Today I had the opportunity to open the Arizona K12 Center’s Ninth Camp Plug and Play in Tucson. About I year ago, I sort of “crashed” their mobile learning conference here– I came down to visit colleagues Dean Shareski and Wes Fryer. Shortly after I got a super nice email from Tony Vincent, leading to this year’s invitation.

This talk was more or less a breeze through five “things” I’ve done around using/creating with images:

It’s easy to take and share digital snapshots (witness Facebook). But we can do much more than capturing moments by creating and expressing ourselves using photographs as part of our visual language. While I was educated as a scientist and self taught myself web-development, telling stories with and through photos is what I am most passionate about. In this session, I share with you five things I’ve done fueled by this interest. These include practicing communication through improvisation, creating stories in pictures only, amazing stories that may happen when you share photos, giving credit for photos you can use, and a strategy for expressing complex ideas or concepts in photos. Maybe one will be interesting to you? Picture that.

Listen to audio recording of presentation

The five things include:

  • improv with pechaflickr
    kudos to participants Nick and Adria (“like Adrian form Rocky without the ‘n'”) for doing a great improv talk on nachos
  • Visual Storytelling with Five Card Flickr Stories
    maybe the fastest demo I’ve ever tried, pretty much just ran one quick round
  • True Stories of Sharing Photographs
    Told the usual favorite, the Amazing Flower Story but did a quick recap of the others in the set; this eas also a chance to talk about how giving credit for use of a photo as a set up for the next item
  • Giving Attribution with flickr cc attribution helper
    I tried to make a case that being asked to give attribution has all the appeal of writing citations and bibliographies in a paper, plus that the way we mostly talk about creative commons is wrapped in language of not giving attribution is “lying” “stealing”, and “plagiarizing” — as in

    Whereas to me, giving attribution is an act of appreciation, acknowledgment, of paying it forward.I showed how writing a model attribution for a flickr photo was about a seven step process, hence the reason for the flickr attribution tool was… selfish.

  • Image Seeking for Fantastic Visual Metaphors
    This was a teaser for my evening workshop, the new teaching kit on an image searching strategy I created for Mozilla’s Teach the Web program.

This was a really energetic group, and i had a lot of fun playing with them.

Thanks Tony.

creative commons licensed ( BY-SA ) flickr photo shared by cogdogblog

In the evening I was asked to run an optional workshop– this was ImageSeeking

image seek plug and play

Photos and images are the building blocks of most digital expression. We are well past the place of cheap clip art, and have easily accessible more images than we can imagine. Learning how to find images is trivial when you are looking for a specific thing. But when you are trying to find images to represent something metaphorically or more complex (e.g. how do you look for an image to represent “honesty” or “unfairness”?) keywords often fail because these are not literal concepts. In this workshop you will use ImageSeek, built in the free Mozilla Thimble Tool, for not only helping you and your students deploy a more oblique strategy for finding images, but also a way to save and share the process.

Since my Mozilla Teaching kit is remixable, I remixed my own stuff. The workshop materials were a remix of the original teaching kit. Within it, the first activity was a remix of the Image Finding Discussion Activity, etc.

It was quite illustrative to remix my own materials, it made it quite easy to customize them for the workshop.

It ended up more discussion, we had a chance to hear how people search (not everyone reaches for google first); one participant shared the roflbot site which she uses to add attribution to the image she finds.

This was the first chance I asked a group to use the ImageSeek tool and manipulate it in Thimble. I have to admit, as noted in a comment from Robin Good, that it’s a bit complicated to use. Folks had trouble navigating to the right areas to edit, in my demo the scrolling links in the tutorial pane made the code vanish, one participant followed me instructions and all of the line number links were different…

Everyone appreciated the approach, the use of the framing questions, and the idea of keeping a record of your effort, but it seems like its too much overhead to do it all in the Thimble app. I am not surprised, it did seem a tad complicated, but hey, it was an experiment. The idea of searching for metaphors still holds up.

I hope.

creative commons licensed ( BY-SA ) flickr photo shared by quinn.anya

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An early 90s builder of web stuff and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so) Tooting as

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