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The Flickr UproarYahoo! has desperately been trying to make itself relevant again, what with the announcement earlier this week that they had purchased Tumblr. As part as their announcement, they also decided to give Flickr a major update.It's not like Flickr couldn't have used an update. I joined in 2005, before Yahoo! purchased it, and since the Yahoo! it seems like it was the neglected stepchild program that nobody knew what to do with. Sure, features here and there were added, but there's a lot that has not changed over the years. Now that we've got a "mobile device" in the house, I downloaded Flickr's app, tried it once and didn't use it again because it seemed that poorly designed. Besides that, no matter where I have been, uploading to Flickr has always been slow. Now, I don't have the smallest file sizes, but it's not like I've ever uploaded a RAW file or a Photoshop file with 50 layers to it. However, for as much as it wasn't "cool" and "flashy", it got to be a place where there wasn't just a nice repository (extremely well tagged) of photos of almost anything and anywhere you can imagine, it was also neat to communicate with others in regard to photography. Even as there became other popular photo sites, Flickr was the place that kind of kept chugging along, because it was easy enough to invite even non-Flickr users to navigate, but also powerful enough that people who were even semi-serious about photography could explore and learn.The new update is awful. Now, I don't use Instagram or Facebook photos or Google+ photos or Pinterest, so I don't have a huge frame of reference to know what effect they were going for, but, for instance, on Monday, when I logged into Flickr, my main page was absolute chaos. I couldn't tell how to navigate anything, but when I tried to scroll down to get to the links there (including help), the page just started adding more photos, never letting me click on the bottom bar. My profile picture looked horrible because, as a profile pic, its resolution had been lowered. I did not appreciate mousing over my kind-of profile pic and having the snarky message "Upload a bigger & better pic - PLEASE!". Ridiculous.But this seems to be the way that Flickr feels it can treat its most loyal customers. The 1TB of free space is great for those who casually use Flickr for sharing photos from their iPhones. The start page with all the pictures is great when you have 35 pictures on Flickr (as did one reviewer), but atrocious to try to wade through when you have more than 5000. Furthermore, the "Pro" accounts offered unlimited space & uploads, plus stats, etc. Now the only upgrade is to "Ad-Free", which only removes ads on your viewing experience, not what you've put on your profile for others to see (which is horrible for those professionals who were using Flickr as an extension of their own websites.) There have also been accolades as to how nice the new mobile app is (for those who have compatible devices), which was a needed upgrade, but for those who are doing more than uploading from their phones, like more serious photographers do, it's a nightmare to try to use it with a desktop or laptop.I have always had the problem of Flickr running slowly. When I did batch uploads, I often would set it going, and then do something else - or go to bed - while it would take its time getting my photos online. This new scheme seems to do nothing to fix that problem. Yahoo! rolled out this without updating help files. Personally, I have had problems now of schemes switching back and forth - I click one thing, and I get the new thing, and I click on another link to do the same thing, and I get the old scheme. I have seen my permissions on sets have been screwed up, and so for the time being (because I still have a lot of time left on my Pro account - if I don't demand a refund) I'm in the process of turning them all private until it's clear whether Yahoo! plans on clearing up this mess or not. In the process of doing this, I've run into bugs, for example where I changed the permission of a set of 254 photos, and once it finished, the folder said it only had 54 pictures in it. What happened to the other 200? I'm not the only one who's upset. In the main thread rolling out the changes and asking for feedback, there are well over 20,000 comments, and they are overwhelmingly negative. This isn't just a matter of users not liking change, but of being sold out by the powers that be. Most of the people who have complained the loudest are paying, "Pro" users, and while many try to make it out to be a case of "sour grapes", claming, incorrectly, that the Pro users are only upset because now free users are getting what Pro users used to pay for, that's not the issue. If there's any business lesson to learn from "New Coke" or JCPenney or any number of business fiascos, it's not alienating