Do you remix?
If so, how do you remix? What is your remix trigger? Is it curiosity or simply joining the dots as you see them? Do you like to layer-up? Or strive to simplify? Is it a tickly thought? Or a random one from left field?
Well yes, I think I do, although my definition of remix might be widened to include mashup. but of course, Everything is a Remix.
The why is harder, I am not a developer or an artist, I don’t make anything as polished as the remixes that scale on social media. I like to think it is because I nearly can. That is I am going to learn something in the process.
flickrSounds is a simple mashup that searches Freesounsd and flickr for the same word. It then display the sound and picture. You can reload either until you get an image and sound you like. This can be added to a list, and the exercise repeated. Once you have a set of picture/sounds you can grab an embed code to put hem on a blog. A set of pictures/sounds could create a story, illustrate a quote, saying or slogan.
This is for searching for ds106 4 Life. I clicked through a few images and sounds for each word.
It was an interesting idea, as someone just joining in I can see what Stephen Downes means. A lot of the DS106 rhetoric is fairly full on, there is a lot of self reference and pride/ego involved. I also could be put off by not sharing a culture with many of the other participants, being much older, having different frames of reference etc. Looking across the Atlantic it there is a very USA vibe. Lots of other folk with different backgrounds would have different reasons, I can see how DS106 could seem a bit hard to penetrate when looked in on. I thought a wee bit before joining in. but…
There are a couple of things that point the other way, DS106 is incredibly welcoming, the instructors are obviously giving a huge amount of time to the course and still have time to engage with the drive-by participants. They even made an effort to include my rather non standard blog RSS feed in the ds106 site. This seems to me to more than compensate for any exclusivity that ds106 might project.
The over-branding can be seen as glue, very important when you are trying to get participants to work together, and is more over more often than not obviously jokey, mocking the course and the organisers. #jimgroomart (eg: Blue Jump Suit #JimGroomArt #ds106:) is just an example, mock the teacher is one way to strengthen the connection, personalise the course, have fun and in weird way honour the amount of effort Jim makes to comment and make folk feel welcome in DS106.
The root of this bit of fun was Alan’s post, in it he compares ds106 style learning with the new badges style learning:
Heck, I would rather do my own code challenges than someone else’s monkey see, monkey do. Thats the rub with this stuff, the motivation changes completely when it is something you need/want, versus someone else’s rote exercise for badges.
Spirit of DS106
This has not been a ds106 assignment, I’ve not done any this week. I’ve only done one daily create, but I feel pretty much in the ds106 zone this weekend.
1. blown away is the nearest I can get to the DS106 comment style. This is much less reserved that my usual nice ↩
“Visualize That Quote”- rather than provide choices to pick from Flickr for each word; maybe random generate one image per word. The activity would be to illustrate/explain the quote in pictures with the least number of pictures required. The user could X out ones they did not need (and they would dissapear) and perhaps allow a click to generate a new random image to replace it. They would then do a screenshot to save their work? Perhaps generate a score where there is advantages to lower numbers of pictures and fewer image replacements?
I did a bit of work and got a basic implimentation of Alan's suggestions going. Alan then blogged about it again with some more suggestions:
See if it can skip unnecessary words like “a”, “the”, “of”
Be able to return a word if we accidentally click it closed
Tweak the css for thr “attribution” link at bottom (sometimes overlaps the license text)
Make it so when you hide the titlebars, it also hides the text of the words and the quote, to make it a true guessing game.
Pulls in a random quote of less than 8 characters from the Quotes API and displays it.
Searchs Flickr for a creative commons images to go with each word and shows one for each word.
Allows you to swap out the images by clicking.
You can reorder remove or hide images.
Here are a few examples I churned out without much though while testing this:
The DS106 Effect
It is great to get the quality of feedback and suggestion from a blogger I've read for years. The whole ds106 network is incredibly supportive even before the course has started. I started riffing off Alan's idea and was pushed and encouraged to improve something that started as a slightly pointless exercise to be come almost useful. This reinforces, for me, the power of blogging and commenting in learning. I've spend a few hours polishing something, learning as I went due to the community effect. I'd already had some of this in ds106 related posts. The current exchange has been particularly powerful becasue it was not just a well done, but a you could do this
Once I go back to work, tomorrow, I am not sure how much of ds106 I'll be able to keep up with as even before the spring course there is a fair flood of posts, but I'll give it a fair try.
