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AYV Award Poster Campaign Winners on Equality

Adobe Featured Blogs - Wed, 2014-07-09 08:00

Through Adobe Youth Voices, students age 13-19 are using creativity and digital media to create awareness for some of society’s most pressing issues, including bullying, human trafficking, and equality. Read on to learn how each AYV Awards Poster Campaign winner is using graphic design to send a powerful message and look back at the students behind the Documentary videos here.

1st Prize: Love the Diversity

As a Japanese immigrant who learned English as a second language in elementary school, she knows firsthand how lonely it can feel to be thought of as “different.” Her poster, Love the Diversity, celebrates people from a variety of backgrounds and ethnicities and has already been disseminated broadly throughout her high school.

While Sayoko Ariga’s original intention was to provide a safe environment for LGBTQ students and employees at her school, her ultimate goal is for all people to love and accept others. She hopes that her poster will inspire others to create artwork representing equality and acceptance and thatit will encourage others to think about this issue more seriously.

2nd Prize: Held Back By Stress

According to USA Today, more than 27% of teens say they experience extreme stress during the school year, resulting in lack of sleep, lack of exercise, and poor eating habits. Experts are worried that teens are potentially setting themselves up for a future of chronic stress and illness as a result.

Max Stevens knows how stress can affect someone’s life and general outlook. He designed this poster campaign this year to communicate that stress is a serious issue and shouldn’t be taken lightly. More importantly, he says, it’s essential to stay positive, take a step back and breathe.


Audience Award Winner: Be Creative

Creativity does not begin and end with artwork. 19 year-old electrical engineering student, Abdullah Al-Dahshan encourages everyone to follow their own creative path in order to think differently discover innovative solutions to problems.

Patricia Cogley is senior program manager of Adobe Youth Voices.

Updated Flash Player 14 and AIR 14 betas available on Adobe Labs

Adobe Labs - Tue, 2014-07-08 14:29

Updated Flash Player 14 and AIR 14 betas, code named Lombard, are now available on Adobe Labs. This beta release includes new features as well as enhancements and bug fixes related to security, stability, performance, and device compatibility for Flash Player 14 and AIR 14.

Learn more about Adobe AIR 14 beta
Download Adobe AIR 14 beta

Learn more about Flash Player 14
Download Flash Player 14 beta

As always, we appreciate all feedback. We encourage you to post in our beta forums or create bug reports or feature requests on our public bug database.

Flash Player Beta forum
AIR Beta forum
Bug database

Comment on It is easy to fall in love with technology… (by danah boyd) by Eulah Harington

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A Fragile Trust

At the 6th International Integrity and Plagiarism conference last month there was an interesting juxtaposition of talks, some technology-related, but most not. In particular, the keynote sessions provided an array of ideas that I intend to follow up on.

Teddi Fishman (left) in conversation with Samatha Grant On the last day of the conference, the programme opened with a keynote from Samantha Grant, a filmmaker based in San Francisco, who has made the feature length documentary A Fragile Trust, based on the serial plagiarist Jayson Blair, a journalist at the New York Times. The case, when it was discovered in 2003, was such a scandal that it brought down 2 NYT editors. The documentary features interviews with Blair, as well as with other journalists and editors who were caught up in the story.

During her keynote, Samantha played a number of clips from the film, which gave a great insight into the approach she has taken, and raises plenty of questions about ethics in journalism. I now am very keen to watch the full-length version, which may be coming to Netflix in the future.

At the very least, this documentary should be required viewing for all students of journalism. As part of the overall project, the company has also developed an online game Decisions on Deadline for journalism students, to teach ethical decision making. Lesson plans to accompany the game are coming soon.

But I think there are lessons to be learned for all of us involved in academic integrity when watching this film. The short clip below describes a scenario we are all familiar with.

I'm making a transition from the world of journalism to the world of academic, where some students use exactly the same approach as Blair. This points to a culture where we permit (perhaps even encourage) academic dishonesty. If the system does not have integrity, how can we expect it of our students?

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Picture This

CogDogBlog - Mon, 2014-07-07 22:53

Today I had the opportunity to open the Arizona K12 Center’s Ninth Camp Plug and Play in Tucson. About I year ago, I sort of “crashed” their mobile learning conference here– I came down to visit colleagues Dean Shareski and Wes Fryer. Shortly after I got a super nice email from Tony Vincent, leading to this year’s invitation.