your biggest, best, core customers. Not only did these changes do that, but Yahoo's CEO made remarks disparaging the "Pro" users as well. This goes deeper, though. Flickr billed itself as a service, based on a "freemium" model, that offered photographers, amateur and professional, a place to collect and share photos, as well as socialize. By paying for a "Pro" membership, we became customers, and customers who liked the service enough to support it with our money. What Yahoo! has done with Flickr now is say that they don't care about any of that; that instead of their business being that of selling a service, it's a site to collect ad revenue, powered by the content that their customers have paid to put in the site, in essence, turning the customer into the commodity. I have no doubt that the "freemium" model is hard to keep going, after all, look at the changes that have happened to LJ. However, at least in the US (in Russia, the case may be signifcantly different) although ads were added, I daresay it's not the content that's driving the advertising. It's this lovely, highly indexed database of photos that has accumulated over the years that Yahoo! believes to be its goldmine, customers be damned. Businesses have to make money, and I have absolutely no problem with that, but as customers - or former customers, as the case may be - we don't have to be happy with the changes, and we don't have to continue to support a business that we feel royally screwed up here.As I said, I don't know what the result of all these complaints will be, but here are some of the sites that people have suggested as alternatives:500pxFotkiIpernity1xSmugmugTroveboxI'd link to some of the articles here too, but at this point, it's just too time consuming.
Keith and I were looking at Manchester's collection of 20th century British art. We weren't impressed. Here's Vanessa Bell trying to be Cezanne and here- on a later wall- is Vanessa Bell trying to be Matisse. Here's Ben Nicholson trying to be Braque and here's someone whose name I forget trying to be Dali. A theme emerges. Even Paul Nash- an artist capable of great work- spends a lot of his time giving us Cezanne's take on the English countryside. I don't hate these paintings- I'd be happy to hang most of them over my fireplace- but they're imitative and second-rate. The only artists who emerge with real credit are the ones who don't give a damn about riding the European art history train: Spencer, for instance and Burra and Lowry- sons of Hogarth all three- bloody-minded, obsessive and in love with the grotesque.Later we sat in front of Ford Madox Brown's "Work". Keith doesn't like it but I think it's wonderful so I tried to convert him. Brown is another Son of Hogarth. He's doing the great 19th century novel in paint. His people are goblins. The weird, flattened perspective of the foreground- as if viewed through a telephoto lens- threatens to tip Victorian Hampstead into your lap.
In Stories From The Dark Earth Julian Richards has been revisiting some of the digs he featured in the 1990s archaeology programme Meet the Ancestors. Science has advanced in the last decade or so and now all sorts of additional information can be gleaned from the findings (which is a great argument for not reburying old bones but keeping them reverently in hat boxes.) Last night he was looking at the Anglo-Saxons.When they first dug up a man who had been buried with his horse in Lakenheath, Suffolk- on what was then a USAF base- all they could say with certainty was that he was a warrior. Now we know he came very early in the Anglo-Saxon time-line but was born locally, that he was related to a number of the people buried near him and that his was almost certainly the foundation burial about which three cemeteries grew. Also they've reconstructed his horse's bridle; it was a fancy piece of work with dangly bits.As it happens he features in a poem I wrote after watching Julian's original show. He's an old friend and it's good to know him better. LAKENHEATH Under Number One Baseball field The Saxons slumber. Sand devours But chalk preserves their skeletons. Next to the archer lie his bow With six sharp arrows in a quiver. Fear him, grievous underworld creatures! Fear the knight with sword and shield And bridled war-horse laid beside him! Graves of children cluster round him, Once and always their defender... Tock- a baseball sails the sky That's scored with wakes of flying ships, And rolls to rest beneath the poplars.
My mother has some lovely mature trees on her property. This wild cherry is one of the loveliest. As I was taking its picture I noticed a tiny sickle shape drifting towards a cloud. That can't be the moon, I thought; it's the wrong way up and it's the wrong time of day. It was a hang-glider. It must have come off the North Downs two or three miles away and then ridden the thermals until it was all but out of sight.
