Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Two websites that might be interesting

I just came across these two sites--haven't had a chance to explore either in any detail, but they both look really interesting!

Free software for making animated movies:

An online hosting site where adoloescents can post their writing and media work, and view and respond to he work of others:

Monday, December 14, 2009

Site for Publishing Stories


I was wondering if anyone knew of any other publishing sites for fiction stories. A fifth grader in my class has written some fiction stories and would like to continue writing them and I introduced him to FanFiction, where he can publish his stories and others can comment. Is there any other sites that he could utilize? Thank you!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Teresa's video

Hello everyone--

Here's the link to Teresa's published video:

She's so very disappointed about not having been able to show it to you in class, but I'm sure you'll all watch it and appreciate it very much. It's a lovely account of Teresa's life and the things that are important to her (I especially like the bit where she's at Montclair Uni!).

Well done, Teresa! And thank you for sharing something so personal with us!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

It was great seeing everyone's work!

Here's the link to my video just in case you guys want to get scared lol

Inspire Change

Hello Classmates sorry this is a bit late. But here is my companion piece. I hope you enjoy this.

The Summer of George Awareness Group link!

Sorry everyone, the previous link does not really work, so I am posing it here again. You may access the Summer of George Awareness group and the video trailer here

The Summer of George Awareness Group

Hello everyone! So here is the link to the Summer of George Awareness group, where you can also access the video trailer. Enjoy!

Here is my video on Romeo & Juliet. You can view it on my Facebook page - Juliet Capulet:

You Tube:

Medi 503: Kevin's Revenge

Here is the link to Kevin's Revenge:

Wacky Wonka Remix (Kelly, Erika, & Noelle's Project)

Here is our video & link to Charlie's facebook page (we have it set that you don't need to be friends with Charlie in order to be his friend). Enjoy!

Facebook: (or search for "Charlie Bucket")

YouTube Video:

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Art of Multitasking

I just saw this commercial and it reminded me of Kevin Leander’s case study of students multitasking in the classroom. Because many schools have turned digital, students are now required to carry and use their laptops throughout the day. Leander explores the case study of Mia who uses her laptop in a class. She pays attention and participates, but also writes a blog on Xanga at the same time. When her teacher walks by, she quickly opens a Word document and types a sentence regarding the class discussion. Because Mia can multitask and get away with it she will use the computer how she does at home and not in the way her school has intended.

This commercial is very similar. A man in a meeting “invites” Facebook onto his phone. Because of the capabilities of his phone (which the commercial is aimed to promote), he is able to open an Excel document so no one will see that he is trying to access a “fun” social networking site at the office. His fellow coworkers approvingly look on at him.

See everyone tomorrow. I am exited to see the final projects!

My video project can be seen here.

Share with you my movie project: My Smart Dog Bella

Finally I published my final version of movie project on Youtube:

Also, if you would like to be friends with Bella Yorkie, please invite him as your friend on Facebook. His email is

MSU email

When I entered my MSU email today, all of my folders are empty. Does that happen to all of you?

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Hello Classmates! Its been a while but I am sure that you all have been very busy (to say the least) This link is a shortcut to Deb & my project on Change. We are very proud of it, we hope you enjoy it as well. We've spent countless hours perfecting it-and this is as good as it is going to get! Whew!!! It was a ton of fun but nerve wracking as well especially for a Gemini. Is been has been posted on you tube (wow what an ordeal that was) , Twitter, and Face book. We hope it develops a following. Enjoy!
Just to wrap up - I have been exposed to a variety of different forums to conceptualise ideas for not only my personal stuff but ideas that I will integrate into my classroom. My only regret was that my video was just a tad too long for Voice Thread. I really wanted to post it on there. I will hopefully post something in the future. I have discovered so many different websites. Some on my own some with assistance. Thanks Dr. K and fellow classmates for all the suggested readings, postings, websites, and various links-they were amazing.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Do They Delete the Animal's Facebook Page?

This is the day due for conceptual essay and Google Docs journal. I can't believe the time runing so soon.
I created a faux Facebook for my dog Bella who is the main character in my movie project. However, I heard people said they will delete your Facebook page if the owner is an animal. Is that true?I post some of Bella's pictures in his photo album. It is very funny to do so.
The content in the Facebook only can be shared with invited friends. How can I send its URL to Dr. Knobel? Unless Dr. Knobel creates a faux Facebook page
particularly for MEDI 503 and then we can become friends.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Wrap Up: what I learned from MEDI 503

This class, MEDI 503, is almost going to the end, but our learning new literacy with new technologies is just started and will keep going and going….
To exam what new things I learned from this class, those can be:
● knowing new technological tools to exploit in real life, including
● Windows Movie Maker and its knowledge and skills to edit video clips and
produce personal movies
● to convert a video project into a movie video and publish it on the web, such as
Youtube and Facebook.
● to make use of Google Docs for a personal journal or a collaborative tool in the
● conceptually thinking more deeply about copyright issues and fair use of copyright
materials in regards to the cyber environment.
● to be aware of internet privacy issue and how to protect personal data being abused via
● knowing what is “remix” or “remix culture” in terms of digital media, and what we can
remix and what we can’t.

Thank you, Ms. Knobel, for introducing us the variety of new technological tools to be used especially for teaching. There still a lot of new knowledge and interesting tools can be learned in the future, which I don’t get a chance to explore within this short time. Some of the tools are very useful, for example, to use Windows Movie Maker to make movies. I am thinking to run an afterschool club to introduce students how to use free video editor to make their own movies and post them on the web.

In the beginning of this semester, I was so nervous about making a narrative movie and writing a “conceptual essay”, as well as using Google Docs to create a “theory-and-learning journal.” Now, I am very confident with those tools and almost finished all of the assigned projects for this class.

Finish Movie to convert a movie project into a movie video

This midnight, I tried to fix some problems in my movie project. Those problems include that the music imported from outside became not working, and the video motion became interrupted and delayed. I assume these happen because I have saved so many versions of movies that I ran out of computer memory. After I deleted many outdated movie files, and downloaded again music pieces, these problems still exist. I decided to put my movie onto Youtube to see whether it is my computer’s problem. However, when I uploaded my movie onto Youtube, Youtube rejected it because of invalid format. I thought it should not have any problem to post Windows Movie Maker movie onto Youtube. I search solution from internet and finally I found my answer from Youtube sites:
These two youtube videos solved my problems, and then my movie project became a movie video and can be uploaded onto Youtube or Facebook. Meanwhile, the good news is the music track and motion problems in my movie project were solved too. Now in my movie project, music is played well and motion is moving smoothly. I love try and error because I learn from it. I need to jot down this experience to share with others and for my own reference. It was midnight,and I was content to go to sleep then.

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Has anyone downloaded or used Audacity, the free software ( to edit audio? From what I understand, it's similar to GarageBand for Macs. I read about it in one of the New Lit article on podcasting by Chris Shamburg. He recommends it highly and says it's fairly easy to use. Just thought I'd see if any of you had any input before I downloaded it. Thanks!

Friday, December 4, 2009

"Save the Date" as a text message?

Hi there,
I just received a "Save the date" as a text message for a friend's wedding in April.
Is this the way of the future or just a ploy to save money? haha

-Stephanie Morales

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Final Reflections

Text ColorNow that our semester is coming to a close I just wanted to share my final thoughts regarding this course. I've said it in my journals, but I can't say it enough how different this course was in comparison to the others I've experienced during graduate school. For the first time, I actually felt like a "student" again, experimenting and exploring the world of the unknown. Despite my frustrations with Movie Maker, I am as I'm sure many of you are, so proud of all my group has accomplished. I've never "bragged" so much about a project or assignment, as I have been doing with our re-mix video. I showed my group's re-mix video to my class, and they are anxious to learn more about Movie Maker themselves. I hope that similar to my experiences, many of us have truly learned a great deal about becoming more aware of tapping into "Mindset 2" and the World of Web 2.0 and incorporating those ideals into our classrooms to better understand our students.

