One Day Digital with Nesta

nesta one day digital

It was One Day Digital at Glasgow University on Saturday. Organised by Nesta UK I was invited to provide a workshop to enable Primary Teachers some basic understanding on how they might use iPads for creative projects in their classrooms. I set the scene here.

nesta one day digital

My approach was a combination of showcasing projects I have run and the work that has come out of them; demonstrations of practical and inexpensive apps to use; and some ‘in-at-the-deep-end’/‘off-you-go-and-do-it’ group tasks. Each session broke up into two or three groups periodically throughout the workshop. Each group produced a short film and an animation.

The irony of reinforcing the point that all film-making requires a great amount of preparation, and then sending 13 teachers off to complete a task they are totally unprepared for wasn’t lost on me – however, they all stepped up and threw themselves into the task and what you see below are some of the ‘fruits’ of the day.

nesta one day digital(If you were there and you have content on your own iPad you would like to share please contact me through the form here. (contact page))

Frankenstein’s Photos were pretty popular – basically using a framing app to composite sections of each team member to make one new face with frightening results.

We also managed to stage what must be the shortest film festival in history in that each of the animations were less than four seconds each.

 

One Day DigitalSo despite the very early start (Taxi at 6:20am) to get to Glasgow Uni for 9:30 and inevitable Groundhog Day effect of delivering the same workshop twice, it was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed working with everyone.

Finally, here’s a Storify prepared by Nesta who programmed and managed the event – thanks to them too.

If you were there, what was your KEY take-away from the day? Please leave comments and feedback below. Much appreciated.

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My kind of CPD!

McManus CPD Group

The McManus (Dundee’s Museum and Art Gallery) was host to a ‘continuing professional development’ (CPD) session last night. Organised by Angus Arts Co-ordinator Pauline Meikleham, artists and teachers from Angus Council came along to hear about the McManus creative learning programme, the Youth Action Group and the ‘Sense of Place’ project/exhibition (closes Friday, so hurry!).

McManus CPD Feedback

We talked about the practical and digital elements of the project and the connections made between print and digital media.

Sense of Place - McManus

My fascination with the iPad (other tablets and phones are available) is the fact that rather than a Volvo Estate full of ‘stuff’, these days I can capture, edit and share from a device that fits in my inside coat pocket.

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But all work and no play makes Jon a dull boy (this is ‘Playful’, not ‘Workful’ Communications) so we had a tour of the exhibition scanning a few QR Codes and a little film making session using iMotionHD to make a few stop frame films (they’ll be on the @YagMcManus instagram account later).

It was great to see minds working overtime as ideas formed on the spot – they’re will be a few classrooms across Angus making short, creative films in the coming weeks!

mcmanus feedback 3

On sharing some of these pictures on Instagram later, one of the comments to come back from a teacher not at the session (@andymcginger) was, “My kind of CPD!
So, if this looks like ‘your’ kind of CPD; if you’d like to find out more or have a similar event organised for you then let me know!

‘Best Friends’ by Jacqueline Wilson – QR Book Review

From time to time my kids do reviews of books they’ve read on AudioBoo. I tag the post with a QR Code that goes in our copy of the book… and maybe a few other copies that we tag guerrilla style (watch out Waterstones!) AudioBoo will even generate a QR Code for you now so anyone can do this for themselves or with their kids or even at school – see my 2013 World Book Day post here.

This is my daughter’s latest; a review of Jacqueline Wilson’s ‘Best Friends’. Apologies if it’s not your thing!

Sense of Place – part three

electric theatre

I started using QR Codes in 2010 – firstly to see if I could add any value to advertising. I then became more interested in education and developing the ‘game’ element (of what were essentially digital treasure hunts) to engage children in learning activities.

Conveniently, in the middle of this diversion from advertising in education I was asked to create a trail for an eTouirsm PhD Summer School at the School of Computer Science at St Andrews University. One of the lecturers had been watching the NEoN Knights QR Game unfold on Twitter and got in touch.

