Learning Spaces

Couldn't agree more with Don Marinelli

Howard Rheingold-Social Media, Participative Pedagogy and Digital Literacies

Update on QR Code days

Well, I did my QR code lesson with both of my classes this week. ( see previous post a few posts below) I asked students to download the QR code reader during the break, so we were ready to go in the second half of class. Before I started I had my video ready to play, and the first image had the QR code of the course video. Before we began one student had already figured out how to access the code and had triggered the video.

A good time was had by all and I think it provoked some interesting discussion about why some ideas become memes and some don't. Both classes concluded that the things that stick and go viral generally fall into these categories

  • just plain silly or stupid
  • funny
  • crazy
  • strange/weird/odd
  • short
  • easy to send
  • cute ( as in babies, puppies, cats, animations)
  • can be watched over and over
We also discussed whether marketers would be able to create memes.

As for the QR code part. There were enough smart phones in the room for students to form groups. Phone types included mostly iPhones, then Blackberry's and a couple of Androids. Predominance of iPhones is definitely related to the fact that both classes are made up of mostly graphic design students.

When I asked them if they would be using QR codes in their projects, I heard a lot of yes..yes..yes.

At the end of one class, a student shouted out, "Thank you!"

These groups are pretty technologically savvy, but I think I managed to turn them on to something new..yahoo!!!

Crowd Accelerated Innovation

Chris Anderson of TED. (Not Chris Anderson of Wired and Free)
"You have to open up and share your stuff with the world." How radical openness works.
"What if the coming crowd of nine billion could learn enough to be net contributors instead of net plunderers? That changes everything! ....You're part of the crowd that may be about to launch the biggest learning cycle in human history."

Snappy Words!

Who doesn't need a snappy word once in awhile?

Picture This!

SnappyWords.com is a free visual online dictionary. To use it simply type a word or words into the search box. Words will be displayed in a web of branches. Hover over a word to see its definition or double click to create new branches for a word.

It's a little bit like an instant brainstorming session.

QR Codes- Fun with Smart Phones and Learning

The Horizon Report, a joint report by The New Media Consortium and Educause identifies and describes emerging technologies likely to have an impact on teaching, learning, or creative inquiry on college and university campuses within the next five years. A number of the trends in the 2010 report relate to augmented reality and the use of mobile devices.

Augmented reality is an environment that includes both real world experience and virtual experience creating a mixed reality. These types of environments can be immersive and engaging for learners.

QR codes are examples of very simple augmented reality. Widely used in Japan and Europe for several years they are beginning to be seen and used all over North America.

In education, QR Codes can be used in a number of ways that involve no cost. The simple QR codes can be created easily; code readers can quickly be downloaded to smart phones. And with a large number of students owning smart phones, there will undoubtedly be enough in a classroom already to enable a group interaction. A teacher could design a series of codes to create opportunities for critical thinking, collaboration and discovery.

The codes can trigger text, images, videos and URLs. Students could also easily create their own tasks by creating the simple codes and having their classmates discover information.

In my Psychology of Consumer Behaviour class this week, I will be posting QR code around the room. The codes will trigger internet memes- the often parodied viral videos that become wildly popular.

Together as a group, the class will learn how to download and activate a code reader on a smart phone and how to create QR codes. In groups students will access the codes posted around the room and discuss the particular memes, and try to analyze why they became popular. By understanding what makes ideas stick, students will have a greater understanding of why some marketing efforts work and why some don't. I'll also be asking them to brainstorm on how they could use QR codes in their group projects.

View the video I created below that explains QR Codes:

I'll also provide them with the links and information below:

The Tokyo N Building covered in QR codes is designed so passers-by can read the changing codes and get information via sites like Twitter. More in depth info like specials available in stores, who is tweeting and what they are tweeting comes from an iPhone app.

N Building from Alexander Reeder on Vimeo.

Cutting off Social Media on Campus...Count me OUT!

The University of Harrisburg will blackout all social media on its campus next week, not for a day but a whole week. Sites cut off from every internet access point on campus will be Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube and more.

The idea is the brain(?)child of the university provost. Those deprived will include 570 students and 65 faculty.

Erik Sass in an article in Media Post writes, "Wouldn't it be interesting to spend a week without email? I would also add TV, computers and phones to the list -- but why stop there? That's why I'm proposing a week without electricity, a literal nationwide "blackout" (get it)? ...Haven't you ever wondered "What if all this [electricity] wasn't there?" I know I have! To really underline this point, I think the blackout should be implemented randomly, without warning or preparation, maybe in the middle of winter."

I'm with Eric here..count me out of any dumb blackouts. My social media is not just for fun..it's what I teach and sometimes how I teach.

Read Erik's Media Post Article here

Be Funky: Photo Effects

Have you ever wanted to quickly edit a photo, add an effect or and a speech bubble to a picture? At befunky, you can do all that online by simply uploading a photo and playing with the effects. You don't even need to sign up.

I started with a photo of my puppy Sheba standing on my Macbook. I had already manipulated the screen of the laptop to say "Who owns Knowledge" in photoshop.

Here's that photo

Befunky Effects:

I uploaded the above photo to befunky and chose UnderPainting.

Below is the effect

Here's another effect

A little bit of funky fun! http://www.befunky.com

Environment: The Majestic Plastic Bag

Shoutomatic- Audio Twitter

Tired of tweeting, typing all 140 characters? Well now there is Shoutomatic a place where you can shout, say or sing your status update on twitter, facebook and blogs. You can also buy personal shoutouts "from select Artists & Celebrities." ( read that celebrity as B, C and D list celeb)

Shoutomatic Facebook