WATCH: Tech-savvy art historian Andrew Tallon uses lasers to unlock the builders’ secrets behind the construction of the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.
ART 386, Embodying Compassion in Buddhist Art: A Curatorial Training Seminar was taught by Karen Lucic during Fall semester, 2014. The purpose of the class was to give students the opportunity to research and curate an exhibition at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center. During the summer of 2014, Professor Lucic contacted me to discuss creating a website for her students to use as a repository for their research and eventually this site would become a companion site to the final exhibition in April, 2015. Over the course of the Fall semester, students wrote and compiled content for the site and they worked closely with ACS to design and populate the site.
From ART 386 Syllabus:
Each student will be responsible for the digital content and interpretation of 2-3 works in the exhibition. The instructor will assign the objects to each student, based on her/his experience and preparation. These student contributions will be posted on the exhibition application and/or website. (60% of grade.)
Students will work in teams to produce additional resources for the exhibition: gallery guide, interactive maps, guide to web resources, etc. Students in the team will also give feedback on other team members’ work before submission (20% of grade.)
From ART 386 Assignment Sheet:
The purpose of this assignment is to create digital educational content for the exhibition. Always remember who your audience is: visitors to the exhibition, or online users, who might not know much—or anything—about the topic. What you write, and your choice of materials should be based on your assessment of what will enhance their experience and understanding of the exhibition. Texts should be concise and to the point. Other materials should be short but engaging.
For each work you have been assigned:
1) Write an interpretative text (no more than 100 words) for app/website
2) Select one comparative image (must be open access and high resolution); include full caption of comparative image
3) Write a text (no more than 100 words) explaining the comparison
4) Select an audio file, if possible, that enhances the work (no more than two minutes). Examples: chanting, singing, mantra recitation, etc.
5) Select a video file, if possible, that enhances understanding of the work (no more than 2 minutes). Examples: practitioners circumambulating, prostrating, spinning prayer wheels, making sand mandalas, offering incense, etc.
6) If there are no appropriate audio or video files, choose another comparative image.
7) Compile a list of unfamiliar terms from your texts, with definitions
8) Map your work, at least by country. With some works (Putuoshan, Nachi, etc.), it may be possible to be more precise about locations.
9) Record your written contributions.
While students were working to create the content for the site, ACS student employee Bryce Daniel worked on building a wireframe for the WordPress site. Professor Lucic also collaborated with Duke University students to design an App for the exhibition. The App hosted audio files recored and edited by ACS Consultant, Baynard Bailey. These recordings, narrated by both students and Professor Lucic, include short commentaries describing individual pieces in the exhibit, as well as a pronunciation guide for a glossary of terms.
The Embodying Compassion WordPress site is a comprehensive online exhibit reference guide, containing audio, video, images, interactive hotspot maps, and extensive research, curated by ART 386 students. This project proved to be a excellent example of how students, faculty, and ACS consultants collaborate to produce educational materials for the classroom and public audience.
The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center: Embodying Compassion is a first-of-its-kind exhibition celebrating one of the most important figures in Buddhist art, April 23-June 28, 2015
If you want to download the audio or the video from a YouTube video, here’s a great resource for you: http://offliberty.com/
It is very straightforward. Paste the YouTube url into the box, and press the power button. After a shortish wait (can be longer if the video is long) you will be given the choice of downloading the audio as .mp3 and/or the video as .mp4.
The demonstrative part of this video begins at 51 seconds in.
I can imagine any number of situations where this utility would be extremely handy. (It is always good to have a backup plan when you are teaching a class.) However, as the website points out, “Sometimes browsing offline content requires permission from its author or owner. Remember to be sure that you have it.”
Interview with Leonard Nevarez
Prof. Leonard Nevarez, of the Sociology department and the Urban Studies and Environmental Studies programs, talks about his course “Field Experiences in the Hudson Valley,” in which students use various technologies— photography, blogging, tweeting, and Wikipedia publishing, as they learn about the region surrounding Vassar College. (6:38)
Interview with Jane Parker
Jane Parker, Head Squash Coach, demonstrates how she uses technology to aid her coaching: by projecting videorecordings model squash playing on the front wall of the court, and by recording athletes’ performances on an iPad, for immediate playback and analysis. (3:56)
I found a good idea for Vassar faculty in my email today and I wanted to share it. One of the ideas mentioned in 10 Things the Best Digital Teachers Do seemed like a simple yet powerful idea that might be useful to some.
If you are rethinking how you are teaching a course and want to invite the students to collaborate on redesigning the course, stick your syllabus in a wiki (like a Google doc or a Moodle wiki) and invite them as collaborators and rewrite it together. I imagine the process could be very invigorating.