Erika Pavlecka 12/2/09

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Lolcats iPhone App/Memes

Last night as I was watching TV, a commercial came on that caught my attention. The commercial showed images of the Internet meme lolcats. Lolcats is a website where humorous pictures of cats are submitted and captions are added to tell viewers what the cats may be thinking. Also, viewers can rate each picture on a scale ranging from awful to excellent. The captions are written in interesting ways. For example one picture shows a cat sleeping with the caption “I’m in ur bed zleeping.” Another picture shows a cat with a completed Rubik’s cube with text “dere, all done I thought u said dis was hard?” Words are shortened as they would be in instant messages or texts.

The narrator in the commercial stated these cats have been pushed too far (exploited by lolcats) so they decided to retaliate. Basically this television channel created an iPhone application where the lolcats became “meowcenaries” and have to save their president from the Evilcat.

In the text memes are described as “contagious patterns of cultural information that are passed from mind to mind and directly shape and propagate key actions and mindsets of a social group.” Good memes have distinct characteristics. They include longevity (how long they last and are passed to additional people), fidelity (they resonate with viewers) and fecundity (the ability and speed in which they are replicated).

In this commercial there was no real mention of what the lolcats website was, but it was funny to me, and I’m sure others who have seen the site and know the popularity of this Internet meme. Here is a screenshot of the game and its description.

Experimenting with

The concept of "Participation" that I am exploring for the final essay has led me to make a new leap and join Today I have published my very first story - actually, the very first chapter of my very first FanFic. As I mentioned in my earlier journal on fanfics, I wanted to explore the possibility of creating an alternate version of a story as this was not directly described in the section of the text. So I have begun a story entitled "The March Into Darkness," which will track Anakin Skywalker (of Star Wars lore) in his early career from the time he is roughly 18 years old until the time that he becomes Darth Vader. The first chapter I have written reveals how Anakin meets Obi-Wan Kenobi, and trust me when I say that it is much more than the simple hand-shake exchanged in the movie Star Wars - Episode I: The Phantom Menace!

From the little I've seen of it, is an incredibly well put-together website. I first had to create a login name and password. I also needed to accept the terms and conditions of the site and its policy regarding posting stories. I was able to upload my story into the site using a tool called "Document Manager." Once the story is uploaded, I selected the "New Story" feature in order to publish the work. I needed to provide a title and short summary of the story. I then needed to provide the language that the story is in (i.e. English) as well as a rating (i.e. T, which I think means suitable for teenagers). I then provided two genres (Science Fiction and Tragedy), chose the category "In-Progress" as opposed to "Complete" as I will add more chapters later, set the world to "Original," and designated two of the characters used to Obi-Wan K. and Anakin S. I then chose my saved story to publish and selected the option "Publish New Story." A message appeared letting me know that the story was successfully published but that it may take 4-8 hours for the story to be available through the search engine. I later received an e-mail with a direct link to the story, so you may access it here. In case the link does not work, the URL is

It is exciting and a little bit scary to open up your writing for the world to see and pick apart through commentary. I hope that someone does find my work and provide some feedback. I will continue to track this and let you know the results. I also plan to try reading a few other stories in the same genre to get others' ideas of the Star Wars universe and leave some comments for them as well. This is essentially online FanFiction networking at its finest. Hopefully I will be able to make a few contacts so that I will become better known in the world of, and then this could lead to more viewers/readers. Fanfiction is a terrific example of participation because it encompasses different levels of participation. There is the authorship end of the spectrum, but then there is also feedback and networking. It is a great place to promote literacy in both reading and writing as other people who are more experienced readers and writers can leave tips for those who are just learning.

This would be a wonderful tool to use in the classroom if there was a way to make sure that the participating students were protected from potentially giving out too much information. Perhaps the teacher could instruct the students on how to set up accounts so as not to provide too much information. Or perhaps could accommodate schools by offering separate secure sites where students can post work and then choose who can see that work and who can comment on it. There are some good security measures already in place on the site. For example, users can choose not to display e-mail addresses or locations on their profiles. They can also choose to block certain users, but I would suggest an option to have an "Add Users" list as well so that a person can choose to block everyone except those people he or she would like to be able to view that person's work (i.e. classmates).

Monday, November 30, 2009

Some Exploring with Digital Storytelling

Wanted to share some of these sites with everyone!

  • The first link is to "DigiTales: The Art of Telling Digital Stories. At this website, there are just so many categories to choose from! To give a shortened form, you can choose "DigiTale Tools" which will give you specific information depending upon whether you have a MAC or WINDOWS. Also, it gives you little tidbits on how to do VoiceOvers. There is also a "StoryKeepers' Gallery" where you can view other videos that users have posted. There is a tab for "Evaluating Projects," where there is information on how to set-up peer review for video production. There is also a "Resources" tab where you can find an abundant amount of information to choose from ranging from topics such as Copyright Savy and Classroom Connections. Definetly a site to check out. Students can even check it out as well where there is DigiTale Tools for the Kids.

  • VoiceThread is a comprehensive website that offers educators to provide a new opportunity to talk about and share images, documents, and videos. Students can comment and discuss on a video as they are viewing it. These commentaries can be done by telephone, webcam, microphone, and file sharing. Students upload the video, others comment, and these comments are shared with the class.

  • Story Center is a place for digital story telling. On the website are articles links to digital storytelling and other website links pertaining to digital storytelling.

Movie Maker Idea

I did a lot of trial and error small movies using Windows Movie Maker. I wanted to share with family and friends to get feedback, etc. so I decided to email them. Simply open up your work on Movie Maker and where it indicates Finish Movie, click send email. Great way to collaborate and get a lot of practice at the same time! It does take a lot of tinkering around to find out how things work!

My movie project

Speaking of the progress of my movie project, my music track is suddenly not working properly. The music doesn’t sound good. At beginning, I thought that is because I used up the memory. Later, I think the music pieces I used are becoming bad because I replayed them too many times. I think I will need to redownload those music.

Finally, I cut my movie into 3 minute long. I am thinking to post it onto the web or just make a DVD. To post on the web, I will choose post video either on Facebook or youtube. I like to watch video in youtube recently becaue so many invaluable videos can be seen via youtube. Youtube is a very cool site.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Movie Maker success

Hello everyone!

How is everyone doing? The semester went quickly. We are now down to the wire in finishing essays and movies. I finally figured out the trimming the still images problem. In movie maker, you have to go into timeline mode. Then, you highlight the still image clip (by clicking it) to either move the clip or trim it using the double red arrows. It took me a long time to figure it out. I hope this information is helpful for anyone who needs to trim either a still image clip or video clip. Take care all. See you on the 12th.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

APA Formatting and Style Guide

Greetings...Here is the link to the Purdue website. I have used this site with my students and it is very helpful!!

Movie maker problem


Yesterday, in class, I found out that I need to work on cutting down the duration of my still images clips. I went into movie maker and could not figure it out. I tried double-clicking on the image and using the arrows to trim but it did not work. Bill, I heard from Michele that you know how to trim the duration of still images clips. Can you tell me how to do it? Steph, to answer your question, I do not have a problem saving my project and opening it without losing any images. If anyone else knows how to trim the duration of clips in movie maker, please let me know. Thanks.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Converting a DVD movie into Windows Movie Maker

Hi Class!

Was just wondering if anyone could help my group. We bought our movie on DVD but are having trouble converting the DVD movie onto the computer desktop or into Windows Movie Maker. We have tried several options, but they have failed us. We were wondering if anyone had a suggestion or option that we could try out. We have already tried some ripping/burning sites off the internet but they do not seem to work.

