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