My mother's house is isolated. If you want to get off the premises you need a car. Last Sunday (I think it was) I went for a walk down a footpath I'd not noticed before, hoping it might lead to shops. It didn't. It went round in a circle but on the way it took in this little bluebell wood.
Instructional Strategy Overview (3 strategies in current use)
1. Homework and Practice (Marzano)
Most of the homework outside of class period time is from the textbook. It is used primarily as introduction to the next topic or lesson. It is also rather simple verbatim answering of questions. I do like assigning questions that are found in the caption of photographs, illustrations, graphics, or charts. They force the student to interact more in tune with the reading than simply “hunting and pecking” for the answer. I usually collect the homework the next day and chart it simply as an on-task effort. Sometimes I go over the questions or highlight key ones. Mostly, though, I get on with the heart of the lesson either through note-taking, laboratory exercise, and discussion.
I am not convinced this is the most effective strategy. I am thinking of doing this more as a flipped classroom exercise when students come to the lesson having seen a ten minute presentation the evening before as their introduction. I have a problem with using valuable class time for them to read the text and answer related questions. I’d much rather do constructive and cooperative learning at these times.
I am looking for a better way to engage the text part of their overall lesson plan. I just don’t see how effective it is doing it in class, no less than when they do it for homework. The class time is to valuable for wasting time on this sort of homework practice.
2. Cooperative Learning (Marzano)
In laboratory science groups are always being formed for the tasks at hand. It lends easily to this strategy as students must work together to perform the laboratory event. For example, this week in Life Science, students are given a random grouping of mammal pictures and they have to organize and classify them according to the current zoological understanding. It is a tedious paper lab and it takes them a long time. The effectiveness is found in discovering that science can be painstakingly and patience working through the idea is needed....especially in this age of quick and fast movement to get things figured out and done. After a couple of class periods the rhythm of organizing begins to take shape. The adjustments and readjustments are showing understanding. The process begins to unfold.
It just burns a lot of time to make the cut-outs, identify the species, to paperclip the groupings and then make the booklet to glue down the family groupings of mammals. In this way it would not be much different than doing textbook homework during class time.
In Earth Science 8, we were doing a “Density of Petrified Wood” lab. This brought on scientific measurement and the understanding of density as a scientific concept. It was group work, but each student was responsible for making their own data chart. At the end, each one was given a stone (or other object) different from another and they had to figure out its density. This was highly effective because in the group work they had plenty of practice rounds, now could they perform it on their own. This was the quest. Perhaps some snuck a little help on the side when I couldn’t monitor it fully, but I let that go because the essential thing is to perform the calculation, write out labeled numerals, and solve it. I could be a bit more strict on the monitoring of the quiz performance.
3. Setting Objectives and Feedback (Marzano)
In 8th grade mineral identification I set for a sort of nomenclature key as a method for classifying select minerals and the accompanying vocabulary. The students are taught various methods by demonstration and reference tools (display kits). The identification kits are then a set of usable samples for students to practice interpreting minerals. I give them a Round One experience. I am very free to help them interpret the samples as many have impurities and certainly don’t fit the key word for word or so easily. I like this a lot because I can often tell them immediately how they should be interpreting the sample without giving the name. I am looking to see if they can at least get it in the right locational family on the key. Then when they do Round Two with a different kit, I ease back and am not so helpful. The students then get a Group Test which includes all the vocabulary of mineral science they are putting into practice. This is very effective because I am continually (and busily floating around the classroom) giving feedback on what it take to improve their skills. Each time they must correct their chart from my answer key. To do it right (though they often want to skip through the process), to put a line through an errant identification and write the correct one next to it. Then with the kit sample in front of them to go backwards in the key to understand why it was identified the way it was! If they practice this, I tell them, one will learn the minerals quite well. (It was how it worked so well for me
Attempted New Strategy never used before(#1):
4. Cumulative Final Exam
(really...a Cumulative Collage of Eighth Grade Standardized Test Questions)
Well, I am not confident that this was a “high-yield” learning. My only real attempt was to give some hope to the students what the standardized test might look like. It was also to give a sort of “nature of science thinking” approach to the test. But it was too exhaustive and I spent too much time on making the collage of questions as it related to each standard of Minnesota science. I came away thinking that the effort was not “high-yielding” although it wouldn’t hurt any student who worked it over. Furthermore, topical questions I expected on the test were not there, for example, they did not even have the moon phases or the rock cycle!!! Now this makes me disgusted!! I am not sure how to change this strategy, but doing so in order to teach the standards, I am going to have to change the curricular approach and give practice questions (including review) throughout the year from day one. I will be teaching physical science, life science, and earth science....simply because I am the 8th grade earth science teacher on duty for the standardized test. It will diminish all other instructional strategies. I wonder what Marzano would have to say to this?