This talk was more or less a breeze through five “things” I’ve done around using/creating with images:

It’s easy to take and share digital snapshots (witness Facebook). But we can do much more than capturing moments by creating and expressing ourselves using photographs as part of our visual language. While I was educated as a scientist and self taught myself web-development, telling stories with and through photos is what I am most passionate about. In this session, I share with you five things I’ve done fueled by this interest. These include practicing communication through improvisation, creating stories in pictures only, amazing stories that may happen when you share photos, giving credit for photos you can use, and a strategy for expressing complex ideas or concepts in photos. Maybe one will be interesting to you? Picture that.

Listen to audio recording of presentation

The five things include:

  • improv with pechaflickr
    kudos to participants Nick and Adria (“like Adrian form Rocky without the ‘n’”) for doing a great improv talk on nachos
  • Visual Storytelling with Five Card Flickr Stories
    maybe the fastest demo I’ve ever tried, pretty much just ran one quick round
  • True Stories of Sharing Photographs
    Told the usual favorite, the Amazing Flower Story but did a quick recap of the others in the set; this eas also a chance to talk about how giving credit for use of a photo as a set up for the next item
  • Giving Attribution with flickr cc attribution helper
    I tried to make a case that being asked to give attribution has all the appeal of writing citations and bibliographies in a paper, plus that the way we mostly talk about creative commons is wrapped in language of not giving attribution is “lying” “stealing”, and “plagiarizing” — as in

    Whereas to me, giving attribution is an act of appreciation, acknowledgment, of paying it forward.I showed how writing a model attribution for a flickr photo was about a seven step process, hence the reason for the flickr attribution tool was… selfish.

  • Image Seeking for Fantastic Visual Metaphors
    This was a teaser for my evening workshop, the new teaching kit on an image searching strategy I created for Mozilla’s Teach the Web program.

This was a really energetic group, and i had a lot of fun playing with them.

Thanks Tony.

creative commons licensed ( BY-SA ) flickr photo shared by cogdogblog

In the evening I was asked to run an optional workshop– this was ImageSeeking

Photos and images are the building blocks of most digital expression. We are well past the place of cheap clip art, and have easily accessible more images than we can imagine. Learning how to find images is trivial when you are looking for a specific thing. But when you are trying to find images to represent something metaphorically or more complex (e.g. how do you look for an image to represent “honesty” or “unfairness”?) keywords often fail because these are not literal concepts. In this workshop you will use ImageSeek, built in the free Mozilla Thimble Tool, for not only helping you and your students deploy a more oblique strategy for finding images, but also a way to save and share the process.

Since my Mozilla Teaching kit is remixable, I remixed my own stuff. The workshop materials were a remix of the original teaching kit. Within it, the first activity was a remix of the Image Finding Discussion Activity, etc.

It was quite illustrative to remix my own materials, it made it quite easy to customize them for the workshop.

It ended up more discussion, we had a chance to hear how people search (not everyone reaches for google first); one participant shared the roflbot site which she uses to add attribution to the image she finds.

This was the first chance I asked a group to use the ImageSeek tool and manipulate it in Thimble. I have to admit, as noted in a comment from Robin Good, that it’s a bit complicated to use. Folks had trouble navigating to the right areas to edit, in my demo the scrolling links in the tutorial pane made the code vanish, one participant followed me instructions and all of the line number links were different…

Everyone appreciated the approach, the use of the framing questions, and the idea of keeping a record of your effort, but it seems like its too much overhead to do it all in the Thimble app. I am not surprised, it did seem a tad complicated, but hey, it was an experiment. The idea of searching for metaphors still holds up.

I hope.

creative commons licensed ( BY-SA ) flickr photo shared by quinn.anya

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The Game of Kings: Medieval Ivory Chessmen from the Isle of Lewis

© 2000–2014 The Metropolitan Museum of Art. All rights reserved.
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The Highlights: Adobe Omniture Summit EMEA 2011

Adobe Featured Blogs - Mon, 2014-07-07 16:12

With a record turnout of over 1,300 digital marketers, this year’s Summit was our biggest and best one yet!

