How to remove related videos from the end of an embedded YouTube video | illuminea

This is pure geek joy here. I knew there were controls, but now I can see the magix. Hey, now you can, too. I control the horizontal. I control the vertical! (BTW, Outer Limits reference there.)

How to remove related videos from the end of an embedded YouTube video | illuminea

As I’m sure you’ve seen, YouTube displays related videos at the end of videos you have viewed. This can be useful, but this can also be problematic. For example, we were recently working on a very personal project for a client.

Carrying the Poem One More Step: Zeega Transmediacs Arise!


Why does transmedia look so cluttered and ugly for the most part? Could it be that it is a young genre and the rules for generating it is as yet unformed? Could it be that our transmedia creations are bound by the tools we use to create them? Have we not generalized the tools in such a way that we have generalized the genre?

That last question made enough sense for me to want write a gibberish academic parody of it, but it points to a further problem: if we think transmedia is kind of ugly with newness or just disjointed, then discussion, critique and summary of them is a total mess. But I don’t think the short story arose from some mystical whole cloth. Nor the novel, poem, play. We are discovering and exploring the way even now.

In that context I introduce you to the zeega below. It is the product, but because it is transmedial/remixable/remashable, it is not the end product. It is mos’ def’ the result of a tremendous collaborative wave of creative care. Maybe we have just now defined some of the essential characteristics of transmedia:

Transmedia is collaborative.
Transmedia is never an end product.
Transmedia is remixable.
Transmedia will eventually not be confined to the program used to create it.
Transmedia is a game.

Maybe not.

If you want to pursue the definition of transmedia you can join the fray here.

And if you want to watch the zeega below remember: go to full screen by mousing over the lower right hand corner. You can also turn the sound off there as well when you are done. I loved making the animated gifs that accompanied this. A word of caution: the zeega can be remixed…I think. The program is kind of an alpha rogue and the whole shebang might collapse of its own weight at any time. Users unite. Let me know if it works or didn’t in the comments below.

Do You Know Where Your Blindspots Are? Stress Test 4 Success

I use this book in an online course, Intro to Literature.  This course lives on a Blackboard server on some third floor air-conditioned , has been declared accessible and was the basis for a “shell” course that new faculty use when designing their own online Intro courses. This means it is supposed to be an exemplary course. Every once in awhile it gets a bit of “stress testing” by students and I realize “I ain’t so very smart.” Or at least there are unknown unknowns lurking waiting to blindside me. Let me explain.

The term ‘stress testing’ comes from engineering, medicine and financial services. Some of us have undergone a treadmill stress test where the heart and circulatory system are observed while undergoing increasing speed and incline on that evil machine. We are warned ahead of time that there is a possibility, slim but there, that we might just keel over dead as the proverbial bag of hammers. Stress can betray weakness, but it also can reveal strength. Or it might have no effect whatsoever. Financial firms might have avoided the 2008 meltdown had there been sufficient stress testing of some of the bogus financial instruments/Ponzi tools being used by banks and non-bank banks at the time.

I decided to apply a bit of stress testing during a National Writing Project conference twitter chat, #nwpam15. Below are the tweets generated from that chat.


Later we had a discussion of the event on a Google Hangout sponsored by #VConnecting.

What I did was to create the added stress of a Hackpad and invite others to join in during and after the tweetchat.  The Hackpad pulled tweets, pix from tweets, editorializing gifs, and music into a startling mess of chaordic digital stew.  I kept adding to it in the hopes that perhaps it might elicit a response. No one was to blame in my mind when I got no response since my whole purpose was to observe.  I got no response…except from Janelle Bence who had been designated by the twitterchat jockeys to respond some way to the Hackpad. This little gem of information did not come out until we had the Google Hangout above later that afternoon.

