Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween AND good Saint's Day

 As usually Google did a great job putting their halloween Google logos galore:

They even offer you a help to get into the Halloween spirit by "Halloweenify" your google plus profile photo:

Tomorrow is All Saints' day(All Hallows day, or lately just All Dead day). That holiday we celebrate in Poland, and most Western Christian countries. That one is much more reflective, sad day in which we remember all the people that are gone. We visit the graves bring flowers, and light the candles for their souls. Prior to that day many organizations taking on themselves to clean up the graves of those whose families are lost, or unknown, such as fallen soldiers of World Wars and old historical cemeteries.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Information Literacy - resources for my presentation during the ITEC conference

meme by imgflip

Information literacy is more than possessing information. Information literacy is the ability "to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate and use effectively the needed information." (ACRL, 2000)

Resources for the activities during the presentation: or text keyword to 22333

Scrutinize the websites below. Can you find an argument to support or discredit the legitimacy of your website? How can you prove it? Can you see the purpose behind the website? Could you use it in your classroom?

group 1 (elementary):
group 2:
group 3:
group 4:

You may use steps from the Internet Detective website the Detective Work section and Stephen Downe's Principles for Evaluating Websites  (resources below)

What kid of practical steps can you and your students take to critically evaluate information found on the Internet?
Big 6 and Super3  models of how people should solve an information strategies. Super 3 is a simplified model for the youngest students.  Here is a handout (developed by two educators, Michael B. Eisenberg and Robert E. Berkowitz)

Additional resources:
ISTE Standards for students connection:  Standard # 3:Research and Information Fluency:
Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.
ISTE  Standards for teachers connection:  2 d. Model and facilitate effective use of current and emerging digital tools to locate, analyze, evaluate, and use information resources to support research and learning

Siemens and Downes theory of connectivism: -Reference source for urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation - Get the truth about rumors, inspirational stories, virus warnings, hoaxes, scams, humorous tales, pleas for help, urban legends, prayer requests, calls to action, and other forwarded emails. - dedicated to" debunking email hoaxes, thwarting Internet scammers, combating spam, and educating web users about email and Internet security issues" - collaborative resource for  documented information about the corporations, industries, and people trying to influence public policy and public opinion - collection of domain name ownership records in the world (also look -  a research based multimedia tutorial that teaches effective web research skills to both educators and students

EDUCASE article  Information Literacy: A neglected Core Competency 
Dulcinea Media - A student friendly suit of search engines and web resources
Proclamation by president Barack Obama (2009) establishing October as National Information Literacy Awareness Month. 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

I am looking at the NMC Horizon Report Europe 2014 Schools Edition

The New Media Consortium Horizon Report Europe 2014 Schools Edition is out!
The report describes the trends, technologies and challenges for European schools over the next five years. Although the report was issues for Europe there are many similarities with trends and challenges in the States. I am not sure if it is the fact that I am from Europe or is is simply better visualized but I found the HR European edition easier to read.

The trends from fastest to long range:
  • Growing Ubiquity of Social Media
  • Rethinking the Roles of Teacher (as a result of ICT- Information and Communication Technology)
  • Increasing Focus on Open Educational Resources
  • Increasing Use of Hybrid Learning Designs (emphasis on P2P collaboration at school and online resources to extend learning to home - flipped classroom? ) 
  • Evolution of Online Learning (rich media, more interactive features, better-defined outcomes. Increased consideration of how both students and teachers are impacted)
  • Rise of Data-Driven Learning and Assessment - (data for personalizing the learning experience, for ongoing formative assessment of learning, and for performance measurement)

Challenges in order from easily solvable to more elusive

  • Integrating ICT in Teacher Education - Well, we can help with that: Become EdTech minor or pursue MA in IT  people! :-)
  • Students’ Low Digital Competence (kids are lacking critical skills how to analyze and evaluate the authenticity of the increasing amount of messages they encounter everyday).
  • Blending of Formal and Non-Formal Learning (attention toward self-directed, curiosity-based learning that can happen in non-traditional, non-formal educational environments).
  • Creating Authentic Learning Opportunities (Use of learning scenarios that incorporate real life experiences, technology, and tools that are already familiar to students, and seek interactions from community)
  • Complex Thinking and Communication -  which bring to my mind Siemens and Downes theory of connectivism
  • Students as Co-Designers of Learning - the role of the teacher is shifting to being more of a mentor and advisor in the learning journey.
  • The US version also had  listed  Increased Privacy Concerns; Competition from alternative schools, especially those with online programs.

Here is a wiki that was put for european schools to discuss the trend

UNI IT - helping with an integration of ITC in Teacher Ed since the beginning of its existence :-) 

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Exorcist . Brilliant Ad!

