"Nothing is Impossible!"

High 5! Video Remix #4 November 29, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — crumpscorner @ 12:13 am
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I thought this was an intriguing assignment and spent some time debating on the number to focus on. I reviewed the examples to get ideas and decided on the number 5.  My reasoning was based on a number of factors including:

  • Five was the number of people in my initial family unit
  • My first home was located at 556 South Ocean Avenue
  • My middle school was called IS (Intermediate School) 59.
  • My dream car is a 5 series BMW.
  • My favorite gum is 5Gum – watermelon flavor (my middle schoolers have rubbed off on me)
  • I grew up listening to the Jackson 5, especially on Saturday mornings at 11:00 on SOUUUL TRAIN!!
  • and when I need a little boost, I drink 5 Hour Energy!

I was quite surprised at the number of times “five” popped up in my life.   To put this project together, I went to Google Images and selected a number of images that represent my connection to “five”.  I then used to create the video. I uploaded the images and switched over to and downloaded the mp3 version of Herbie Hancock’s “Stars”. I then downloaded this into soundcloud. This file was then uploaded into WordPress as a URL file. As I listended to Hancocks “Stars” I envision riding in my 5Series down 5th Avenue in search of the best steaks in New York. Hope you like it…..

   High 5!


Remix #3 – Propaganda Poster – RISE UP! November 8, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — crumpscorner @ 5:59 pm
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When looking at the options for Remix #3, I was immediately drawn to the propaganda poster because we just started a theme based unit regarding “The Power to Choose”. I wanted to create something I could use in the classroom, but I wasn’t sure which direction to take. This immediately became clear when a female student (we’ll call her Josie) in my fifth period class came up to me ten minutes before the end of the day and placed a note on my desk.  It simply said, “Read this”. In it, she described how she is being bullied by several individuals about her weight.  She shared how she starves herself and when she looks in the mirror she yearns to see the skinny girl that she is trying to become.  Her cry for help was prompted by a photostory poem that the class viewed the day before. It had various images, accompanied by the narrators voice, based on the poem, “If I Were in Charge of the World” by RaDene Giorla. It opens with a picture of two healthy teenagers, around a size 7/8 and 9/10 and the narratrs voice saying, “If I were in charge of the world, I would cancel diets….” I remember my hesitation about showing the clip because of the possible immature reaction of some of the males, but I’m glad I went with my gut.  

After reading the note, I glanced up at Josie, seated in row three, seat four, and knew that the words I uttered next were extremely important. I didn’t have a lot of time (dismissal was in the next three minutes), but I told her that she was beautiful just the way she was and encouraged her to ignore the ignorance of others.  I knew my words were not enough…but it’s all I could do at the moment.   After dismissal, I gave the note to the counselor and waited for the ball to drop.  My main concern was Josie feeling that I betrayed her and rejecting any help. The following day she walked passed me as if I were a crack in the wall. The good news is she was grateful for my intervention. Her parents were made aware of the situation and she is now in counseling.  In addition, the other students have been disciplined – and yes, all is well between me and Josie.

With bullying seared in my brain, I came across a list of posters under the title “Rise Up”. I found the perfect one! The background is black and the central focus is a white fist formed by the letters that state “Rise Up!” I chose not to change this part.  I uploaded the image into GIMP2 and deleted the original wording on the bottom of the poster.  I replaced it with, “Break the Silence! Say No to Bullying!”          

Addressing the issue of bullying is critical.  Many students see it every day, but they are afraid to say anything because they are afraid of getting bullied themselves.  I have had extensive conversations with students, (I have a policy that says what is said in room 723, stays in room 723), and students have told me they witnessed teachers seeing bullying and not responding. How sad is that.  My purpose with this project is to bring further awareness to bullying by producing the poster, and having students collaboratively work to create their own anti-bullying poster.  Bullying is a choice. Ignoring it is a choice. Suffering should not be a choice. 

Steps to Create Poster

  1. Select image from Google Images. First I went through options of propaganda posters. Then I selected the theme, “Rise Up!” and picked the image with the fist.
  2. Then I downloaded GIMP, uploaded the image and began editing it.
  3. I deleted the original wording at the bottom of the poster using the brush eraser.
  4. I clicked on “A” for font and typed in “Break the Silence! Say No to Bullying!”. This was after several attempts in terms of wording, spacing, and font color.
  5. I settled on Sans Bold Italic 27 and changed the font color from black to red.
  6. I also used the Dodge/Burn Tool and added the dots to the “U” and “P” in Up.

