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Tag Archives: multiliteracy

Video sharing apps – Vinestagram Lightt

Yesterday Instagram released the 4.1 update incorporating the ability to upload video content from your camera feed. This is a significant step, distinguishing the app from Vine and Lightt. Whilst still restricted to 15 seconds of video, the ability to upload video makes it closer to YouTube than the other two apps. This means footage that has been pre-recorded and edited can now be uploaded. You can upload snippets from different video footage, manipulate the length of the footage and create a montage for 15 seconds. Thus the ability to utilise the app as a basic editing tool has also been enabled. Comparisons between Vine and Instagram have been quite rife with some predicting the demise of Vine. This review –  Instagram vs Vine: Battle of the short-form video-sharing apps indicates the depiction of the two apps as being in competition.

When Instagram first launched video, a few like minded individuals including myself, came together and formed an account dedicated to capturing stories in 15 seconds. 15secstory is an international collaborative account purely dedicated to the Instagram video format. Interestingly, the contributors to this account connected via the Vine app and continue to be avid Viners. In this respect there is a useful purpose for both apps and each has its strengths

Within the initial instagram format, the challenge of capturing a story in 15 seconds was difficult. However, it became apparent you could preview, as you filmed, delete clips if they didn’t work and reshoot. You could work with the limited filters to alter the look of the final clip. Thus the ability to utilise post-production techniques was built into Instagram from the outset, even though limited. One thing Instagram didn’t have was the ability to have a fine-tuned stop-start recording feature enabling stop-motion and time-lapse clips to be created as effectively as you can with Vine. With Instagram stop-motion just seems a bit clunky to achieve as you are not able to capture miniscule segments of footage, as you can with Vine

The comparable app, to this initial version of Instagram, is Lightt. Lightt allows the filming of footage with the benefit of manipulating individual clips for sound, image, duration and effect. You can reverse clips, cut and paste and move them around on the timeline. You can post-record sound and apply simple effects like echo for individual clips. A particular bonus is that you can manipulate individual clips with more options than you can on Instagram. In terms of post-production abilities, within an app, Lightt is superior to Instagram even with the current Instagram update. Post-production ability with instagram is limited to duration of clips, deletion of most recent clip posted on the timeline and the application of a filter across the 15 seconds. There is no ability to move clips around a timeline or even work with asynchronous sound. Unless… post-production occurs elsewhere… Which is what the new update is about.

With Instagram’s new update, you can effectively record the whole interview outside of instagram and edit it down to a fifteen second snippet to upload later if you choose. This is quite a remarkable change to the process. If you wish you can utilse Final Cut Pro X to edit your video and then transfer to your camera. Effectively more time, resources and capabilities are utilised but the opportunity to share highly polished videos in this instant social media format is there. This is where Instagram becomes comparable to YouTube even though it is a short-form video format.

I decided to test the new ability to upload clips to Instagram from my camera. I chose three vine clips that were on my camera feed and uploaded them. I then altered the time of two clips so that they fit within the 15 second limit and posted the final clip. If you consider this process and what it actually consists of, the time factor comes into play. I haven’t utilised any post-production software in this process at all, just two social media apps that allow video sharing. Following is the final clip that was uploaded yesterday.

Vine video upload  to Instgram

My first uploaded video to Instagram composed of three Vine clips. Click on the image to play.


The overall process consisted of planning my individual Vine clips, setting up and filming these clips utilising the Vine app and posting to Vine. To upload to Instgram I selected three of my Vine clips that were saved to my camera role. I manipulated the duration of two of the clips and posted the final version. The majority of the creative process occurred with the Vine process where the clips were created.

With Vine there is no post-production ability. Essentially, Vine is the most restrictive of all the video sharing apps. There are no post-production options. You cannot upload content. There are no filters you can apply, there is no ability for asynchronous recording or editing. Preview is the last stage before you post and you can’t delete clips and reshoot segments. If you choose not to post, you lose the ability to post that clip. Gone. Just like that.