QR page mini-banner

His brief was for my trail to achieve two things: 1) An example, on day one, of technology enabling tourism that would prompt discussion and encourage the students to design their own ‘products’ throughout the remainder of the week. 2) An ice breaker, an introduction for the students (most of whom would be travelling from across Scotland) to St Andrews and to each other.

The aim of the eTourism trail, from my perspective, was a combination of both advertising and education. For a city like St Andrews those tow things are inseparable because the majority of the tourism is heritage and history.

St Andrews Space Hop

It was also an opportunity to engage with a Twitter/Social Media active community of independent traders across St Andrews who would value the interaction with tourism in a technological way and boast about it through their online channels.

The combination of these three opportunities has prepared me with the experience to create at least two other trails (though their have been more) that both educate and entertain:

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Dighty Water – A vital stretch of water in Dundee’s history; rich with stories that have been gathered and tagged to QR Codes that will be dotted along portions of the walkway that follows the water.

And now:

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Sense of Place (SoP): The McManus, Dundee

The McManus has a fantastic permanent collection, curated under the title of The Making of Modern Dundee (MoMD). This collection is situated down stairs at The McManus includes remnants of the original Tay Bridge that collapsed in 1879, through to video games from the 1980s created in the city. Many of the objects in this collection inspired work created for Sense of Place. Without moving them, we wanted to acknowledge them as part of our exhibition. QR Codes were the simple solution.

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Throughout the SoP exhibition programme visitors will find QR Codes alongside project descriptions. These codes deliver additional content and help visitors understand the connection to MoMD – you may even find a sample hide here…

However, should you wander into MoMD knowing nothing about SoP there are QR Codes on the display cases that point you to the relevant work in our exhibition.

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For me, it is the richest combination of physical and digital artefacts that I have worked on and another accomplishment in the image of the model I established with my Masters ‘Mystery Boxes’ project during 2011.

As if this wasn’t enough, the content behind some of the QR Codes are pieces of work that could constitute an exhibition for themselves. Trips across the Tay Bridge replicating a journey made, captured and shared over 100 years ago. Besides that you can share in the tour of MoMD that we made as a group with Brian Cox and hear him recounting memories of growing up an living in 1950s Dundee.

mcmanus-qr-codes

The thread through all of this is a desire to preserve memories, stories and experiences. While this feels very new, because the technology is so ubiquitous in 2013, we learned that our capturing and sharing activity is no different, in practice, to that of 1897. More people have access to the tools but the majority of them are filming the mundane processes of daily life as the pioneering filmmakers of the late 19th Century had. Train journeys. People at work. Children at school.

So, I am very grateful to ‘Sense of Place’. As I’ve said before, working with the young people was rewarding/entertaining enough. But in addition to that, together we’ve worked on projects that we will talk about for the rest of our lives – Tay Bridge journey, SmallPetitKlein, Brian Cox, the BIG Print, and so on… Finally, the fact that we’ve had the opportunity to bring it all together for the exhibition is the icing on the cake. But not just any old icing. Elaborate, swirly, multicoloured icing with adornments of sweet decorations covering a beautifully hand-made cake. That’s what it’s like.

Go along. Have a look. Let me know what you think.

Thanks :)

Find out more about:

NEoN Knights (Digital Arts Festival) – St Andrews Space Hop (St Andrews Uni PhD Summer School) – Balmullo Primary School (Permanent Heritage Trail)
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Sense of Place – part two

Last night was the ‘private view’ opening of the Sense of Place exhibition (see previous post) – what a great evening! I’ll have so much more to say about Sense Of Place (Nation Museum of Scotland lead project) (#YAGsop) but this is just my unloading piece… more will follow in days to come.

yagsop Hashtag

The young people involved had a great time with their families, showing off their work and enjoying the attention! SmallPetitKlein did an amazing interpretation (through dance) of our project; performed with the audience on the move throughout the museum, connecting the two gallery spaces of our exhibition.

The tech worked (which is always a bonus), people were scanning QR Codes with their ‘own’ phones (something I’ve been looking forward to since 2010 when I started using them…) and the Electric Theatre, oh, you have to see the Electric Theatre! 30 minutes of films created by the Youth Action Group, East Coast Rail, SmallPetitKlein and more

The exhibition guide, Navigation, arrived and looks great – also stuffed full of QR Codes and behind-the-scenes extras! And the show will evolve too with new content appearing from week to week behind the codes, in the book and the gallery.