#NWPam15 Conference

Hangout with Mia Zamora, Anna Smith and more at the National Writing Project Annual Confernece

The discussion of the stress test elicited some really insightful discussion about why there was no response (conferences are not designed to be tested in this way) and how that might change (bake “permeable boundaries” into the DNA of the conference before it starts).  Without the stress test that revealed this blindspot, I don’t know if any of us would have had that revelation.  I know that I would not have. I am still thinking about what this means institutionally:

  1. what does “permeable” mean?
  2. how far can it go?
  3. what technical tools are available that allow this to happen for as many people as possible?
  4. are identities and roles permeable?
  5. can we have degrees of permeability?
  6. who decides what will be permeable and how permeable?
  7. are the digital objects we create permeable and should they be?

All of these questions were swirling around in my own head when I got my own stress test out of the blue on my online Intro to Lit course. It brought home to roost some disturbing professional blindspots of my own.

I assign a book of short stories by Kentucky author, Chris Offutt.  While he is more famous for his memoirs, this collection is top shelf modern fiction.  I teach what I love.  I know that is a blindspot, a cognitive bias I own.  I try to switch around the course content in an attempt to obviate this problem. During last week’s Offutt assignment one my students wrote this on a Google+ community I have set up for each of my classes to share:


Here is my annotated response where I try to come to terms with the blindspot revealed during her stress test of my content.


2015-11-24_06-21-03 (1)

Like most teachers, I forget that everything I ask students to do is a stress test.  The proof is in whether it is good or bad stress.  The joy and pain of the art of teaching is realizing that what is distress to one might be eustress to another.  Here’s how Tereza responded:


I lucked up with this stress test this time. I had a resilient student with a desire to learn and know and experience.  Now that this blindspot has been revealed, I begin to see the need for more stress testing generally.  My own online experience is often one of iconoclasm.  Perhaps I have been an unconscious stress tester my whole digital life, my role being to push and prod at the system, a white hat trying to break the blog or the twitterchat or the MOOC so that the fracture grows back even stronger.  I do know this:  revealing blindspots is potent learning.  Thanks to everyone on the twitter chat and in the Hangout who made the stress valuable and, dare I say it, happy.  Happy stress to us all.  Now how do we go about making this happen?




¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Sunday BE Funday ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Get down and dance.

all the old dances form the 80s and 90s

No Description

And dance

66 (Old) Movie Dance Scenes Mashup (Mark Ronson-Uptown Funk ft.Bruno Mars)

If you like this video, please support these film preservation charities: The British Film Institute, The George Eastman Museum, The Film Foundation, My inspiration came from What’s the Mashup? ( but I didn’t manage 100!


And annotate—WTF?  Dancotate.

Disembodied Collegiality or Outta Sight, Outta Mind


This morning some NWP folks organized a short tweetchat on the idea of defining collegiality. Tried to synchronously share this morning during #nwpam15 using Hackpad.  It was an improvisation where I tried to create a “poor folks zeega”.  I opened the pad to anyone who wanted to play.  Janelle Bence was the only taker. A bit ironic and funny in a discussion of collegiality to have only one colleague to respond. Well, many thanks, Janelle. Without you it might have slipped into savage irony.

I have learned to be a Stoic about the lack of participation in these adhoc ‘sandboxes’.  It is too gritty for most or maybe they already have their dance card full.  I will keep offering up these collegialities for all even if they end up being lonely treehouses. If the roof is tight, treehouses can be marvelous places to play by yourself if only to here a voice rising up from below, “Can I come up?”

View #nwpam15 on Hackpad.


#Digiwrimo 11/18/2015

Posted from Diigo. The rest of Digiwrimo group favorite links are here.

Come. Let Us Now Cartoon Together

I have found the beauty if not the knack of digital visual rhetoric. They are called comics. I have been using WittyComics as my only comic generator although I have dabbled a bit with the intriguing drawing hardware, the Boogie Board. I love how you can annotate the pix with comic bubble callouts of various grammars (speech, thought, shout, whisper). You can title it and most importantly for me, you can add meta-narration at the top of the post. In this case I point you to various places that back up the comic narrative. Tons of fun and each one of those destinations is worth the trip.

wc another one bytes the dust
In keeping with my annotation theme for #digiwrimo I have imported the comic into Thinglink so that you can annotate it further if you wish. Yeah, meta-annotation.