ACS has a portable scanner that’s available for Vassar faculty members to borrow. It’s ideal for bringing to an archive to scan documents (if allowed) for later study. While it’s true that you can save an image of a document page with your phone/camera, a scan will give you a much more consistent and high-quality result.
Most scanners are too bulky and heavy to consider traveling with, but not this one. The Canon Canoscan LiDE 700F is essentially the size of a laptop computer. It’s less than 2 inches high, with a footprint of 11.5 x 16 inches. It weighs only 4.6 pounds. It can scan a letter-size document (8.5″ x 11″) with a resolution of up to 4800×4800 dpi. It fits snugly in a 12″ x 17″ 2.5″ padded carrying case.
Contact your ACS liaison if you’re interested in borrowing it.
Do you ever need to draw or write free-hand on your computer, but doing it with a mouse is too awkward and you don’t want to buy an iPad or any other tablet computer? You may be happy with a graphic input tablet, like the Bamboo® Connect Pen, which Vassar faculty members can borrow from ACS.
A graphic input tablet is a device on which you can draw with a stylus— it doesn’t have its own display, but you see the results of your drawing on your computer screen. It’s essentially like using a mouse, but one that you can control as well as you can control a pen.
While using any software that allows you to draw free-hand— Photoshop, Powerpoint, and many others— you can draw diagrams or write equations. The Bamboo Connect tablet is made by Wacom, which is known for its large tablets that are favored by graphic designers. The Bamboo Connect is just 11″ x 7″, with a 5.8″ x 3.6″ drawing area.
Here’s a demonstration and review:
If you’d like to try it out, contact your ACS liaison.
Keynote provides many tools for animating content of your slide presentation. One easy and very useful movement uses the Magic Move transition. This tool allows a panning movement across a large image. For example, if you wanted to show the entire length of a webpage or a large photograph, you could use the Magic Move transition to move across the page. This will work with any object that is in one position in the first slide and is in a new position in the following slide. For this this example, I captured a screenshot of an entire webpage that would require scrolling down in order to view all the content. In the first slide, the image is positioned on the slide so that the top of the webpage is visible. In the following slide, the image is positioned so that the bottom of the webpage is visible. Using the Magic Move transition, Keynote will create the panning movement between the two slides.
This is what it would look like:
Duplicate the slide. To duplicate a slide in Keynote, right-click on the slide you wish to copy, or select Duplicate Slide from the Edit Menu.
On the new (duplicate) slide position the image so that the bottom portion is visible.
Open the Slide Inspector window.
Click on the slide inspector icon then choose the transition tab.
Under the Effect dropdown menu, choose Magic Move.
At the bottom of the inspector menu you will have the option for the transition to start automatically or “on click.”
You will also be able to choose the speed of the transition and whether or not to insert a delay before the start of the effect.
Tip for Annotating Screenshots:
For this example, I used a free application called Awesome Screenshot.”
It is available for Chrome and Firefox browsers, and it allows you to capture an entire webpage, or any portion of a page. It also provides tools for annotating screenshots.
Here’s a quick tutorial:
This week we had the final presentations for EDUC 373: Adolescent Literacy. In the class, area middle school students team up with Vassar students to develop digital storytelling projects. The students explore a number of multimedia formats, including but not limited to podcasts, PowerPoint, digital photography, digital stories and video. We had a really great sharing session as family members joined us to celebrate in their work.
You can view their projects here, thought it doesn’t really tell the full story. This was my fourth time helping Erin McCloskey with this class. This semester was a real high water mark for collaboration, attendance and productivity. The Vassar students spoke very articulately about how much they learned while working with their middle school partners. The students evinced great pride as they shared their blogs, videos, photography and stories. During the semester, I spend the workshop time helping different groups with one technical problem or another, so I don’t often get to know the students very well, but the relationships and personalities were on display yesterday afternoon as the students presented their various projects.
One of my favorites was the “Rainbow Food Review” where the participants tried eating unique food combinations simultaneously:
I was impressed with the variety and creativity of the media shared. Mya and Diamond discussed their fashion blogs along with their DIY makeup video. Tori and Simone created a short film based on the concept of an Alien Talk Show. Some students shared with writing, poetry and photography (sometimes all at once). Others presented slideshows summarizing their various projects.
Erin McCloskey discusses the class here, illustrating how the class benefits both the Vassar students and their literacy partners:
In my opinion, the underreported story here is how often Vassar students (Education students) are involved productively in partnerships with diverse community members. Many of the middle school students return year after year to participate in these digital storytelling workshops!