Augmented Reality and Digital Storytelling - Walking Blog 3

Walking Blog 3:

I've been working with Aurasma augmented reality App. I'm thinking
about how this might be applied educationally and in various ways. I
I'm thinking about having different people tell their version of a story
about a particular event or issue and video record that as an overlay
for Aurasma. Then, I could take photographs of individuals (or locations) and make those
be a trigger for the person telling their story.

Let the experiments begin.

Note: I've learned that video is limited to 100 MB. If you venture in this direction, please share your learning and example projects. Learn more with the Aurasma Handbook.



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Rethinking Serendipitous Connections & The Power of Informal Networking

Walking blog 2:

Perhaps I've been too serious about my approach to social media. Sometime ago I decided that there are plenty of posts to Twitter and I don't need to add unnecessary garbage (but I still do on occasion). However this morning I learned of a fundraising goal by some VCU students and a faculty member to raise over $10,000 in the fight against childhood cancer. This was largely done through connections in Twitter. Perhaps these connections were formed by the more informal sharing of information about basketball games or other personal interests and not just through more serious posts. Maybe I have been wrong. It just maybe those trivial posts that allow one to build a significant network and through that, allow someone to see my more serious thoughts and the sharing of information that matters. 

By the way, a few shaved heads raised over $12,000. Thanks to @proffigment (Lisa Phipps), her students and the power of social media.

Walking Blogposts: Leveraging Technology to "write" More Often

Blogging is about thinking in public spaces. In many ways you might say blogging is about thinking aloud. Some of my best thinking happens while I'm walking from one location to another. Therefore I decided to leverage the ability to do audio blogging through the use of my iPhone and notes app. 

This post is being composed as I walk to the parking lot. There will undoubtedly be occasional misunderstood words and perhaps phrases. I could choose to post this immediately take a chance that there will be some errors or I could look at this and make minor edits and post it directly from my phone. For more elaborate work or to continue writing/thinking, I can email these to myself and open them on my computer for continued editing. An example of that might be where I want to quote some particular reference and link to the URL. 

Stay tuned this is the first of my walking blog posts.

Smoke in the Hallway: Getting a Whiff of Good Ideas

Smoke (Photo credit: Centophobia)

It’s amazing what I can learn by just walking down the hallway. 

In a casual conversation about my most recent classroom presentation/discussion on the use of digital storytelling to convey narrative about statistical information, I referred to the canary in the coal mine (Stats Story-Canary in the Coal Mine) as an analogy for declining frog population as indicators of pollution and related consequences. Gardner Campbell remarked, “analogy is the core of congnition.” This brief moment led me to explore that statement and that led me to the Presidential Lecture by scientist Douglas Hofstadter.

I work in an amazing place. I’m priviledged to be engaged in meaningful conversations, explore media, blog, network, create, teach, learn, dream, inspire, be inspired, work with astounding colleagues who push and pull on my thinking and expand my learning. All too often, I loose sight of my own story. It’s good to reflect and acknowledge the blessings I have.

Yes, there’s smoke in the hallways. When you smell it, put your nose to the wind and your ear to the ground. Something is burning and it may just be the next great idea.
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No Connectivity

Candle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

No network connectivity! NO NETWORK CONNECTIVITY? I’m suddenly thrown back into the 19th century. I’ll just relax and listen to some music, while I work on some off-line projects; but, NO Pandora! SILENCE!

Don’t get me wrong, I love being high-tech by day and Amish by night; but I want to pick and choose… I want control. Trying to perform my 21st century role in a wired world just seems weird. It makes me ever more mindful of how dependent I’ve become on electricity, computing devices, the Internet and the community with which I am temporarily (I hope) disconnected.

Wait! A flash. My email just wiggled and life has been restored. Web pages are flying into my screen at the speed of light. All is well in River City.
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Listen to Wikipedia: The Sound of Change in a Fast Paced World

Major telegraph lines in 1891
Major telegraph lines in 1891 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Throughout time and with each iteration of new technologies, the pace of life seems to speed. With the advent of the printing press, the introduction of the telegraph, enhancements to transportation, the invention of radio, television and presently the Internet, one feels increasingly bombarded with information. 

Beyond the capacity of individuals to create such information, we now live in a world of networking and collaboration.

Wikipedia Concept Map
Wikipedia Concept Map (Photo credit: juhansonin)

If one were to represent the creation or modification of globally created information by sound, it seems that the notes would be fast-paced; perhaps to the extent of overlapping and becoming nothing but a high frequency screech. But quite to the contrary, Steven LaPorte and Mahmoud Hasheem have created "Listen to Wikipedia" and the result created by world-wide ongoing edits in Wikipedia is amazingly calming meditative.

Enjoy listening, watching and reading update notes at

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A MOOC is a MOOP: Massively Open Online Pilot

view from planeI’m decending from the 30K foot clouds of my experience at OpenVA. Once again, Jim Groom, Martha Burtis, and all of our good friends at UMW have hosted a great gathering of minds and provided an opportunity to OPENLY exchange ideas about teaching and learning in today’s rapidly changing environment(s).

One of the key takeaways for me is the power and creativity that can be unleashed by considering and approaching an innovative educational idea as a “pilot”. The word pilot, as I heard Martha talking, took on a whole new (or at least refined) meaning for me. Beyond my narrow understanding as an inaugural flight, with some bumps expected, it opened the door to possibilities and allowed for experimentation. It provided and (in some ways), even invited room for failure (in the most positive sense of the word). Although I’ve not read the book, I believe John C. Maxwell captures this notion in his book entitled Failing Forward: How to Make the Most of Your Mistakes. 

Thinking more about the idea of “pilots”, I connected the dots to reflect on the many discussions about MOOCs. From my perception, everyone is trying to define a MOOC as though it is one thing: i.e. a “class”, and even more, a finished product. As the definition of a MOOC is still being refined, it becomes even murkier, when we acknowledge that our individual understanding of the words “class” and “online” are not even the same. So, we have a language problem, or at least, an inability to come to the table with a common point of view. We seem to be close, but we all are still experimenting. It dawned onto me that in the frenzy to pontificate about MOOCs, we all need to take a softer approach and recognize that our collective ventures into the world of MOOCs is truly a MOOP; a MASSIVELY OPEN ONLINE PILOT.  Let the pilots flourish and let us gain insight as to what improves teaching and learning.