Here are some of the highlights:

Brett Error Hits London

Due to popular demand, you can now watch Omniture’s Chief Technologist hitting the streets and talking to Londoners about what they think of the internet. Not one to be missed!

Summit Snaps

Check out our photos and highlights video. We have also uploaded Scriberia’s fantastic visualisations of the keynotes and Twitter buzz to Flickr.

The European Union e-Privacy Directive

This directive came into force on 25 May 2011. We held a session on this at Summit and recommend reading the EU e-Privacy Directive FAQs on the Omniture Blog.

The Conversation Continues…

We have lots of events planned to bring together the Omniture community in a city near you. Omniture Cafes are being scheduled across Europe over the next two months, starting in Stockholm on 7th June, Helsinki on 8th June and Copenhagen on 9th June. This time we’ll be talking about measuring and optimising social media. Keep an eye out for future Cafes on the website.

Keep in Touch

Summit is over, but let’s keep in touch via @OmnitureEMEA. Plus, we’d love your feedback, so let us know what you thought of Summit using #OmtrSummit or email

If you’d like to share your ideas on how best to use our products, how to solve perplexing problems, and how to improve the Online Marketing Suite, then make sure you logon to the Idea Exchange.

Adobe Announces Adobe Connect 9

Adobe Featured Blogs - Mon, 2014-07-07 09:45

It’s wonderful to see all of the innovation happening across different product lines at Adobe. It’s even better when products can leverage and build on innovation from other parts of the company.


Today, Adobe announced the next release of Adobe Connect and Adobe Connect Mobile. Version 9 of Adobe Connect brings a strong focus on helping customers produce engaging webinars. Part of the release incorporates technology from other divisions to help solve customer problems.


Adobe Connect has always provided customers with an incredibly rich solution for marketing webinars. However, the live event is only part of producing a webinar. Customers want to promote their events using social media. They want to create landing pages to increase interest and register unknown users. They need to measure the success of their events and marketing campaigns.


The Adobe Connect team recognized that Adobe has been helping customers solve similar problems in other parts of the organization.


Adobe Connect 9 integrates Adobe CQ5 to ensure that customers can create stunning, and fully customizable micro-sites for promoting their events and registering users. The technology is also leveraged for email invitations, reminders and follow-ups to ensure consistency.


On the back-end, Adobe SiteCatalyst is used as an analytics engine to provide valuable feedback to marketers in terms of which marketing campaigns were most successful in driving people to the event. The same technology also helps organizations optimize every aspect of future webinars.

Adobe Connect Mobile in turn has leveraged Adobe’s advances in mobile authoring tools. Version 2.0 enables true device to device collaboration – giving meeting hosts the ability to manage virtually every aspect of a meeting room, virtual classroom or webinar. Meeting hosts can share documents, annotate whiteboards and other content, and manage the meeting from their tablet or smartphone.

Adobe Connect 9 is a great example of combining technologies from several parts of the organization to help customers solve problems.

Through the Heart, Facebook

CogDogBlog - Sun, 2014-07-06 22:23

With a DELETE stake, that is:

Modified from Public Domain Wikimedia Commons image; Facebook logo? Sue me.

The real question is– can one really kill the Beast?

This is not a reaction to the uproar over the Facebook leaked “research”. I kind of feel that if you can have your emotions manipulated by a Facebook timeline, you have much bigger issues to deal with.

I just do not like Facebook. (Get it?)

I’ve flipped them the bird for being stingy with media. I’ve growled about their literal sucking of your data. I’ve done what I could to neutralize it’s reach. I’ve tried to torque it’s methods by Liking Everything. Then I tried Liking Nothing.

When it comes down to to it, weighing what I get out of Facebook (over the last year, I found myself doing more flipping through the feeds, to get a sense about what other people post) versus what I do…. well the latter was poor. I did get to see more info from some cousins than I normally would. I had some fun leaving snarky comments. I did start a group for the diabetic summer camp I attended as a kid, and saw that grow to over 200 people, and briefly rekindled some connections.

My original intent for joining was to understand it more. I think I have that accomplished. There was a time when I was at NMC that I need an account to authenticate some site against. No need for that.

