How to use Vialogues

I used Vialogues in my English class last week. I think it’s a tool with great educational potential. I was going to write a lengthy post outlining the process, but figured it might work better if I created a screencast showing you what to do instead. I’d encourage you to visit the site and take a look around for some inspiration. You’ll find it, I’m sure.

I’d love to see more teachers using screencasting to explain processes to their students. Being able to revisit an explanation is something that I think is valuable. I’m always pointing my students to YouTube to find screencasts explaining editing tools or how to troubleshoot problems on their computers. It seems like you can find a screencast for nearly everything these days!

Hopefully, the above screencast explains Vialogues well enough to encourage you to have a go.

School’s out Friday

This is John Green. He of ‘Looking for Alaska‘ fame. He of the number 1 position on the New York Times Bestseller list for Children’s chapter books right now for ‘The Fault in our Stars‘. He of ‘Vlogbrothers‘ fame on YouTube.

OK. Unless you’re a Teacher-Librarian you probably have no idea who John Green is. But if you watch this video, you’ll get a sense of the kind of guy he is. He’s fun. He writes novels that teenagers love. He’s an author who understands how to use social media well to engage a new kind of audience. He’s someone modeling the new ways people need to work now to generate readership and income. Worth taking notice of, and perhaps sharing his story with your students.

His Vlogbrothers work on YouTube is something he started with his brother Hank in 2007. It was a really interesting premise called Brotherhood 2.0.

Brotherhood 2.0 was a project created by John and Hank Green in 2007. It started on January 1st of that year with the premise that the brothers would cease all text-based communication for a year and instead converse by video blogs every weekday. The project was made available to the public via YouTube and on their Brotherhood 2.0 website.[2][3] On July 18, 2007, Hank Green uploaded a video of himself playing and singing his song “Accio Deathly Hallows” in honour of the seventh Harry Potter book. This video was the first Vlogbrothers video to make the front page of YouTube, and the starting point of the brothers’ success as vloggers. The project ended on December 31st, 2007, but due to their popularity the brothers continued making videos even after the final day had passed. Now Hank and John continue to create vlogs, but less frequently (every Tuesday and Friday, as of 2012).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vlogbrothers

The video above is from the Vlogbrothers channel. If you like quirky stuff, tune in.

Big weekend ahead. My brother is getting married in my front garden on Sunday. So that means Saturday is dedicated to cleaning. Lucky me!

Enjoy your weekend – make the most of whatever comes your way. : )

School’s out Friday

My daughter mentioned this video from Kina Grannis, In your arms, to me as we were driving home today. She’d seen it featured on the Ellen DeGeneres show. Apparently it went viral on YouTube back in November, but it escaped me until now. This is a true labour of love. All of the backgrounds are made from Jellybeans. Yes, that’s right, jellybeans. They were donated by the JellyBelly company – smart move on their behalf. Over 4 million views on YouTube is some pretty good marketing for any company, and their only investment was the donation of bucket loads of their product. (288,000 Jellybeans, to be precise!)

Digital Journal has an article discussing the process. Here’s an excerpt from what they had to say,

“The project took 22 months to complete and a behind the scenes look at the process can be viewed on YouTube (shown below). It took 1,357 hours of hard work and a ‘jelly bean animation team’ that consisted of over 30 people. Add two ladders, one still camera, a producer, director, writer, concept artist and 288,000 jelly beans and the finished product is a new creative video featuring one of Grannis’ popular songs from 2010.”

Read more: http://digitaljournal.com/article/313983#ixzz1ifzFfQ2B

I hope the director, Greg Jardin, has garnered some work from what was a labour of love for him. He deserves whatever comes his way. The ‘making of’ video is well worth watching, and is great for any teachers out there helping students understand the art of stop motion filmmaking. This was a frame by frame shoot.

In the spirit of things, I created a bean art portrait of myself with help from the bean art maker tool on the JellyBelly site.

Nothing like immortalising yourself in Jellybeans!

Have a great weekend. Indulge in some jellybeans perhaps. : )

School’s out Friday

You can thank my YouTube surfing son for this week’s School’s out Friday video. It’s the Google+ Rap, and Funnyz certainly does a pretty good job selling it for Google. I do wonder though, if he’s also having a bit of a swing at it too with the inclusion of the interviews with people who have no idea what it is!

