You think we got our collective stuff together? In the spirit of Ralphie, I gotta go ahead and “double dog dare you” to ever … and I mean ever … pull something like this off. Sherwood High School just blew my mind. I need you to watch the next two videos for me. The first is actually what I watched second, and that is the “making of.” The second is the actual lip dub. I want you to try and wrap your head around not just pulling off a one shot lip dub with a high school, but do it in reverse. Wow.
I was meeting with Scott McDonald this morning talking about a few things and the topic of data visualization came up. I’ve been interested in visualizing data since working on the Horizon Report, especially to get a handle on what is happening in my professional life … as an example tracking projects in meaningful ways has always been difficult for me. I’m not really all that interested in time spent on the projects, but more along the lines of where on campus we have touch points, who are we working with, and what kinds of things are we doing are all much more interesting to me. I’ve just not found a way to really map all that.
Scott showed me DAYTUM as an example of simple personal data tracking and visualization … I was instantly floored by what I saw. It gives you a really simple way to keep track of all sorts of things. I doubt it will solve the issue I mentioned above, but I am kicking the tires a bit with some personal things — at the moment I am tracking my daily exercise time either running or on Wii Fit, how I spend each day of the month (working not working, vacation, or sick), and the number of meetings I have across certain categories. I think it’ll help me get a better snapshot of where my time goes in a week. I doubt I’ll produce anything like the Feltron Report, but who knows where it could lead.
Scott and I instantly jumped to ideas on how we might use it in class. Next week we think we will be asking them to design some ways to take advantage of it and visualize their collected data over a few weeks and see what they come up with.
I stumbled across this last week and hadn’t really had the time to sit down and take a closer look at it … Ubiquity is a Firefox extension that enables a new approach to building user generated mash-ups for really useful reasons. I could go on about it, but the easiest way to understand it is to just watch the embedded video below from Mozilla Labs and jump over and read Aza Raskin’s post about it at his own blog for some more details.
I am wondering what these kinds of simple tools can do for us in teaching and learning contexts. Now that we are seeing examples of things like Ubiquity I am really starting to think even more about what a powerful platform the web really is. When you give normal people the power to construct complex informational mash-ups with a few keystrokes things are getting good. I am going to spend some time playing with the early releases to see what can be done. Any ideas for a killer educational use for this?