I find the amount of connectivity broad but really shallow, infrequent. When I leave a comment on someone’s status, I get piles of notifications that other people that I do not know wrote something in the same thread. I find that not very useful because most of the time, I do not know them and what they write has little relevance to mine.

So tonight, while at dinner here at the hotel in Tucson where I speak tomorrow at a conference– I decided, why not kill it? I explored the options via my mobile app, and saw the link to deactivate the account.

That’s my message.

Then it was really nice to delete the app- I expect much better battery life.


Alas, I was not done yet.

@cogdog you probably want to delete not deactivate. Otherwise FB still keeps your account intact.

— Audrey Watters (@audreywatters) July 7, 2014

So back in my room, I had to log on again. Just by doing that, Facebook right away re-activated my account.

Let’s be clear- Facebook makes it really hard to delete an account, and you really have no confidence they did, but they will reinstate you faster than a gnat’s fart.

There is no link or button on your Facebook settings to delete your account. I had to search for it — for your reference, here is the direct URL

On every other social media site, there is a simple “delete account” button on your preferences or settings pages. Facebook throughs you three paragraphs of verbiage. It took a while to find the right link in there:

Note there is no hypertext that reads “delete my account” — it is “let us know”.

Oh, look how nice they are, you can download your information! That might be a nice thing to know what they know.

Except they ask you do let them do something before just giving you your data:

To download your data, you actually have to tell them to collect it? WTF? They have your data– just provide a direct link.

No thanks. My facebook data has zero value to me.

Look how easy they make it, once you commit. See how easy they make it? Just a simple unreadable captcha

I got lucky, I figured it out on one try.

But there is goes, right in the heart.

Unless I am moronic enough to log in (doubtful).

Regardless of their ethics, their every shifting privacy settings, their incessant hoarding of data… the very fact that Facebook makes it this freaking hard to leave tells me that there is something foul smelling in the basement and I don’t want anything to do with it.

That how thing of “Everybody is there?” has no weight. There is bigger place, without restrictions on letting you exit– where everyone is. It’s called The Open Internet.

Or even bigger, The World.

I feel rather at peace.

creative commons licensed ( BY-NC-ND ) flickr photo shared by danncer

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2 Stories, 2 External Services, 2 Lost, 2 Found

CogDogBlog - Sat, 2014-07-05 23:24

creative commons licensed ( BY-SA ) flickr photo shared by automat

It’s not as much a spirit of web reclaiming as much as a preference for writing on the web that this my primary space. But is is a spirt of the way I like to understand web technology to try stuff.

So much later than most, a few weeks ago I gave the writing environment of medium a try. I decided to take something I had written five years ago, and do it as a rewrite.

I have to admit I enjoyed the minimal editing interface. There’s no mondo toolbar like Word, and much less than WordPress. It’s just writing, and if you hilite text, minimal formatting

The lead image becomes the title page, and the small amount of text on the main screen makes you think about the lead in to the story. I took the original opening to my story, and found it tried to explain to much, plus there was no strong pull. SO I cut it way down. Went lean.

Each time you start a new paragraph, you have have an option to add media- images, video, or anything else with an embed- again, with a minimal tool thing that disappears.

You can make the images be in line with the text, or spread across the page (hello parallax) and even with an overlay of text.

Unlike most systems, there is not a compose/preview/compose/preview cycle — you see it all as you write.

I was liking it. Two hours went by, and I found myself doing a lot of re-writing to what feels now like awkward and uneven writing (the original was a blog post).

And then something happened.

There was an image I decided to change, and I selected it, clicked the delete key. I recall some sort of dialog box, confirming flying by (and I was feeling tired), but next thing I was back on the medium home page.

Everything was GONE. I tried undo, back page clicking.



I went to sleep.

Last week, I had a curious incident prompt me for a story. I was feeling done with medium, and decided to give it a go in Cowbird because I saw it as a rich mixture of image and text. I’ve written maybe 130 pieces there (another half done project sites there half done).

I’m familiar with Cowbird, and having joined as a Citizen, I was using its features to write multipage stories. It too is simple, again forces you to focus on the writing, not some interface or some pile of wiki codes you have to memorize (sorry Mike). I went to save my story and…

Sorry, but there was an error saving your story.

