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A Challenge For You All October 24, 2007

Posted by davidit in Education, Education 2.0.
Tags: , , , , , ,

I never cease to be amazed by the power of our brains. I have had two ‘aha!” moments today and both of them have the potential to produce some really creative work. Last night I posted the video by Michael Wesch and this afternoon as I walked home this idea popped into my head. As I sit here now, some hours later I now realise that my subconscious was chewing over what it saw, stylistically, on that video.

As I have said before, in a previous life I used to be an advertising photographer and I get my biggest buzz out of all this ICT stuff when I can be creative and when I can encourage others to be equally visually creative with all this plastic, electronic micro circuits and expensive software. As I have also said I often walk to and from school, it is a 10km round trip. I also cycle to work, the long way and that is 13km each way. Stay with me here this will all come together in a moment. What I liked about Michael’s video, stylistically was the movement, the transition from desk to library shelf and from library shelf to card index. This mix was slushing around my brain as I walked home in the drizzle tonight admiring the varying gardens, shrubbery, horses and wildlife that I encountered on my way home. Sometimes life in a car is just too fast and too isolated. Then the idea began to form in my head. The daily grind of commuting is an international phenomenon, it transcends cultures, social strata and ethnicities. Implicit within the word ‘commute’ is an assumption that we all do it in broadly the same way. But is it not better to travel than to arrive? I walk to work the exact same way that I drive, yet I see and experience more as I walk than when I drive, obviously. What a shame.

So here is the challenge and I think that it could be expanded to students after we have ironed out a few technical challenges. I propose that we all grab a laptop and a webcam, install Timershot (Sorry have not yet tracked down the Mac/open source equivalent yet.) and set our webcams up in our cars, on the bus, on the train, in my back pack and record our commute to work, or from work, it is your choice. I suggest that we set it the web cam to record every 1 second and then submit our videos to teachertube and link them back to this post in a comment. I will then create a post or a new blog to showcase these differing ways that we commute and the landscapes that we travel through.

As I said I will either strap the web cam to my shoulder as I walk or to the handle bars of my bike. As I sit here I can think of Helen in Plymouth who takes the Torpoint ferry from Cornwall to Devon every morning to get to school. My sister takes the train from the Hutt valley into central Wellington to Athena every day. I guess I am hoping that we will create a real version of those Air New Zealand ‘amazing journeys everyday‘ adverts, without the accompanying dirge!

I hope that I have inspired some of you to record this most mundane of activities. I suspect that we all make amazing journeys every day, but are too isolated in our cars or concentrating on some aspect of our work to really notice. I think also that if we got our students to do the same exercise we would learn a lot about them too.

What do you think? Who’s in?

Photo credit: Keithlard




1. Helen Hardie - October 25, 2007

Hi David!
I’m up for the challenge! Let’s go!

2. David - October 25, 2007

Excellent Helen. Will iron out my technical wrinkles here and get to it. Anyone know what settings need to changed so that a closed, but on laptop will not hibernate and continue to run?

3. blanchy - October 25, 2007

Hi David

Love the recorded journey idea.

As a walker/cyclist your scenery may change more quickly than your average Auckland carbon consuming commuter!

For hibernation configuration options go to Control Panel (switch to classic view) and Power Options.

4. David - October 26, 2007

Hi Blanchy

Thanks for the fix. Are you in?

5. Fiona - October 26, 2007

I’m in. Have a look at what Hamish did …”An art work is born”

6. Simon - October 26, 2007

Oh yeah, of course I’m in…..finally some fun to be had in ERO week!

7. Chrissy - October 26, 2007

Love the idea David – I’m in!

8. blanchy - October 26, 2007

Too right I’m in! Now I wonder if I could rig up something to poke out of the sunroof on the car?

9. David - October 26, 2007

Gaffer tape should do it!

10. David - October 26, 2007

Simon, excellent news. I wonder if we could fix it such that some kind of kerbside flogging occurs as we drift past…? Not to labour the point too much! I think that I need to add the caveat that there is to be no cheating! I think that we should all take our usual commute rat runs for this exercise, in order to demonstrate just how amazing our regular journeys are.

11. davidit - October 26, 2007

Chrissy, great to see that you are in too. This should be an excellent resource for our students to use, what parallels, differences etc, how does it compare to their experiences…?

12. David - October 26, 2007

My sister has just sent me this link. Here is the time lapse challenge! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JTbJdLwqMo is this the next challenge or just the current level of the bar? Thanks Emma, are you in?

13. Amanda - October 27, 2007

Hey David,
Count me in! 🙂

14. Robyn - October 30, 2007

I’d be in….thankfully I have a passenger who can stabilise my new macbook on my dashboard….should be interesting

15. David - October 30, 2007

I am good to go. I will be strapping my video camera to my bike in the morning and will be off! Had to cheat on the equipment as my laptop is playing up on me. So have cobbled together a clamp and the head of my tripod! I will look very odd as i cycle around the bays in Auckland tomorrow. Will let you all know when I have posted the video to Teacher Tube.

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