Please let us know if you have any suggestions or options to use. Thank you!

Friday, November 20, 2009

In reading chapter 9 on "The New Literacies Sampler", I read about memes. I learned that there are many different views of the origin of memes whether biological or social. Being a previous Justice Studies student during my undergrad, I tend to lean more towards the social influence. I believe that our social structures play a huge part in what we do. I may be wrong! lol but this is my current belief. As an example, I am very much into facebook. If I never learned about facebook through other friends (my social environment), I would have never became interested in it therefore paying no attention to it.:)

Hey guys, I'm a new teacher and my classroom has a smartboard which I think is amazing. This is extremely new to me since I never grew up with a smartboard. They offer trainings in my district and I learned that if you go to the smart board website, they help you with lesson plans through blogging and you can find premade lesson plans to use with the smart board. You need to go to, then click on Education, then on SmartExchange, join the conversation and then search your topic! Enjoy!:)

Downloading and Converting Video Clips for Movie Maker

Finally, I've made a breakthrough! I had been struggling to find the right software in order to download and convert video files for my presentation, but finally I have found a process that works quite well! Of course, downloading one program gave me a virus, which set me back a little bit because I had to try to regain control of my computer before moving forward. Alas, I suppose that is all part of that "pleasant frustration" concept!

I have found that the website works quite well in terms of downloading the video files. Once on the site, I paste the desired URL from YouTube into the appropriate field and select "Download." I then click "Download flv" and save the file to my computer. Now it is time to convert it. The easiest program I found to do this is called "Any Video Converter," which I was able to download for free. I first must choose to convert the vid to the proper format, which is "Customized WMV Movie." Then I click "Add Video," choose the video that I want to convert, and select "Convert" Moments later, I have the ability to import the newly converted video clip into Windows Movie Maker. After all of that trouble, this is a thing of beauty!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Narrative piece and movie maker

Hello everyone.

How is everyone doing on their movies? I am making real progress. I added video clips and music to my movie. But, I have a problem with the narrative piece. I want to do blogs for my narrative piece but I am unable to figure out how to write the blogs, save the blogs, and import them in movie maker. Does anyone know I can go about doing this? In class on Saturday I am going to ask the question to the class to see if anyone knows. Let me know on Saturday if you can help. Thanks.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thanksgiving web site for primary grades

Check out this web site - great idea for a center!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Using the Internet during Exams

I am not sure if anyone has heard that Denmark college students may be able to use the Internet while taking exams. They are currently testing it to see how it works. One concern is students will cheat as they can use any website, including Facebook. However, educators are placing their trust in the students. There is a time limitation and the ways in which questions are worded make it difficult to cheat. One person leading this stated, "If we're going to be a modern school and teach them things that are relevant for them in modern life, we have to teach them how to use the internet." The focus is on how students find particular information, analyze it and provide an explanation.

I think this is an interesting concept that truly illustrates how the world is changing technologically and how students are accessing information. Educators in favor of this are paralleling the students’ everyday experiences using the Internet and bringing this practice into the classroom. This is a Mindset 2 concept yet it incorporates one’s self efficacy and individuality (Mindset 1). Collaboration, in this case, would be considered cheating. At a college level, I think this will work. Some students in high school may think it is a great idea initially but similar to open-book tests, may prove to be difficult. I fully believe that foundations are needed for any subject matter but this approach allows students to show how they use information they find.

How do you feel about this?

If you’d like to read the full article go to:

Monday, November 9, 2009 and ISTE

I would suggest checking out this website:

It is a great website and offers tons of free educational resources and lesson plans for all teachers K-12. The website divides into sections for educators, students, parents, and afterschool activities. What might be of interest for a particular class is the 21st century skills link, which directs you to understanding more fully the role that technology can and will play for the teacher who needs better technology for tomorrow's lesson.

I am posting this other link to a wesbite as well:

This is ISTE: ISTE 100 which stands for the International Society for Technology in Education. Here, you can become a member of their website. They offer professional development opportunities. There is a wealth of links that offer valuable resources for exploring this company further.


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Movie and Readings

Hi Everyone.

How is everyone doing on their movie? Today, I changed my movie around, added video clips along with still images, and titles. It looks pretty good. It might be too long. How long is our movie supposed to be? I read chapters 5-7 in the New Literacies Sampler. The concepts of fan fiction, and video games and learning are great topics for the essay if anyone still needs concepts for their essay. Good Luck!

Windows Movie Maker Issue

As my group and I continue to work on our project, we are running into some technical issues with Windows Movie Maker. Everytime we edit a few things, the program does not want to cooperate. We then have to close out the program, restart it, and then continue to work. But again, we work for a few minutes and the problem continues. Has anyone else experienced this issue? If so, how do we fix it? It is making the process of editing the video much longer than it has to be.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Copyright issues

Hey checkout - in my quest to find articles for the paper I am writing with BiBi about remix and copyrighting, I came across this link. Creative Commons provides a framework and standardized way to grant copyright permissions to the creative work of individuals, large companies, schools, etc.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Article on Web 1.0 vs. Web 2.0

I just wanted to share this article with everyone. In one of the most recent issues of The Reading Teacher (September 2009), there is a wonderful article entitled "Becoming Critical Consumers and Producers of Text: Teaching Literacy with Web 1.0 and Web 2.0". After reading the article, I thought it was both relevant and helpful in terms of topics /concepts we are exploring/discussing in class. The article highlights examples of both Web 1.0 and Web 2.0, while also revealing the results/benefits of a study one of the authors implemented in her classroom utilizing Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 programs. The main concept I took away from this article is the fact that although some teachers "claim" they are utilizing technology in the classroom, it is one thing to have students type a story on Word but it is a completely different experience having them Blog their thoughts and opinions about a novel they are reading. It really made me think about the extent to which I'm truly incorporating "authentic" experiences with Web 2.0 within my classroom. I recommend taking a look at this article. It is a helpful resource! Enjoy!

Erika Pavlecka 11/1/09

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Mucking around with machinima

I'm spending my morning reading about machinima--a topic and practice that fascinates me--and thought I'd just mention two resources to you that you might find interesting.

The first is MovieStorm, a free-to-download animation engine you can use to create movies. I've mucked around a little with this software in the past and lost a good many pleasant hours doing so.

The second is a game you play to generate your sets and actors and props for making machinima. The game is The Movies. You do have to buy it, but having used it in the past myself with teachers, I find it a marvellous resource to have, especially in classrooms where the internet connection is too dodgy to effectively use, say Second Life, to create machinima. has en entire channel devoted to The Movies machinima if you'd like to get a sense of what can be done with this game/animation software.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Try this Media Moguls!

While trying to get a bit of youth incorporate into my project. I have enlisted the help of my ultra cool 13 year old niece. She turned me into this very cool website that helps kids remix poetry and images with saying to suit their needs. My niece is totally addicted everyday I see her work on FB. Her work mostly incorporates images of her group of friends with cute little sayings. I though I would share. Enjoy!