I have worked on stop-motion clips for Vine for over two hours and lost everything when the app crashed because of a low battery. I often shoot and reshoot a clip over twenty times before I am happy to post a final version. Sometimes an earlier version is better but because I wasn’t satisfied with it at the time, it never made it to Vine. So it sits on my camera roll. Sometimes I never see what a clip looks like whilst in the process of creating a clip, nor am I ever able to until the end and it’s impossible to recreate. This is often the case with stop-motion Vines. With Vine, the process is similar to in-camera editing. It is restricted to stop-start and that is all. Once posted Vine is a six second format that continuously loops. There is no delay in the video starting when viewing as I have experienced with Instagram and Lightt.

The restrictions or limits applied by the Vine app have proved to be incredibly liberating at the same time. The focus has shifted to pre-production. I find myself questioning what do I want to film, or as I’m journeying, an idea pops up from stimulus around me. I look at the world around me and start seeing visuals that work. I question how do I want my final six seconds to look? What do I want to convey and how can I achieve this within these limits? I get inspired by other creative Viners and wonder how did they do that? I feel propelled and compelled to experiment and to push boundaries. I’m almost certain that this wall of limits is movable… This is the mindset that Vine has inspired.

Over time this process of incredible experimentation has become evident amongst many who are participating in the Vine video-sharing community. This is evident with the use of Assistive touch by many focussed on stopmotion wanting to squeeze in more frames in the tiny six seconds offered. It is evident in experimenting with physical lenses to apply desired effects including the use of coloured crystal glasses, experimenting with stretching soundclips so stop-motion sound seems more synchronous in the recording process and so forth.

As the first video sharing app, Vine captured the imagination of those focused on the filmmaking format. Adam Goldberg is one example of the incredible talent that transformed and inspired many with the boundaries overcome by the incredible Vines created. With limits you become resourceful. Failure is not crushing, just another learning experience, it becomes a dialogue with the others in the community that have been inspired by the limitations and determined to achieve a great little six second story.

I’m not so sure this will happen on Instagram. Instagram is first and foremost a photo-sharing app. Video seems like an added feature but not a focus as it is on Vine. Lightt has a focus on just video sharing and provides an interesting approach where all the clips stream one after the other. Effectively, over time, a whole movie can easily be created with this app. Because of this Lightt has interested me and is certainly an app worth exploring.

 

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Booktrack: soundtracks for books

Last week I was joking around with a friend about how great it would be to have soundtracks for books. The vision being that as you read the words come to life through sound. For example while reading a scary book, as you reach the point where the door creaks open, this is the sound you would hear. Well we were rather amused with the idea and then today I discover the following clip. How do thoughts work like this in our world. It never ceases to amaze….

 

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See Sally Research ~ Joyce Valenza

 

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Excited about Interactive books

This clip was posted on TED. “TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design.” As stated in About TED of the TED site. Since then it has grown and is a site worth visiting with a mission being ‘Spreading ideas.’

Currently, I am fascinated with how technology and software impact on the way we read. There appears to be a convergence of print, audio, visual and interactivity that is incredibly exciting. Investigating what is out there is not only interesting but challenging to someone who loves physical books. Particularly as a great deal of the innovations appear to be driven by demand. As a librarian in training the implications are significant and worth pondering. I certainly need to embrace the information landscape and its transformations. Right now there is much to be excited about!

 

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Future of the book

Future of the book photo taken at Sydney Airport 12th June 2011

While stuck at Sydney airport in the liminal space of travel, neither here nor there, we encountered a hyperliminal space when informed successively of further delays. In the end, we spent five hours at the airport waiting to travel. We were shifted to different gates, a bit like herding cattle around the airport with much confusion of which direction to travel/follow. In the end you follow the one ahead and hope you arrive at your destination and of course it always helps to check and recheck the electronic departures noticeboards for your ever-changing information.

