Archive for March, 2012

Progress Forward & Shiny Graphics!

Friday, March 30th, 2012

This week, my group got quite a lot done! Kelsey got a lot of the transcripts edited, Laura worked on getting more information posted on our website, and Michelle uploaded the best of the story subclips we made to vimeo. Kelsey and I brainstormed about different ways we could advertise the website and the symposium presentation. We determined that we could try to do lots of campus-wide advertisements. We want to put up fliers around campus, especially in the James Farmer Multicultural Center. We also want to paint the rock, and do chalk drawings around campus. We also got some really good ideas during our presentation – specially, focusing a lot of our efforts at advertising around the James Farmer bust in front of Trinkle.

Today, I spent several hours playing around with AfterEffects to design an intro graphic for the video. Since stills or clips of the lectures aren’t very visually interesting, I took a photos from the Library of Congress of Farmer speaking and used that as the background of the graphic. I had a lot of fun playing around with what I could do – I used the light and camera options in AE, and 3D modeling. I had never really done any of this before (the closest I’d ever done was tracking a graphic to video) so it was a real learning experience! But I am really pleased with the result of my efforts. I uploaded the graphic I made to youtube, and you can view it below. If you have any comments or suggestions, I would love to hear them! I tried to make the graphic pretty basic and relatively simple – it didn’t make sense for the opening graphic to be too flashy. After all, this is just a filmed lecture series. However, if you think I should try and spice it up some more, please let me know!

Update of the Week

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Last week, as Michelle and I said, we finished subclipping all of the James Farmer Lectures! Woot! This has been a major process, since Farmer has a tendency to ramble on and wind multiple stories into one tale. It can make subclipping quite challenging. What we ended up doing is subclipping sections of stories, and noting in the title any stories that were ongoing within the clip. I think it will help us peace together stories more effectively. Our goal for next week is to string together our subclips into shorter stories, and upload those to our vimeo account. Then, it is just a matter of piecing those together into a larger trailer. We still need to go back and pull out the shots of the class to cover up transitions in the trailer video, but there are usually only 2-5 shots of the class per video, so it shouldn’t take too much time. I have high hopes that we can finish that this week as well. My other group member are doing awesome things as well – they’ve uploaded all of the audio to the site, and keep updating and modifying the website for maximum efficiency. I think we’re doing awesome work. I am really proud of my group!

Digital Portfolio

Monday, March 19th, 2012

I have been playing around with my Digital Portfolio some more, and while there are still a couple of things I want to change (namely – turn off comments!) I am otherwise happy with the result. I plan to upload a demo reel onto the site as soon as I update my current one with more of my recent video work, but I think that my site is completely functional and looks professional enough to use in a resume! See my Digital Portfolio here. If you have any comments, let me know!

Progress on my Digital Portfolio

Sunday, March 18th, 2012

I had originally started working on my digital portfolio over at my wordpress site ( but I decided that I wanted to be searchable by name rather than username. So I made, and tried to make a portfolio/digital resume on here. I had hesitated before because I wasn’t keen on using my middle name at part of my website, but I figured that separating my personal and professional identities online somewhat would be good. Anyone could probably link the two fairly easily, but some semblance of separation is probably good.  While my site is not done yet (that will take a bit more work) the front page is working and I have the resume page done, and am almost done with the video page.

I had a couple of things I was curious about, though. One is that I am getting an error on the side of my pages that reads: Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/umwblogs/public_html/wp-content/plugins/nclp.php on line 71. Also, I was curious  – how does one turn comments off? I cannot figure it out. Thanks!


