Saturday, November 28, 2009

391XPO Streaming Live on, 12.3 l 4 - 6pm PST Instead of watching another hour-long episode of Law and Order, watch the young, energetic UCSF Pediatrician speak about Child Development...

Watch our final project for d school bootcamp. We're Team 10, our focus is Janet and Ruben, super-hero grocers in the campaign to make the community healthier!

Please join us Dec. 2, 4 - 6pm pst, streaming live: EDUC 391XPO Web-based Technologies in Education.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Two Places at the Same Time: discovery of video Skype

As it is Thanksgiving and I wouldn't dare set foot in an airport, I asked my very sensible brother to download Skype so that we might see each other this evening....and so I could meet my new nephew.

My brother obliged with his special brand of skepticism (he always kept his sisters honest) downloaded Skype and came through cooly with the connection.

The crown of my five year-old nephew's curly head came frequently to the bottom of the screen. His discovery was gradual, and definitely close-up. My nieces popped up varying intervals. They each quietly took in their aunt's talking head in a square frame with little kid awe. Computer screens mean something completely different to them now. How will this interaction affect their dreams?

I met the two week-old boy my third sister had just given birth to....through a video camera in a computer screen, something that will be commonplace in his world. His dad leaned with him into the screen so I could see his tiny face...and, I guess, so he could see mine. Will he remember? I realized later that I could have taken a screen shot.

My octogenarian father beamed, for so many reasons not the least of which, I suspect, is that same, calm marvel at the innovations.

What I didn't learn how to do was capture all of this digitally. Perhaps that doesn't exist in Skype yet but it should. I would go back to this Thanksgiving scene over and over again if there was this feature. The program does allow for screenshots.

I hear "Sita Sings the Blues" is worth's free, a gift of the director.

I got to be in two places in the same time thanks to technology: Here on campus having Thanksgiving dinner with two grads in the documentary production program discussing cinema and projects and with my family.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Filmmaking with online resources and a Webinar

In preparing for presentation of Artifact 2, I was impressed to discover new media tools for filmmaking, available largely free online.

Ning helped me make screen shots of websites so that I could introduce my audience to the delightful and smart Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Website. The service includes a professional access that allows for capturing the movement in a website (ie, videos, pop-open features, etc.) and downloading the captured website into a useful MP3 file. This professional service is available for fifteen dollars, a very fair price, but restrictive password coding through a required intermediary site made it impossible to sign up for., on the other hand was entirely user-friendly. It provides a site that allowed me to take clips of Youtube videos. There I found clips of important films from history that supported my premise, "Children around the world have learned about each other through cinema for decades--acquiring insight as they watch them learn, play, discover and dream."

Voiced over narration was recorded directly into FinalCutPro using a microphone provided by the library when my Sony lavalier mic failed.

I also can't say enough about the lasting benefits of learning through doing, especially when the good staff at the Meyer Library is there to help through the difficult places. They are fonts of information and have introduced me to many ways of finding, often free, means of using the wealth of information available publically on the web. Freeware, is a great place to start.

Finally, I chose Vimeo for delivery. I had used Vimeo (like Youtube doing the very same things)to deliver a d school project and, with five minutes to go, I chose that and the d school codes. Vimeo did not deliver my product in its entirety, sadly, so the video section failed, requiring me to be quick on my feet. I know what to do differently in the future.

On further web learning, I "attended" a webinar presentation, " What Does It Mean to Be Internationally Competitive? How the U.S. Can Learn from Standards/Assessments in High-Achieving Nations" from Linda Darling-Hammond this morning form 8:30 to 9:30 through Edutopia's I heard the speaker's voice, viewed her powerpoint presentation online, and was able to type in questions afterward. Sadly, my question was not attended to. I asked her to consider the arts, both visual and performance, in preparing students to achieving the goal she presented: allowing students to demonstrate more analytic thinking and "to use their minds."

