Friday, October 17, 2003

positive feedback from students

one of the new adult students in my english conversation and language class remarked to me after class late night, "this class is for me a dream come true. i've been looking all over the city for something like this." my response - "if you found the class useful, it might be because you were so eager to learn. it was you, not me, taking those 3 page of notes."

it's moving hearing that kind of feedback. i need to figure out ways of getting such learning/teaching onto video and other media to reach learners not able to make it to class.

Thursday, October 16, 2003

He threw all my toys out the window

Let me tell you about my brother Ian, who reads my blog. As kids we shared a room and he used to regularly throw all my toys out the window of our second floor room. Wait a second. That was me who used to regularly throw all of his toys out the window.

He's a great guy and I'm lucky to have him as a brother. Just don't let him get close to any of your toys if there is a nearby open window.

Colleague's blog

An educator colleague of mine set up a blog this morning.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

grateful students

the adult education students i teach in my job often bring me food they made as a way of saying thanks. it's very touching.

Flashpoint software looks good

i've been on the lookout for software that creates multimedia storytelling flash files and that is affordable and easy to use. flashpoint from sausage software (for windows) looks like it does the trick.

the publisher describes it in this way: "Flashpoint is a low cost yet versatile tool to create eye-catching presentations with streaming audio for playback over the web or directly from your PC, laptop or handheld. The output format is standard HTML and Flash."

this software lets you scan in images or drag and drop them in. you can import mp3 audio files. you can add links to any object or picture. you can add gradients to your presentations. the download includes a program named "flashpoint audio" that converts wav files to mp3 audio files.

flashpoint reminds me of hyperstudio in its ease of use. here's a sample flashpoint file i made in just a few minutes. the navigation arrows were added by flashpoint without my evening having to ask for them.

i intentionally created mp3 audio files with a very high sound quality, as most of the web multimedia i make is intended for viewing/hearing with broadband. when i have enough free time, i make the same multimedia geared for dial-up users.

"Just Be Who You Are" documentary screenings

If you live in the DC-area, check out the screenings of the documentary Just Be Who You Are, co-produced by a friend of mine, Harry Hanbury. The screenings are free, but a donation to the Sexual Minority Assistance League can be made. Thanks for helping spread the word.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Social Edge

Social Edge is a lively and provocative online community for the social sector. It's a place for an empowered community of socially minded individuals committed to changing the world to convene.

those who are victorious

"Those who are victorious plan effectively and change decisvely. They are like a great river that maintains its course but adjusts its flow...they have form but are formless. They are skilled in both planning and adapting and need not fear the result of a thousand battles; for they win in advance, defeating those who have already lost."

-Sun Tzu Chinese Warrior, Philosopher 100 B.C.

new article - "injecting playfulness into computer trainings"

over the weekend i wrote a new article, "injecting playfulness into computer trainings. this article may be freely distributed and reprinted for nonprofit purposes.

Sunday, October 12, 2003

Netomat looks interesting

When I get a little free time, I'm going to enjoy exploring Netomat, a new web multimedia publishing tool.

Skype Internet phone software installed

I've got Skype Internet phone software installed on my Dell laptop at work. I also installed MP3-Recorder, which ought to let me record high quality audio from Internet phone conversations. As I understand, this combination of software programs could let anyone interview anyone else and produce a high quality wav (uncompressed) audio file. You could then take that audio file and merge it with a jpeg photo to create an audio annonated jpeg along the lines of this interview with David Welsh back in 1997. 1997? My how the years go by. If you'd like to merge jpeg photos (or any graphics) with an audio file, QuickTime Pro ($30 for Macintosh or Windows), is one of the best tools for doing so. (Note - QuickTime Pro is just a password enhanced version of standard QuickTime.)

You can find out the steps you need to make an audio annotated jpeg in a QuickTime I made over here. Steve Ronan, if you have a moment, let's try out Skype sometime.