YAGsop Navigation guide

So well done to all involved – so many of your individual projects have carried lesser exhibitions – that’s not hyperbole, that’s Sense of Place!

YAG group - instagram

Christine (Head of Learning and Engagement at the McManus), in her speech, said it was a privelidge working with the members of YAG. It really was.

Never before has so much work felt so far from work.
So my thanks go out to YAG :)

 

Sense of Place
Open from today through to 7 February 2014
The McManus: Dundee’s Museum and Art Gallery
Meadowside, Dundee

Jesse (in a nut) Schell

Gamepocalypse with Jesse Schell

Excited..?! Excited doen’t come close!!

I was on my way into Dundee on the train this morning when I spotted a Tweet:

@DareToBeDigital Excited for the @jesseschell talk at the Dare Jam at Dare ProtoPlay! Did you get your ticket? http://www.dareprotoplay.com  #Dare2013

Excited doesn’t cover it – Jesse Schell is the chap I watched endlessly while completing my Masters project and wrote about at length on my Masters blog, Mysteryboxes and since, here on “Playful…“!
Disclaimer: If you are in no way interested in games, their value in play and education and plain ‘what-the-heck’ fun, then by-al-means leave now. This is kind of a geek-fest!
Dare To Be Digital - City Square - Dundee
So Jesse Schell is in town! The man who brought us the Gamepocalypse, the engaging and articulate vision of a ‘gamified’ future and, – as I drew to your attention only two months ago – his predictions are coming true!
So, if you’re unaware of his work but into your games then read the article above, read the stuff I’m about to post below and then go get your tickets for tomorrow morning at Dare! I don’t know what he has planned for you but I’m sure you’ll have a ball!
Incidentally, I dropped into the Dare tent today, in Dundee’s City Square. I’m going to write a little later on about a handful of games that I played; genuinely great games that, given the time to polish them up, will be on your mobiles and tablets in no time! 
So, here’s a digest (Jesse in a nut-Schell, if you will) of posts on MysteryBoxes that relate to Jesse Schell – they include a couple of YouTube videos on his Transformational Games theories and The Gamepocalypse talk itself. It’s long, but soooo worth it!
Enjoy! And let me know how you get on!!

Storify, Storify Storify

Storify is fantastic. That’s all you need to know.

Storify exists simply for you to gather, or craft, a narrative from snippets of social media channels.

mcmanus-crawl

The likes of Twitter, Instagram, Faceook, etc, are already in the business of providing a means of telling a story but they are rigid streams of information and the story can be lost – at the very least it must be searched out. Storify puts you in hot seat as narrator/curator, however you like to look at it, and gather the relevant elements from a variety of channels including those mentioned above.

So, here’s an example: A couple of weeks ago I organised a QR Trail across Dundee for McManus Galleries Youth Action Group – a group of young people interested in the arts. We’re currently looking at digital and social media – what it’s all about and if it has any value.

The aim of the QR Trail was to deliver images of Dundee from 100 years ago (or more), in the spot where they were originally taken and the young people were tasked with capturing the same scene as it appears today and share it via Instagram.

McManus Crawl Players

Back at the museum I gathered their images live, as they appeared on the Instagram feed and put them into Storify along side links to the old photos that were to inspire them! (via Photopolis).

We Tweeted the Storify feed. This meant that, potentially, viewers could follow the young people’s progress live as I combined the Instagram pics with those from Photopolis (while adding a little narration). The Storify feed remains of course and you can view it here.

I’m noticing more and more sites, the Guardian for example, using Storify to gather stories that break on Twitter.

My only reservation is that I can’t yet export my completed project – they remain on the Storify site. I did have an experience last ear where I gathered a Storify for a conference I was working at and my 2 hours work coincided with a Storify server crash! I had no option but to start again. Presumably Storify learned from that experience!

That aside I love Storify! Do you?
What other sharing platforms do you love?