My Camosun – 30+ videos and counting

Just a couple of weeks left in the My Camosun video contest (that I first wrote about a few weeks back) and right now there are over 30 student and community produced videos posted on YouTube.

I’ve been watching the videos come in. Many of the entries take a fairly light approach to life at Camosun. Most are produced by current students and are aimed at potential students. But there have been a couple of very personal, very touching stories.

If you are an educator and have sometimes felt bogged down in the day to day battles, here are 2 stories that I hope will help you regain the sense that we are part of something bigger and that the work we do truly changes lives.

These videos have certainly renewed my commitment to the minor role I play in the process. I may sometimes feel like a small cog in the education machine, but it’s nice to have reminders like these that the machine is vitally important as an agent of social change. I thank both Amanda and Andria for sharing their stories.


Encouraging citizen filmmaking

This is a bit of a plug for our College Relations people as well as a nod of the cap lens to people powered media. My Camosun is a video contest open to anyone in the community. The idea is to create a 1 minute that answers the question “what does Camosun mean to you?”

A couple of interesting notes about the contest is that it is open to everyone and anyone, regardless of your involvement (or lack of) with Camosun. The second notable is that the videos will be posted on YouTube. The College marketing department obviously has their eye on the fact that prospective students search for their potential college’s on YouTube as part of their decision making process on what school they will attend, so why not try to flood it with feel good positive vibes about Camosun?

Imagine you are a potential student and you do a quick search on YouTube for Camosun. Right now, the results are pretty sparse and don’t tell you much about the college or its culture. Do the same search in January after these videos have all been posted and I am sure you will have a good idea of what Camosun is all about – a third party picture of our institution, completely created by Joe Q. Public.

I am very interested to see the results of this contest. I suspect we will see quite a few entries from our Applied Communication Program and Visual Arts program, which has a strong filmmaking component to it. But hopefully we will see some general community members contribute as well. With $1500 in prizes out there, I am hoping that the general public will be encouraged to pick up their camcorders and tell some great stories.

Deadline for entries is October 31st. And even our President is getting in on it. Check out her moves in this entry…she’s grooving in the Paul Building around 37 seconds in.


Note to world: Stephen Downes, not Stephen Hawking

Well, hopefully my last minute editorial decision to have Stephen Downes memorable quote about Brian Lamb’s presentation style read by a screen reader doesn’t get me off Stephen’s Christmas card list before I ever had the chance to get on. But it’s quite humbling to see your work noticed by folks like Stephen and Alan Levine who, along with other folks, have had really nice things to say about the Brian Lamb intro mashup I put together to introduce Brian’s keynote at Walls Optional, our annual in house Distributed Education conference. Thanks for all your comments. It was such a hoot to put together, and gave me a great excuse to dive into the collected/ive works of Brian Lamb.

I’ll have a proper post mortum about the event in a few days once I collect my thoughts, but suffice to say that the words coming back to us about Brian’s presentation have been words like “inspiring”, “eye opening”, “thought provoking” and “excellent”. It was all we could have hoped for and more in a keynote.

So, if you haven’t seen it, here is the intro that never was because, as fate would have it, technology intervened and it borked in front of the live studio audience. As Scott noted, it’s time to replace the 286’s on our rolling rack.


Countdown to Walls Optional Tuesday

Just a couple days left before Walls Optional hits Camosun on Tuesday and I am trying to put a few finishing touches on my parts of the conference.

I’ve set up a video feed page on our site where we are going to try to capture the video live from CC124, which is where Brian Lamb will be delivering his keynote Tuesday morning.

Following Brian we’ve got Scott Leslie talking about the 2008 Horizon Report, Dominic Bergeron presenting on Student Created Content and Paul Stacey talking about Dare2bDigital. So, we should be giving our new Flash server a bit of a workout.

In addition, we’re going to try to capture some of the other events via webcams and portable MP3 players, so even if we can’t stream all the presentations live, we’re still hoping to create a decent resource site for after the conference.

Right now I’ve got 2 priorities left before Tuesday. Get my workshop on Netvibes put together and get over this cold. Isn’t that always the case – right before a big event is when the body is most likely to go “whoa, cool your jets buddy!”


Walls Optional: The 2008 DE Conference at Camosun College

Just wrapped up a planning meeting for our annual in house distributed education conference. Walls Optional: Promoting Excellence in Teaching and Learning through Technology is going to happen on May 6th at Camosun College. It’s a good opportunity for both our faculty and our department to showcase some of the work we have been doing in the past year, and setting the groundwork for the year to come.

I’m very happy that both Brian Lamb and Scott Leslie have agreed to present. The 2008 Horizon Project has caught the attention of some fairly high level administrators here, so it’s great to have someone like Scott here to speak directly to the report. And I’m very excited to meet Brian in person after having followed his work for the past few years.

I’ve got a space to present and am kicking around a couple of workshop ideas. Being more “Tech” than “Ed”, I’m leaning towards something hands on. I like the idea of doing a session on personal homepages and aggregation services (ala Netvibes or Pageflakes). Not only would many people find it useful to help organize their online life, but it would give me an opportunity to toss out a whole bunch of other technologies – blogs, RSS, podcasts, Flickr, widgets, delicious, and so on.

There is also a part of me that wants to do something around embed and how powerful and revolutionary I think that idea is.

But the session that will probably win out is the less than glamorous PowerPoint is Evil as a web content delivery tool. Judging from the number of PowerPoint presentations I see being posted online, I think this is something that will yield the biggest immediate bang for the buck. And I can still hang some Web 2.0 goodness onto this, showing off tools like Google Presentations and Slideshare.

So, if you were going to do a presentation to faculty about why they shouldn’t use PowerPoint on the web, what would you talk about? What alternatives are there to PowerPoint? Can you point me to any good resources? And, most importantly, should I use PowerPoint to do the presentation 🙂


Another year begins

I took these photos looking west on Hillside/Lansdowne Road, which is one of the main arteries leading from downtown Victoria to the University of Victoria and Camosun College. The top was taken on Friday morning, the bottom this morning.

Traffic on Hillside Ave

I’m really glad I live close enough that I can walk to work.