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Child Life Center at Lucille Packard Children's Hospital

The Lucille Packard Children's Hospital serves numerous children with life-threatening illnesses. Many are housed in the Ronald McDonald House with their families. The Child Life Center insures that as much normalcy as possible is provided so that the young patient can experience treatment in the best possible way. Child Life Specialist Debra Montack told me that even siblings attend regular school sessions with their brother or sister. But, during the flu season, especially the current H1N1 virus, the patients are further isolated.

Such a condition prompted the perfect answer from Screen 360. Katy Kavanaugh and Screen 360 are developing a program of international films with Debra Montack to occupy eight unused hours of closed-circuit television in the patients' rooms.

  • The technology used will be MP2 movie files uploaded and screened via closed circuit television with in-room response technology available to the patient for engaging in Q&A after viewing;
  • It is projected that the program will be sustained as a non-profit project fiscally sponsored by the hospital, and I aspire that it garners eventual sponsorship through Netflix.
  • The degree of the program's effect is that patients will feel less isolated when they see more of the greater world and its cultures through these cinematic stories, it will support the school component at LPCH, they will be inspired to wonder about the world....and perhaps support their own healing.

International cinema for young audiences:

Offers language immersion to support language learning or stimulate desire to learn a second language;

Offers a window into culture, history, geography, politics all at a child's eye view;

Offers alternative storytelling styles and aesthetics;

Offers common stories to share with international peers and serves the development of empathy;

Offer exit, to imagine and delight.

The patients at Lucille Packard Children's Hospital are are already isolated from their peers and due to H1N1, the isolation is compounded, making those delightful moments of exit--away from their illnesses --valuable healing moments. With Screen 360's closed-circuit film festival, they will have the opportunity to select films in their rooms with the option to plan intra-room screenings simultaneously and engage in question and answer sessions following the screening with each other, with care providers and with family members in external lounges. When the program is presented live in the spring, after flu season, patients will also be able to participate live as a studio audience and engage in questions and answers with the presenter, filmmakers and special guests to further enrich their learning.

Lucille Packard

A project with the Lucille Packard Children's Hospital is developing so I will present that in a video format. The audience is sick children, (their families and medical practitioners supporting them) who are even further isolated due to the H1N1 virus; the technology used will be MPeg2 movies loaded and screened via closed circuit television with in-room response technology available to the patient for engaging in Q&A after viewing; it will be sustained as a non-profit project fiscally sponsored by the hospital, and I aspire that it garners eventual sponsorship through Netflix. The degree is that children will feel less isolated when they see more of the greater world and its cultures through these cinematic stories, it will support the school component at LPCH, they will be inspired to wonder about the world....and perhaps support their own healing.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Adina's Deck

The logo for "Adina's Deck" adorns the homepage on the School of Education's LDT website. It has been there since I started looking at the program more than a year ago but I had never looked at it. I asked myself why that might have been. The logo aesthetics didn't interest me, it appeared to be a card game, for math education I expected, again I wasn't interested, nothing caused me to look any further. Until Dr. Kim had our class examine the site as an exercise in EDUC 391X. I'm grateful that he pointed it out. To my surprise, Debbie Heimowitz, the program's founder, and I have more in common than I expected.

At the bottom of the "Adina's Deck" homepage, several laurel-wreathed film festival awards are listed, and some of them, like the International Family Film Festival in Burbank lead by Patti Dee and Kids First in Toronto, lead by Joanne Blouin are festivals on my radar. I was happy to find some kinship in the diverse LDT lineage.