I'll also be thinking a bit harder about how I comment on pupil blogs, too often it is easy to go for well doen and leave it at that.
How it Works
A mix of jquery, php & jQuery UI.
Part of the ds106 ethic seem to be to explain how something is done so that others can learn from it. My coding will not stand much of a critical eye, I am no programmer, but some folk might find this interesting or even useful.
Which is pretty simple. I just copied that from the jQuery UI site.
Most of the other things are deal with my toggling their visibility with jQuery again: $('.attribution').toggle(); in this case this hides or shows the attribution for all the pictures, these are in a span with the css class .attribution.
How it could be better
The flickr search could return json rather than html, this would give a better logic to building the set of images. I'd need to learn how to produce json with php and to process this with jQuery.
Most of the work is done with simple functions, these are called from hard coded onclicks, the more common way to do this with jQuery seems to ad these with jQuery when the pages is loaded.
Rather than expect users to take manual screenshots it should be possible to created composite images with the attribution and optionally the text stampled on. I've done a little of this sort of thing before (the stamp function of A flickr CC search toy) but this would streach me and google a bit.
Alternativly an embed code that would embed a wee set of thumbnail pics and link to a full viewing of the creation. In both this and the last case I'd need to figure out what to do if a user reorders the images. In this case I might need a database.
Given the return to work tomorrow, all the fun I'll have on ds106 and Colin Maxwell's Ed Tech Creative Collective I am not sure if I'll get to this any time soon, but I've had a great time with this so far, if you are part of ds106 I hop you finf the assignment useful, I am very open to more ideas and suggestions.
Hackasaurus makes it easy to mash up and change any web page like magic. You can also create your own webpages to share with your friends, all within your browser. for which there is an educators guide and even a lesson plan.
among a host of other interesting things. Rather than blog about it I used these tools to create somethings:
I think that hackasaurus in particular could be very useful in the classroom. Popcorn gives us a way to make complex media projects in particular HyperVidio and HyperAudio which act in the same way as HyperText. I’d love some feedeback on this stuff, if you think it could work in your classroom?
I’ve been interested in combining maps and media for a while now. Here is a recap of some of the methods I’ve been using. I’ve not often had the chance to do this sort of thing in a teaching situation but continue to believe that mapping media would be a valuable way to record experiences for pupils and a nice slant on digital storytelling.
Last Sunday I had a walk to Benvane & Ben Ledi recorded the gpx with the iPhone Trails app (one of my top 10 apps) took photos, video and some panoramas. Here are the three ways I’ve been developing of displaying them on the web. None of these are good as examples of story telling as I am still thinking about the workflow and tech.
Photos on the map
I’ve built up a fair collection of these over the last few years. this one only uses iPhone photos which means I can skip the stage of matching photos to the gpx file. When I started doing these google maps API was at version 1, I move to 2 and now am behind version 3.
This is the most conventional story combining an image with text in a liner fashion along the track.
I am hoping that this can produce a more contemplative result.
Although I’ve only just worked out how to do this the workflow is a lot simpler than the photo maps. I’ve developed a mac application (using SuperCard) to make these. All I need to do is to drag some iphone videos out of iPhoto onto the application and it creates the smaller versions of the video and the HTML to display them along side the maps
I you have a mac and would be interested in trying the app, let me know.
This is the most recent development, after tweeting about the Video Maps @drewburrett suggested using photosynth for the iPhone to take pano photos and do something similar. I’ve not got a workflow for creating these and don’t think I’ve got the display method right yet but I am quite excited about working out different ways to present pano photos.
As I said I’ve been messing with maps and media for a long time (2006 example) I’ve blogged about it a fair bit, pretty much in a vacuum. I’d be really interested in finding some folk to play along with or a school interested in trying out some of this stuff.
I’ve blogged before about the wonderful Hmsg Spiral Map a project that combines video, audio and google maps into a mesmerising meditative experience.
Recently I noticed that iPhoto shows the location of videos as well as audio which got me thinking a wee bit. I checked out a few exif tools and found that the location was stored in exif data in the same way as photos.
I already had made some crude tools to map walks on google maps and made an odd foray into adding sounds to the photos: burn, so though I might be able to knit together some video and maps.
