimentary debate that follows.

Have a great weekend. Lovely weather here in Melbourne at the moment, and next week promises to deliver the opposite of the Polar Vortex experienced by North America this last week. I will be returning to work and leaving the holiday behind. Can’t say I’m excited about that just right now, but them’s the breaks!

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School’s out Friday – a plea from the blog

Nuff said, really.

(Made using Google’s Story Builder. Link to the original video here. You can’t get embed code from Story Builder, so I used Screencast-O-Matic to record my screen then uploaded to YouTube. There’s always a way…)

Have a great weekend. Oh, and a Happy New Year too if I don’t make it back here before then. ;)

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