It is always interesting to be in this liminal state, it is not something you can control and there is certainly nowhere to go; your only option is to wait and wait and wait…

I couldn’t help but look around and observe how people cope. Beyond this, as most people always pack some form of entertainment, often a book, I was curious about books being read. It was at this point, I observed the lady sitting in the $2 massage lounger with what appeared to be a very old and tatty cotton bound book. The pages were so yellowed, parched and aged. My interest was aroused about what is this old book and as curiosity would have it I moved closer to try and read the title and the closer I moved a new discovery unfolded…

There after what appeared to be a few initial pages was a section cut out within the book and snugly sat an e~reader! I was beside myself with excitement that I launched boldly forth and asked the lady in the massage lounge whether I could take a snap of her e~reader for my blog. She was too kind and obliged and here it is at the top of this post.

We chatted a bit and she explained she loves e~readers for travel as they are light and provide plentiful supply of reading material. Can’t argue with that! I want one too!!

On another note the future of the book is a very interesting point to ponder and the following two links are worth exploring. The first link is The institute for the future of the book and to use the descriptor provided by the site, ‘We’re a small think-and-do tank investigating the evolution of intellectual discourse as it shifts from printed pages to networked screens.‘ 

The next link is if:book Australia and it is the Australian connection to The institute for the future of the book.

… on the same topic of the future of the book, Jennifer Byrne presented a special on this on her First Tuesday Book Club in early May this year.

The following blog electric alphabet is of interest. It is the blog from Kate Eltham who is one of the panelists discussing the future of the book with Jennifer Byrne on the ABC program The First Tuesday Book Club.

The article published in The Age today titled Booksellers outraged over minister’s predictions by Charlotte Harper and Clancy Yeates is of relevance when thinking about the future of the book.

…finally the following clip from youtube provides food for thought.

 

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What do TL’s teach

What do TLs teach? by Joyce Valenza

 

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Time to narrow the research focus and reflect

Reflect by Franklumix

In my information literacy process for assignment 2, I have had to reach a point of reflection before going any further. Which information literacy process did I follow? Did I utilise any of the information literacy models in the process of this assignment? Did I apply the scaffold that they offer as a process to success?

There were two parameters that defined my approach. The first parameter was the assignment task and understanding what was being asked of me and the second parameter was Topic 4~ information Literacy; and the fact that I was part of the first group, out of two, that led forum discussion on this topic.

Initially, I saw this as a benefit, as the timing tailed the submission of the last assignment, and meant I did not have an opportunity to sit back for a week and take a breather. I believed it may mean that I will complete Assignment 2 earlier as a result. Was this the outcome?… Well I wouldn’t go that far as I am still working on ideas and assimilating a great deal of the information. In fact, I still am reading a great deal of information while formulating responses to part of my tasks.

Interestingly, research is not such a linear process for myself. It moves around and I revisit earlier stages, reformulate ideas, discard what I previously held to be true and take different positions with each addition of further ideas. It seems the approach to my current assignment is not linear either as I am moving around the tasks and trying to complete parts in various orders. For now I have left Task A. It definitely needs to take a breather so I moved on to Task B as I felt I had found my focus and could now move through this part of the assignment.

However, I am currently facing a conundrum with

Task B  Identify an obstacle which a teacher librarian might face in developing information literacy across the curriculum in a school, and how that obstacle might be addressed. Reference should be made to relevant literature (about 750 words)

A couple of days ago, I felt certain that I had identified an obstacle and it was the term ‘information literacy’ itself. I reasoned that we have an overload of ‘literacy’ definitions out there. This is certainly reflected in my earlier blog entries where I began my information search process. In the initial stage my focus was to identify different literacy ideas; ie media literacy, digital literacy, critical literacy, cultural literacy, visual literacy, transliteracy and the list continues. I felt determined that all the literacy ideas could converge under a banner of one super literacy with information literacy at the head or as the umbrella to the plethora of ideas. After embarking on this initial stage in my information research process, I soon reformulated my position and decided this was too big and it would be difficult to cover each literacy idea in depth under the banner of one literacy. Each literacy can be quite specific and a coordinated response was necessary to ensure they were covered.