The list of movies and locations are loaded from an xml file that is a very simple list: <item><file>loch_humprey_02.m4v</file><loc>55.9323,-004.4594</loc><dc> 2011:08:02 21:27:10</dc></item> I though xml was a good idea as it would allow reuse to display the movie in different ways. As the movies are shown the location is used to show a couple of images using the google maps static api. This first Video Map Experiment was cobbled together using a couple of command line tools (pcastaction, built into Mac OS X and ExifTool by Phil Harvey). I am not knowledgeable about shell stuff but it can often help do interesting things and once you figure it out is easy to reuse.
Drag videos from iphoto on to a field in a SuperCard project I’ve made.
Click a button on said project which:
Asks me to choose a folder
Gathers locations & date/time from the video files
Makes a copy of videos in the folder, shrinking file size & dimensions (this take a few minutes)
Creates an xml file & and index.html file in the folder to show videos
I then upload folder to server via ftp.
I hope this could be an interesting way to tell a story, record a trip or describe a place. I’d be interested to know what other folk think.
This is a really trivial use of ifttt, and I can see a lot of more powerful uses for the service. I like this sort of thing, the way posterous post stuff on to flickr, twitter and this blog for example.
In fact my first thoughs were that ifttt could replace my rather clunky system for doing this. Unfortunately, at the moment ifttt only supports posting text to your main posterous blog and as far as I could see will not post to the moderation queue. I was also looking at posting my shared google reader to a new posterous blog but as it is not my mail one this will not work yet.
I am saying yet as the service seems to be developing quickly. I did manage to create a task to post my google reader shared items onto my tumblr blog (I’d almost forgotten that one). I usually star/like stuff in google reader to check later but will now try to share ’em too to see how ifttt works out.
Finally I really love the interface of ifttt, very clean with huge text and icons. The process to create a new task is very simple with a fair bit of possible customisation:
I am looking forward to seeing how ittt develops.
Update:I seem to have flooded ScotEduBlogs with my tumblr posts. I’d forgotten that it was listed there. Apologies. I’ve now removed the blog from SEB.
On Friday evening I went along to the evening presentation and discussion part of this event. There had been an afternoon training workshop on the practicalities of field recording run by the evenings presenters which was limited in numbers. My attention to the event had been aroused by a tweet from @scottishmusic I guess because I post the odd recording to the UK Sound Map. The evening was a little bit different from the educational conference/teachmeet meetings that I am more likely to be found at but I am really glad I went.
The first presentation was by theatre maker Tim Nunn of the company Reeling & Writhing. He spoke about his work in progress Formel, inspired by Chaucer’s Assembly of Fowls the play uses field recordings extensively. Tim spoke about how he wrote the play working back and forward between text & field recording each affecting the other. A lot of the sound was recorded on Islay and he played us fragments of a force 10 gale and rooks mobbing an eagle. Here is a taste of the play I found on the Formel page
As someone who is as musical as a turnip I can’t really comment on the work, other than to say I enjoyed listening to it. The Blast Beach images & sound was interesting in being a very much polished combination of photos and edited found sound. As someone who takes phone photos and records the odd sound when out and about it shows where the idea can go give a deal of talent in photography & music.
Ian Rawes spoke about several sound map mashups. Starting with his own London Sound Survey which features London maps, ambient sound recordings, sound maps, local history & London wildlife. This is a site to get lost in, the quote on the front page Perhaps the most ambitious and comprehensive approach to sound mapping I’ve yet to see . . . an all-around wonderful site! (from Jim Cummings, Acoustic Ecology Institute) rather understates it! Ian is the Vault Keeper at the British Library sound archive (I think). Ian briefly showed us round the London Sound Survey playing recording of a street preacher (there are quite a few) and a Common Pipistrelle bat recorded with a Magenta heterodyne bat detector set to 45 kHz and Edirol R09-Hr digital recorder which gives you an idea of the range of the site if not the depth. He also showed us the London map with present-day streetmaps, historical maps and sound recordings.
Ian is also the person behind the UK Sound Map , I’ve blogged about this before and contributed a few boos to the map. what I love about the project is the fact that it is open to anybody to contribute, it is easy to do so and it mashes maps & sound.
We then saw the Acoustic map from 12 Gates to the CityThe acoustic map is an ever-growing collection of 1 to 5 minute sound recordings embedded on a world map at the exact location of each recording. created by Jonathan Prior, an Edinburgh-based creative researcher, who was sitting in the audience. Johnathan’s map is interesting because it uses UMapper rather than google maps, it looks and sounds good. We heard the underwater recording of periwinkles grazing on algae which sound nothing like you would expect. It looks as if there is a lot of interesting stuff on 12 Gates to the City.
