15 December 2009

The grand winner of the competition for the perfect word to describe our collaborations: weBLAB

Here’s a potentially useful tool for you to send out to people with whom you would like to collaborate. Google Forms —


14 December 2009

Photo of the Day

Big Brother is Watching You!

What’s next for Google? Here are the key points — which really start at about 1.09 into the film — Marissa Mayer makes in this video:

1. Google aims to create a universal search engine, looking not just at web sites but more broadly at books, video, images, news… Now, they already have this; the difference may be in the way they put it all together.

2. Video remains the big challenge. For now, she says, tagging is the key to find material you’re searching for. The dream is to search images. The reality, in the long run, she says, will be converting video  to text, which will add information and make a more searchable. What is wrong with her logic? The answer lies in what we’ve leraned about the phrase “The Medium is the message.” Real videos may not have scripts, dialogue, conversation, commentary. The video/film/TV medium relies on pictures to tell its story, hence less reliance on text. Text will not be the answer to Google’s video searching problem.

3. What is the long-term future of Google search? she’s asked. She replies that Google aims to blend results in order to provide the best answers and not the top ten URLs. That’s big. Beyond that, she talked about using voice-over-phone to do searches. Call in your questions! She also talked about search-and-translation, noting that only one percent of Arabic speakers can search the web, which is made up largely of English language sites and Euro-language sites… And then there is China!


The Comcast Deal and the Accumulation of Power… Once there were six media giants and now there are five. Comcast swallowed GE. Do you think that makes you better informed or more likely to listen to Glenn Beck?

http://www.google.com/ig?refresh=1#max117 or


Let’s put a face on it — Is this the real face of Big Brother?


No one thinks about Foley and film, but movies are built on sound and sound effects.


Here’s more information about the new facebook privacy changes?


Privacy seems to be a huge issue right now —


11 December 2009

Photo of the Day! Friiiiidaaaaayyyyy!!!! “Still life of My Life”

(ah shoulda croppah’d’toppah!)

Here’s an interesting story… everything that’s been made useless, obsolete, since the year 2000


Here’s a site that those of you working on privacy and individuality should consider —


As well, the privacy/individuality people should be aware that CNBC recently did a major report on Google  that examines the company’s ability to monitor our private lives, as well as the dangers associated with Google’s reach, particularly in light of the governmental powers invokable through the Patriot Act. Ironically, you should use Google to find the article: search “CNBC “+ “privacy “to view the program or, alternatively, go to CNBC’s site and search for the show.

What I owe you:

1. A working definition of a primary source.

2. Rubric of expecations for your weBLAB assignments

What you owe me! What you owe me! What you owe me! What you owe me! What you owe me!

1. Two more blogs this week. Yes, stand and deliver!

2. 15 minutes of your time over the weekend to try to pull in sources for your weBLABS. Yes. You must!!!

3. A list and description of the “plot points” in “Gladiator.”

Marissa Mayer

10 December 2009

Here are the instructions for working with your weblabs. This will help you. I will work to find additional instructions for Etherpad.


Remember last week’s exercise in plot points? For Ridley Scott’s epic film “Gladiator,” you are to list and make clear to me each of the plot points in the film. They are to be handeed in Monday, first thing.

9 December 2009

Photo of the day… A treasure hunt! Can you find where the light fixtures fell out of the ceiling because of leaking roofs in our wing? How many buckets are arranged in the picture to capture falling water? Can you spot the paint buckling from moisture and mold near the blue bucket? Do you know that when rain drips into the room it sounds like music and disrupts the class? Can you spot the black mold growing across the ceiling? Did you know black mold affects your lungs and may cause asthma? Can you see the leaching lead pipes hidden in the duct work? Did you know that lead is a neurotoxin and destroys cognition? Got ADD? Who can find the asbestos insulation? Could it be friable? Did you know asbestos causes a really nasty form of cancer called Mesothelioma? Try to locate which computer in the picture might be vulnerable to the leaks? What is its value? Can you name the model — G3, G5, eMac? Water is dripping on the gray storage cabinet; guess the value of the equipment (working and in need of repair) locked away inside the cabinet? Have fun! And don’t forget to congratulate school superintendent Dr. Carl Harris, who, ultimately, bears responsibility for these conditions. Now he’s gong to be superintendent of the whole nation, as our new Deputy Assistant Secretary of Education. Oh, and don’t forget to look up the word “superintendent” in your dictionaries.

Not to add to the irony of all this, but do you know that for the past two days the school system has spent hundreds of dollars to have the floors in this room waxed? And yet they have not found the funds to repair the classroom’s roof that’s been leaking for two years?

Here’s a little Android Open Source Software going cool…

Interesting vote on the Collaboratory! About a quarter of you like it, which is terrific. A little less than a third dislike it. That’s okay. What worries me is that about a half of you hate it, and hardly any of you have raised your hands to press me on how I can make the collaboratory understandable to you. Let’s talk about that. After the last lesson, did it become more clear? What is it about the collaboratory that you don’t understand? Have you been paying attention? (Uh, BTW,  only 13 members of the class voted. Duh.)

An enthusiastic fourth period Level I class decided that there might indeed be a better name for our Collaboratory than… Collaboratory. Credit goes first to Jack Walsh for the notion of a “web lab.” I’ll take credit for noting that BLOG was a contraction. Who was it that remembered that it was a contraction of Web Log? Props again to Jack Walsh. Then, big props to Kate Shaw and Stephon Dubose for recognizing we had a pun going, and thus a new name, pronounced, “We Blab.” Now I’d like to poll the class on how to spell it before we officially Christen it and introduce it to the world.


8 December 2009

Photo of the day —

Name the secret location; take the poll!

For the sake of reference, here’s the image of our whiteboard on which the project and the notion of a collaboratory was described.

Click on the image below to expand it:

Here is an additional approach to the collaboratory:

Each item I show you today appeared on YouTube. Other, maybe better, tutorials are available. For instance, in the case of Webspiration, which is a little further down our list, there’s a tutorial that show’s you how to turn Webspiration into a web page, which might be a way for you to solve three problems at once: employing a tool for collaboration; conceiving and developing your porject; and, finally, producing a presentation for the class.

Still another approach you might want to consider is creating a website, which is not as freaky as it sounds, especially if you use Google sites:

Finally, here’s one of my favorite tools for developing ideas, Webspiration, at mywebspiration.com

Some key questions you will answer in your groups and hand in to me at the end of class:

1. Consider the collaborative tools I’ve shown you. Does it matter which one you choose for your project?

2. Does your project more easily lend itself to one of these collaborative tools?

3. Now consider how you are going to present this collaboration to me — try to give me a sense of what it will look like — a research paper? a design for a video with an accompanying video?

Here’s an item for those of you pawing over the problem of virtual war –


A Day That Will Live in Infamy – 7 December 2009

Monday’s photo of the day —

Dr. Mims after watching a story about Geoff Canada on CBS’s “60 Minutes” at http://bit.ly/5AYK89

Now this:

“The Internet surrounds us like air, saturating our offices and our homes. But it’s not confined to the ether. You can touch it. You can map it. And you can photograph it. Here are five postcards from the journey of a single bit, as data flashes from sea to wired sea. (Wired.com)”

Now have a look at it: http://bit.ly/6Cqktw

Here’s a great example of a collaboratory in action.


Here a suggestion for a web-space (or platform, whichever word you choose) where you may collaborate on your project…


Here’s a bold way to collaborate — create your own social network, like facebook!


Also, some interesting thoughts about who we’re really talking to on facebook —