Sorry? Sorry? WTF? What kind of error? How helpful is that?

I retried. Same result.

I read the FAQ, it said to copy the text of the story, and try a new one.

Same result.

Now with medium and cowbird piling on me, I am wondering WHY THE _________ I WOULD WRITE ANYTHING ON A THRDY PARTY SITE.

I am 0 / 2.

How about these for hints.

Google Reader. Posterous. Pownce. Orkut. xtranorml. Jumpcut.

I could have done both of these stories right here.

What to do?

Of course! Complain!

I was really enjoying editing my first @medium story. Then I tried to delete an image and my entire 2 hours of writing disappeared. #mefail

— Alan Levine (@cogdog) June 22, 2014

Anyone home at @cowbird ? I've published 131 stories fine. For number 132 it refuses to save images. I've emailed support. #frustrated

— Alan Levine (@cogdog) July 4, 2014

I got a faint reply from medium asking if I checked my history. History? I was thinking that since I never saved there was no history.

Then I heard from cowbird that they got my message and were looking into it.

And yesterday, just out of curiosity, I wen back to medium, and had never noticed the slide out menu on the left, when you click the logo. There was an item called “Drafts”. I clicked.

And there was my draft. All of it.

Damn. PEBKAC. And I am up to 1 / 2.

Then I got an email from Bryan Alexander asking why I posted the same story to cowbird three times. How was that? The site said there was an error saving.

I went to cowbird and checked. Indeed, there were three copies of my story in the published pile. But all of them were missing the four photos I had added. So I deleted two of them, and re-edited the remaining one to add back the photos. Save.

Damn, same error.

So I let it lie. For 2 days.

And today, I was able to re-insert my images, and save the cowbird story. Bingo!, 2 / 2.

After all, that.. what about the **##$ stories?

Of course. Aloneness / Loneliness, published on medium recaps my experience spending a month in Iceland in 2008, alone dog/house sitting, but pretty isolated. It was originally written in November 2008 as a caption to a flickr photo.

Let’s see how the embed works…

Aloneness / Loneliness

Note: This is not an embed of my story; it is an embed of a graphic link to my story. Bad medium.

The shape of it is the same, but I did a lot of rewording, introduced a few more elements (and photos), and mostly moved from describing a series of events with a tad of reflection to being much more reflective (I hope so).

The process of re-writing was illuminating; I had a chance to look back on the experience with a lot more life gone by. And I can see un doing this how much my writing style has changed (except for the typos, that is consistent).

The second story, now published in cowbird, is Ascribing Cause. This came from a night last week when a cabinet in my kitchen spontaneously fell from the wall and smashed my dishes to tiny shards. I had been standing right in front of it a few minutes earlier– and cannot recall exactly what compelled me to move.

Note: This does embed the cowbird in vertical scrolling form. Cowbird trumps medium in this department.

In the time since I wrote it and thought it gone, and returning back, I re-edited a lot of the dialogue and tried to move away from cliche phrases. Again, having the time to re-compose makes the story much better.

I think it does.

Is this where I say something about all being well / ending well? There are features I like in both writing environments. And I have a back struggle with the idea of my story being elsewhere. My blog is in its 11th year and there is no reason to worry about it not being there in the future. These other services? Could be gone in a snap.

But I also had a chance here to rework a story a few times, and can see how much more work I could have done there.

Stories…. Lost, Found, Published.

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James Dog: You Only Bark Twice

CogDogBlog - Fri, 2014-07-04 22:03

Dusting off some ds106 poster riffing. I guess there as some fun banter about remixing james bond posters with some dogs we know, Mariana was off and running with it… But she let me down by not making it an assignment.

So I had to step in with The Best Bond Is A Dog:

All thanks to a conversation on Twitter. An emergent DS106 assignment ‘Remix (in a dog appropriate manner) a Bond movie title and create a poster’.

Hence, Daphne Groom, in the classic “You Only Bark Twice”

(you ought to click to see 00Daphne in full size glory)

I decided to give Daphne some more dog pride that she gets in this photo of Miles and Tessie with that poor dog in a tutu!

creative commons licensed ( BY-NC-SA ) flickr photo shared by snakepliskens

I liked the 1960s motif of the poster from You Only Live Twice, appropriate since it features Jim’s favorite Bond actor ;-) There is something parallel about Bond surrounded by the ladies in Bikinis and the way Daphne is surrounded on the photo.