B ;)

Second Life

This was an old post but I am just getting my post to actually go on our blog-bear with me
When we had class last week on Second Life I had a chance to explore a Disney Inspired Island (Mouse island)with my avatar. The only word that actually comes to mind is OhMiiGod! Wow I was quickly transported to a replica of the Magic Kingdom. I quickly called over my three little ones and they started screaming, try sending them to bed after seeing this IMPOSSIBLE! Well I let them stay up and help me navigate and explore. I was truly incredible they little ones were in awe they rode the Dumbo ride, even had the elephant ride up and down. The went into the Haunted house and took lots of pictures of our "Ghost Host" it was a hoot. The my girls recalled what they had seen in Disney on previous trips (FYI we have been there about 12+ times my mother works for Disney) They knew exactly were everything was and what they should see. I was fascinated not only but the technology which was surreal-to put it mildly. I was fascinated buy the level of excitement it brought my girls they were squealing and clicking and made me make them popcorn at 8:30 so they can experience the park properly. I would so love to expose my students to this I could defiantly see them discovering ancient Tombs during an Egypt research project or visit the Greek Ruins for a project or even touring the human body for research. The possibilities are endless. TTFN!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Trimming the Timeline With Precision in Windows Movie Maker

Hello everyone! I would like to further investigate something discussed in today's class. While the class offered many interesting points regarding our final movie project, one of my major concerns was on how to synch the audio and video clips properly while editing to ensure a clean and precise final product. While Windows Movie Maker has a "Timeline View" where one can adjust the length of a given clip by dragging from the right, I was looking for a more precise way to set the length of the clip.

In iMovie on our lab Apple Computers, one can precisely adjust the timeline by double-clicking on an image or video clip and choosing a length of time that this particular clip will remain playing. I was extremely giddy when this was brought to my attention and hopeful that Windows Movie Maker would contain the same feature!

Alas, when I arrived home and brought up Movie Maker to test this procedure, I found that double-clicking on a clip in the "Timeline View" does absolutely nothing of use. I am going to try to scour some web searches and forums for a good solution to this conundrum. In the meantime, any suggestions here would be most welcome! Thank you!

Friday, October 23, 2009

NEA Article

I think the point of colleagues viewing learning new things at work is well taken. Of course it's work, at least in the beginning learning stages, but then becomes matter of fact after the initial uncomfortable phase. We are all at different places in our lives, and those of us that teach and have families, definitely feel inundated. But the good news and the end result is that it is doable!
Colleagues that have been teaching for many years do feel overwhelmed and with all the reports we are required to complete by administration, they do see this as more work. I think if we are going to incorporate new literacies into our curriculum it can serve as a replacement for other ways we taught the "same" skill. The bottom line is that regardless if teachers agree or not about new literacies becoming a part of the curriculum, it will be if the district in which you are employed requires that it will be. Sometimes that is the motivating factor

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I recently read this article in the October/November 2009 issue of the NEAtoday. It rasies some issues that I see with my district. Teachers and school districts are not quite there yet. I've noticed in my district that some teachers view learning new "things" as more work.
I tried to convert it to a jpeg so you could read the entire article on the blog but it wasn't working. Here is page 1 and the link for the entire article.....

Partnership for 21st Century Skills

Interesting website and happened to come across it as I was looking for New Jersey Core Curriculum Standards. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Copyright and You

We'll be talking about copyright, fair use and remixing on Saturday. Here are some links that I'll be talking about and which you might find useful as you make informed decisions about which cultural resources you choose to use in your classroom.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

39 Clues Webcast

Hey everyone! I recently received an e-mail from Scholastic in regards to a live webcast of the 39 Clues series. As far as I know, it is free and all you need to do is register via the link below. I teach fourth grade and my students really enjoy the 39 Clues books. Not to mention, they are all written by wonderful authors. I've attached the link below in case anyone is interested. Plus, the webcast is the Monday of Convention week so I thought it would be a nice experience for the students during that short week of school. Take a look at it and enjoy!

Erika Pavlecka 10/20/09

Monday, October 19, 2009

Stop Motion Animation

While tutoring last week, the fifth grade boy that I tutor had to do a writing assignment on his "Favorite Place". He went on to describe why his room is his favorite place since he is able to create "pretend" movies with his lego figures. Over the weekend, I took a look at many of the Legomation clips on YouTube. I was amazed to see what we've all come to know and love as legos magically come to life into very unique clips with characters, plots, and even problem/solutions. When I went to tutor today, I asked the mother of the student that I tutor if I could use the computer to show him these clips. Well, I've never seen him as engaged as I did today! It was like all his dreams were brought to life through these legomation media clips. I decided to take hold of this "teachable moment" and have him describe one of his lego "masterpieces" to me. We then began to construct a storyboard illustrating and expanding upon each scene. I plan on continuing this project with the student that I tutor and hope that I can work alongside him to create his very on "real" legomation clip. Thanks for the advice Dr. Knobel! I will keep you all posted on our progress!

Erika Pavlecka 10/19/09

Saturday, October 17, 2009


If anyone is using YouTube and has not seen it already, they have an online handbook.

I am impressed

I took a look at Legomation and sand animation (links from Dr. Knobel's blog) and needless to say they are amazing. But the doll and figure animation is truly a winner. It combines an enormous amount of talent, which I doubt I can ever duplicate, with a spiritual quality that really makes it a one of a kind project.

Does anyone know of any workshops at MSU or otherwise?



I would like to add animation to my movie but I don't know where to start. Flash animation looks cool and Michele posted about stop animation. But, how do I chose which animation is right for my movie and how do I add it to Windows Movie Maker? Please comment if you can help. Thanks.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Some Thoughts From the Article "Visual Literacy and the Classroom"

Some Thoughts From the Article "Visual Literacy and the Classroom" by Erin Riesland
Riesland, Erin. "Visual Literacy and the Classroom." New Horizons for Learning. Mar. 2005. 29 Feb. 2008

Along with the advent of computer era, the definition of “literacy” somehow outdated. We need to reconsider what it means to be literate in the technological age. The literacy is quickly being redefined due to emerging technology. With new technologies, educators are dealing with “new literacy.” Multimedia is altering the way society communicates in the real world, as well as the speed of changing classroom communication is overwhelming. Both teachers and students are expected to be able to navigate and communicate through new media such as hypermedia. For example, hypermedia reading is different from printing reading. The use of internet changes the way students read and collect information, and accordingly, it will change the way students write.

Traditionally, writers use images to support their writing. Gunther Kress pointed out a shift in science textbooks that use more illustrations to support text explanations instead of using text to supports visual explanations. Kress argues that images hold more meaning than text. However, this visual literacy conveyed by internet is overwhelming. “As students learn to decode hypermedia, they are also learning how to decode advertising.” On the other hand, advertisers know how to reach youngsters far better than educators. Through those pop-up ads, students conceive the view of the world. Their thoughts about the society and their identity to the communities were influenced more than in the classroom. Therefore, new literacy education “should prepare students at [their] young age for the onslaught of advertising they will be exposed to during their lifetime”. They need to be trained to have the capability to evaluate the advertising messages. This is the concept of integrating visual literacy instruction into classroom curriculum to better prepare students for the constantly changing syberworld that they encounter in most of their spare time.

There are many ways of integrating multimedia curriculum into the classroom. The method of learning by design is based on the concept that knowledge is constructed rather than processed from information received from a multimedia source. The approach of learning by design motivates students to learn by working on a real world project. For example, teachers design a project for students to work together or individually to create the story movie where they can convey their own message into their movie. Through the role playing of the producer rather than the consumer of information, students get the better perception how hypermedia is displayed on the internet.

In the conclusion, Riesland brought up an issue “our modern technology-driven society demands a level of communication that remains largely unaddressed in the classroom.” Isn’t this concerned that the new literacy teaching should be seriously considered the current literacy demands of new technologies?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Conceptual essay

Regarding the conceptual essay, I am wondering if everything we write for this essay has to relate to our own media production experiences? For example, do the readings, the concepts and the application need to be focused on our media production experience?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Stop Motion Animation

I'm a big fan of stop motion animation and thought I'd share a few resources with you that you might find useful as you muck around with different movie-making techniques.

Stop Motion Central
is a good starting place, because it provides a place to watch stop motion animations along with how-to tutorials.

Animate Clay is a useful portal for learning more about creating our own claymations.

