Connecting 131021

RLB 1

I am grateful to Tony Naar for alerting me to another delightful New York Times story, The Russia Left Behind.

Tony is aware of the impact After Snow Fall has had upon my thinking about visualising narratives.

The Russia Left Behind post is written Ellen Barry. The photographs that illustrate the story are by Dmitry Kostyukov. Other contributors to the story are Ben Solomon (video), Mike Bostock, Shan Carter and Leslye Davis (producers).

RLB2I liked the way the story used the journey map to synchronise with the seven elements of the story.

I think Dmitry Kostyukov’s pictures are stunning. I learned more about his interests in this project from another post by Ellen Barry in the Lens Section of the New York Times.

Dmitry’s interest in the St. Petersburg-to-Moscow journey dated back to his school days, when read a book written in 1790 by Aleksandr Radishchev. He decided to recreate the journey when he reread the book two years ago, “in part to capture the vast differences between Russia’s cities and its hinterlands”.

 

I am fascinated by the back stories to the production of the interactive NYT stories. The Russia Left Behind story brings together:

  • Ellen (a Pulitzer Prize winner and NYT’s Moscow Bureau Chief)
  • Dmitry (freelance professional photographer living in Paris)
  • Ben (a video and photo journalist living in Istanbul)
  • Mike (a Garnett Foundation Award winner and open source advocate)
  • Shan (interactive graphic designer and programer)
  • Leslye (Multimedia Portfolio of the Year winner, visual journalist)

 

Connecting and Flipping

3712154175_7f25d99141_bI wrote about Flipping yesterday.

Overnight Mark Upton commented on the post. I admire Mark’s work immensely and was delighted he shared links to examples of his flipping work:

These resources appeared in July and August last year. Mark’s sharing of them underscored for me a point made by Alison Seaman in her 3 January post:

It takes time and a level of humility to come to terms with the idea that knowledge is no longer contained solely “in [our] skulls, books, and libraries” and is instead constructed from knowledge distributed across networks and on the Web.

Alison discusses how  connecting with and learning from colleagues nourishes and develops your personal learning network (PLN). I liked Alison’s quote from Dori Digenti:

The PLN consists of relationships between individuals where the goal is enhancement of mutual learning. The currency of the PLN is learning in the form of feedback, insights, documentation, new contacts … It is based on reciprocity and a level of trust that each party is actively seeking value-added information for the other.

My own PLN is based on: mutual learning, reciprocity and trust. Mark is an important part of my development as a learner and I trust his judgement implicitly.

Thinking about trust and personal learning led me to David Hopkins’ post about Creative Commons licenses. I use Creative Commons (CC) images in most of my posts. David points out that “A photo or image placed under a Creative Commons license enables you, the ‘borrower’ to copy, distribute, and display the work providing the photo or image is correctly attributed to the owner. Every CC license applies worldwide, is non-revocable, is not exclusive, and lasts for the duration of the work’s copyright”. However, he notes that: more than 90% of CC photos are not attributed; more than 99% of CC photos that are attributed are not attributed properly.

When I use CC images in my posts I provide a url for the image and include the photographer as a tag for the post. In the last two months I have been providing a link to the specific license for the image. David provides a link to Photo Pin. This service searches for CC images on Flickr and provides a choice of size/resolution of the image, a link to the original image and the HTML code to attribute the photo, owner, and CC license used.

Here is an example of my search for a Parkour image:

Parkour example

As I explore ideas and practices of flipping through connecting I am conscious that I do need to open up to intuition and creative leaps of the imagination. An interview with Bill Duggan encouraged me to think about neural plasticity, curiosity and “presence of mind”. Stephen Downes does this for me every time I receive his OLDaily.

Today, Stephen reflected on an essay by Lev Gornick on IT Trend in Education in 2013. Stephen looks at two different issues:

  • The impact of HTML5 will be widely felt (and exemplifies the change underway with this New York Times article) with widespread integration of multimedia and text in ordinary things like books, posts and articles.
  • Dynamic learning materials (and dynamic reading materials generally) – multimedia posts and articles connected to live data sources (see, for example,  weather bugs, Yahoo stock charts and Google Maps mashups) will become widespread.

My excitement about what might be possible in 2013 flipped learning environments was tempered by a very sobering post from Kent Anderson in The Scholarly Kitchen. He identified some of the threats posed by ubiquitous computing and connectivity and concluded his post with this observation “With the smartphone as one likely instrument of havoc in a world full of connected hostilities — personal, military, national — the benign face of technology is being remade”.

Kent is another trusted source in my daily connections and with his insights I realise I must adopt a much more nuanced approach to flipped learning opportunities. I will not try to get over excited about the possibilities afforded by the New York Times’ innovation Snow Fall … but it is hard not to take a naive view of open learning.

My next task is to look at Brook Ellingwood’s look at Snow Fall. In it he suggests “What makes the piece so remarkable isn’t that the New York Times has created anything new in a technical sense. It’s that instead of retreating from what’s disrupting their business they have embraced it and made it even better by using it to showcase their traditional strength: Meaningful storytelling”.

That seems a great way to look at transformation in teaching too … embracing connecting and flipping as essential elements of stimulating and supporting learning.

Photo Credit

Parkour Practice (JB London, CC BY-NC 2.0)

Jeffrey Wright

I am on the lookout for stories about teachers and coaches.

In February I start the Sport Coaching Pedagogy unit at the University of Canberra and am keen to exemplify what I think an expert pedagogue to be.

Today, John Kessel led me to Jeffrey Wright.

The New York Times has an 11m 54s video about Jeffrey. You can find it here. (It had 50,000 views whilst I was writing this post taking it to 648,083 views in total.)

I am delighted that Jeffrey uses explosions and extols the virtues of love. I think both are vital components of expert pedagogy.

Amongst the many stories about Jeffrey, I liked:

Tara Parker-Hope’s New York Time article

The Insider Louisville

If you were looking for a story to start 2013 I think Jeffrey is a perfect choice.

Picture Credit

Frame grab Wright’s Law (1m 26s)