The PhotoShoppery was the usually amount of clone brush, paste in place. I even managed to tint Tessie’s hands a bit to match the skin of the others. I tossed in a pic of Jim in his stunning suit from the TEDx in Puerto Rico just to cover up Sean Connery. That was first time I used the Edit Special-> Past Around to make something come in outside of a selection, that worked well.

Gill Sans Ultra Bold, squeezed and stretched a bit, did a good job of faking the poster text. Normally I go to the detail of editing the producer and director credits, but this is enough for one night’s poster re-editing.

You Only Bark Twice!

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Reading Bandits

CogDogBlog - Fri, 2014-07-04 20:03

I cannot claim as ambitious a summer reading agenda as Jim Groom, but somehow I have managed to finish an unprecedented two novels in the last 3 weeks.

Both were titles I picked up at one of the book sales from the Pine Arizona Library; first was David Mitchell’s Black Swan Green; I grabbed that only because of how much I enjoyed reading Cloud Atlas (oh wait, I have a report on that one when I read it in 2011). I could not put it down, but that’s another post. I did jump a connection in talking about why zombies bore me.

Mitchell's writing has me drawn in deep. Parents squabble over backdrop of Falklands war– "Pyrrhic victories"

— Alan Levine (@cogdog) June 19, 2014

I had never read Elmore Leonard before, and likely picked it up out of curiosity/respect when he passed away last summer. And this is by no means a literary review or plot summary… but here goes. The story takes place in new Orleans and has a central ex-con, Jack Delaney as primary character. At first he was just a bit too perfect, former jewel thief, could have been model, a bit wry, obviously a ladies man, and he ends up getting involve with a beautiful ex-nun and a plot to steal money from some bad people.

But what I found in reading this book is how Leonard really does not stick to the expected plot lines, there are twists turns, the obvious romance never happens, and it is more dialogue then action. And as described in a New York Times review, it really is more about the characters than the action:

But it will do. Mr. Leonard has got his usual diverting cast of grifters and creeps up his sleeve and action as Byzantine as ever Chandler himself thought up. In fact, reading it, I felt like William Faulkner when he was writing the screenplay for the film version of Chandler’s novel “The Big Sleep.” The story is that he had to call up Chandler to find out what was going on. Chandler wasn’t sure.

Yes, it will do.

Letting the Characters Do It

“Most thrillers,” says Elmore Leonard, “are based on a situation, or on a plot, which is the most important element in the book. I don’t see it that way. I see my characters as being most important, how they bounce off one another, how they talk to each other, and the plot just sort of comes along.” In fact, Mr. Leonard is so comfortable allowing his characters to control the pace and action of his stories that he didn’t know how “Bandits” would end until three days before he finished it last April.

And without giving anything away, the story could have ended in at least 4 or 5 different ways and still be satisfying. And you find out that the key character on which it all turns is not the one you have been following for most of the book.


What I found enjoyable is how deep and genuine (as far as I can tell) Leonard gets to the setting of New Orleans outside of the stereotypes. He paints that tension of locals versus tourists:

Out on Bourbon Street bumping into each other, the whole bunch of them aimless, probably thinking, this is it, huh? The street a midway of skin shows and tacky novelty shops. The poor guys at Preservation Hall and other joints playing that canned Dixieland, doing “When the Saints” over and over for the tourists in the doorways. There was some good music around, if Al Hirt was in town or you found a group with Bill Huntington playing his standup bass or Ellis Marsalis somewhere. His boy Wynton had left town with his horn to play for the world.

That reference jumped me back to a trip in 2008 for a conference at Tulane, and my local colleague/friend Marie took me to a place called Snug Harbor, and saw not only Ellis Marsalis, but the youngest son, Jason, too.

creative commons licensed ( BY-SA ) flickr photo shared by cogdogblog

Well written setting and a swirl of characters, none too sure who is quite the good guys… all for a good read.

I wonder what is next?

