DS106 on the couch

Month: May 2014 (page 1 of 2)

So, we have been playing #emojimovie over on Twitter.

That led to a Daily Create asking us to make an emoji poster movie. I have been pondering on what to do and how to do it. I decided to play with minimalist posters and find a way to depict my favourite movie in Emoji. 

I do not like emoji much and much prefer Japanese emoticons. They work horizontally rather than vertically and I like the creativity within constraints they demonstrate. So I cheated. I used 2 the one for ‘crying’ and the one for ‘catching an umbrella in the rain’ on several lines underneath. I positioned the crying one at the top so that his tears disappear in the rain…

I wanted a background that was ‘like rain’ and that was harder than I thought in Photoshop. I needed a tutorial.

I then played with Photoshop and made various versions – my favourites in this post. I cannot yet decide which one will be submitted to the Daily Create. I think the rain effect needed to be a night time rain effect to give it a darker look. Not today. 

And good luck guessing the movie!

Can you guess?

A gif that highlights the importance of training the mind to be selective and purposeful! 

Animated gif by @gifadog source video: Beowulf Animated (1998)

Made to support #HEAmonsters conference presentation by @mdvfunes “Wrestling your Inner MOOC” .


Vi Hart on Net Neutrality debate as she explains the key issues using a metaphor about postal delivery. Read her blog post for script and key links to act now!

source: http://bionicteaching.com/?attachment_id=3735

source: http://museum.rechtaufremix.org/tour/meme/guide/4/

Geek Meditation

Remixed from cc by image: http://www.podar.org/CBSE-Nagpur/images/sportsicon/yoga.png

What do you want to see in the next episode?  #tinyhamsterideas

Adding to the Shallows, may the Internet forgive me for behaving like a pancake person. I have fallen in love with the tiny hamsters. I cannot stop laughing at the video and wondering who oh who had the idea to make it?

And I had to capture the tiny moment of the tiny hamster finding that first burrito in a gif. Usual workflow: Download, trim, into Photoshop, play with it until satisfied. Most of the time was spent finding the moment I wanted to trim. 

C’mmon! Let’s play. What do you want to see in the next episode?

A warning: This game will only make sense to DS106 participants

The daily create yesterday asked us to:

Design and draw your own board game about DS106.

I set out to do it for Ben the son of one of our hashtag classroom DS106 participants.

I started looking for a template for Connect 4 that was going to become Connect 106. Lost in the google for hours: Millionshort search, Duck Duck Go and more. Eventually I found this resource of templates for games if you are short of ideas there is a little treasure in there. A little dated perhaps, but fun. The editable template for this game is there and I downloaded it. 

It was meant to be a quick cut and paste job. Well, it wasn’t. 

I created the game from the template. It seemed meh in Powerpoint. Ah! I could make a movie. Then, Ben and Family could sit and play it just using the pause button. I did a screencast with QuickTime. Sound was off, looked terribly unfinished. Perfectionism won.

I will do a quick fix in iMovie. That was yesterday afternoon. Since then, I have been through different versions, new music to make new soundtrack, a DS106 Radio surprise was added at the end and Boom! Now it is ready for use. iMovie was not playing ball and I tried to edit a version ( just trimming) on YT editor yesterday only to wake up this morning with the thing stuck and still processing. Note to self – don’t do that again.

Without further ado, I give you:


And here are the rules:

Rule 1. Lots of ice-cream (or other favourite food) for Ben before playing

Rule 2. Lots of beer for the grown ups before playing

Have Fun, Ben!

Update: Some people asked about playing the game and all I have is the Powerpoint presentation. I have uploaded it to SlideShare.

We are on a mission from Open

It’s 106 miles to Newscastle, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark… and we’re wearing sunglasses.


Remixed from Alphacoders wallpaper http://wall.alphacoders.com/big.php?i=204775 with OER 14 photo by Simon Thomson (@digisim)

As we sat down to plan, my most important concern was prepositions. I did not have the cinematic background to the Blues Brothers, so I did not know  all the appropriate quotes! Was it ‘of’ or ‘to’ or ‘from’ open? Alan looked at me as if I were from outer space. The quote is ‘We are on a mission from God’ – he said. Well, the poster said ‘of’ and I thought it should be ‘to’. We agreed to go with the poster as we did not want to edit it yet again. 

A big thank you to @digisim for a great photo.


There were other photos and we had a lovely time role playing a traditional business meeting with me as the mean boss. You had to be there.  But here is the presentation we did not use. It was designed to be as boring as we could muster to contrast with our actual talk.

If you want to read the paper you can download it from my Mendeley account. There is much I learnt and much I could say (as ever) but I want to focus the rest of  this post on how DS106 can go to work and make it better.

First the presentation. I have done many presentations for my corporate consulting work and for other academic conferences. Mostly using snazzier, perhaps more creative, presentations like the one above. This experience was different. DS106 gave us (me?) permission to be silly and tell a story. Yet the story we told was deadly serious. 

We included the audience in our ‘meeting’ and it was a conversation rather than a presentation. The content was about how one person in one small area of a large organisation is bringing DS106 behind the corporate firewall. 

As a organisational and people development specialist, I cannot stress enough the potential I see in this small ‘experiment’. We have evolved a model for developing people in organisations that uses internal employees rather than consultants and that has the potential to bring the whole of the open educational web into any organisation that sees the potential. I see that when Jim Groom and Martha Burtis talk about the 3 faces of open they have given us a distinction that could change organisational development for good. We can develop open pedagogy and open community behind the corporate firewall, yet it is entirely appropriate for us not to have open technology in corporations. This led us to speak of ‘the open organisational web’ and to the creation of an expert lynchpin to act as network connector between the corporation (3M) and the part of the open web that is DS106. Rochelle has excelled in this role she chose to call the Patroness of the Salon as a homage to early open education.

The experiment is being extended for another year at 3M and I am now interested in exploring how a model like this could be generalised to support learning and development in other organisations. I see myself as a coach to other internal employees who may want to take on Rochelle’s role but may not have the ability to live and learn in the open web. Looking to some of my corporate clients interested in experimenting as I write. 

The presentation went really well, people had fun and we interacted around serious issues in a relaxed way. When I next coach one of my clients to give that all important presentation to their executive, I will introduce digital storytelling into the process as well as the psychology of communication. I cannot wait. 

Next is what I personally learnt. I learnt how my own assumptions about what it means to be a serious academic can be successfully challenged. Hell, never again will I equate knowing my stuff with being boring as hell. Taking time to tell my audience stuff they can read in the paper to impress them is really not necessary. People prefer to be included in a conversation than deafened with me on permanent send.

DS106 #4life indeed. Both at home and at work. Thank you Alan and Rochelle – it has been a joy to learn about online collaboration with the both of you. You have given me a best case example of what is possible. The how of that, will be for another time.U


We did a show on DS106 Radio talking about the experience of DS106 goes to OER14. You can listen on Edu Talk.

Rochelle wrote about the desirable (?) difficulties of referencing for her first academic paper manually and the late discovery of technology to help this process. 

Alan has written a  balanced account of the presentation exploring the Blues Brothers theme and the more technical sides of the presentation.


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