Different types of animations you can explore include claymation (the ADP Center on the ground floor of University Hall has claymation kits you can borrow), sand animation (and you must watch this), Legomation, line/2D animation, and doll and figure animation, just to name a few.

Here's a fab Lego animation made by a group of Masters of Education students Colin Lankshear and I worked with in Newfoundland over this past summer. And a wonderful sand animation done by another group within this same class.

Monday, October 12, 2009

"Adolescent Literature and Second Life: Teaching Young Adult Texts in the Digital World" by Laura Nicosia

"Adolescent Literature and Second Life: Teaching Young Adult Texts in the Digital World" by Laura Nicosia

After reading this article and having the opportunity to experience Second Life, it would seem that SL is a valid and useful tool in education. It gives students and alternative and fun way to learn what is being taught to them in school. With the technological advancements that have been developed in recent years, young adults are embracing and using technology in their everyday lives. Using SL in the classroom to teach literature is a great way to get the children engaged in the novels and come out with a much deeper understanding of the story. Being able to take field trips to the places being described in the novel or having students engage in discussion in SL, seems like a more interesting and effective way to teach the goals of the lessons. Nicosia describes many benefits that using SL have in regards to education, that it would seem foolish for teachers to not use it in their own classrooms, when possible. I wish these types of learning environments existed while I was in school, because I would have certainly have been more engaged in the lessons and also less self-conscious of expressing my thoughts in class, or in world. Even meeting in SL for MEDI503 has helped me to share my thoughts more, and also helped me to understand the technology more. Safety issues are not a huge concern in SL, as other parts of the Internet, due to the security measures they take with the teen grid and such. Therefore it would not be too risky to use in the classroom. I hope I have a chance to use SL with my future classes.

Making my movie update


I want to thank Michele and Stephanie for their advice. When I searched on Google and for AVI, I found out movie maker can import uncompressed files. When I saved the files they were in compressed format. So, I went back to my files and uncompressed them. Then, I tried importing them in movie maker and it worked. Next, I imported all the files that I need at this point into my project and inserted them in my movie. It will take some time to get the timing right on the sound effects and the music but I will get there. I hope everyone's movie projects are going well.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Making my movie

Hello everyone!

After I brainstormed yesterday, I found a great idea for my movie. I surfed the web and found great photos to save and use in my movie. Today, I went into Windows Movie Maker to create my movie. I had no problem importing the photos and adding them to the storyboard, and adding titles before the clips. Then, I decided I wanted to add music or sound clips to my movie. I went on the web and found some good clips, downloaded and heard them, or saved them into a file. But, when I went to import them in Windows Movie Maker, it gave me a message that the file is incompatible or cannot find it. Is anyone else using Windows Movie Maker? Does anyone know how to import music or sound into the storyboard in Windows Movie Maker? If you can help, please let me know how I can proceed. Thank you.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Trim, clip and narrate my video

I reordered some of my movie clips to make my story smoother. I am trimming some clips down to a few seconds each, and cutting out the meaningless sections. In addition, I add titles in the beginning and captions on the clip itself, as well as I tried to narrate the video. I encountered some tricky problems such as how to delete the titles without delete the clips. After searching for help in internet, I click on “the moving line” on a time line mode and mouse stopped at the “title overlap” area, right click and select "delete". This deletes only the captions not the video clip. Before this I was frustrated by repeating delete the video clips accidentally. Movie Maker is really fun if only when you figure out how to manage it.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Help with Aniboom

Greetings...Can anyone help with Aniboom?? Can we create an animated video using this site???

My school is making technological advances!

Hi everyone-
I just found something out at work today that I found interesting & exciting, in terms of technology...currently, our school uses for teacher webpages (to post homework, announcements, etc.). Someone from the technology dept. just informed me that soon, we will be transitioning into blog sites instead, so that parents/teachers/students/caregivers can communicate quickly, posting comments/questions/etc. I think it's great that schools are beginning to realize/accept the times & Web 2.0 digital technologies. I think a blogging site is much more useful as a classroom's website, as opposed to just having a traditional teacher website. Anyone & everyone in the class should be able to add to the site.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I need your help

I have tried time and again to add a narration to my movie but it does not work meanwhile the microphone is fixed to the computer correctly. Can someone give an idea as how I can get narration done? Thank

At George Washington Carver in East Orange

I went to do one of my School & Classroom observations in this school, George Washington Carver School and was impressed about how students were being encouraged, and motivated to create and develop ideas, conduct reseach, process information, and articulate learning and practice skills through the Technology to enable them succeed in the work place of the 21St Century. Am very proud of this course and what am gaining from it may God bless Dr. Michele Knobel for her time and knowledge shared with us and especially me.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Trends in educational technology

In the April issue off the NJEA review, there was an interesing article regarding trends in technology, predictions and connecting with students. Here is the link if you would like to view it.


anyone having difficulty finding a good video converter to use to convert videoclips to windows media maker? Some of the ones i downloaded corrupted my computer, so i had to delete.
Any suggestions if not then i guess i will just have to cry myself to sleep the way i have been doing since September 1st!

Follow Up to "I Am What I Learn"

I showed President Obama’s speech on Sept. 8 during my Social Studies class. My students were really interested because he talked about things they could relate to (ie: how J.K. Rowling was turned down time after time by publishers before Harry Potter was finally published, or how Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team). He discussed things like this to show the students of America that you shouldn’t give up, and to always try your best, and that failure is okay, as long as you learn from it and keep going. I was inspired by how much my students were inspired.

I think this video contest for the students is intriguing, for the students can showcase how they plan to achieve their dreams, all the while it is encouraging and promoting the use of technology in and out of the classroom. I think it’s interesting how 10 finalists’ videos will be aired on the Department of Education’s YouTube page. I didn’t know there was such a thing! Did anyone else know of this?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Meeting again in Second Life

Hello everyone--I've emailed you about this but wanted to post a reminder here, too. We're meeting again in SL tomrorow night (Tuesday, Oct 6) at our usual time, and in our usual place:

This meeting isn't compulsory--it's more about just touching base and chatting about questions you might have etc.

See you in-world!

US Department of Education Launches "I Am What I Learn" Student Video Contst

Hi Members,
How is it going, I found this interesting news @"" and would like to draw your atention to that if you have not yet heard the news: It's all about Arne Duncan's issue on video anouncement encouraging students to respond to the president's call to take responsibility for their education. Students, 13years and up have been invited to create videos describing the role education will play in achieving their goals, and the goals they will set for themselves to get there. I think this is appropriate since students will be able to explore their levle of intelegency and also to be more creative thinking and acting.

US Department of Education Launches "I Am What I Learn" Student Video Contst

Hi Members'
How do you like the secetary of Education, Arne Duncan's issue on (video announcement) encouraging students to respond to the President's call to take responsibility for their education by inviting students, 13years and up to create videos, describing the role education will play in achieving their dreams, and the goals they set for themselves to get there. I think this is appropriate since it will allow students to think and explore their knowledge. Also it will motivate and encourage students as to the meaningful uses of media technology.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


Hi everyone! I was in Barnes and Noble and came across this book. Now I know the book is not the first of a series but I found it to be interesting since this is nothing like it was I was in high school. The book uses digital talk codes and follows teenagers lives in high school..pretty cool!


Can someone tell me how to add contacts in google docs??? I'm not sure if I'm doing it correctly. Should I be able to see my contacts and send a copy of what I'm typing???


Remixes and YouTube

In the article Remix: The Art and Craft of Endless Hybridization many interesting links are presented that are remixes. A remix, as we have seen, is a video, image or audio that has been changed in a creative way. One that interested me was where there are postcard images that have been written on to create a funny or even intense message regarding war, romantic relationships, violence, etc.

