Illustrating the Sweet Spot

This post was last updated on December 12th, 2011 at 03:15 pm

I’ve probably used the term social learning more than just about anyone I know in the past 3 years. Many believe that all learning is social. While I don’t if I completely buy that theory, I do believe that our schools in general have downplayed the value of learning with one another both in physical classrooms and in “third places“.

As schools begin to recognize the potential of social media or networking as potential learning spaces it might be important to distinguish and identify things a bit more succinctly. I know David Jakes has stated he does not like the term social networking as it suggests social, but doesn’t speak specifically to learning. I agree. The term gets tossed around and means something quite different depending on individual interpretation.

I’ve build a mockup of a diagram I’d like to use to illustrate the merging and blending of social networking and individual interaction with content. This can be either online or offline but primarily I’m thinking about online spaces. Here’s my first draft.


It needs some work both from a design standpoint as well as the … Read the rest

Can this be improved?

I've been taking a photo a day for 763 days. Last year I added a slight challenge but only used one word titles. Mostly for my own amusement but it did serve to keep me more interested. This year I'm trying to attach a song to every photo. It's going to be way tougher and I can't say for sure if I'll be able to sustain it but I'll see. At the end of both years I've put together a video with all the images and used my daughter's music as a soundtrack. They've been a lovely keepsake for me and my family. So this year I thought I would cut the appropriate song snippet for each of my photos and put them together in a mash up.

I thought I'd try doing the month of January as a test. I'll be honest, I don't think it works. It seems sloppy, lacking any elegance.

So while I plan to continue finding a song for each image I post, I'm not sure this will be the way to package it. I like the concept but not sure I can pull it off. I considered titling each image but … Read the rest

What makes a Great Online Presentation?

This post was last updated on December 12th, 2011 at 03:15 pm

With K12 online conference 2009 under way, it leads me to ask what makes a good online presentation? How do  you create compelling online content that can and will be reused. Remember these are not live sessions but rather presentations in a variety of formats intended to be used in a variety of ways by a variety of users. That's challenging to say the least. I applaud anyone who tackles such a task.

Since its inception in 2006, it's been interesting to see the presentations evolve. The decision last year to go to a more "TED-like" format was a good one in my opinion as it  addresses the amount of content in the conference but also gets presenters to get to the point. Twenty minutes is long enough in any context but on the web it's particularly daunting to keep folks interested.

There have been a number of delivery models and to be sure, and a clear winning style has not been established. However, there are a few concepts that seem to work, at least for me.

While it's hard to separate content from design, here … Read the rest

Back to School Outfit

This post was last updated on September 5th, 2011 at 11:03 am

It seems every year that clothes gets put on the back to school supply list. Not by the school but by Mom’s and kids. (sorry for being sexist, I just don’t know of any men who think their kids need a whack of clothes to start school) I remember when I was a kid, you had to be very careful not to wear your new clothes too early for fear you might be called out for appearing too anxious and taken out to the back of the school yard. It was cool to wear something a little tattered. In fact, wearing an "outfit" was often the equivalent of wearing a "kick me" sign.

However, I’ve matured and I guess times have changed. So in the spirit of back to school makeovers and outfits, I’ve decided to put some new paint on my blog and go for a different look.

I wanted something a little cleaner, and more magazine style. I think the blog format of constantly having new work posted first, has its limitations. Subscribers see the new stuff via RSS but the newcomers often are unfamiliar with … Read the rest

Inside the Cancer Video

This post was last updated on December 12th, 2011 at 03:16 pm

I was asked to produce a series of videos for an upcoming breast cancer fundraiser event in September. The concept was to interview someone who is currently in the midst of breast cancer, someone who has survived breast cancer and someone who has lost someone to breast cancer.

This video is of a local women who has terminal cancer. It’s challenging and a little nerve racking to be working with such a sensitive subject. The intent is obviously to tell her story in a clear and concise way and at the same time evoke the emotion that will get people to open up their wallets.

I Have Cancer from shareski on Vimeo.

I thought I’d take some time to reveal some of the reasoning and thought behind my production/design choices. I’ve always believed and have been taught that nothing should be random so hopefully I can address those choices.



The raw interview was about 12 minutes. I had a goal of getting the interview under 5 minutes. Determing what to cut was difficult. This is where you need an unbias eye to see if you’ve … Read the rest