Category Archives: Weekly Summaries

Week15 & Finals Summary

I can hardly believe that I am almost done with DS106! This semester has been filled with many interesting, eye-opening and educational opportunities that I don’t think I would’ve had in any other class at Mary Washington. DS106 truly is a unique Digital Storytelling/Social Media class. I’ve learned about countless tools for visual/audio/video editing, as well as how to better explain the stories and feelings behind these digital creations.

I think that the most important thing I learned from this class though is that everything tells a story. As an English major, I can see the value of this in literature and physical objects that we can touch and feel. However, this class taught me that DIGITAL creations, ones that we can’t physically touch, also tell stories. I had been blissfully ignorant to this fact, until DS106 came around. Now I can’t view anything on the Internet, Facebook, etc. without crafting a story around the image or video. It’s incredibly amazing the powers which digital storytelling places in the hands of anyone with access to a computer. Even the poorest crafted digital creations tell a story. Although you can have great advantages in digital storytelling with specific softwares and tools, anyone can be a digital storyteller. I think that is the greatest lesson I learned from this class.

Below is my final creation and digital story for DS106! Enjoy my story as well as the two tutorials I completed to finish out my experience with Digital Storytelling.

Final Project: The Little Gingerbread Man [Remixed]

Media Elements in Final Project: The Little Gingerbread Man [Remixed]

Tattoos 4Life- Tutorial

Google History Maps Story- Tutorial

Weekly Summary 13 & 14

These past 2 weeks in DS106, we have been working on Remix/Mashup assignments. Many of the things created combined and manipulated already generated content and material, asking us to further transform these things in order to tell a new story. I really enjoyed many of these assignments. They allowed us to utilized other techniques we’ve learned in the class all semester, including video, audio, and visual editing skills. I also think that remix/mashup assignments ask for a different kind of creativity than other assignments. You not only have to create something and tell a story, but you have to transform the base elements in order to avoid copying/copywright. It really gives us an opportunity to stretch our imaginations and take our ideas further than the prompts themselves.

Below are all of the assignments I completed for Weeks 13 & 14:

  1. Remix Assignment- Emo Love Poem by E.E. Cummings
  2. Mashup Assignments [9 total stars]
    1. My Favorite Friends and their Emoji Twins [4 stars]
    2. Pintergram [2.5 stars]
    3. Holiday Mashup [3 stars]
  3. Daily Creates
    1. Best time of the day: reading and my morning cup of coffee.
    2. RED: Starbucks cup…yes, I accept the fact that I am a basic white girl.
    3. Reading of my favorite poem: “If those I loved were lost” by Emily Dickinson.

Weekly Summary 11 & 12

This week I completed many different Video Storytelling assignments. I feel that after these past two weeks, I’ve gained a better understanding of video producing and editing in order to tell a compelling story. I won’t say that video storytelling is my favorite, but it’s definitely been one of the more enjoyable weeks of the class. I also learned a lot about video editing programs such as Windows Movie Maker, and I was able to take better advantage of video storytelling on many of my social media sites.

Daily Creates

  1. Filtered Selfie
  2. 6 Line Poem of My Life Purpose
  3. Bridge Over Troubled Water
  4. Your Theme Song
  5. Word Art
  6. (Extra)ordinary Video

Video Assignments (16 total stars)

  1. Signing Words (4.5 stars)
  2. A Christmas Pug Miracle! (3.5 stars)
  3. Another Pug Post?- Moving Object (3.5 stars)
  4. Name that Book! (3.5 stars)
  5. 5 Second Film: “Please sir, could you spare me a chip?” (4.5 stars)

Overall, I enjoyed these past two weeks in DS106. I’m also coming to the realization that the semester is almost over and I’ll no longer have all of these fun and interesting assignments to complete! However, I am looking forward to employing a lot of the techniques and programs I’ve learned about in my future on social media sites and blogs.

Weekly Summary: Nine

This week was all about Web Assignments. Before now, I had never thought how creating and altering web pages could be a form of digital storytelling. I now see how this can be a great tool in telling digital stories through editing HTML, as well as utilizing social media to create characters which tell their own stories simply through profile descriptions and Pinterest pins.

Radio Show Evaluations

Storytelling Within the Web Assignment

Web Assignments

  1. My Digital Trip to Australia (3.5 stars)
  2. The Google Maps History of Anne Frank (3 stars)

Daily Creates

  1. https://twitter.com/MandaaLynnn/status/656863464338640896
  2. http://awassenberg.org/the-daily-create/my-happy-place/
  3. https://twitter.com/MandaaLynnn/status/658353680345899008

I felt that I completed all of the assignments this week to the best of my ability. Some of them were definitely more challenging than others, but I feel that I learned a lot about using the Web as a mode of digital storytelling. Already I have started viewing social media sites and existing web pages differently: what stories do they tell? The information compiled together on someone’s Facebook profile page definitely tells the story of that individual, and I guess I took that for granted for what it really was up to this point. The pictures, statuses, and information provided are a story (hopefully real) of an individual that you and I go to school with or work with on a daily basis. This week has really affected how I approach digital storytelling on the Web.

