It’s been 2 weeks since the last Going Visual (III) session, and I’m just now gathering my thoughts and posting the galleries up. I shared some reflections over on jasontoal.ca diving deeper into the connection between drawing and music making (more to follow), and will be sharing some of the work below.
This activity generated some interesting drawings as can be seen in our flickr gallery. The response from the group was mixed, but in general all were able to use the “story shape” seen in the Vonnegut video as a structure for “the shape of their day”. Note the continuity of the sine curves in almost every drawing. Plenty of creativity and potential for developing this work, like in some cases the shape is represented as a map. What was most important for us was if, and how they were able to use this activity to move their own projects forward.
Not exactly sure how the religious iconography snuck in there, nor how effective I was at staying non-representational. Still, I found the activity challenging to do quickly (in under 15 min) as I tend to dwell and futz around with things to no end. Still it was a much simpler and faster way to get at the main idea behind a more elaborate version I did in a Scott Macleod workshop a few years ago. One thing I take away from these activities is that, even when doing a very simple drawing task, it becomes much more complex if your subject matter is personal. You are drawing for two audiences in this case, both the reader and yourself. The reader I can deal with, but the other target audience seems always more difficult to please!
Animated GIFs have been featured on this site as regular media assignments in the EdMedia program as a means to practice techniques in photography, videography and web publishing to name a few. The GIF JAM occuring for the EdMedia Monday this March 14th will showcase sources of GIFs, excellent courses and tools for making GIFS and open a discussion about how they can be used for educational purposes. ON this post I will try to cover some of the history of the GIF, review past educational GIF projects and point you to some next steps for using GIFs in your course, or just for playing around.
To kick things off lets go back the beginning and review some GIFstory. GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format and its important to remember how integral the characteristic of this format have led to the GIFs proliferation.
You can read this piece from the website Mashable for good synopsis on the history of the GIF and also check out this 6 min documenary covering the rise of the GIF to from its inception in 1987 to today.
Today GIFS can be found everywhere. The popular website Giphy has become the defacto clearing house for sharing and showing all the latest, and the GIF Keyboard is popping up on many social media platforms including twitter and facebook. I have posted a few of my favorite sites and recent pages below, but you do not have to look far to find an animated GIF these days.
As a form of cultural expression you may be surprised to learn that the animated GIF has a strong and growing place in the landscape of educational media. Several of our past EMP participants have created GIFs for Physics, Physics, Archives, Library, Mathematics, to name a few. The assignments I’ve created have been design to test technical knowledge and use the media theory.