OLTD505 Post Week 4

This week I’ve been trying to dip my toes into the great big sea of openness that is the internet.  Its been a funny experiment, and its not necessarily something that has been generating instant results.  Obviously the more connected one is, the easier this type of experiment would be, and I know that if I am to have more success, I need to start to make more connections, and actively seek out those that are influential in the twitterverse and beyond.

So I started by posting a request on reddit asking for some help in adding colour to a couple old photos of my grandparents.  Reddit is a site where all of its content is submitted and voted on by its users. The most “upvoted” submissions rise to the top, which leads to a bulletin board style page, where the content is constantly changing.  Aaron Swartz had a helping hand in developing this site.  Within Reddit there are a number of “subreddits” that focus on a specific topics of interest.  The subreddit that I posted in was r/picrequests.  Within one day I had two different people help to clean up the pictures using some photo editing software and repost them to my reddit thread.  Not bad!

grandma colour


Feeling good about my first experiment, I decided to give something back, and record a little radio spot for my favourite podcast, Radiolab.  Radiolab is a science podcast that is almost always actively seeking contributions from its listeners for story ideas, input on topics they are currently researching, or just for a new voice to read their production credits or ad spots.  They have a specific section on their app in which you are able to record yourself reading certain scripts, which then are uploaded to their soundcloud page.  These user submissions have the potential to be used in future programs.  I read their credits in my best radio voice, but it has yet to show up on their soundcloud page.  One recent podcast I listened to concerning  tic tac toe, had the hosts issue a challenge to their listeners to go out with their recording devices and interview people as to whether they had ever heard of this game before.  They received submissions from New Zealand, South Korea, Iran, Croatia, Poland, Costa Rica, Japan, Ireland, Dubai, Turkey, Phillipines, Netherlands and Nambia!  A very successful experiment!

Just for fun (And a chance to get to know imovie a bit better) I decided to create my own dancing robot side by side comparison as a response to Andrew’s blog post, and then played around with the X-Ray goggles program to hack a web page.  At this point I was running a little low on ideas.  I had come across some great resources such as the freesound page, which is a database of user submitted, creative commons licensed sounds, but didn’t really know what to do with it.   I was not too sure where to turn, so I turned to twitter.  I tweeted, and I waited.  I really only have 26 followers, and have not yet received a reply.  Thankfully Alec retweeted my request, and I am still awaiting a response.  I need more followers, and I need more connections, which I think I am going to spend the rest of the week pursuing.  Just for fun I typed in, most influential people on twitter, and one of the first results included someone who I am already following, Stephen Fry.  With a network that large, it becomes much easier to solicit advice, and collaborate with the many experts in a variety of fields that are included in your circle of followers.  Stephen says as much at the end of this video, in which he relates how he turned to twitter when he found a bat in his house:



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One response to “OLTD505 Post Week 4”

  1. Andrew says :

    Wow! You have been busy Ben. Way to go. I was wondering how you split your screen on the Robot video.

    It is great to see you digging in and trying out some of these programs and networks. I have always been good at getting kids to explore but seldom go and explore myself.

    I learned this year with our most recent Inquiry project that it is much more powerful if you are creating and exploring along side them. A few weeks back I had a student ask me, “What are you going to make Mr. F?” This reminded me that they get excited watching us create on the spot and make mistakes along the way. It is also another way for us to break down the barriers between teacher and student if we are asking for their help and making messes along side them.

    Thanks for the inspiration Ben,


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