Heimowitz's focus is on the middle schooler's unique set of issues from cyber-bullying and first crushes to plagiarism. Though her website is primarily a promotional tool for the company and the educational media package, she has created an online "theater" showing clips of the stories she creates with co-director/writer/producer Jason Azicri. She has developed a repertory cast of young Northern California actors in what must be a very smart feat of production from the two directors and associate producer Lindsey Hanson. The clips screen quite smoothly, the production values are keen as seen to by an uber-competent sound engineer and web master. She's got a streamlined crew who likely have to keep other clients while they continue to develop "Adina's Deck." I see no sponsors attached so it seems the company is a for-profit venture reliant on package sales and cast and crew bookings. According to the site, a team of them have toured to numerous places in California and beyond. These elements help me envision my intentions to screen international films through a website. Congratulations, Debbie Heimowitz.

I will certainly use "Adina's Deck" as a resource and will contact Debbie Heimowitz in the very near future. I am very curious to learn about her longer term projections and the challenges she is meeting.

Meanwhile, at d school Pepsico is looking for redemption....and that's a good thing. They want to help enhance nutrition and affect employment in areas known as "food deserts" where no other grocery provider will endeavor to travel...areas where liquor stores are sometimes the sole provider of groceries, places that Pepsico and subsidiary FritoLay have high, consistent access to with their fleet of 35,000 trucks. Can we begin to say good-bye to Mountain Dew Mouth by retiring Mountain Dew? Bronze it, encase it and exhibit it in the Junk Food Hall of Fame-only.
They say all the right things, as you can see. It will be enlightening to look underneath the p.r.

kk 11.1.09

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Edison School and CRUDE

The presentation from Edison Learning stimulated many questions and considerations. None of which seemed to have been unresearched by the company composed of former teachers and administrators. The three gentlemen had thoughtful answers for every question which was a sign to me that they all knew teaching and school systems very well--their online school is thorough. The new Pennsylvania school entirely online program's weakness is in the Arts. But the integrated partnership system, individually fostered regionally, is intended to make up for those valuable places it cannot extend through the digital interface. Perhaps the Menlo Park non-profit Arts in the Schools would be a fitting partnership for Edison. Most impressively, each student has a counselor who together with the student and family, determine the best education plan, checks progress regularly and administers tests.

I very much appreciated the thoroughness of the plan--from sending a computer to every student to science kits and, at one time, keyboards for music lessons. The ending of music training due to the high cost of inventory loss is understandable but the reasoning for not having mounted cameras is not strong enough. Cameras in computers are inexpensive and the value of presenting before a camera is vastly more enriching.

For the second part of this entry, I will state again my commitment to video technology not only for learning but for giving voice and empowering unrecognized populations. The documentary CRUDE (dir. Joe Berlinger, US/Ecuador) exposed for its audiences a contemporary David and Goliath story still happening to indigenous people in the Ecuadoran jungle at the hands of Texaco oil. The camera's eye and ear exposed a passionate local man who grew up in a village near the focal Texaco oil processing plant, was supported to go to law school and took command of this mammoth case because he lived the truth. The technology has the unique capacity to show humility versus artifice, ferocity and eloquence against deception and obfuscation. These are indeed valuable lessons that are learned most deeply when shown.

That commitment being made, it is highly likely that Artifact II will be in my medium of choice. I must state here that my subject matter will not go outside of the audience that I've worked with for years: American children, who unless they are offered education that supports their attaining a worldview, compassion and tolerance, then more will grow up to be like Texaco lawyers. A balance both inside and outside of powerful nations must be struck in our efforts to ameliorate international imbalance. That balance includes making the invisible visible, injustices tacit and showing another way to the future generations of this country.

For the online EdisonLearning to be a truly successful innovation in educating independent resourceful thinkers, it must provide education of the self. The Creative Arts are brilliant tools for such an outcome. Carefully directed engagement with an inexpensive computer mounted video camera could provide not only a means of presenting materials but also offering structure to the discovery of one's image, presence and voice.

Dr. Kim spoke of innovation and the importance of a test period. The first phase of a test will see multiple setbacks and surprising usages. "Don't give up during the test period!" he implored. Even if your test period has been ten plus can be counted as valuable research and test period. Good to hear that. Thanks, Dr. Kim.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Week 4, Fall and First Artifacts

The light is silver; hats and coats are on; it is Fall.