Did anyone get to view the video “An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube” by Michael Wesch, a professor at Kansas State University? Some remixes are discussed and one is a European music video (Numa Numa) that traveled from Japan where it was remixed with animation and it was found by a New Jersey man who remixed it by singing along. (If you don’t think you know it, look it up and I’m sure you have heard it!) Then it was remixed by many others who would sing and dance along. It is amazing how many have joined in and created a community all of their own to have fun and not be satirical.

Michael Wesch discusses some critics of YouTube. I thought it was funny (and true) how Lev Grossman, a journalist, stated, “Some of the comments on YouTube, make you weep for the future of humanity just for the spelling alone, never mind the obscenity and the naked hatred.” One can see that some of the comments are judgmental. This can also be seen in the way some people text and type. Examples include lolcats and the “specific language” used (Iz mah house!), texting lingo (lol, omg! bff, etc. – I am sure many of us have seen AT&T’s messaging commercial where a grandmother texts her BFF Rose). However, these are more than what they seem and go beyond grammatical errors – people are coming together, creating a community and relationships to express and share ideas.

Comic Life

If not done already, I would highly suggest downloading the software, "Comic Life." My video group has started to incorporate images from a video and combine them with comic images. With this software, you can create comics and put little blurbs into the comic bubbles. There are tons of fonts, texts, differeny color schemes, different bubbly drawings, and tons of enhancement that you can put into your comic. I have been "fooling" around with it and have found it to be helpful and amazing. There are also cool sound effects when you insert new items into your comic. Very interactive and cool! Give it a try! Let me know, if you give it a try, how it works out for you! If you need help withi it, let me know because I have explored various effects to use and am pretty familiar with it now!

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Hello Everyone!
I found interesting the chapter that discussed fanfic as a 'new' literacy. Before Dr. Knobel's class - i didn't even know what Fanfic was. There are many different types of new literacies such as remixes and so forth. I feel that these types of literacies makes reading fun again for children.
I went on a job interview recently and one of the questions i was asked was,
"Children seemed to have lost an interest in reading, how would you keep them engaged - how would you bring them back?"
I wish i would of read this chapter before going on that interview. One of my responses was to find the interests of the children and try to incorporate that in the classroom. Fanfic is an adventure. People are responsive to this type of literacy style especially our young readers. Fanfic is not just role-playing. Studying young children's lives and interests - helps improve professional development for teachers. By finding the interests of our children we are developing new approaches to teaching and learning. There is a joy in engaging children in reading. Students are more equipped than we think they are. I had students one time mention to me that over the weekend, they created a youtube video for fun and presented music and so forth that was of interest to them. Children love using new technologies to help them learn and grow. I didn't know if anyone else has seen this in their classrooms - or with their own children at home?
Well it was definitely an interesting read for me. - Stephanie Morales

Pirates and Piracy

Hello everyone. I am not sure if all of you got to read Lessig's chapters on pirates and piracy. It was a very interesting read. It gave me a whole new perspective on filmmaking, music, and cable tv. Before these innovations were created, there were "pirates" that help form these innovations that we know of today. Lessig describes these piracy acts. He states,"Because of this gap in the law, then, I could effectively pirate someone else’s song without paying its composer anything. . . . Because the device that Sony built had a “record” button, the device could be used to record copyrighted movies and shows. Sony was therefore benefiting from the copyright infringement of its customers. It should therefore, Disney and Universal claimed, be partially liable for that infringement". Lessig argues that these "pirates" helped Congress to create the copyright law. This law helps us today when we see a movie, download music online or to our MP3 player, and record a television show. When you get a chance to read the chapters, let me know what you think about Lessig's argument.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

MEDI 503

After reading all the blogs posted thus far, I am most interested in learning more about Second Life Machinima. I am going to look at each possible opportunity individually so as to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Noelle mentioned an article, "Enter Here," in an early post that I plan to read because it sounds like it may put things in perspective for me.

Meeting last night in SL was a great idea. Since we are not meeting every week, it is important to be in touch, and therefore motivated and informed.

In response to an article in NEATODAY

I found this article real interesting and relevant to our coursework in MEDI.

Turning the Page: Students Live in a Digital World. Are Schools Ready to Join Them?
(neatoday: October/November 2009, pp. 24, 25, and 27.

This articles explains how some schools are diving into the digital world, yet there can be drawbacks to it as well.

Many teachers are turning to WEB 2.0 literature and a wide array of digital tools (blogs, wikis, etc.) to allow students to collaborate, create, and share their writings. When reading literature, many students are digitally posing as characters, actively engaging them in the process.

As this articles mentions, the key to being literate is using critical thinking skills to anaylze, critique, and evaluate information that is shown to them and that has been shared by their peers. These skills are essential to have in an informational society, and as teachers, we are consistently reinforcing these skills through digital media. Students are now learning that collaboration with their peers and teachers are as critical to collaborating with others from around the world.

Our students are living in a different world, an information technology world, and we must provide resources for students to actively engage and use the tools that have been developed for this 21st century world.

However, many teachers are still resisting to incorporating 21st century digital media into their classrooms. The articles explains that many teachers are reluctant to use digital tools that they are unfamiliar with, but that their students might show a strong interest and intellectual ability in it. I disagree because isn't the student-teacher relationship supposed to be reciprocal?

Many teachers are combining using the "original" ways to teaching literature, but incorporating digital media where necessary.

Many students are becoming writers and are improving on their writing through the popularity of blogs, wikis, writing fan based stories, keeping a MySpace or Facebook page etc. Students are writing for global audiences online as they post or keep these digital spaces, and are not just writing for the teacher aymore.

I like the last point this article makes. Through the use of digital media, students are sharing their writing with one another, using collaboration as a means of communication and educating one another, not only in academics, but in social and cultural ways as well.

Thoughts on Second Life

I just wanted to put up a quick post regarding our meeting in Second Life last night. To be honest, I wasn't sure what to expect since I was not familiar at all with Second Life. However, I was pleasantly surprised and can't explain how much I truly enjoyed the experience. Not only did it open up my mind to an entire new universe, but it was also extremely helpful in terms of speaking to each other and Dr. Knobel regarding the course. Although I am still thinking on how to incorporate Second Life into my classroom, I did discuss my experience with my students and encouraged them to speak to their parents about exploring Second Life as well. See you on next week!

Erika 9/30/09

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What time we need to meet in SL tonight?

For Second Life Meeting, I can't get home until 7:00 tonight, is it too late?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Getting to know Second Life

Hi everyone! I finally created a secondlife account and avatar! It's awesome! I love it because I can recreate myself in a fantasy world. I'm still playing around with it but it seems very interesting. It was simple to create the name is stellauniverse Soulstar :) Hope to see you all there!
Mary A

Second Life

Hi Everyone!
I just created my Second Life avitar & I find it fascinating! I don't know much about how to work it yet, so go be-friend me if you know how: Dalygirl83 Haiku. What an awesome way for people to communicate.

Some Website Links

My boyfriend is a huge YOUTUBE fanatic! Over the past few weeks, he has been introducing me to some similar websites that I have been exploring for our final project. Here are a few that you may like to check out. Even if you don't utilize them for the class, they are very entertaining, interesting, and will surely make you laugh. Enjoy!


Course Progress and Second Life

What a start to the semester! Before I even began any of our major projects, my computer crashed and was out of commission! However, I am back in action just in time for our second life meeting.

I have to admit, I am not the most computer savvy person and not only was I a little intimidated by the course, but experimenting with the "unknown". While viewing the "Project New Media Literacies" website, I was struck by their list of "skills" needed to engage in today's participatory culture. One of the skills listed was "play". This motivated me to make a connection between the students in my class and myself.

