Inktober Day 2 ‘Divided’

So even though I am already a couple of days behind, I am adding a second drawing for Day 2 to coincide with the official Inktober drawing prompt. The main reason for this is that I hope continue my daily drawing practice, but am also testing a new website that we have called, The SFU Draw Down. On this site, we are curating our own list of daily prompts that offer for participants of the Going Visual workshops. (Part I, Part II)

The idea is that people will be able to ‘submit’ their work to our website and go through all the activities at their own pace, but in a supportive online environment with a local group of participants.  More on that later, I’m still working the bugs out of the submission tool!  Inktober Day 2 ‘Divided’[/caption]

Scary stories of Second Life, circa 2007

Well this is happening.

The Little (work)Shop of Horrors, is coming up October 28th, and I am STOKED about what the planning team and our Centre for Digital Media (CDM) collaborators have been able to put together in such a short period of time.  Of particular note, are the keynote and plenary speakers. Audrey Watters will be kicking things off with some scary stories of her own all related to the monsters in educational technology. Closing our day will be CDM resident Patrick Pennefather, who promises some highly interactive experiences which will build from the rubble of our experiments and failures.

Which brings me to the theme and the idea behind “fail tales”, or sharing stories when things did not go well. A few years ago I attended one of the annual “Failure Wakes” held by the RADIUS Innovation lab, and was struck by the openness of the contributors, and how these innovators embraced their failures as “..fertile soil in which new ventures grow.” When the topic came up as a possible theme for the EdTech communities fall workshop, I was in full support. “What could go wrong?!” Well for some reason I couldn’t get behind asking others to share instances that may put themselves, in a vulnerable position. Unless I was ready to do so myself! In the spirit of camaraderie and the notion that our failures are the key to growth, I have decided to shere one of the worst EdTech fails I can think of in my relatively lengthly career in this area. I’ll let the video speak for itself, but a huge shout out to Duane Woods for putting this together so quick and off the cuff.

Look forward to seeing you on October 28th!

Story shapes, grids and gestures: Visual activity at play

The visual assignments for GVIII were fun to consider, and gave us a chance to incorporate activities directed at storytelling. I chose to capitalize on the buzz around the Grids and Gestures activity from Nick Sousanis, because of the encouraging no drawing skills being required component, and the consideration for using narrative to define a 2D space. To get warmed up I asked participants to watch the Kurt Vonnegut video on the shape of stories and consider the associated infographics. I wasn’t intentionally trying to combine two activities into one when I did this, but presenting them this way did exactly that.

Both of these examples require the designer to represent a concept occurring over time (a story, narrative or conversation), within a 2D space. I became fascinated by this idea and following up on Nicks’ suggested warm up thought experiment (paraphrased), “to observe the ceiling tiles in the room you are in and imagine different tiles triggering sounds“, and leapt off on a tangent in many ways unrelated to drawing, that of music.

A visual soundboard: The idea of representing a flow, in a 2D space struck an immediate chord in that these are exactly what synthesizer Graphical User Interfaces (GUI’s) are designed to do for music. In the most simple terms, a synthesizer can take a pre-programmed set of instructions (the grid) and generate a loops, patterns and guide emotional responses dependant on users selections.

Activity: Try interacting with the music grid below by clicking on the individual squares. Turning a square “on” will trigger a sound based on the position of that square in the grid. By turning on and off more squares, increasingly complex soundscapes will quickly emerge.

Audio synth grid: < from network effects >

Blog posts on Grids and Gestures – Here are some notable blog posts on the GnG activity. I’m still processing these so have not been able to pull out quotes, but they will be my reference looking back. I have no conclusion for this post.

From Alan @cogdog

[Almost] A Week Gridding and Gesturing

#gridsgestures with Nick Sousanis and #ds106 Daily Create

From Amy @amyburvall http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/thinking-through-comics-with-nick-sousaniss-grids-gestures/62027
#gridsgestures with Nick Sousanis and #ds106 Daily Create

From Jenny Mackness
http://linkis.com/wordpress.com/zorS0

From ProfHacker Anastasia Salter @AnaSalter
http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/thinking-through-comics-with-nick-sousaniss-grids-gestures/62027