Try to guess what it is about. I bet you can't. No cheating!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Changes for Foursquare

First Foursquare moved the check -in option to a separate app called Swarm. Now I noticed it changed its logo. Personally I was using the app sporadically mostly to check-in - which is no longer part of the foursquare. Hmm..
The welcome message stays:
“The new Foursquare is all about helping you find places you’ll love, anywhere in the world. Swarm: Your Swarm check-ins will continue to teach Foursquare about the places you like, but your location will never be shown to anyone in Foursquare"  
So, to my understanding, Swarm became old Foursquare and Foursquare became…Yelp?

New logo and add on app
Old logo

Friday, July 11, 2014

Why Big 10 Conference changed their logo

Let me preface with the explanation that I am extremely ignorant when it comes to sports. I was using the old big 10 logo for years in my Visual Literacy class as a good example of the negative space used in design.  So naturally, when I discovered that they changed the logo I decided to find out why.

The Big Ten Conference (B1G), formerly Western Conference and Big Nine Conference, is the oldest  (120 years) Division I collegiate athletic conference in the United States.  In 1990 the conference added 11th member, Penn State, which was honored in the logo in a very clever way: The designer hid a number 11 in the negative space around the letter T. Brilliant, right? Now the problem arrived in 2011 when they added 12th member.

The new Big Ten logo was developed by Michael Bierut and Michael Gericke of the international design firm Pentagram. Looks like they designed it in 2010 in anticipation of the changes. The new logo, B1G , can be read two ways - BIG and IG may be read as a number 10. Clever design that combines word big and number 10 in a single word.  Timeless! They honored the old name but don't have to worry about changes in the number of members in a future.

Old logo - notice the number 11 created by the negative space

The new logo combines word big and number 10 in a single word 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Netflix gives their logo a makeover

I just noticed on my Apple TV menu that Netflix updated its logo. It is more flat and simplified (much like a new google). It is still on a arch but I thin it is now cleaner more arched line.  I didn't notice any other changes in their service. I think that the opening page is simplified to three options Browse, Kids, and DVDs - but I am not sure of how much it changed.
On apple TV

old logo
new logo on apple TV

new logo on their website

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

My 7th #Twitterversary !

Yesterday I received this cute e-card from twitter. It's been seven years already
 Here is my very first tweet :-)

You can find yours, and others at: 

My favorite first tweet is by one of my role models Madeleine Albright @madeline
Since my first tweet I grew as a professional and I learn a lot from my twitter PLN. I had a lot of fun following interesting people, places and events.  

In 2009 I posted to the tweet challenge by David Pogue @Pogue
  "What is the best bumper sticker you've ever seen?" 
my answer in >140 characters was 
"LIBRARIANS: The original search engine"
My tweet was selected to his book "The World According to Twitter
and I received autographed copy! 

I use twitter mostly to share interesting resources and info with my students (#unietd #ctele) or as a Backchannel during the lectures #unietd. I like learn from others.
I love using twitter as a "second screen" during #Oscars #goldenglobes and other #redcarpet events.
I find twitter especially useful during the conferences like  #i11i #itec #edcampiowa.
My favorite quote about twitter is the one provided by @rgalloway 
"So, what people need to realize is that innovative technologies like Twitter are really what you make them to be. Imaginative people will always be able to use simple tools to accomplish great things."
I think that sums it up. Happy Tweeting!

PS. Here is my profile as of today. I didn't try yet the new profile. From what I saw on other users pages it looks like crossover between Google plus and Facebook.
April 23, 2014

Saturday, April 5, 2014

'There are no shocking pictures, only shocking reality' - Oliviero Toscani

Oliviero Toscani
Background Kissing Nun (1992) 
Challenging the principle of 
religious celibacy
Oliviero Toscani, is one of my favorite visual artists. This awesomely controversial Italian photographer that shaped the image of United Color of Benetton in the 80's and 90's,  keeps in awe the world with his creativity,  crude images, provocative messages, and bold fight for social change.  His art serves as fuel for debates and make people think.

I often use his images when introducing the principals of visual design (or CARP model) , when talking about diversity, visual literacy or  media influences on our self image.

His work has as many critics as praisers. Some say he has no right to use serious subjects to sell as trivial thing as clothes. Or that he is just an arrogant scandal seeker.  Other applauding his ability to be more than just an advertiser. You be the judge! Here is my pro list

√ He helped raise AIDS awareness . While advertising Benetton Toscani made a decision to show the reality of dying of AIDS.  The controversy around the image came form similarity to pieta paintings.  But despite the disputes related to sacrilegious message, the elephant in the room  an AIDS  problem was also addressed.