A motivational technique to encourage creativity or empathy students. Anecdotes can be about the teacher's life or excerpted from biographies to help students make real-world connections
5. Anecdotal Mind-Mapping
I like to include a “Feature-presentation” with every topic. In this case, we just finished Mammal Identification and Classification as part of an on-going natural history bent that I have for Life Science 7. Instead of doing a simple Presentation Page of a mammal of their choice, and based upon my personal overview stories during classtime of particular animals, I created an assignment that was much like a “Mind-Map.” This is a visual representation of what one had learned about researching their favorite mammal, (I highly encouraged them to pick one they grew fond of as they were doing the paper cut-out lab). However, this time with a twist, namely, make it an “Anecdotal” Mind-Map. Here, I wanted them to illustrate brief interesting stories about their animal, whether it was from personal experience, a magazine article, or grandpa. They could have a picture of the animal in the center of their Draw-Program document, then create other captioned photographs to illustrate the characteristic or nature of that animal. Something we all could learn, e.g., I am oft remembering Barry Lopez’s book “Of Wolves and Men,” where he writes about how Native Americans have stories of animal behavior that near seems unbelievable, yet very much in nature with the animal.
So, I set to task on this, and it was hard to really get it off the ground. I cancelled the assignment because the computer lab and internet service broke down. I had had enough of that, and at this time of year I wasn’t in the mind-set to be patient with it. This has often happened to me, so I told the technology department that I am no longer interested in coming in here to do projects like this. While it was a good idea to me, it just doesn’t always come off cleanly. I will hang on to this as an instructional strategy however, and try again next year. Perhap revamp and clarify it better too!
Принцессе Абигейл сегодня два года! Ура, товарищи!!!
Friends,On the appearances of Christ after the Resurrection.(the subject of these notes but first as to the photo)Today these three photos from recent days taken along the river the lower one in evening crossing into brooklyn, the middle from boscobel at a bend in the river looking south, and looking down on the pavement the shadows of seagulls.then:May I add a word to yesterday's (which see) on the appearances of Christ after the Resurrection? There are two views at least which seem to me insufficient.One is to see the Gospel accounts as a linear series of events in which Jesus for literally 40 days travels here and there just as during his previous life. And the other is to make of it something where his personality is gone but what is risen is sort of his spirit passed on to us rather like tom joad at the end of grapes of wrath saying well wherever workers demand their righst is where I will be.Boris Pasternak puts what seems to me the way to approach this in the words"They shall cast me into such a void that... I shall attain my full stature."Jesus through death and resurrection is indeed the historical man Jesus of Nazareth but now also fully the Eternal, the Word which underlies all things and which he had made uniquely present in history. forty is the number of a completion within Time (Noah journeys by sea, Moses twice forty on the mountain, Israel journeys by land, Jesus in the desert for forty days) .It is a time for us to contemplate this mystery of a humanity which is both universal and breathing through the entire cosmos and yet also specific to a person within Time, to Jesus but through him also as we find our own proper stature within the eternal, to us each.These as footnote to yesterdays...and these photos unrelated though maybe one could fancifully see the shadow of the Spirit of the final and full Pentecost passing over the worlds and over the City too...+Seraphim.