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Free #thoughtvectors Inquiry Project Idea Available

CogDogBlog - Fri, 2014-07-04 19:35

Public Domain image “Space-Tech Lab. QA-118-REG balanced vacuum tube pre-amplifier with tube rectifier and tube regulator” from Wikimedia Commons

In scanning the Thoughtvectors blogs and twitter stream, a lot of students/participants are well on their way starting their Inquiry Projects.

But should anyone be in search of one, I have one I started a while ago, that is free for anyone to run with. It is almost a year since last reporting on the 60,000 Times Question Remains Unanswered:

Back in May I wrote about trying to locate the source of a statement that is repeated so much, I had heard it, and accepted it as something that somewhere had a research basis- it is some variation of:

Research at 3M Corporation concluded that we process visuals 60000 times faster than text.

This is a statement that has been repeated so often on web sites, presentations, the web sites of exerpts on visual communciations, published books and articles — go ahead and google it — 42,000 hits on that exact phrase — that it takes on the allure of truth.

Or truthiness.

Except one problem.

One small problem.

There is (as far as I can tell form a lot of looking) no reliable source of that research.

Here is the problem with citations. They look concrete. A typical citation for this assertion is:

3M Corporation research cited in “Polishing Your Presentation.” 3M Meeting Network Articles & Advice (2001) [Online Article]. Available:

Except there is one problem. If you actually read that document, it is really a brochure, and the research cited is mentioned in that document as

Did you know that visual aids have been found to improve learning by up to 400 percent? Did you realize that we can process visuals 60,000 times faster than text? Would you guess that the average person only remembers about a fifth of what they hear?

These findings from behavioral research confirm our daily experience: we rely on all our senses to bring ideas and concepts to life. Effective presenters today realize that preparing to take the podium means more than having your index cards in order. As photos, illustrations, graphs and text make their way into presenters’ toolboxes, audiences are coming to expect impressive visual aids. However, high-quality images aren’t the whole story. Visuals should support you, not replace you. Use them instead to shed light on your key messages and capture the audience’s interest.

So the research is never cited, it is only vague inferred. So if you provide a citation to a source that does not provide the reference, how valid is that?

After all this time, I do not believe it exists. I have even put money on the table as a bet

creative commons licensed ( BY-NC ) flickr photo shared by Its.MJ

Yes, I offered a cash prize of $60 to anyone that can produce the research behind the claim. That money remains un-earned.

But the inquiry is not as much the pursuit of the answer, but more into a question of how does one counter a claim that is repeated so much that people accept it as truth?

cc licensed ( BY NC SA ) flickr photo shared by Kalexanderson

For a parallel example of faulty / wrong information repeated so much that it’s accepted as truth, see the debunking of Dale’s Cone of Experience. This is a fascinating challenge in an ecosystem of abundant, unchecked information.

Any takers?

My research trails to date:

$60 could be yours!

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Comment on General Comments by Lue Brickell

Fantastic blog! Do you have any recommendations for aspiring writers? I’m hoping to start my own site soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you propose starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m completely overwhelmed .. Any ideas? Thanks!

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Comment on General Comments by Kristen Zoch

I absolutely love your blog.. Very nice colors & theme. Did you make this web site yourself? Please reply back as I’m wanting to create my own blog and would love to learn where you got this from or exactly what the theme is named. Kudos!

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Digital stories in a language classroom: Engaging students through meaningful multimodal projects

Digital Stories @ UMBC - Fri, 2014-07-04 09:00
Here is a great article by Polina Vinogradova, based largely on digital story work at UMBC. Digital stories in a language classroom: Engaging students through meaningful multimodal projects, Ana Oskoz and Heather Linville also contributed to the article.
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Independent studies question if "platform agnostic" exists

What was the one-word stumbling block most encountered by educators in their digital learning efforts during the 2013-2014 school year? The issue likely to repeat itself into 2015 and beyond? One where a false sense of security leads many school systems down the same troublesome path? 

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NEWS & UPDATES: This Week at the Center: July 2, 2014

The third annual Teagle Summer Institute for graduate student teachers and a session on tools and strategies for supporting humanities faculty and students.
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Washington Crossing the Delaware

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Nelson Rockefeller's 1969 Audio Guide Introduction

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