sharing playlists

Good grief, is it really Friday already?!  No matter how behind I am this week, I need to pull out some fluff for Friday. How about a nifty playlist? What’s that, you say? Well, in iTunes and other media sharing products, users can often share their “playlists,” or groupings of music that they’ve created. I found this playlist of great movie themes in a recent boingboing.net post. The list’s creator made it at a site called SeeqPod. It’s currently drowning out the construction going on outside my window. Enjoy.

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new media literacies

Take a look at this website from MIT called Project New Media Literacies. The content examines what students need to be both consumers and producers of information and media. You can also join their email list and download a white paper about “confronting the challenges of participatory culture.” 

The topic reminds me of when I was working in public television and our staff was grappling with the idea that our consumers were no longer just consumers. They were actually producing content that was both interesting and relevant. We wanted to find a way to work with those consumer-producers. We did it by opening the door for online content produced by the community, but we also had to help those consumer-producers understand such details as idea development, our quality standards, and the need for release forms.

We’re dealing with a similar situation here: the constituency is already armed with the ability and the means. We need to ensure they also have the skills and understanding. Let’s just get out Bloom’s Taxonomy here – they need to be able to apply their knowledge and understanding, to synthesize what they know and then be able to step back and evaluate what they are creating. Information literacy and media literacy are not “extras” anymore – if they ever were. Today we all need both more than ever.

they danced their Ph.D.s

Some time ago I posted a note about Dance Your PhD in my Friday Fluff. But I really think this wonderful little project at the crossroads of arts and sciences deserves another mention: the winners have been annouced! Check out the 2009 AAAS/Science Dance Contest (“Dance Your PhD”).

get yer nerd badge

Nerd Badge: Empty Inbox (http://nerdmeritbadges.com/)

Nerd Badge: Empty Inbox (http://nerdmeritbadges.com/)

It’s Friday, so it must be time for Fluff. Yes, it’s the day of the week that I get off topic or write about something that amuses me.

Today it’s all about nerd badges. You know, like merit badges for Boy Scouts … except these are badges of recognition for your nerdy talents. You know you have them. You know you develop them.

See the website at http://nerdmeritbadges.com/ and get the Tweet at http://twitter.com/nerdmeritbadges.

tech therapy

Tech Therapy is an excellent podcast from The Chronicle of Higher Education. I don’t think I’ve ever said that and recommended it as a podcast subscription (although I have recommended individual episodes). Let me correct that: I recommend Tech Therapy – it contains a number of thought-provoking conversations and interviews. The current episode (#42) is especially timely: “How To Thrive (Not Just Survive) In Dismal Times“. It’s Part I of II.

Visit Tech Therapy at http://chronicle.com/techtherapy/. You can find the RSS feed there or use the URL above to suscribe with your favorite feedreader. You’ll also find it in iTunes (open iTunes, click on Store, and search on Tech Therapy to find the most recent podcast or to link to the “album,” or complete listing of episodes).

YouTube university

YouTube is partnering with several universities to make video of lectures and other video available under a Creative Commons license – both on YouTube and for download. The universities include Stanford, Duke, UCLA and UC Berkeley. So far I haven’t been able to find a “channel” that features them; I had to access them separately. If any readers find such a channel, post it in a comment here.

Read more about it in the Open Culture blog. Here’s a sample of the offerings:

turn on, tune out … whatever (whenever?)

Today’s the big day for TV. Sort of.

February 17, 2009, was to be the day that television stations in the United States transitioned their broadcast signals from analog to digital, requiring either a set-top converter box for your old analog TV, a digital television, or cable/satellite reception (cable and satellite customers don’t have to worry with it unless they also use an antenna for picking up local signals). Although stations have been providing digital signals for some time, they’ve also been required to offer an analog signal so that consumers have time to catch up and tune in on their new digital TV sets or old converted sets. I blogged about this and its associated topics in Your Digital Future.

So why are we not totally tuning out analog today? You may recall that last month there was a flurry of articles about delaying the digital transition. That doesn’t mean that no TV stations will be transitioning today. Having to operate both an analog and a digital signal for four more months (yes, it’s expensive) is a budget buster for some and just doesn’t make good business sense for others, and they have been given the flexibility to go ahead with their plans. The FCC reports that of nearly 1800 full-power television stations in the United States, 641 stations (36 percent of all full-power stations) will have transitioned by the end of today. The rest will transition between March 14 and June 12.

What does that mean locally? It looks like all but one station will delay in Lexington (this article from Kentucky.com provides transition dates for local stations). Another good source for uncovering what signals you have available is TV Fool. There’s also an FM Fool, by the way.

If you are still confused about the analog-to-digital conversion and how that does or does not affect your television set, visit one or more of these web pages: