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Tag Archives: open source

Today: BurdaStyle.com – The road to collaborative fashion design

BurdaStyle event poster by Mirna Raduka (AAS Graphic Design student)

BurdaStyle event poster by Mirna Raduka (AAS Graphic Design student)

November 4, 6:30PM
Parsons School of Design, Kellen Auditorium, 66 Fifth Avenue, Room 101, NYC
Web Streaming available during the time of the event

A talk by Nora Abousteit and Benedikta Karaisl

Nora Abousteit and Benedikta Karaisl, founders of Burdastyle.com will share their experience of the past three years–building an active creative community based on open source sewing. The BurdaStyle community consisting of over 260,000 registered members that uploaded almost 25,000 designs.

BurdaStyle is a collaborative DIY fashion platform inspired by the open source philosophy: the sharing of intellectual property and allowing the public to adapt it to their specific needs. BurdaStyle encourages its members to remove copyright restrictions from their designs. These open source sewing patterns are free to be used as the basis for a new design that can later be sewed and even sold by other community members. Nora and Benedikta will share their attempts to balance between open collaboration and authorship – maintaining the relations and connections of each work and its modifications to the members who created it. They will share thier stories, successes and failures attempting to enable a true networked design process by building a platform for sharing instructions and techniques for a creative community. Read More »

Is Google Wave the new Whiteboard?

There was a time that people seriously believed that a whiteboard would change education. Really. The truth of the matter is that whiteboards just replaced whatever technology was already being used. We’re still doing pretty much the same things, just with a different tool. I’m not saying that it’s not easier or faster, but it’s essentially the same thing.

Let me also clarify my perspective regarding Google Wave: I’m a skeptic. So, from that angle, I’ve been scouring educational Waves to see what people are talking about and how they see Google Wave being a serious change-maker on the educational scene.

Tech-minded educators are always excited when a new technology emerges that “has the potential to change the face of education”. This is actually a great thing, because Google Wave is being tested by many educators and they are trying it out with their students, talking to other educators, fiddling, faddling, commenting, chatting, polling – you get the picture. In my opinion, educators are some of the hardest people to please – they will try something out to see if it works and are very vocal about what works and what doesn’t work. They’re willing to accept the ‘potential’ of something new, but only up to a certain point. It has to deliver, else it will fall by the wayside.

Back to Google Wave for education.

A few days ago, I came across this article and the same day, about 5 people forwarded it to me (including Mushon – thank you!). It didn’t really say much except a general sweeping statement that “engaging with Google Wave – and the Web in general in fact – will lead to smarter, better performing students.” Really?

The article pointed me to some of the education-themed Waves going around, but did talk about collaborative note-taking, which is something I’ve been looking at regarding Wave. My main thought was: can Wave do something new and different for students and teachers? How is it different from tools that are already being used in educational settings?

Most of the Waves I’ve been lurking on (yes I did contribute as well!) seemed like discussion forums around the use of Wave – there weren’t as many examples of actual use – probably because not everyone has access – although there were some individuals who talked about using it in smaller groups. These waves seemed to be loooooong discussions and replies to each other. I know it’s early days still, and, to be honest, there are some people out there who are doing a great job of organizing these ways into something more coherent. It’s actually lovely to see people start using a new technology and figure out how to make it work best for them.

Picture 8

An interesting Wave I read through and have been following is the Collaborative Note-Taking Wave. It is well-organized and focussed, and I think this is also because it started in a couple of different Wave (Software Roles in Education and Wave in Class) and was moved over to its own Wave once it started getting larger. The move was then more focussed, with one or two people setting out a ‘Table of Contents’ of sorts – providing headings under which other people could add ‘blips’ and continue the conversation. This actually was not a bad example of actual Collaborative Note-Taking…

Anyway, about the Collaborative Note-Taking – people really seemed to like Google Wave for this… The ideas were interesting – especially the ones that hinted at students being ‘forced’ into using tech and being told to post a certain number of times – reminds me so much of Blackboard! (There is a Wave that talks about Wave vs. Blackboard that I haven’t delved into, but you can bet I will!). It was also interesting to see that people seemed to get early on that there needs to be some structure so in a collaborative note-taking environment, there would need to be roles assigned and each student would fulfill that role during the class. Watching Wave, I think this is one of the best uses I’ve seen discussed. I guess the first use that to me, makes sense. We’re still trying to see how it all fits together, and I think this is one way that could be useful.

One user talked about a friend in school who would type out notes for every class and then pass it along to the rest of the class and the other classmates would add their own and make the notes more ‘complete’. Wave would be perfect for students in a class to create notes with – everyone would contribute, correct each other, add multimedia, start discussions on some of the notes, etc. It seems so so exciting!

The only thing I worry about is the length of the Wave – I feel that once it gets past a certain number of blips, it can get unwieldy and also might lose value as a source of reference. But I suppose as a note-taking tool, it wouldn’t go beyond a particular length.

Here is a conversation between me and one of the main contributors of this Wave:

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Like I said, it’s still early stages, BUT, Wave is bringing educators together to talk about the potential and how this could possibly bring more interactivity and interest into the classroom.

One thing I’m hoping for that will be a deviation from the way things often play out – I hope that Wave affords different things to do in new and different ways. What I mean by this is that many tools that we use now are basically replacements for how we did it before – instead of taking notes in a book, we take them on our computers. Instead of using a blackboard, we use a smartboard – we’re doing the same things with different tools. I think changing the paradigm of how we approach education is key to creating awesome learning experiences and knowledge building environments.

