Songhai Concepts

Media Literacy/Digital Archiving Instructor

Saturday, October 31, 2009

How to Avoid Malware on Facebook and Twitter: 8 Best Practices

Good information here from the folks at ReadWriteWeb. Be smart, be safe and know what to avoid on Twitter and FaceBook.

How to Avoid Malware on Facebook and Twitter: 8 Best Practices

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Apple MacBook Touch coming soon

The MacBook Touch looks like an awesome device.  Rumor has it the "Touch" will debut in January and ship sometime around June of 2010.  The video below comes on the heels of the debut of the Nook eReader by Barnes and Noble.  The Nook continues to get  high marks from eReader observers, especially because of its color touchscreen. It's also expandable up to 16 gigabytes and runs on the Google Android operating system. The Nook has WiFi and 3G capabilities and Barnes and Noble together with Google will offer hundreds of thousands of books, newspapers, and magazines for eReaders to choose from.

As for the MacBook Touch, well, I'll have to see one and touch one first before investing somewhere between five and eight hundred dollars for a device that will, after all do everything you want a laptop or desktop computer to do. That's a big decision. On the other hand, I'd like to know how the "Touch" handles USB devices like external hard drives and USB hubs and if it is robust enough to handle detailed Final Cut editing, screen capturing and video capture devices like Dazzle and Canopus? Can I import video from a camcorder? Firewire? I have a few questions.   From watching the video alone, the MacBook Touch really looks it could be the standard for Tablet Computers.  In the meantime, I'm holding on  to my aging black MacBook.  I add another two gigs of memory and she'll be just like new again.   

H Songhai

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Twitter works in the classroom

Twitter is more advanced than e-mail, just as powerful as text
messaging, comparable to blogging, encourages concise and focused
writing, promotes safe digital social networking and functions as a
powerful web search tool. Why then are there so few school leaders
and teachers using it to supplement classroom learning?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

We need three outs. How long is that flight back to LA?

Change your reading ways

This new eReader by Barnes & Noble is going to change the way we buy and read books, change they way we read and browse through magazines and change the way we buy and read newspapers.  The Nook and other eReaders like Kindle, Cool-er and Sony will change the way students study and take notes, even change the way we read and present publicly.

H Songhai

Nook: Barnes & Noble eReader

Monday, October 19, 2009

Bill Cosby on USTREAM

The Cos and Company (Cosnarsti) were right on the money tonight
with their virtual town meeting streamed live over Ustream.
I tuned in late and only participated in about 30 minutes of the 90
minute virtual meeting but what I witnessed and participated in was
Hat tip to The Cos for extending the conversation and especially for
doing it in cyberspace.
Find out more about Bill Cosby's virtual town meeting and his new
group, Cosnarati at

H Songhai

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Twitter-delphia - How news events of the past would play out on present-day devices

My Media Literacy class is about to take on a project called Twitter-delphia - for a second time.  The project  comes from radio host Michael Smerconish.  Smerconish's Twitter-delphia first appeared in the Philadelphia Sunday Inquirer, June 28, 2009.  The thought behind Twitter-delphia is meant to show how news events of the past would play out on present-day devices.

The Smerconish article reads and looks like this

I think this will be a good project for my students because it requires them to multitask in an organized way while using a number of Web 2.0 tools. They will research their home town, find and imagine quotes by legendary and not so legendary Philadelphians,  use social bookmarking tools, use twitter to conduct research, add hyperlinks to their writing, use image editing software and possibly do some audio and video editing.

To begin the project, the students will create a storyboard (24 slides) in either ZOHO Show or Google Presentation.  Slides should be one color, border less and no designs or graphics.  Each slide (frame) must contain a newsworthy observation or quote by a noted Philadelphian.

The observation must be about Philadelphia - Philadelphia's history, politics, people, the environment, sports, transportation, crime, art, religion, music, philanthropy and more, so long as there is a Philadelphia angle and the action took place between 1920 and 2010.  The observations must be historically accurate and spoken or imagined by an actual player or witness to the event being described.  All observations must be written in 140 characters or less.

The students will practice surfing the web intelligently using smart keywords and phrases.
The students will learn how to use Diigo to bookmark, highlight and annotate web pages.     
I'm requiring them to compile and arrange all of their web findings for this project inside of Diigo.
They will use the free and web based Aviary Image Editing software to create original layered images  to add to their individual slides.

We will use the PrintScreen key over the course of the project to capture important screen shots.
Slides can be saved as jpeg image files and imported into Movie Maker. 
We will use Aviary Audio Editor to create an original music and narration track.
Export movie sequence to local computer and upload to student's educational blog.

Deadline to be determined.

H Songhai

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eReaders here to stay.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The New Face of Citizen Journalism (is in your pocket)

See it. Shoot it. Share it. The NBC Philadelphia iPhone App

A few years ago it was not uncommon to see on the TV News a disclaimer attached to any sort of video or photography shot by John Q. Public that read, amateur video/photography provided by John Q. Public. That little disclaimer always bothered me because a lot of John Q. Public's work was anything but amateurish - think Rodney King, the London subway bombing, the Virginia Tech massacre, the Zapruder film.  All of that historic footage was recorded by regular folk like you and me.   But have you noticed, with the explosion of  digital cameras and cell phone cameras how all that amateur talk has all but faded away?  No one is calling anyone an amateur anymore.  In fact,  the news bureaus encourage viewers to send their pics and video to their TV stations.  This new NBC Philadelphia  iPhone app proves my point, positively, expertly! 

View more news videos at:

H Songhai

Thursday, October 01, 2009

TweetGrid, A New Way To Search Twitter

I came across TweetGrid yesterday over my Twitter wire and all I can say is wow-o-wow-o-wow! TweetGrid has to be the most comprehensive twitter search tool I've yet to come across. It ranks right up there with TweetDeck in its ability to display multiple (up to 9) twitter feeds inside of one clean and compact desktop dashboard. TweetGrid displays your individual Twitter feeds according to hashtags and keywords.
So where have I been...? because according to TweetGrid (on Twitter) TweetGrid turned one year old in September.

As it happened, I was searching tweets last night with TweetDeck, another visually pleasing and powerful Twitter search tool, when I discovered a post from asking readers to check out his TweetGrid. I clicked his link and saw a neatly organized, compact grid of Twitter feeds all in one neat desktop dashboard.  I then test drove TweetGrid for myself and found it to be a real beauty. I tried out all of the different grid patterns: 1x3, 2x3, 3x3, adding new keywords inside of each search box and the results were thrilling. I was blown away by the sheer amount of information I was able to aggregate inside of one neat window.

I've experimented with an number of tools to keep my twitter feeds organized - Netvibes, TwitterGadget, TweetDeck, Tweetie and Twitterific, just to name a few, but TweetGrid is the best I've come across so far.

Here is an example of a TweetGrid for Thelonious Monk, Sonny Rollins and Charlie Parker.

Click the image above for enlarged view

I recently broke the three classes that I teach into three specific hashtag groups. Separating my classes by hashtags allows me to organize, index and check each class individually and separate from the others. So far, TweetGrid is the best tool I've found to keep all my students visible and consolidated by class group, in one convenient location. Try it, you'll like it.

Below is an image of my classes broken up by hashtags as seen on Tweet Grid

Click the image above for enlarged view

H Songhai

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