“Starting today, we’re making this feature even more useful by removing the requirement that guests have a Google account in order to join a Hangouts video call. Here’s how it works: guests without a Google account who have been provided with the video call link by the organizer will be asked to provide their name and then request to join the call.”
There are many uses for selfie sticks and this video is certainly one.
It’s interesting how polarizing these (it has to be said, quite useful) items have become.
I’m trying to think of other recent items that have been used (usually unfairly) as indicators of a persons personality and values.
So here’s my list so far
- Over priced Polo shirts (LaCoste, Hilfigger insert your brand bias here)
- Blue Ribbon beer (and fixed wheel bikes – seriously guys, get some gears).
- Ponytails (on men), Mullets (either sex)
- Hats of any description (except on the beach)
- Persistent Bloggers (how 2006!)
- Emoji over users
I’m a big believer in using humour in our teaching. Buzzfeed has collected a few examples.
There’s an insane new Chrome extension called “Shove” that we’re sure nobody’s going to misuse. As spotted by Wired, it lets you drop a web page onto your friend’s browser, and vice-versa. … however, it’s strictly opt-in. Once both parties agree, they can open up links in each others’ browsers anytime.”
First, I would not use this app with my sons or either brother. My younger brother occasionally calls friends during church or in the cinema just to see if they have left their ringtone on. It’s funny when it’s not you.
But imagine you are running a live Q&A event. It could be very useful to have an off-sider quickly hunting up answers or resources and posting them straight to your screen or the projector.
The death toll of officially recorded selfie-related deaths currently stands at 12, shark deaths are currently at 8.
Previous incidents this year include a man who was gored to death taking a picture during a bull run in a Spanish town, and two men who accidentally blew themselves up in the Russian Ural mountains when posing with a live grenade. The picture was discovered saved to the camera roll on one of the men’s phones.”
It may be that the Darwin Awards will need a whole separate category for Selfie related deaths. For those who aren’t aware of the Darwin Awards
“the Darwin Awards commemorate individuals who protect our gene pool by making the ultimate sacrifice of their own lives. Darwin Award winners eliminate themselves in an extraordinarily idiotic manner, thereby improving our species’ chances of long-term survival.”
Something to think about before you buy a selfie stick.
First – I could care less about pop stars feuding.
Second – While this is a gag, it is a reflection on how our language is evolving. As the current young generation of tech users disperse into the workforce (if they ever leave home and learn how to wash their own clothes) it’s not hard to see communication via emojis, animated gifs and txt abbreviations become established as the unofficial universal language. Unlike top down universal languages like Esparanto, this is an evolutionary grassroots change.
It is conceivable that the “Queens English” becomes the isolated language of the bureaucracy, much like Latin in the medieval Catholic Church.
Or, it could be that emojis are rejected by the next generation as symbols of oppression by the smart phone obsessed old fogey millennials who are keeping them out of jobs and don’t how to use washing machines.
Actually that’s not really the headline. Some of the big players (Amazon, Cisco, Google, Intel, Microsoft, Mozilla and Netflix, but not Apple or FB) are coming together to create an open source video format for internet video that they don’t have to pay royalties to use.
They are actually poking at H.265 (the successor to H.264) put together by ISO/IEC Moving Picture Experts Group and ITU-T Video Coding Experts Group (VCEG).
I’m not sure what this means for us in education? Backwards compatibility is paramount for us. Will Firefox and Chrome bail on the older H.264 video (e.g. MP4) . How easy will it be to convert our current resources to the new format?
Here’s a basic report from Wired
Those with a technical bent might want to read this
The Streaming Industry Gangs up on HEVC with the Alliance for Open Video
Actually only Wired magazine called it a robot. It’s actually Knewton.com’s adaptive learning platform.
Basically, students enter some info about learning preferences and the system hunts though it’s collection of resources for something that matches it. If the student gets a question wrong the system finds a simpler resource.
It’s not that ground breaking, but what it does have is a large collection to resources that anyone can add to, and it’s now free (it was previously available via publishers like Pearson).
Knewton.com figures out what each student knows and how each student learns best, to pinpoint the type of content, level of difficulty, and which media format each student needs. Its technology can take any free open content, algorithmically calibrate it, and bundle it into a uniquely personalized lesson for each student at any moment.
Anyone who wants to learn or teach a subject can use Knewton.com. Knewton.com helps teachers, tutors and parents provide more personalized lessons. Students at any level can reach their academic goals at their own pace, and get extra help or more advanced lessons.
Harvard Business School’s HBX digital learning initiative today launched a virtual classroom designed to reproduce the intimacy and synchronous interaction of the case method in a digital environment.
Built to mimic the amphitheater-style seating of an HBS classroom, the HBX Live Studio features a high-resolution video wall that can display up to 60 participants. Additional students can audit sessions via an observer model. An array of stationary and roaming cameras capture the action, allowing viewers to see both the professor and fellow students.
My first impression is this looks very cool. A slick digital performance space that allows student interaction.
My second thought is where did they get the cash to build it and fund the ongoing running costs (3 people in the booth?!?). There is no way this is feasible unless you have insane levels of external funding (like maybe Harvard)
My third thought is what is it actually achieving? Isn’t it just a big shiny Hangout? It seems to be designed to replicate an environment that is familiar to the academic. The students are still just looking at a (very well filmed) person on a computer monitor.
My fourth is it’s still dependent on the one thing we are short of which is good facilitator/presenters. Actually if we want to do this via a screen we probably need people with TV/drama training.
In a select entry MBA like Darden you could probably pull this off, but I suspect in an undergrad setting you’d have half the students on the video wall, reading Facebook and checking to see if the person on the third screen over is on Tinder.
Still, I like the idea.
I could be a good option if you are running a TV production company and looking for a side business in Distance Ed. Maybe it’s something to think about if you are rebuilding your Performing Arts/Journalism facilities.
Thinking about it, I reckon I could probably pull of something similar for about $6K upfront (not including the laptop). And there’d be no ongoing costs
- Streaming hdmi video camera
- Lapel mic or shot gun mic
- Streaming Box (Magewell USB3 to HMDI converter)
- Data projector to project the Hangout student view
- Swyvl tracking camera stand.
- Cheap set of studio lights from ebay
I’ve got some gear on order and I might have a go at doing this later in the year. I’ll post it on YouTube when it’s done.