Weekly Summary: Seven & Eight

  1. Audio Assignments
    1. Radio Show Bumper
    2. Radio Show Commercial
    3. A Life in Two Minutes- A Proposal! (2.5 stars)
    4. Love Me Like You Do (Slow-Mo) (3.5 stars)
  2. Daily Creates
    1. Lasts– A picture taken to represent what I’ll me missing now that Summer has left and Fall is here! No more sunny walks with my pug. Now we have to bundle up and quicken our pace with this chilly, windy weather!
    2. One Word– I decided to write a poem from the word “certain” pulled from one of my favorite quotes by Beau Taplin. I enjoyed creating this assignment, being an English major. I really felt my creative juices flowing, and I just went where my mind took me.
    3. Bad habits are good for you– Here is a video I took on my phone. I used it to represent the bad habit I have of texting/using my phone in general while walking around. This is definitely a bad habit of our generation, but I was able to take on a new perspective by showing the world how you can capture everything around you via the camera on your phone.
    4. Lucky, Lucky, Lucky– A story of my luckiest/best day in just one sentence. I’d give anything for this day right now!
    5. Fake flyer– A flyer I created and hung up in my apartment complex! I think it’s definitely good advice to hug a pug and keep calm in the stress of life. I’ve also transformed this great advice into a lifelong event. You can always hug a pug, whenever and wherever. I’m happy to help anyone locate a pug near them, or allow you to borrow my own for hugging purposes.
  3. Radio Show Reflection- For our Radio Show, we made a unanimous decision to do a health sciences/medically themed show. A few members in our group felt strongly interested in discussing some of the topics which we covered, and the rest of us had enough general knowledge to go forward with the decision. We started using Canvas to initially organize ourselves (deciding group name, theme, etc.), then we switched to an app called GroupMe which allows several people to create a group chat/text message. We used this (and email) for the remainder of coordinating and completing the radio show. A couple people (Ashlyn & Stephanie) were very eager to lead and take charge within the group, dispersing responsibilities and such. I appreciated this because sometimes group projects can be slow going, but everyone in our group cooperated to complete the assignment timely and efficiently! I think the easiest part was completing our individual tasks. Because we did a good job of dividing up the work evenly, I feel that everyone had a clear understanding of their own responsibilities to complete for the radio show. The hardest part was definitely trying to find the time to meet up in person as a group and make decisions. Our schedules ended up not cooperating with one another, so that is why we decided to rely so heavily on using GroupMe to communicate with one another throughout the process. As I said before, several people had great ideas about how to best divide up the work. I chose to contribute to the show via the Introduction. Not being a science minded person (English major), I figured I could do something creative with the Intro that would add more to the show than a segment on a health-science related topic. Thinking back now, I could have pushed myself more though and gone more out of my comfort zone. I am proud of our show as a whole! I like the way it sounds, and I feel that our topics flow well from one to the next. I can only hope that the other groups will be able to see all of the hard work and effort we put into our final product. I also feel that we told a great story. We wanted to educate our audience about health sciences, as well as make it entertaining. We tried to pick topics that would be relevant and interesting to the DS106 community.
  4. Audio Reflection- Going into the audio assignments, I was very nervous/not looking forward to it. I am self-conscious about my voice, and feel much more comfortable working with visuals. Academically, I am a visual-learner so even creating stories behind my audio assignments was a struggle. The audio assignments I have completed thus far, including the radio show, definitely challenged my comfort levels with audio. After all these assignments, I audio still is not my favorite, however I do have a new-found appreciation for what it offers to digital storytelling.

Weekly Summary- Six

By far, this week has been my favorite of the whole class! Design is so interesting and new to me, yet something that has caught my attention. I enjoyed reading up on the various concepts and elements of Design as well as applying these into my own assignments this week. I feel that I completed all of the assignments to the best of my ability, even if I procrastinated some. I am still trying to figure out the best schedule to complete DS106 work each week. I had the most trouble with daily creates. Below, you will see that I only completed 3 (even though I promised a couple of weeks ago that this wouldn’t happen again! Sorry!!). Time management is definitely my weakest characteristic when it comes to this class. I most enjoyed completing the Design Assignments. Since this was a topic that I enjoyed learning about, it was even more interesting to apply this knowledge to my own creations. They were all fun and exciting, and I am proud of each creation I have shared on my website. I definitely learned a lot about Design in general. I never realized how detailed every element in a design is down to color choice and text style. It was truly eye-opening as well to see how these elements further influence an audience. As far as group work goes, I’ve enjoyed getting to know my group members this week, and I have good vibes for how we’ll all be interacting and completing the assignment. We have decided on general theme of science related topics for our radio show as well as our logo design. I do not have a copy of our logo to embed in this post because it was sent to me via text message. However, if needed I can figure out a way to provide it to you. (I’m assuming someone else will be including it in their blog post.).