Course 391x gave its first artifact presentations this afternoon. I come away with my own hard lessons about technology in the classroom. A remote mouse is not a remote control. In a tech savvy millieu, correct vocabulary is paramount! But beyond that the information imparted from this great array of different reports about the ways the world wide web and technology based learning can assist people in need.

Technologies varied from recorded voice over video (I envied that choice), sound files, web pages, hand drawn icons in an interactive graphic, blog and a poster, all projected. The production was organized into themes: Cross-Cultural, Rural, Classroom, and with two unique focuses on elderly populations and sending disease and medical information through widgets. Every one of the topics was unique and presented valuable information. Moreover, each presenter knew the value of his/her efforts as usable information for the public. The event, in all, was moving and hopeful.

Arising out of this session of presentations was a recognition that many in our cohort desire further education in various forms of technology(web designer, Flash, Finalcut, etc) we are in the process of developing a means of training each other. Learning and teaching full circle. In addition, the assignment further deepened our knowledge of our cohort's individual concerns and has prompted a fresh exchange between us.

This fourth week started out with that classic university experience: encountering a professor who embodies the sort of worldly font of knowledge, excited to impart information of her speciality to an enquirer. Professor Patricia de Castieres not only allowed my early morning interruption but seemed to welcome it. She offered to send me all of the information to my email address--she opened her memory and made it digital--so much more than a good start. Three of us are setting out to do a piece of qualitative research on the influence of television and cinema on language learning. Prof. de Castieres and her assistants direct the activities at the French house, the common second language between the three of us. A person with a wonderful Greek name, Jean-Marie Apostolides, teaches a course in French cinema.

The group experience came to an impass today between myself and a dynamo 25 yr-old journalist working for the Wall Street Journal. We were meant to work together at two intervals today, and at both instances under pressure of time, we worked separately. And there was a coach there, but where was she? We are half of a team. Our entire team has a dynamic which is quite compelling. There are two male journalists--a Brit, and a young man who said he had a business voice when he was six-- a quiet Argentine young man, former investment banker and myself. I'm feeling the journalists' pull , seeing myself retreat into lionine/ feminine isolation. And the former banker in the MBA program, I'm not sure how he's feeling besides overwhelmed by a demanding program. We had been urged to meet socially on the weekend--none of them would have it.

I engaged with the graduate school of business on another level: at the first meeting of S356--and opportunity to team up with two MBA candidates and evaluate a business plan over the next two quarters. I pitched Screen 360 to offer the market-tested festival and potential for internet business to the ears of this world renowned school of business. Groups of four would receive coaching from veterans in the field most of whom are investors with venture capital firms. My application is in to find partners.

The danger here could be getting too involved in too many potentially good solutions. I am contemplating the relationship with the company or organization that provides my internship is entity to partner with entrepreneurially.

kk 10.14-10.19.09

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Discovering Mindmeister

Today, our fictitious education company sold an English speaking and writing proficiency system to a group of 90 managers for a technologically well-situated company in Taiwan. They each had some prior training in English but had little confidence in their capacity to conduct business in English, so were skeptical about their company's intention to provide further training.

Our task here was to use our knowledge of the Audience, Behavior, Condition, Degree model and design an education program for the managers in Taiwan, using a mindmapping technique found at
When the mindmap is visible (!) it is an extremely useful tool, not only for presentation or the outcome but for process--especially for brainstorming in the experience/empathy phase of a design project. I leave this here for those who have never seen a "mindmap"--I'm using mindmapping in d school bootcamp.

We offered the resistant managers opportunities to write and speak in several modes of practice, using their acumen in their language as a guide to achieving a similar level in English. The use of video on a weekly basis would help assess themselves and peer assessment groups would further rally comraderie. These managers are also encouraged through their companies generous incentive to become more confident in their business transactions with English speaking countries. Once through this year-long training, the managers will have the capacity to write a 500 word email with 90% accuracy and will have cultural sensitivity to engage and be engaging in their negotiations.