When given a "free choice journal", asked to explore a new website during learning centers, or generate their own discussions during literature circles, I often notice that my students are almost at a standstill when they are not given "specific directions" or asked to enter the "unknown". When signing up for Second Life, I felt the same way. I was intimated and nervous to break away from my structured universe. However, once I logged into Second Life I couldn't leave! Although I encountered some frustrations and road blocks, I kept challenging myself to overcome these difficulties.

I began to realize the importance of learning and gaining new knowledge through the process of "experimenting", learning from my mistakes, taking risks, and not being afraid to fail! This method of "play" takes problem-solving to a more advanced level of critical thinking. Being able to participate and function in a highly literate society entails that we not only instruct students to "consume" new media literacies, but promote them to take a chance and gain the courage to become "producers" of media. As the saying goes "Practice what you Preach", I firmly believe that this can only be accomplished when we too free ourselves and branch out into a "second life". See you all in the virtual "playground" tomorrow!

Erika Pavlecka 9/28/09

Thursday, September 24, 2009

test new photo

Just put the photo to my profile, to see how it works.

Questions about teacher tenure

Does anyone know about teacher tenure requirements? Do we need to stay in the same position to obtain tenure in a school? Can teacher and librarian be counted as a same position. I was a math teacher first year and latter I changed to be a school librarian in the same school and I have been in this position for another 1 and half years. If anyone knows the rule or any website I can find out the answers, please let me know. I am curious about this. Thank you.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Reflection of “Local Knowledge and digital movie composing in and after-school literacy program”

Reflection of “Local Knowledge and digital movie composing in and after-school literacy program”
This article mainly describes the literacy achievement gap between the economic, cultural, and linguistic minority groups and those privileged students whose culture and language are the mainstream in the school curriculum.

However, the previous researches suggested that students who have low achievement in schools can manage very well in their intellectual and literate works outside of schools. Therefore, those minority and low achievement students can perform better if the school provides a “permeable curriculum” with culturally diverse contexts. This paper studied the case of Horatio, a Latino Sophomore, who participate an after-school digital movie composing program called “the Technology and Literacy Project” (TALP) which was coordinated by Michigan State University. Horatio was a fan of hip-hop. He creates a movie with his hip-hop passion and uses a lot of hip-hop literacy. The movie is reflecting his after school knowledge, and successfully, he interplays very well between his after school experience and the content in his movie.

In Horatio’s movie project, he demonstrates not only his engagement to integrate audio and video texts from school knowledge and home literacy, but also proves that his engagement and use of out-of-school literacy can help his performance in-school work.

This study is an empirical support for the permeable literacy curriculum to facilitate engagement and academic achievement for cultural minority students. Horatio’s case tells us that students can perform well if the conventional school curriculum takes into account of their diverse cultural and linguistic background. The school curriculum can build a bridge between students’ literacies in and out of school by reflecting their cultural knowledge in the school standardized assessments for literacy achievement.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Brass Article "Local knowledge and digital movie compsoing in an after-school literacy program"

In our first class, we didn't really touch upon this particular article, but I figured that I would shed some light on it.

I found it interesting to read the story about Horatio. He was an engaged teenager in outside literacy practices, but he could not engage himself in in-school literacy practices. He is involved in an after school activity called Technology and Literacy Project. The focus of his project is on a remix of Nelly's popular song, #1. Horatio takes this song and incorporates images from his home that are meaningful to him such as images from hip-hop magazines and clothing popularly worn by teens that are his age (basketball jerseys, athletic shoes, etc.). Horatio entitles his video "What Does It Take to Be #1." In this video, Horatio questions whether status symbols, such as having expensive clothes and accesories are really what are needed to be number one.

It is interesting to read how Horatio recontextualizes images and lyrics from Nelly's #1 song and creates his own version and remix on his take of the song. He incorporates his home and school culture, and different status symbols that are important to them. It is amazing what one can do with all of the technological advances that we have. With technology, especially with photo and video production, one can produce a twisted remix on anything that comes to mind and create an amazing piece of art that still has a literacy conception to it. It will be interesting to see our class' take on how people take an idea and create a multimedia twist that you never thought could come about!

Second Life

Hello everyone!

I just went to Second Life. It is cool. I think it will be exciting when I get handle on how to move and get around Second Life. I have a question about Second Life. How do you navigate the tutorial on Orientation Island? It seeems like I am just moving around and not getting any information. Therefore, I am confused. Can someone help me? Thank you.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Make your own point-and-click games!

This might be something very much worth your while to spend some time mucking around with (might be useful for creating your media artifact to accompany your main video project). You do need to understand flash animation a little--let me know if you need a how-to resource on this and I'll email it to you.

Basically, is a game engine accessed online that you can use to create your own point-and-click games (i.e., your mouse cursor is the control device, and you can use it to navigate through or around settings, to select game options (e.g., "ring bell", "talk to ghost"), and to access additional information about the game narrative to help you solve or complete the game itself. The truly excellent thing is that it looks like the FableForge engine helps you to create really polished-looking games with just a modicum of knowledge about how such games are developed. That's our kind of produser service!

The website itself is designed to be both a space where you can create your games, play other people's games and comment upon/review and discuss these games (cf., Gee's concept of "affinity spaces").

The introductory video tutorial is a gem--the creator of Fableforge is a delightful commentator, and the tutorial is really comprehensive. Marco is also in the process of developing additional vdieo tutorials, available through his YouTube account.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Meeting virtually in Second Life

Right, now that you've had time to recover from our first class, it's time for us to plan our virtual meeting in Second Life. This will be an opportunity for you to ask me questions about course content, about your video making, about your transmedia ideas, and about the readings.

We will meet inside Second Life (on Montclair's island) on Tuesday, September 29 @ 8pm. In what follows, I list the process you'll need to follow in order to get yourselves signed up for a Second Life account, to get the software you need for accessing Second Life downloaded to your computer, and then I'll tell you exactly where inside Second Life we'll be meeting. At the end of this post I'll also ive you details about how to get additional in-person support for getting yourself up and running (flying even!) inside Second Life if you find you're having trouble doing it on your own. Okay, so here we go.

Well before Tuesday, September 29, do the following:

1. Set up a Second Life account (, download the client software and login, and complete the tutorial on Orientation Island (this introductory island can also be accessed directly once you have your account and have downloaded the Second Life client. Use this URL:

2. Once you have completed the tutorial, you should know how to teleport yourself to different islands. Here is the URL for accessing my meeting space on Montclair's island: This is where we will met as a group for our question-and-answer session. So, you can click on this link hen you have your SL client open and it will teleport you to our meeting space. When you are there, create a landmark for this space (you'll have learned how to do this in your tutorial as well). This will make it easier to find tis particular space again later.

3. Send me your Second Life username once you have set up your account--that way I'll know who is who when we meet.

4. Once you're inside SL, you can also make me a "friend" (I'm Nell Aquacade inside Second Life)--that way you can send me private messages during the discussion if you need to, or if you get lost in SL, I can easily find you and get you unlost.

5. To help support you, my assistant is available in person between 4pm and 6pm on Tuesday, September 22 (this is next week, a week ahead of when we will all meet in Second Life). Come to room 3173 in University Hall (my office) and she will be able to talk you through any difficulties you're having with getting yourself onto Second Life and to our meeting place. She will only be here, though, if you let me know you need her help.

6. We also have at least two Second Life experts in our class, so feel free to ask them for help via our blog. And if you are familiar with using Second Life, don't be shy about sharing tips and hints with everyone via our blog.

Best of luck everyone, and see you in Second life on the 29th!


Additional hints-and-tips sites include:
+ use Google to help you troubleshoot problems you're having, too.

spend time exploring different video genres and affinity spaces

As you are thinking about what kind of story to tell and how to tell it, you're going to want to explore video hosting sites like YouTube,, Break. com and others, looking for excellent examples of the kind of video you want to make.