I am conducting an interview with an educator who has been playing around with Wave and interacting with other educators on the topic. He’s even been in on some classroom Waves so I’m looking forward to some of his insights. I was hoping to catch him today (hence the slightly late post) but he only has time tomorrow, so this’ll have to do for now.

And, even though I’m still on the skeptic fence, I have to admit that I’ve been playing around in Wave for most of this weekend – it really is very cool and it’s even cooler to watch and be part of the evolution that is Wave.

Thursday: Free as in What?

October 29, 2009; 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
Eyebeam – 540 W21st Street, New York

What do we mean by ‘freedom’? Should Free/Libre/Open Source Software (FLOSS) necessarily be powered by radical politics of ownership and collaboration? Or is the latching of “Free Software” ideological baggage limiting the full transformative power of “Open Source”. How are these questions informed by licenses? Are some licenses more open than others? More ethical than others? This emotional debate has been in the heart of FLOSS from its early days and has created camps and animosities within the community.

Upgrade! NY continues its program series on open source as it relates to activism and creative practice. Join us for a discussion and debate on what constitutes freedom within the Open Source and Free Culture movements. We will examine the strong ideological differences through a provocative panel discussion with Gabriella Coleman and Zachary Lieberman.

Live streaming and live chat will be available during the panel discussion.

Gabriella Coleman

Gabriella Coleman is an anthropologist who examines ethics and online collaboration as well as the role of the law and new media technologies in extending and critiquing liberal values and sustaining new forms of political activism. Between 2001-2003 she conducted ethnographic research on computer hackers primarily in San Francisco, the Netherlands, as well as those hackers who work on the largest free software project, Debian. She is completing a book manuscript “Coding Freedom: Hacker Pleasure and the Ethics of Free and Open Source Software” (under contract with Princeton University Press) and is starting a new project on peer to peer patient activism on the Internet. She is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including ones from the National Science Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Social Science Research Council.

Zach Lieberman
Zach Lieberman

Zachary Lieberman’s work uses technology in a playful way to explore the nature of communication and the delicate boundary between the visible and the invisible. He creates performances, installations and on-line works that investigate gestural input, augmentation of the body and kinetic response. Recently, he helped create visuals for the facade of the new Ars Electronica Museum, wrote software for an augmented reality card trick, and helped develop an open source eye tracker to help a paralyzed graffiti artist draw again. In addition to making artistic work, Lieberman is a co-creator of openframeworks, a toolkit for creative coding and teaches at Parsons School of Design.

Upgrade! NY is co-produced by Eyebeam and Not An Alternative.

Flash Me, Touch Me,or At Least Key Me In.

iPhone users have responded…

YouTube Preview Image

So here’s a little more information on where our competition still lies and some more details into the differences that might, well…make a difference.

Read More »

What Does the Droid by Motorola Bring to the Table to Make it an iPhone Contender?

     Although it hasn’t been “officially” announced, the Droid by Motorola is the newest Android OS based mobile phone to be announced, and pressumably the first Android based.  (I say pressumably because there is a new rumor that there might be another phone that might be released before the Droid by Motorola)  For this travelogue, I’m going to follow the lead up to the official announcement of this particular phone and the media/internet reaction to the device afterwards.  Unfortunately, it is looking as though the phone will not be release until November 9th, so I won’t be able to get my hands on it to give you all some first hand reporting.  On the plus side, there has been so much excitement around this phone that the news and the leaks are abundant.
How can this…
 take on this?
take on this?

Read More »

What’s the appeal of Google Wave?

If you’ve been on the net lately, chances are that you’ve heard of Google Wave. There is an incredible amount of hype surrounding this new software, which Google defines as a product, a platform, and a protocol. This hype is most apparent on Twitter, where people are attempting to connect with strangers to obtain an invite or to collaborate. What’s is the appeal of Google Wave?

Will the Wave have any such effects?

Will the Wave have any such effects?

Read More »

Wed 6:30 – Can “Design By Committee” Work? a talk by Mushon


Can “Design By Committee” Work? The Case for Open Source Design by Mushon Zer-Aviv :: October 14, 2009; 6:30 – 8:30 pm :: Parsons The New School for Design (Orientation Room), 2 W 13th St., New York, NY :: Live Stream.

“Design by committee,” “too many cooks in the kitchen,” and other epithets have been used to imply that the creative process breaks down when it involves too many people. At the same time, the software world has been completely revolutionized by open source, networked collaborative processes. It is only in graphic and interaction designs — two fields critical to software development — that the open source process has yet to overtake more conventional design methods. How does networked collaboration present challenges in the creative process? How can they be solved? Can they be solved at all? Or do designers just not work well together? Mushon will address these questions in light of his own creative work as well as research done in the Open Source Design class he teaches in Parsons’ AAS Program in Graphic Design.

I would love to see you on Wednesday, more details here

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Talk by our own Prof. Biella Colman this Thursday

Seminars in the Humanities: Digital Media Studies: Old and New Net Wars over Free Speech, Freedom and Secrecy

Gabriella Coleman is Assistant Professor of Media Culture, and Communication at New York University. Trained as a cultural anthropologist, Coleman’s work examines ethics and online collaboration as well as the role of the law and new media technologies in extending and critiquing liberal values and sustaining new forms of political activism. Her book, Coding Freedom: Hacker Pleasure and the Ethics of Free and Open Source Software, is forthcoming from Princeton University Press.

Date: October 8, 2009

Time: 6:30 PM

College: Graduate Center

Address: 365 Fifth Avenue Manhattan

Room: Martin E. Segal Theatre

Phone: 212-817-2005

Admission: Free