First Impressions of iLife 09 Facial Recognition

Well, I finally got my copy of iLife09 installed and thought I’d share my first impressions. After an easy install and restart, iPhoto came up pretty quickly.

The first slow down was the indexing of facial recognition. After waiting over an hour for the 10,400 photos to index, I got tired of waiting and went to bed.  In the morning, my first attempt to use the facial recognition froze up my computer. (Honestly, I was starting up Fireworks, running email client, and hit the ‘Names’ button in iPhoto.)  I restarted and things started working much better.

You have to select a picture, hit the name button, and the software looks for faces. I selected a few of my photos and a few of the wife.  iPhoto quickly recognized Amy, but for some reason, I kept coming up as ‘unknown face’.   *Insert ‘He has a forgettable face’ joke here.*

When it makes a suggestion, it gives you a question mark to confirm that it is who they think it is.


I eventually got lucky and it recognized me a couple of times. After selecting my kids, known to the internet as Mancub1 and Mancub2, it worked a little better.  Usually, they would be guessed fairly accurately.

Being that Mancub 1 and 2 are related and share facial features, there were a few times where it would pull Mancub2’s picture and suggest that it was Mancub1. Don’t tell him, but iPhoto thinks he was his younger sister in this photo.


Slowly it became more accurate.








 Not telling me anything that I didn’t already know, sometimes my kids are just not too recognizable.   This photo was pulled up after a good number of face matches with them.  I’m not sure how it would screw up the guessing power of iPhoto if said that the twisted mugs and funny faces were the same person. I left these as unknown.








I kept going and starting finding a few humorous selections.

In this photo, iPhoto didn’t pick up Mancub2 in the top right, but thought the blank space beside her was Mancub1.  There were more than a few times where a small picture within my photo was picked up as a known face.








I sometimes feel that God is watching over me, and I think iPhoto saw something that I didn’t.  A co-worker pointed out that there was a cross in the ceiling over the third unknown face.  Hmmm.







 And my personal favorite, much like finding the Virgin Mary in a loaf of bread, iPhoto will probably find some other great miracles in some of my photos.

 Well, I’m off to look at the new iMovie. I have great hopes that it will be the mix of iMovieHD6 and iMovie08 that I really want for my classrooms.


Last Year’s Film Festival

Using film in the class has been used since the media club knew how to roll the projector down the hall and thread film. Fortunately, through AFI and DEN institutes, teachers are learning how to actively use video as a teaching tool and as a student product tool. Using video with students can be the passive activities like just watching and discussing, hands on opportunities to embed into their digital products, or really hands on by creating their own video products.

In Austin, we will be in out 8th year of sharing student video products in our Austin Student Digital Film Festival. The purpose from the beginning was to share what teachers are doing in the classroom so that we can learn from and celebrate each other’s efforts. There have been some very high-quality films presented and a lot of, um, lesser-quality film as well. The great thing is that we are seeing that students are using video to tell their stories and actually use for class products as well.

We are looking forward to another great festival this year on May 30th. It is purposefully as late in the year as possible to allow for more films and to give the requested cushion around state testing. (Many administrators still see testing practice as a higher priority than applied student learning.) Below is the promo we created to showcase some of last year’s student work. Enjoy!

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The Austin DOD Was A Success!

Austin’s Day Of Discovery!

We had a great time on the 6th with Justin Karkow from Discovery Education. Over 50 teachers came from all around to spend the day learning how rich media can have a positive impact on the classroom curriculum. Teachers were shown how to better utilize the powerful tools in Discovery Streaming to enrich their daily teaching. They saw great examples of using PhotoStory, MovieMaker, iPhoto, and iMovie to tell meaningful digital stories that could enhance delivery of language lessons as well as be a platform for meaningful student products. Teachers were able to practice the different ways to embed audio and video media into Powerpoint presentations. And they were presented with 50 ways to use Discovery Streaming in their classroom as well.

The entertaining sessions, the great BarBQue, and the wonderful opportunity to talk with other educators and share ideas all made for a great day.  We are already looking forward to getting back together in Austin for more fun soon.

Many thanks to Discovery Education for supporting this fun quality time for teachers.

Discover Simple, Private Sharing at

Austin Day of Discovery!

I’ve been looking forward to this for a while now, and the day is finally upon us. Justin Karkow came into town to lead 75+ registered participants in a Day of Discovery. There are great things planned and I hope all of the teachers enjoy and take some useful things home from the day.

As for me, I will be presenting “Wow, You Can Do That with PowerPoint and DE Streaming?”, made famous by Brad Fountain and Justin. Brad’s original presentation can be found on his DEN Manager blog. Planning for the unforeseen problems, teachers in this session can use the password I give them to open this wiki for media files.

Resources to walk away with:

I am anticipating a great day with teachers and meeting many new DEN teachers.