David Kirby dying of AIDS and his family. 
Photo taken by Therese Frare in Ohio SU Hospital (1990) 

√ He spoke against war.  1991 campaign featured cemetery in France with rows of crosses and one star of David. The message was quite simple : When you die it does not matter who you are, what is your rank, social status,  nationality, or religion. In war the death is the only victor.  

1991 "War Cemetery" Ad appeared in Italian media few days
before Gulf War and was immediately banned.

1994 Allegedly Uniform of dead Croat soldier
Marinko Gagro killed in the Bosnian war

√ He spoke against racism.  In 1984 the 'All Colors of the World' campaign he photographed multicultural group of young people wearing Benetton clothes. It was the first time when such a diverse group  appeared together in a positive light in an Italian advertising. 

Interestingly, all his race related campaigns sparked heated debates and were often accused of being racist. The breastfeeding ad according to critics does not show the racial harmony but rather suggest black servitude. Because of outrage of unspecified African -American organization  Benetton withdrawn the ad in United States. The rest of the world praised the concept and the art.

1989 campaign for equality. Black woman breast-feeding white
baby is the most-awarded image in Benetton's advertising history

1990 The theme of multiculturalism
 appropriate for 'United Colors' 
was a main theme for almost 10 years

Hearts 1996. 
Critics called it the most racist.
They are actually pigs hearts.

√ He spoke against death penalty.  The 'We, On Death Row'  2000 campaign feature death-row inmates and the slogan 'Sentenced to Death'. It stirred so much controversy that Toscani had to leave Benetton after being their Creative Director for 18 years.

2000. The On Death Row campaign 
was the reason why he left Benetton

√ He fought for gay rights.   In 2005 he managed to piss of the Catholic groups (again!)  by putting homosexuals in rather shocking positions while advertising Ra-Re clothing brand.
The campaign came in a middle of 
 ongoing debate in Italy about gay rights.

√ Working for No-li-ta clothing company he took part in fight against anorexia. 

2007 French model/actress Isabelle Caro (1982 – 2010)
Suffered from severe anorexia nervosa 
With ad she became the face of anorexia fight

√ He took part in promoting tolerance and global love.  Recently in 2011 the Benetton foundation launched  the 'Unhate' campaign.  'A campaign to combat the culture of hate'. Which contrary to its message, evoke extremely strong reactions.
The ad showing doctored image of Pope Benedict XVI kissing a top Egyptian imam on the lips was withdrawn almost immediately after the Vatican denounced it as an "unacceptable" provocation.

2011 Storefront in Paris. German Chancellor Angela Merkel 
kissing French President Nicolas Sarkozy 
and Chinese President Hu Jintao kissing Barack Obama

2011. Pope Benedict XVI kissing 
an Egyptian imam Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayeb 
withdrawn after the Vatican denounced it as provocation.

What's next maestro? Oil dependency? Green Planet? Crazy parents agains vaccination? Crazy governments against birth control? Exploitation of illegal immigrants? Children trafficking? The distribution of wealth? There is so much shocking cruelty, stupidity, ignorance, shortsightedness, -isms in the world...

Or perhaps it's time to focus solely on positives ? I love the direction taken be the Benneton group and the UNHATE Foundation. I like the idea of focusing on the new generation.

The Toscani's  legacy is visible in every Benneton project.  The Raza Umana Italia  latest project by Oliviero Toscani Studio looks interesting but I am waiting for his next BIG international move!

Oh, and by the way, the Benetton advertisement did it's magic on me :-)  I really enjoy their classic clothing line for kids.

2011 - Vivi & Lili exploring  the cavities :-) ©


I started this post quite some time ago, but every time I thought that I am ready to finish it I had to stumbled upon yet another interesting piece of information or a new image! As usually, when you deal with fascinating subject, you found yourself few hours later with the nagging feeling that you need to learn more ;-)
Here are some of the better resources I used to educate myself on the subject:

  • United Color of Benetton. Case Study (pdf)
  • Creative Review - Benetton Hits Middle Age 
  • The True Colors of Oliviero Toscani by Eric J. Lyman 
  • P. Rutherford, (2000) Endless propaganda: The Advertising of Public Goods; University of Toronto Press
  • O. Toscani (1997) Reklama uśmiechnięte ścierwo; Warszawa. Agencja Wydawnicza Delta (oryg. fr. La Pub est une charogne qui nous sourit (Reliure inconnue) 1995)
Ps. This is an updated repost. I originally created it in March 2012 but the subject keeps coming back :-)