The ADDIE model is the generic process traditionally used by instructional designers and training developers. The five phases—Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation—represent a dynamic, flexible guideline for building effective training and performance support tools.

Both ABCD and ADDIE models are successful, well-tested models. A third measure is the consideration of Bloom's Taxonomy: Knowledge, Comprehension, Application, Analysis, Creation, Evaluation.

I was present while Dr. Kim and a student were engaging in a synthesis, the origin of a potential project perhaps to be presented at a Educational Technology conference in Malaysia in the Spring. Dr. Kim responded positively to my question about the possibility funding which made me very happy to hear, especially since I had been told previously that looking for funding was not suggested.

Fundraising and the avenues leading to it is an essential part of my goals here. So thank you, Dr. Kim for being outward about it.

My focus for an underserved population as a focus for my future work in 391x are rural American children, ages 4-14 who generally do not have access to art education which I believe is a very important element in the development of independence and self-reliance. Looking at the future for these children, if they are creative thinkers they will learn to listen to themselves and fins a way to live within or perhaps get out of the rural area that historically presents few opportunities for work or growth. The measurability of such subjects is not as vivid as foreign areas more largely known as under-served, but I have seen some statistics and just finished a long "think" on it while writing an essay on poverty for the IN THE RIVER THEY SWIM contest. My rationale for helping needy American children who are isolated in deep rural culture to become thoughtful, worldly children, is that it is a simple and accessible solution but few think about it. When these children who have lived in or close to need, are released by their own vision and succeed by it, then these are the ones who might be able to truly innovate solutions for poverty in the future.

If we are to attain real peace in this world, we will have to begin with the children.
~Mahatma Gandhi

Vygotsky and Social Cognition

The social cognition learning model asserts that culture is the prime determinant of individual development. Humans are the only species to have created culture, and every human child develops in the context of a culture. Therefore, a child’s learning development is affected in ways large and small by the culture–including the culture of family environment–in which he or she is enmeshed.

Following Vygotsky, if the culture around a developing mind is those astounded by the beauty and capacity of human expression and models that in works of art and appreciation for others...I assert that that child is more likely to be a peaceful, conscious, contributing citizen.

If we are to attain real peace in this world, we will have to begin with the children.
~Mahatma Gandhi

Sunday, October 4, 2009

391X Considerations of Web Education

I took the opportunity to read a few of my classmates' blogs and am struck by many diverse and rich qualities about them, but moreover about the great effectiveness of their purpose. Right here, right now, these blogs are doing what they are supposed to do: connect and inform. Having not been much of a blog reader or writer before this course, I feel privileged to know the writers in my first regular use of blogs. "Use" is the operative word, a verb, an action, something we do to a noun, here a blog, a tool for collaborative learning.

Our discussion Wednesday, 10/1, intensified with the consideration of offering technology to underserved communities. With the primary goal being stimulating motivation to create, the example of generating a story with a telephone application for a contest is potentially effective. The practical question of battery life arose and methods of recharging the battery are in active research. The question arose about the "dropping" of technology into the lives of underserved children for one project-- what happens afterward? Is there potential for appetites whetted then abandoned? It was stressed that these projects are undertaken in conjunction with NGOs connected to schools, so the projects likely work in with curriculum set by local educators. In addition to a great sense of humanitarian fulfillment, I imagine that there must be a sort of tabula rasa purity that appeals to the researcher who can measure high contrast effects. Another consideration arose that though we live in a wealthy nation, a population of children in the United States, would likewise benefit from such donations of funds, technology and intelligence. The concept of contextualizing the motivation to engage in foreign educational aid is essential.

Dr. Kim spelled out the essential elements of Contextualization:

Audience: Understand the people you intend to affect. What do they come to the project with?
Behavior: What do you want to occur?
Conditions: What is the environment? Is there electricity, battery recharging stations? What other technology might be necessary?
Degree: How much change? What degree of literacy can can be offered?