And while you are at it check out this New York Times article on annotation.

Skills and Strategies | Annotating to Engage, Analyze, Connect and Create

What do your students think annotation looks like? For many, it probably begins and ends with the image of an assigned novel bristling with yellow Post-its. What Does It Mean to Annotate? Expanding the Definition But to annotate simply means to add a note to a text – whether marginalia in a book, or a comment on Facebook or YouTube.

How Do We Empower Teachers? A Slow Chat

I thought the question was interesting: what does teacher empowerment mean to you?
I thought the format was interesting: a ‘slow chat’–one question per day to be addressed as often as one wishes.
I thought that the question and the format deserved curation and reflection. Storify is perfect for this. You can live almost entirely within its borders as you gather tweets, add comments, include blog posts mentioned in tweets, pull in video, gifs, and images. Powerful tool for annotating a slow chat.

In Sickness and in Health: Nurturing the Cognitive Commons


I was skimming one of my favorite IFTTT resources this morning called Betalist when I discovered it. I have my channel set up so that IFTTT emails me an invite when a new startup is featured on @betalist. Most of the startups are eminently ignorable, but this morning one came through that really struck me–FlockCircle. I shared it via Twitter and decided that it might have greater appeal to teachers and learners so I stuck my responses on Storify.

Of course, the Twitter constraints don’t do justice to the potential for crowdsourcing that this represents. FlockCircle is based on the traditional illness metaphor that has resolutely dominated medicine until very recently and frankly still is controlling, but I can certainly see where if we were to adapt this to learning disciplines that we could not only use it to fix what is broken but also to strengthen what is already strong.
Here is possible case study.  I have a student who cannot seem to tease assumptions out of a reading. She can summarize text and use templates for writing, but everything she does seems to lack purpose and she definitely has no idea who she is writing for.  Help me.
As a part of the crowdsourcing team that would be working with this app, I would definitely want to know more of this learner’s history just as any doctor would. Way more than what is indicated in this summary, but perhaps not a lot more.
The team would give advice to the teacher on potential “treatments” along with alternative measures if Plan A was an epic fail.  Reminds me of one of those teaching movements that surface on occasion and that  I had read about before–“instructional rounds”.
What I would like to see added to this is an equal emphasis on examples of learner strengths.  I would like for this app to be able to help teachers and learners strengthen what is already powerful.  This is one of the few ‘management’ movements I can get behind–focusing on one’s strengths.  But I don’t want it without the balance of also knowing one’s weaknesses.
For me, the key here is that this tool always be kept outside of the hands of admins and the hierarchy.  It should only be used by working teachers eager to improve their own skills and practice as well as the learning lives of their students. The teachers would call upon all support staff to be ready to help, but only as experts on tap and not on top.
The crowdsourcing app’s sole purpose would be to bring together those who could serve as advisors to remediate and augment.  You could probably use a tool like Slack to do this within a school or within a district or within a state boundary, but it remains to be seen how large a crowd that this could best scale up to.
And who would really do this?  If you trust teachers to be professionals, then you are going to have to “value” it in money, time, and psychic reward.  That is the big stretch and amounts to a ‘re-professionalization’ of teaching in the U.S.
Along with this, I think we must begin to think of our learners as part of a cognitive commons.  Society depends upon this common pool resource to carry on the work of culture, civilization, and survival.  Our children’s minds and capacities must be preserved, nurtured and “used” in a way that sustains us all.  The perfect word for this is “usufruct”–the use of the fruit. That is all we should allow ourselves to take from the common pool resource unless we want to continue to mortgage the future for present indulgence.
Yes, it is a big stretch, a big invest, a big change in stance.  Maybe a little tool like an app that encourages its users to nurture the commons is just the leverage we need to begin to do the larger lift of growing a better cognitive commons for all.
If we do advocate for a better cognitive commons, then we are also promoting a new world where we have to value elements of the commons that we have relegated to the margins.  For the teacher on the porch screeching at the crazy public spaces where our learners live, this will not work.  You either have to get off your high porch or invite folks onto it. A little bit of both might be the golden ticket.