The most challenging part of creating this poster was making edits.  I didn’t realize that once I saved the image, it was nearly impossible to make changes. I had to re-create it several times.  I tried playing around with several of the features in the tool box, including the sheer tool and the perspective tool, but that caused more problems. When I tried to erase what I decided not to use, in most cases, I couldn’t get it to delete, and once again, started over.  Overall, I was able to reach my goal because the message is clear, and I did not want to detract from the original image of the fist. I am looking forward to seeing what my students create after I model what I created.

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Note:  If you have problems with the hyperlink above, copy the following in your browser and scroll down to the bottom of the page where it says, “PhotoStory Poem – If I Were in Charge of the Word”.:



Cognitive Surplus – 21st Century Book Report November 1, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — crumpscorner @ 7:18 pm

My assigned text was Cognitive Surplus, How Technology Makes Consumers into Collaborators by Clay Shirky.  Below is a summary of the text, key points of each chapter, questions to consider/discuss, and my reflection.  Enjoy!


Clay Shirky educates the reader about cognitive surplus, an excess of knowledge that consumers now choose to freely share with others. The reader gets a brief lesson on the effects of the Industrialization period and how past inventions have had a significant impact on society. Then we are introduced to several modern day accounts of collaboration that have had a major impact on how we live. More importantly, we see how technology has changed the lives of individuals from being content with isolation, to freely working in groups for no financial gain, but for the good of the product. This takes place because of intrinsic motivation. Shirky gives several examples of how small units of individuals have initialized change in social arenas. For example, the explosion of Facebook and Wikipedia; in politics, we have the “candle light girls” of South Korea and the establishment of the website Dong Bang Shin Ki; and in education we have members of the “Invisible College”, a collaborative group of scientists formed in Britain. Throughout the text, Shirky emphasizes the fact that surplus creates the opportunity for individuals to create opportunities for others, hence, a world of collaborators.


Gin, Television, and Cognitive Surplus

  • Industrialization created enormous increases in population, which led to new ways of living and working, as well as a rise in unhealthy living conditions.
  • Gin was a reaction to this problem (anesthetizing oneself from the change in urban life), similar to how excessive television watching was a reaction to a problem (too much free time and reduction in social capital)
  • A major shift has occurred, particularly in young people, from watching excessive amounts of television, to becoming users of fast interactive media, i.e., videos, games, Facebook, etc.  Individuals are choosing to work collaboratively instead of individually.
  • Shirky contends that we want to be connected to one another and that is why social media is widely used.
  • Surplus exists because people find time for what they are interested in. Also, if individuals are given the opportunity to participate, they will do so, i.e., we are living in a participatory culture.

Questions: Shirky points out examples of cause and effect that have shaped our society. What problem might the high volume of internet activity (Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia) be the result of? How might the excessive use of the internet have negative implications five years from now?


  • A young group of girls in Korea start a website entitled, “Dong Bang Shin Ki” (DBSK), with the idea of having a platform to voice their anti-sentiments regarding President Lee Myung-bak’s decision about the Mad Cow scandal. The site resulted in the numbers of protestors growing from a few hundred to thousands who voiced their protests in a collaborative manner.
  • “Our social media tools aren’t an alternative to real life, they are part of it.”
  • Pick-up Pal and the idea of cognitive surplus – Pick-up Pal is a carpooling site designed to help reduce commuter problems. Commuters are able to communicate with others with the intention of coordinating travel. They are provided with enough information to make an informed decision.
  • John Gutenberg creates movable parts for the printing press. The amount of printed text soared as did the risk involved in producing mass amounts of text.  This led to “Gutenberg Economics” – the need to have a staff to manage the production of one’s product.
  • “Media is the connective tissue of society?

Question: What incentives can we provide to motivate the reluctant individual (couch potato) to participate in the 21st Centuries increased social mediums?


