Discover Your Inner Geek!

Video P.S.

I like this as an original use of video, which explains Richard Florida’s theory of the creative class:

I like how it uses video, voice-over, and art together. Kind of a mashup – does this count as my Week 10 reflection? ūüôā

Chris G

Where to look

Video catchup

A couple of things about our experience making the video. It was really fun, and I was amazed that you could actually record quite a lot of video with a regular digital camera.

When I was speaking to the camera, I didn’t really think much about how I looked. Then when I saw myself, I was suprised, and not just because I don’t like seeing myself on video, nor because it’s still weird to hear my voice when it sounds so different in my own head. No, it was the fact that I was looking all over the place, just about everywhere but the camera. It’s very different from a workshop or a lecture, in which you try to make eye contact with individual members of the group. Here, your eye contact must be focused, either to the camera, or a little off to the side. So a useful tip is to make sure you focus on one person behind the camera or on the camera itself when you’re being interviewed for video. And if I’m doing a video, I’ll make sure to remind the subject to talk to me or to the camera.

Video is so ubiquitous, it seems obvious we should be using it more in our work. Here at U of T, I’ve seen Engineering, Innis College and the UTM Career Centre all use video really well, and I’m sure there’s more out there.

Thanks to YouTube, the amateur esthetic is the standard now, so there’s no reason to think we need expensive equipment and perfectly composed shots to make video, though we do want to achieve that oh-so-important feeling of “stately warmth”!

Chris G

Catch Up 5 & 6: Audio and Video

I must admit.  I love podcast and videocasts.  They are more likely to hold my attention than just a blog or an online article.  I get very excited when I see my friends post a podcast or video for my to listen to or watch because I get to hear and see their expressions.  This is most likely because I am a strong auditory and visual learner.

Lately, I’ve been using podcasts for relaxation purposes.¬† There are tons of meditation podcasts available out there.¬† I usually need some sort of background music when I am working,¬† however, lately I’ve found that meditation podcasts are much more effective than the radio.¬† I encourage you to try one out!¬† It adds a subtle spa feeling to your office ūüėõ

Videos are my new obsession.¬† I used to enjoy making small videos for my friends overseas,¬† however, I’ve expanded my love for video making to my workplace now!¬† I just created a video for the LEARN program.¬† I will post the link to the video once I’ve edited it!¬† Not only do video attract the attention of students; students love to get involved in the making of one!¬† I put a call-out for any interested LEARN students to¬† help me with the creation of the video, and a few hours later I had enough student-volunteers for 2 videos!¬† I definitely recommend using videos for marketing and promotional purposes!¬† Happy directing!

Mash ups

I googled mashups and came upon a flickr mashup where you can create your own magazine cover. I tested it out quickly and came up with this.

Thanks Cheryl, for 10 wonderful weeks!


Second Life

I tested Second Life on a rudimentary level. I loved it. I took a quick trip to Dublin Ireland and then to the Eiffel Tower in Paris. My favourite part was flying. I have flying dreams when I am lucky, and this gave me a bit of the same sensation.¬† As for educational applications to my job — too soon to tell.


Catch Up #4: Wikis

I discovered an awesome wiki that Stanford University has for all of their students.  Check it out!

Students can use it to connect with other students, but more importantly, it serves as a one-stop shop for information from the best locations on campus to eat to the best places for a first date.¬† It is split amongst categories such as “Life is more than studying”, “Academics”, and “eating”.¬† There is even a page for students to provide their feedback on professors and classes.

Mashup Potential

I like the potential of Mashups.  Why not create a map of places to study on campus?  Students and staff could contribute photos of places to study; photos, personal descriptions, and info (such as a link for hours) could be mapped.  Did anyone come across anything like this?


When I first heard that this weeks topic was “Mashups”, I thought immediately of the Hockey Night in Canada Mashup site. This site allows you to take video highlights of a game and “mash” them into a video. I’ve since realized that I’ve been looking at mashups without knowing it. One that I’ve discovered is on the Virtual New York City site. This site allows you to tour various locations in NYC.


From a student perspective, I can see having virtual tours of various workplaces. Our Extern Job Shadowing Program provides the opportunity for students to visit with employers in the workplace and I wonder if this type of technology could help students¬†explore a particular worksite (e.g. take a virtual tour of a research facility).¬† I wonder if¬†technology savvy students could create a “Mashup” style resume online where a potential employer can see more than just the words – the job title on the resume could link to pictures of the workplace and examples of specific projects.


Sadly, this is the final post…I am feeling more Geekified (I now understand those who say “It’s all Geek to me”). For those Lord of the Rings Fans, here is something advertised as the “Ultimate Geek Mashup




I think I like map mashups. I thought the Campus Compass was kind of cool & useful. I found a Toronto map mashup that was potentially good–it said it showed where to find chocolate in Toronto (sounds okay, no?), which it did, but it didn’t include Stubbe’s, so I’m not sure how useful it really was. I found a site that should have been there, but somehow wasn’t, or wasn’t complete. I got the feeling that the university (I think it was in Pennsylvania?) was given some seed money to get a project going a few years ago, but never got the money to see the project through to completion (it was a map mashup of Dublin as represented by Joyce in Ulysses).

This made me realize, as an English prof, that map mashups might offer an opportunity to bring texts to life for students. I really enjoy doing literary holidays–you know, finding all the bars frequented by the Beats in NYC, or Bloomsbury haunts in London or the Lost Generation’s Paris. I couldn’t find any of these on the web, but wish I knew how to make them: I could imagine being able to click on designated sites on map mashups and voil√†!…suddenly there would appear images, passages from novels, poems, letters, videos from YouTube. I would discover where to get Hemingway’s moveable feast or Virginia Woolf’s cheroots… Uh, what was that about the internet and procrastination…???

Call Me Cynical

I searched Second Life and Teaching Writing.¬† No favorite.¬† I’ve hit a wall; I don’t get it.¬† I don’t see why I would bring students into this virtual world for teaching purposes.¬† It may be that it’s simply not a good fit for me as a teacher.¬†

I know I’m off task, but on the other side of the screen there’s pen, ink, paints, paper, and boxes of presharpened blue Staedtler pencils.¬† A favorite work on creativity from this year is Lynda Barry’s “What It Is” (for a sense of Barry’s work, try¬† I like Barry’s work because it’s an enormously fun invitation to be creative in a low-tech way.