I would like to offer and E: Elevate to the next step through the same or different NGO. That step could be an annual return for five years, for example. This sort of information goes into the initial grantwriting for the project.

Paul Kim's storytelling project "1001 Nights" which offers a story writing application on a mobile telephone, is intended to generate a desire to create stories as its behavioral impact. He aspires that his participants will become so engaged that they become the next literary voices of their countries. The behavior, though, is actually very small, a short epiphany that produces a story. Because these moments of discovery in childhood can be many, guidance is required around them for reflect reflection and to help continue the practice of discovery. The degree hoped for is that the young writer will also be able to retell the story he/she has written and will want to write again.

"Pocket schools" on mobile devices are an amazing resource. I'm learning that they are popular and appealing in places where resources are minimal. But also popular because learning can happen anywhere, on the move. For a Stanford professor, the opposite is happening in the U.S. where movement may have been overwhelming and not productive. Here, the question becomes an issue of productivity and distribution. Consideration for the distribution of scholarly information for which great energy, travel, and time had historically been expended to attend conferences was the reason Professor Emeritus Mike Kirst decided to blog. Not only did this save him many hours of non-productive time, but also offered a platform to further develop his thoughts and writing craft as well as, very importantly, increased his audience so that when he did travel to conferences, there was an audience when he presented.

Bloom's Taxonomy came in as a reference and the discussion became a bit of a "meta-conversation."

Metacognition is classified into three components:

  1. Metacognitive knowledge (also called metacognitive awareness) is what individuals know about themselves and others as cognitive processors.
  2. Metacognitive regulation is the regulation of cognition and learning experiences through a set of activities that help people control their learning.
  3. Metacognitive experiences are those experiences that have something to do with the current, on-going cognitive endeavor.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Week 2, September 30

This afternoon, after a satisfying delivery of the first d school project (an innovation of the instant ramen experience) and necessary debriefing (calming to the sleep-deprived, time-compressed group), I was finally able to open my brain to Educ 391x, Web-based Technologies in Education. The course requires this blog, for which I'm grateful (having long intended to start one), and an immediate immersion into the reaches of technology, with particular focus to areas in which there had been none until very recently.  In our first class last Wednesday and our most recent class today, I recognize and am quite excited about the direct application of this information to Screen 360's development.

Professor Paul Kim offers his own projects as example.  He has taken mobile telephone technology to children in Rwanda, Uganda and Oaxaca, Mexico, to name a few.  He remarked that it took children only an hour to figure out how to turn on a mobile device, get into it and learn the digital games.  (Adults sometimes took days to figure it out.)

Particularly interesting for Screen 360 is Webconferencing.  WebX, GLORIAD and Internet II were introduced as modes for conducting conferencing internationally.  Kim mentioned the capacity for huge amounts of data like a High Definition video of orthoscopic surgery transmitted at three gigabites per second to a foreign medical school and listed various examples of GLORIAD  or Internet II being used to bring musical performers together virtually.

LDT cohort member, Tanya Flores, mentioned an international virtual handshake conducted through holographic technology at her former employ, Cisco. 

In 2005, I had attempted to organize a video-conferenced Q&A with the Giffoni Film Festival, whose festival dates in Italy are concurrent with Screen360's at the end of July. My plan was to have screened the same film and open the video-conference between San Francisco audience and the Giffoni audience.  Perhaps with the help of EDUC391x, we'll achieve that sooner than later.

Week 2 isn't as frenetic as the first week of school when class schedules are gelled and all which was to have been set up but wasn't is flashing a red light. Books are ordered, my stolen bicycle has been replaced, and the internet connection to my campus apartment seems at last fluid. 

Technology has been my bain for the past couple of weeks but I think that has passed and I can finally dig into it to make it the tool I came to master.