Change strategy new purpose. My focus shifted to ‘information literacy’ as a term and the information search process as a process that is absent in some school environments; this certainly seemed to accord with my experience as a teacher in environments I had worked in. I started to reflect and think about why information literacy was absent in school environments and realised that I too did not have a clear picture of the term ‘information literacy’ even though I had heard it in school settings. My understanding of the term had been limited in the past and often it related to ideas associated with information technology or just a set of skills to undertake a research task. As simple as that. I realised that this was not too unusual in schools.

As a result my focus shifted to ideas about how to embed information literacy across the curriculum. My question at this stage revolved around ideas that the term ‘information literacy’ may be a problem. My readings seemed to corroborate this and I hypothesized If ‘information literacy’ is absent or misunderstood then this is the first barrier. Couple this with the plethora of literacy ideas out there then we have an even larger problem. Now the task was to convince the school community that Information literacy is THE literacy above all else. I didn’t feel quite convinced with this position and it certainly felt like a mammoth task.

Solution, I reasoned, get rid of the term ‘information literacy’. If the term is causing so much confusion then shift the focus, look to a shared language that already exists in the education world. Something less confronting, something that many teachers are already grappling with and try to incorporate information literacy this way.

I came across a reading by Green (2007) where PLC in WA developed their own approach to information literacy that did not even utilise the term ‘information literacy’ but rather the focus was under the umbrella of ‘Thinking Curriculum’. The approach was led by the teacher librarian and it was implemented across the school as a shared language and as an approach to embed information literacy across the curriculum. Green reasoned that “Thinking Curriculum” was an understood and shared pedagogy and thus the process of implementing information literacy via a ‘thinking curriculum’ focus worked quite effectively. This demonstrates a way to reach out to the education community in a shared and ‘known’ language. It seemed to indicate that the process of collaboration may prove easier if you begin with a shared language and hence embedding ‘information literacy’ this way may prove easier to achieve and less confronting as a ‘new’ idea. I thought I had nailed task B at this stage. I believed my moment of clarity had arrived and this was the path to completing this task.

However, for the first time in my studies this year I sought direct counsel from both my lecturers about this focus. In the past I have just posted the idea/question on the forum and worked with responses to my queries. I went a step further as there were no responses appearing and I felt eager to begin the writing process. Email was the next step, especially as I felt it may be a risk to suggest abandoning the term ‘information literacy’ when so much of our literature pointed to promoting it….

A few hours later I had a response from both lecturers and it was very helpful and detailed. However, I am now back at the stage where I need to rethink and reformulate my purpose. First consideration ~ is it possible to outline all the above in 750 words? Probably not. 750 words may not even be enough to discuss the term ‘information literacy’ as a barrier let alone move into the stage of discussing the proposed solution. Upon reflection I realise there were many ideas at play and maybe the focus is far more simple than this…

Task B is now having a breather…

Where am I right now? I have come to some understanding of Information Literacy in school settings. In terms of models, I can see that different stages in the learning process require different ideas. More scaffolding in early years to accommodate developmental needs and then, in later years, possibly a move away from this as students are guided to working on their own process based on prior learning over their years of schooling. By Year 10, I would hope to be moving students into the independent stages of the process whereby they feel confident in their own strategies and have devised methods that work for them.

The senior years of schooling are definitely a time where independent learning should be at the forefront of skills and process. The attributes required to reach this stage should have been embedded and transferred through the years of scaffolding leading up to this stage. By the time students leave High school, students should be able to take their individual process with them and move into the next stages of life whether it be more learning in an educational setting or application in work and personal situations.

Maybe I should attempt Task C at this stage…

Task C A critical synthesis of your reflection on how your view of the role of the teacher librarian may have changed during the subject. This should include examples captured from your personal blog and from participation in the ETL401 forum (about 750 words).

Note: Task C is to be posted as an entry on your blog. Please provide the specific URL for this blog entry at the end of the word document version submitted via EASTS which contains Tasks A and B.



Green, G. (2007) Information literacy: Time for a rethink?, Access, Sept, 2007, pp 9-11

 

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