Here is a listing of some of the vdieo types you can consider making--or spend some time exploring:

Podcasting (useful for creating your soundtrack)

Podcasting once referred to digital audiorecordings that were issued as part of a single series. Listeners could subscribe to each episode using software like iTunes or online syndication services (e.g., Podcast Alley). Now, the term “podcast” is used to refer to almost any edited digital audiorecording that has been made publicly available.

Music video editing
Do-it-yourself music video editing can take any number of forms, but typically refers to the process of splicing together still and/or moving images in a meaningful sequence and synching this sequence with a pre-selected music or song track. It entails using video editing software like Windows Movie Maker (ships with PCs) or iMovie (ships with Macs) to edit both images and sound.

Music videos can use “found” images and footage, or can include live action footage you’ve shot specially for this project. Music videos typically pay close attention to mood, interpretation (well beyond merely illustrating the lyrics literally), the appropriateness of transitions and effects, etc. For assignment purposes for this course, your music video needs to include multiple images (with at least two of these being moving image clips) and multiple edits (transition and speciual effects, etc.).
• watch lots of DIY or fan-made music videos on (if you don't have a favourite music artist to search for, just try searching "music video") (for music not bound by punitive copyright laws) (for music not bound by punitive copyright laws) or (for downloading videos from YouTube) (Creative Commons licenced music)
•Video converter software (free): or

Anime Music Video remixing

Anime music videos—or AMV for short—are a subset of music videos. They draw entirely on anime—animated Japanese cartoons—as their source material for the music video. Thus, AMVs work on a number of levels; fans, for example, can read entire universes of meaning into the music video because they are familiar wit the series on which the AMV draws. AMVs can be “in cannon”; that is, the AMV draws from only one series (e.g., Naruto, Card Captor Sakura), or can draw from multiple series (e.g., search for “Anime Hell” on YouTube).
• Main affinity space: (search for how-to guides; watch lots of AMVs) (for copying videos from DVDs—watch copyright rules) (Creative Commons licenced music)
• Look for Windows Movie Maker on your PC , or iMovie on your Mac or (for downloading videos from YouTube) (Creative Commons licenced music)
•Video converter software (free): or

Stop motion animation

Stop motion animation is a process by which physically manipulated objects or drawings can be made to look as if they are moving unaided. It begins with a series of still images taken of a scene wherein carefully planned, but slight, changes are made in each still shot. Run together, these still images create the illusion of movement. Digital stop motion animation is like an analogue flipbook animation created with a digital still camera and video editing software like Windows Movie Maker or iMovie. Popular examples of commercial stop motion movies and television series include: Wallace & Grommit, Coraline, Corpse Bride, to name but a few. stop motion animations can be music videos, or short stories, or full-length movies.
• You’ll need a digital still camera; and if you have a tripod that will make things even easier for you.
• Stopmotion animation comes in a range of forms, including: whiteboard line drawings, hand-drawn images, action figure or doll stop motion, Lego stop motion, claymation, and so on. Search YouTube for examples.
•An overview of the process:
• A useful affinity space:
• Look for Windows Movie Maker on your PC , or iMovie on your Mac

Live action video that includes multiple edits

Live action video is anything captured “live” and in the moment. YouTube is replete with live action videos. For the purposes of this assignment choice, your live action video needs to include multiple edits; that is, it can’t be a single, one shot take with a title slapped onto the front end and credits at the back end. Your live action video can be narrative in some way (tell a story, an anecdote, etc.), documentary-like (e.g., interviews about local history; multiple perspectives on local key issues), or even mockumentary in nature (a spoof documentary).
• You’ll need a digital video camera; and if you have a tripod that will make things even easier for you (you’ll also need an IEEE cable to hook up your video camera to your computer. Check to see whether you need a four-pin or six-pin plug.
• Look for Windows Movie Maker on your PC , or iMovie on your Mac
• You might also want to play around with live action video and

Flash animation

Flash animation is a form of digital animation, as distinct from cel-based animation we all grew up watching, where each cel of the animation was painted by hand. Cel-animation comprises two types of frames: key frames and in-between frames. Key frames mark principal points in the animation (e.g., where a character starts to fall, a hand moving to brace for impact, etc.). In-between frames fill in the moment between key frames. Key frames are drawn by the master artists, and in-between frames by “tweeners” or people specially hired to this often-tedious work. Flash animation automates the in-between (or “tweener” “cels”, saving the animator hours and hours of time. For this assignment, your final flash animation video should be at least 1 minute long.
• Search YouTube and, and watch lots of examples
• Use Google and YouTube to search for how-to tutorials (e.g.,
•Online service for creating your own flash animation:
•Download and muck around with the trial version of Adobe CS4 (popular flash animation software): (click on “Get the trial”; for PCs only)

Second Life machinima
Machinima (machine + cinema) describes the process of using video games or 3D worlds to generate the scenes, sets and actors for a movie. A Second Life machinima is a movie filmed using the world of Second Life as your location. Your actors will be the avatars of each person in your group. the easiest way to create a Second Life machinima is to sign up for an account, explore Second Life a little, then watch a whole bunch of Second Life machinima in order to get a sense of how it’s done. In a nutshell, creating a Second Life machinima requires three different pieces of what we’ll call software. The first is the Second Life client. This client works like, say, MSN and Yahoo Messenger, where you have to install the interface software before you can use the service. This is what you use to log-onto the virtual world of Second Life. As you are moving around in Second Life you use screen capture software to record what’s happening on your screen. This generates a video file that you can then edit in the third piece of software, your video editing application (e.g., windows Movie Maker or iMovie). You can use a digital voice recorder—a separate device, or audacity, free recording software—to create your spoken soundtrack. For the purposes of this assignment, your Second Life machinima should be at least 2 minutes long, involve multiple edits, and be a stand-alone story.
• The Second Life Machinima channel:
•Search YouTube for “Second Life machinima”
• How-to guides and other resources (including links to free screen capture software):
• Set up a Second Life account (, download the client software and login, and complete the tutorial on Orientation Island (this introductory island can also be accessed directly once you have your account and have downloaded the Second Life client. Use this URL:
• Audacity (for creating your sound track; free software):
•How to use Audacity to create a soundtrack:

Additional hints-and-tips sites include:

I started film making on my dog,

I started film making and my dog, Bella, is the main character in my movie. It is story about "Bella and Me". I already made several videos on him. Bella is very cute; however, this is the first time I make videos for him. I will catch more funny stuff for my movie.

Is here the only blog site we use for MEDI 503?

So we should post in “Education Media Moguls” blog instead of our personal blogger site. Am I right? I used to post in my personal blogger, I guess for MEDI 503, we all need to post in this “Education Media Moguls”, not personal blogger.

Thank you for any response.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I just created my first movie.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Enter Here article

I just finished reading the short article by Kajder, "Enter Here". I thought it was a great article of how the teacher motivated her students to complete their own digital stories. Also, I think the steps listed in the article on completing the stories will be very helpful when creating our own digitial stories (if that is the type of project you might want to do for this course). Just thought I would share that with you, in case you were like me and had no idea where to begin. Hopefully it will be helpful. :)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Hi Michele

Well done everyone!

What a sterling job you all did today!

If you are looking for the video editing software on your home machine and can't find it, here are links to downloading it:

For PC users ("Windows Movie Maker"): (this version won't work on Vista, though)

For Mac users (iMovie): (if you the iLife suite, go to to update your software)

Throughout the course I aim at introducing you to free or nearly free software and services so that you can use them easily in your own classrooms. Video editing software is a cool tool to have at your finger-tips in any classroom!


I am hoping this works now! :)


Hello everyone! Looks like I had to create a gmail account which took longer than excepted! Thank you, Jessica, for your help. :)
This class seems interesting so lets have some fun.