Google+ is certainly not on the tip of everyone’s tongue right now, but it does have the potential to be a very influential network. Right now, I scan it everyday, but I’m not posting much at all. Nor are many others in my circles I might add. I’m still finding that twitter is my network of choice. It’s high frequency sharing of information, and that’s where my life’s at right now. I’m pressed for time, and dipping in and out of a network is all I can afford during the working week. Google+ is more like longform journalism; the stream can be quite thoughtful, and the discussion requires more thinking. That’s obviously not a criticism, in fact, it’s a compliment. It’s the kind of thinking network I’d like to spend more time in, but the pace of life dictates otherwise right now.

The end of yet another busy week brings with it the promise of a quieter weekend. The sun looks like it will be shining in Melbourne this weekend, and this makes me a very happy woman.

I hope the sun shines on you this weekend, wherever it is you are in the world. Enjoy. : )

School’s out Friday

Does this remind you of anyone? You, maybe? Those of us who tweet regularly, update our status on facebook, those of us who blog? Once again, improveverywhere have made me smile, and plenty of others in that audience too by the looks of things.

BUT, not everyone agrees with the mirth and merriment. This video was posted on the TED site this week, and the comment thread accompanying it shows that some TEDsters are unhappy that something so ‘light’ could be put up as being worthy of inclusion. Take this comment as an example,

Between the video on how to tie your shoes and now this improv anywhere video that is reminiscent of something that would recommended to me on youtube, I’m a little bit disappointed in the videos that have been posted recently. It’s not that theres nothing to learn from these videos; one could make the case that the shoe tying video shows the importance of reexamining things we’re sure of or that this video shows the value of play and spontaneity, but I think those would be a far stretch. I guess over the years I’ve become accustomed to a TED that challenges me and expands my view of the world, not panders to me.

Really TEDsters? Lighten up. Not everything needs to be serious. In fact, sometimes taking the mickey out of ourselves provides insight into the way we conduct our lives.

Anyway, my need to share brings me to this. Last week was House Music day at my school, and I was mightily impressed with the small group music items. The winning group posted their effort on YouTube, and like a proud mother, I just have to share the talents of the students at my school with you all. So, take it away Cerutty Mads 2011, singing Love You by Free Design.

Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

Have a great weekend. Enjoy : )

School’s out Friday

This very clever marriage proposal has gone viral on YouTube, and for good reason. It appeals to the romantics in all of us, and I bet there are quite a few people out there who are thinking back to their own marriage proposals and figuring they pale in comparison to what this clever young guy thought up for his beloved. (Clue for you all – replace the words ‘I bet there are quite a few people out there’ with ‘Jenny’ and you’ll know I’m referring to me!!)

Finally, the lurgy is leaving me and I think I’m returning to normalcy. What I need is 12 solid hours of rest and I think I’ll finally get over the sickness of the last week and a half! I better not relapse, because our School Library is in for a big week of author visits and an official launch next week and I need to be on deck.

Hope the weekend ahead is full of good times for you all. Enjoy. : )

School’s out Friday

Thanks go to Frances Manning, who pointed me in the direction of this amazing virtual choir, featuring 2052 performances of ‘Sleep’ from 1752 singers in 58 countries, individually recorded and uploaded to YouTube between September 2010 and January 2011. Here’s an explanation of how it all began from the Virtual Choir site;

The Virtual Choir began in May 2009 as a simple experiment in social media, when Britlin Losee – a fan of Eric’s music – recorded a video of herself singing “Sleep” and shared it on YouTube.

After watching the video, Eric responded by sending a call out to his online fans to purchase Polyphony’s recording of “Sleep”, record themselves singing along to it, and upload the result…

…Ever ambitious, for this latest Virtual Choir project Eric called for 900 singers to record themselves singing “Sleep”. At the final tally he received 2052 contributions from singers in 58 countries.

Upon previewing the video at TED 2011, Eric (and the choir) received two standing ovations – testimony to the power of the internet to connect people of all backgrounds and abilities and create something beautiful across time and space.

People are interested in coming together to create something special. If only we could harness this kind of energy in fields like medicine or science, where people could come together to share thinking and make concerted efforts to address issues affecting mankind. Collective action always seems to me to be such an altruistic act, benefiting all, but many people can’t get past the ‘what’s in it for me’ approach.

Been a big week. The CCAEducause conference took it out of me, and I’m glad to see the start of school holidays this afternoon. Time to recharge the batteries. I’m even thinking of starting a mosiac project tomorrow. I just need to clear my headspace and do something that will enable me to see something creative emerge.

Enjoy your weekend. Seek sunshine and soak it up. : )