The Inukjuak Sound Map is another map sound mashup this time created by Montreal sound artist Nimalan Yoganathan. The map has cultural and natural sounds, some with images. It uses google maps. We also watched Charles Veasey’s Hmsg Spiral Map which I had seen before, but it was interesting watching with other people on a large screen rather than in one’s own home with multiple on and offline distractions. The Hmsg project is a flash/video/google maps mashup.
One of the main impressions I got from the event was the quality of the audience’s listening, this made the evening quite quiet and contemplative, quite different from, say, a TeachMeet or educational tech event. I had not taken a laptop or ipad to take notes, but if I had I would not have used them, I didn’t take any photos either although I had a phone with me. In googling the links for this post I re read Inukjuak Sound Map and Hmsg Spiral Map on Ian’s London Sound Survey blog:
The Spiral Map looks and sounds very impressive as it progresses smoothly through its 30 different sound recordings and videos. Most of the videos have very little motion in them and much more action is heard than seen. It’s a great way to set a balance between the ravenous eye and the patient ear.
I came away straight after the event, an empty stomach and dinner waiting kept me from the pub, with open ears, walking to the train station listening more than usual. At the station I was surprised that the announcement and the clicking and clacking of the high heeled shoes were louder than the train.
I’ve also been thinking of how this could relate to the classroom. Here are some ideas off the top of my head:
I’ve often used photos and sometimes video as stimulation for creative writing, following Tim Nunn we could add recordings as a great stimulus. Children recording sounds from a trip as well as taking photos and videos could be an powerful addition to stimulate writing and discussion back in the classroom. I’ve also had children record poetry with backing music, perhaps found sound could be used as well.
I’ve often involved pupils in creating movies from still pictures adding their voice with iMovie. It could be really interesting to add recordings Timothy Cooper style I think some children could be excited in working this way.
I’ve been building picture and gps map mashups for a while now, occasionally incorporating audio and recently mapped my boos this could easily be adapted for a school trip or for a collection of schools to work together. Or perhaps schools could contribute to UKSM itself. Playground sounds across an authority or skipping songs could be a starter.
In the afternoon workshop there had, I think, been a lot more technical information. Ian provides a Budget binaural stereo microphones guide on London Sound Survey. A lot of the Field Recording crowd seem to know what they are talking about kit wise, I was somewhat relieved when Ian appropriated the Best Camera quote: The best microphone is the one you have with you.
In talking about UMapper, Ian said it was in some ways easier to use than google maps. This is probably right, but I like the way google maps can be use to auto update, using the api, so that things are added without automatically, without crafting
Finally what I’d take away was the quality of listening shown by the audience & presenters. The time taken. Timothy Cooper’s Blast beach gave plenty of time to look at the images: audio can be slower. I am thinking again about Ian Rawes’ “the ravenous eye and the patient ear”, Tim Nunn’s theatre performances in the dark.
From the above you can see I’ve gathered a great number of links, sites not only to visit but to revisit. It is not often you get the chance to hear periwinkles eating.
Audioboo must be one of the simplest ways to do audio podcasting and it has many nice features. One of the ones that interests me most is the fact that the RSS feed has geo information in it, that is the location that the boo was recorded in (users can I believe turn this off). I have played about with the google maps api in simple ways (eg some walks) and really like the ability to tell a story in space as well as time.
Yesterday I though I’d have a look at the Audio Boo RSS feed (atom really) and see if I could do something similar.
Since google maps support GEORSS I though I’d give that a try first, pasting my audioboo feed into the search box on google maps give me this map which shows the boos without the audio players (no flash support).
I am caching the rss feed from AudioBoo so updates might not appear. It would be easy enough to set this up so that the page would load boos from a user or tag in the url /boo.php?tag=thetag or /boo.php?user=user too, but might effect my bandwidth.
The other interesting thing I found was Shadowmaker a webpage that makes shadows for google map icons which is a nice touch. On the walk maps I never got round to doing that. Shadowmaker makes it so easy that I could not avoid it.
Anyway I think this would be a really nice way to podcast a school trip, once a page like this is in place it will reflect any updates to AudioBoo. You could also make one that would map a boos that were tagged with a particular tag although I don’t think AudioBoo had feeds for tags from a particular user?
I’d love to hear from anyone with a class or school interested in a project like this and lend a hand.