I've known -- at least conceptually -- about the Internet Archive for years and years and years. You have too, if you have ever used the WayBackMachine to check out what the internet used to look like in the 90s. ("Friendster," "Ask Jeeves," hahaha.)
And I recently discovered while wandering around the Richmond District of San Francisco that it's actually a physical place, not just some weird techie thing that lives in the ether. It's a grand, classical style building that was formerly a church, of all things.
And after having spent an evening there, I have gotten the religion. I now believe that what the Internet Archive is doing is IMPORTANT, in the larger societal and species sense.
The Internet Archive backups a large proportion of the public internet. I mean, that's already freakin amazing. They started in 2001 with 10 billion web pages archived, and now have about 360 billion web pages. That's about 2 petabytes of data stored. Read more about it in their latest blog post about the WayBackMachine.
But that's not all.
The Internet Archive also contains terabytes of freely accessible and share-able media, from text and books to music, video and even software. FREE STUFF ONLINE.
I used Mozilla Popcorn Maker to create this enhanced video to supplement Basement Jaxx's excellent music video "What a Difference Your Love Makes." Mozilla Popcorn Maker is an open source system for combining video with text, web links, maps, photos, and more. Really fun and easy to play with.
Click this link to see the whole thing in full screen as it's meant to be seen. You can also click the "recycle" link to create your own version of this enhanced video.
I made this silly drum pad using a Makey Makey controller, some wires, and play-doh. It took two minutes.
So much fun making different kinds of controllers and buttons from play-doh, coins, fruit, hands, even pencil lines! I predict that Makey Makey is going to be an awesome tool to use with our youth at the Academy, and for us to play with. Just today at work, we dreamed up lots and lots of ideas for what kinds of interactives and games we could create with it.
Check out the final of Season Two of "SwingNation," the world's only live streamed talk show on swing dance and lindy hop. I can't believe my production team of Manu, Nicole, Frank, Jim and I have slammed out nearly 30 of these shows!?!
We get a little giddy in this last show of the season, featuring some really cool videos and silliness. We hope you like it.
BTW, I got a Roku player from my dad for my birthday. I realized that I can watch podcasts on my TV now, including "SwingNation." Hey, look ma, I'm on TV!
We'll be back in September, after -- hopefully -- a successful livestream from the International Lindy Hop Championships in DC in August! Thanks for watching.
Thanks so much for the many contributions we've received over the past weeks to our fundraiser to support a live broadcast from the International Lindy Hop Championships. We are grateful for every donation, from $5 to $500!
The unfortunate news is that we are still far from our goal of $5,800, with a little under half of that raised so far. But the good news is that we still have two more weeks to go, more than enough time to reach and even surpass our goal!
Think of how awesome it will be to be able to tell all your friends, family, co-workers and random strangers that they can see some of the finest lindy hoppers in the land kicking butt at ILHC this August. Think of how fun it will be to watch the competitions live, along with hundreds and hundreds of others from around the world. Imagine all the other future lindy competitions and events that could be brought live to the world.
If the thought of all that excites you, please make a contribution today. And if you have already donated, or can't contribute right now, please spread the word to others.
Come "hangout" with three scientists from the California Academy of Sciencestomorrow, Thursday June 6 from 4-5pm. This is the Cal Academy's first Google+ Hangout, held in conjunction with the Google Science Fair 2013. You will get to see a live video stream of three of our researchers talking about their work and discoveries. And you can pose questions to them on the Google event page.
Today was so strange I don't even know where to start.
I'm in Ivano-Frankivsk, a small city in Western Ukraine, where I was brought by the US Embassy to lead some trainings in digital media for local NGOs. I've done a few of these technology trainings for civil society organizations around the world, and had not really thought of our conference as being in any way controversial or threatening.
But I guess at least one person felt threatened, because shortly after I finished my first workshop, we received a bomb threat on the building.
I'm participating in a MOOC (Massively Open Online Course) put on by Mozilla called "Teach the Web" for the next couple of months. It seems like a good way to get exposed to new tools and new approaches to teaching digital literacies to our youth at the Academy and beyond.
This week's assignment is to blog about one of several prompts. The one I have chosen is :
What is the advantage of making as learning over traditional “forward facing” pedagogies? Disadvantages?
As someone coming at the Maker Movement as mostly an outsider, I'm perhaps not the best person to respond to this prompt. That said, I have implemented a number of maker experiences in youth programs I have run, and done a small number of Maker / DIY / craft projects of my own over the years.
One of the advantages of making as learning that I observe is the kind of "lean in" engagement I experience and see in young people when doing a maker project. They are totally focused and on-task when they have decided to create something, to the exclusion of all outside input and realities. They get to be in a "flow state" where time is experienced differently, and the entire universe collapses into the one activity and goal.