  • Josh Groban, a classically trained American baritone, has a following called the Grobanites (2002) They set up a charitable corporation in his name ( where individuals can donate money that is solely used to help the less fortunate.
  • Individuals forming the Grobanites are not on salary; they give freely of their time to support their cause, i.e., Josh Groban.  They do it because of their love for him. (intrinsic motivation)
  • Edward Deci defines two types of intrinsic motivation that can be referred to as personal. One is the desire to be autonomous, and the other is the desire to be competent.
  • “Amateurs are sometimes separated from professionals by skill, but always by motivation…”

Question/Discussion Point – Intrinsic motivation is the key to academic success for our students. How do we motivate the reluctant student, or the reluctant individual, to participate in a cause we are passionate about?


  • In order for our surplus time to be useful, we need the right opportunities.
  • Example – Elderly people were perceived as not interested or unable to use technology, but once given the opportunity to communicate more effectively with friends and family, they began to use it.
  • The idea of “surprise” is addressed. If we try to determine why people began uploading videos, or editing Wikipedia pages, we will realize it was not for expected compensation, but because they were intrinsically motivated to do so.
  • “Our ability to simultaneously pursue our own goals while being mindful and supportive of other people’s goals is fundamental to human life…”
  • Various forms of communication now rely on “open sharing”, and as such, participation levels have grown exponentially, e.g., Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter.
  • Apache is the world’s most widely used webserver started by a small group of programmers and Brian Behlendorf. Its code has been modified, shared, and improved over the years for free (on a global level).

Question: Now that many modes of communication rely on open sharing by participants, what type of economic impact might this have on the technology industry?


  • If a negative consequence is imposed because of a negative behavior, the assumption is that behavior will decrease. In the example of the parent arriving late to pick up their child from daycare and paying a fine, the percentage of late arrivals actually increased.
  • Parents saw daycare providers as “participants in a market transaction”. Because of this, they didn’t feel bad if they were late because the care givers were being compensated.
  • Culture is not based on individual behaviors, but on a group of accepted norms and behaviors within a group.
  • Invisible College vs. Alchemists – With the invisible college, participants: worked together, shared results and assumptions, as well as methods.  This is why they were successful. The alchemists kept their information to themselves.
  • Sharing knowledge and information is powerful, but it is contingent upon: “the size of the community, the cost of sharing the knowledge, the clarity of what gets shared, and the cultural norms of the recipients.”
  • – a website where individuals can share health concerns, personal medical challenges, and give support to others. The site does have a privacy policy, but it also has an “openness philosophy”.

Questions: As a participant in social media, how do we enforce limits of its use by others? For example, Wikipedia has a board/panel that monitor updates in order to ensure that nothing extreme is posted.  Who should monitor and how do we monitor participants on Facebook, for example, to ensure we don’t get invited to some extra special sites? (porn, etc.)

Personal, Communal, Public, Civic

  • “Humans are fundamentally individual, but we are also fundamentally social.” The social aspect translates into individuals being involved with groups and having opportunities to be effective. Groups have the challenge of meeting the needs of the group, while simultaneously meeting the need of the individual.
  • Communal resources – e.g., CouchSurfing, com, and the Association of Pub-going, Loose and Forward Women.
  • Communal sharing – takes place inside of a collaborative group; public sharing – when a group of collaborators creates a public resource, and civic sharing – when a group actively tries to change society.

Question: Shirky stated that the biggest problem with group action comes from within the group and therefore, groups need to be monitored so that we can defend ourselves from ourselves. Will the idea of policing ourselves ever come to a halt? Is this the end to privacy?

Looking for the Mouse

  • Free time can turn into cognitive surplus when we have opportunities to share and when intrinsic motivation is present.
  • When means, motive, and opportunity are present, we have the ability to create opportunities for others.
  • As changes in technology and evolution occur, it is difficult to foresee its long term effects on society (e.g., printed indulgences).
  • PLATO – This was the earliest platform designed for individuals to have conversations via text.
  • From PLATO to Facebook, two things remain the same: users always perform in a way not exactly intended, and observers/participants want to be part of a successful community.
  • “Behavior is motivation that has been filtered through opportunity.”
  • For cognitive surplus to be positive, we have to learn from mistakes, adapt to changes, and learn again. 

Questions: How much information revealed is too much information? We have already seen cases where individuals have lost their jobs because of others ability to view their life on line. Will this negative backlash continue in light of the fact that Facebook and other sites will most likely continue to grow?