Bryan Alexander and the Dissemination of Academic Information in the Future

Friday, March 16th, 2012

Last night, I attended a fascinating talk called The Visible College: Four Futures for Higher Education by Bryan Alexander. You can watch the full presentation here, although I’m not sure you’ll be able to fully hear the discussion. You can also see the twitter discussion here. Bryan Alexander is a Senior Fellow of NITLE, author of The New Digital Storytelling, and (among other things) a Dracula Blogger. He has a varied and diverse web and professional presence, and this was reflected in his presentation. He began his discussion by talking about emergent technology in higher education, and how technology stacks rather than replaces. For example, Word Perfect, Microsoft Word, and OpenOffice coexist rather than replacing one another. He then talked about the Black Swan of technology – that is, something that is extremely unlikely, but has a large impact. A single black swan in a lake full of white swans is uncommon and unusual, but stands out from its fellow swans. We then talked about emerging technologies, and the group came up with four big ones: kickstarter, internet activism (such as the Kony 2012 video and all of the varied rections to it), and spotify. Some others that I thought of, but that we didn’t mention: e-books, and gesture based computing (which did come up later, but not in the context of emergent technologies to watch now).

Then, after some related discussion, we got to the heart of the presentation – that is, four possible futures for higher education. These possible futures were as follows: 1) Phantom Learning 2) The Lost Decade 3) Alt-Residential and 4) Renaissance. The Phantom Learning phase was all about augmented reality. Information would be easily accessible, and viewable as layers through phones, tablets, or some other computing technology. Places (buildings, roads, etc) without layers of technological augmentation would look bare. The Lost Decade is less ideal 0 it is, in fact, the saddest of the possible future. This reality is one in which the United State mimics Japan in the 1990s – that is, achieves extreme stagnation. The job market remains bad, technology doesn’t progress much, and everything remains stagnant. The Alt-Residential reality focused on blended learning and the Maker Culture on campuses. Colleges will promote their physical space, and education will be about mentoring. Finally, the Renaissance is sort of the ultimate positive reality, where simulations are prevalent, augmented reality exists, and information is important and the spread of information is something people take seriously.

All in all, I found this presentation to be remarkably thought provoking and inspiring. I agree with doodle_muse when she said on twitter that, “Today was like Christmas for my brain. Thanks again to @BryanAlexander and @zachwhalen #umwgoth #nerdlife.”

Online Presence

Monday, March 12th, 2012

For the homework for this week, I looked at Evan Ratliff, Digital Tattoo, and Build a Digital Footprint You Can Be Proud Of. Digital Tattoo was the first place I explored, mostly because the name intrigued me. After poking around the site for a bit (I found the quizzes interesting, and it reminded me to clear out my computer cookies) I ended up at If you look up my name, I am non-existant. There are a million different women around the world with my name, and none of their 50+ suggestions was actually me. So, after reading Building a Digital Footprint You Can Be Proud Of, I tried googling my name – also nothing. This is complicated by the fact that the actor who played the Yellow Power Ranger in the remake of the Power Rangers has my name. Any search comes up with her, not me. You can’t even find me on the public facebook search. However, looking up my online username was something else. There is apparently only one person with my online pseudonym actively online, and that is me. The first 10 pages all have stuff that is mine (and some weird stuff that isn’t, of course). I also ran my pseudonym through pilp, and it was the same. While my age wasn’t right (it placed me as two years older than I am), and my ‘influential topics’ were completely hilarious (apparently I talk a lot about Sherlock Holmes, tea, and internet identity) it was mostly correct. The only thing that it said that was really wrong was that my flickr stream was owned by Eric Hoefler, who was my high school creative writing teacher. I still don’t understand why it thought that. Thankfully, it didn’t seem to me that anything I found was particularly scandalous. While Building a Digital Footprint You Can Be Proud Of says “be wary of people out there on the Internet with the same name as you” I think it is kind of hilarious that someone trying to google me would come up with Yellow Power Ranger. I think there are worse cyber twins I could have.

The Evan Ratliff pice was a little more disturbing. I found it to be a fascinating read, but also, the idea of how much is trackable is somewhat disturbing. And having your information viewed by thousands of people, hunting for you? I admire Evan Ratliff for deciding to do what he did. I certainly wouldn’t have been willing to do so.