We live in a time when collaboration is saturating the field of technology.  It is changing the way individuals interact among family, peers, and colleagues because we are using our free time to collaborate with others on like interests.  Shirky references Yochai Benkler who calls this “commons-based peer production”. What’s more interesting is that most of this collaboration is being done without any compensation. We do it for the pleasure it brings to us and for the satisfaction of helping others. Shirky states that this change in behavior comes from our awareness of surplus and having opportunities to help others. What does this mean for the future? Will the look of America forever be changed where there is no need for a CEO, President, Vice President, a firmly structured hierarchy? The impact of our media environment, i.e., our “connective tissue”, makes me think that the traditional structure will not be fully eliminated; however, the need will be minimal because of our growing culture of collaboration.



Remix #2 Update October 10, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — crumpscorner @ 2:20 am

When I played with Audacity and my ringtone the last time, I almost made it to the finish line.  Well, I’m there now.  I had to sign up with Soundcloud and upload my ringtone there.  Then I was able to upload it into my post as a link.  Click away and you will hear two of my favorite gospel artists! By the way, the instructions suggestged creating a 30-40 minute segment, but I took it a bit further and did one minute.  Simple, but effective. Enjoy!

Dani’s Ringtone – Remix #2


Playing with Pinterest September 30, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — crumpscorner @ 12:33 am

My initial reaction — not to bad, even for a novice like me.  Pinterest is an online pinboard where you can set up your interests into boards and others can follow you based on similar interests.  I started to get the feeling I was on a dating site.  I liked the initial selection of  images to pick from which helped Pintrest make a determination about my character.  I picked a young Al Pacino, two photos that show a view from a mountain top, one that glimmers with crystal blue sea shores, and one that reads “Life is short, buy the bag!”.  You can post short responses, similar to how Twitter is set up, link it to your Blog and to Facebook.  Basically, you can pin all day long. I created a home page, included a profile, and uploaded an image from New York (my home town). I created two boards, the first, “Music”, and the second, “Travel Favorites”. It took a number of tries to figure out how to get the images in corrrectly, but I did it. 

Although anyone can pin on Pinterest, they have included some safeguards. There is a Pin Etiquette link that addresses several categories including: be respectful, authenticity, and reporting content. The wording encourages pinners to be respectful in the content they give, to credit sources, and report any information they deem offensive through the “Report Content” link.  The challenge I see is that it is all based on the honor system. In our fast paced society, I would not count on everyone citing every source. Would I use this site on a regular basis? I’m not sure yet.  I have to play with it some more to determine if it would be a valuable source to retirieve information. When you have a minute, check out my Pinterest wall.


Remix #2 Ringtone September 27, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — crumpscorner @ 1:04 pm
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I enjoyed playing the role of DJ/Mixer in putting this together; however, I have a new appreciation for the field.  It may seem simple, but it took hours of slicing, dicing, listening, and moving to get it right.  I started by downloading Audacity. I went to youtube and downloaded “Victory” by Yolanda Adams, and “Brighter Day” by Kirk Franklin.  I chose these songs because of their positive message and my love for Gospel Music. I then uploaded them through Project, Import, Audio. At first, I was trying to do it through File, Open, but it didn’t work properly (this is my first time using Audacity). After a few tries, I was able to get both songs on the screen and began picking sections from Brigther Day to put into Victory. I also had to download LAME in order to convert the file.  My first attempt at the final step did not work; howoever, I recently found out that the file needs to be converted using Soundcloud. …stay tuned. 



Remix 1 – Friday the 13th September 19, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — crumpscorner @ 11:56 pm
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I have always loved horror flicks, and Friday the 13th is the series that takes me back to my teenage years.  I can remember going to Saturday matinees and being thankful that when my best friend and I came out, it was daylight.  We survived Jason!! 

To create this image I went to Google images, put in horror movies, and selected this one.  I saved the image to pictures, along with a photo of myself that my daughter took.  I tried to look perplexed like the young lady in the photo.  I downloaded Photoshop and uploaded both images. I had a hard time figuring out how to get both on the screen, so I went to the paint feature in Word and cropped my photo there.  I went to Adobe’s picure paste special and uploaded the image onto the same page as the “Jason” photo. I used the brush to erase the excess parts of my picture. When uploading the image into my blog, I saved it as a .jpg because the first time, it was too large…and whala.  The instructions seem simplistic, but it took me quite a while to get this to work.  I enjoyed the experience.