Here are my posts for this week:

  1. Reflection on The Vignelli Canon
  2. DS106 DesignBlitz
  3. Daily Creates
    1. Draw Something You Bought Today– On this day it was national coffee day, so naturally I had to buy a cup of coffee. And actually, I didn’t even buy it because many place were giving away coffee in honor of this special holiday. Every sleep-deprived college students dream! For this image, I used Pixlr and attempted to draw an image of a coffee cup. In the physical world, I’m no artist. Unfortunately, I think this also applies in the digital world.
    2. Time Change– This is an image that I took at a Fall Retreat with InterVarsity. It was a beautiful view of the coming sunset through the chapel windows, looking into the valley below the mountain. Surprisingly, it was only 5 p.m. or so as the sunset began, a sure sign of the impending time change!
    3. Package Yourself– For my final daily create of the week, I posted this image of a pug in a box. In all fairness, I tried to take a picture of Zoe in a box, but she wouldn’t sit still. Anyways, I think this is what I would like packaged in a store. A bunch of cuddly fun, just popping out of a plain old box. Nothing fancy or flashy, just straightforward and ready to be purchased and taken home!
  4. Design Assignments
    1. Mr. Pugsly and the Treat Snatching
    2. Vintage-ify the Boardwalk (Ocean City, MD)
    3. Pugs Not Drugs
    4. Don’t Miss Manassas, VA!
    5.  Layer Tennis- The Space Pug
  5. Required Visual Assignment- Love at First Shot- Kaleidoscope

Weekly Summary: Four

This week was definitely crazy as I learned so much about audio storytelling. As I mentioned in some of my blog posts earlier this week, I was not looking forward to recording my voice and using audio techniques. Like a lot of people, I don’t like the sound of my own voice, but I quickly got over that. I will say that after this weeks assignments, I am definitely more comfortable with audio storytelling, but it’s not my favorite thing in the world. However, I do think it was helpful to learn about different perspectives and tips from the experts when it comes to audio/radio stories. Here you will find my comments/summary of the Ira Glass video and the Jad Abumrad videos. It was also super helpful to be given concrete examples of audio storytelling techniques both through tutorials and real-life radio shows. This week I chose to listen to a show from The American Life on “Getting Away with It.” You can find the episode here and my reflection on my blog.

As I said before, this week was our introduction to Audio Assignments and our first real experience with the Assignment Bank. I really enjoyed it in the end, and there were plenty of options to fuel my creativity. I completed 3 different assignments this week for the total of 8 stars required. I will link them below and give a brief summary. You can read a further/more detailed outline of the assignment in the post on my blog.

  1. PEACE through Sound- Audio Assignment 1551
    1. I chose different sounds that I felt conveyed a sense of peace/calmness, and I combined them into one audio story.
  2. Hillsong United’s Greatest Hits, According to Me- Audio Assignment 1018
    1. A combination of what are, in my opinion, some of the greatest songs by my favorite artist Hillsong United.
  3. My Pug is Smarter than Your Honor Student- Audio Assignment 1725
    1. A fun rendition of what I think my tagline would be if I were on the Real Housewives.

In the midst of all the learning and producing of audio stories, we also had to complete four daily creates this week. Thankfully, I remembered to do all of the required number, and I’m pleased with what I created!

  1. SILENCE!
    1. Something near and dear to me. Please, we all need to learn to shut up and listen when someone else is talking. Your opinion is not the only one out there in the world. I created this cover image with Pixlr, and worked with overlaying different images/shapes/text.
  2. anticipation
    1. I felt this image depicted an emotion/feeling of anticipation, as the viewer does not know what is ahead. (Although, if you go to Mary Wash, then you probably know exactly where this picture was taken and what’s at the end of the road.) However, it’s still a sense of mystery for most other people. I took this image on my phone and uploaded it to Twitter.
  3. an old photo
    1. This is a photo from my fiance and I’s engagement pictures this past January. I used Pixlr to edit the image and make it look older. I made it look “grainier” and added black/white/sepia hues. I also dimmed the picture brightness, and lowered the saturation. Finally, I added a vignette to give the photo a dark/faded appearance.
  4. 5 Card Flickr Story
    1. I liked this assignment because it called me to be creative/imaginative. I enjoyed making up a story from 5 seemingly random pictures.

For commenting, I feel that this week went better than last week. I didn’t get the chance to comment on as many blog posts for others, but I definitely received many helpful comments on my own posts. Most people enjoyed my creations, which is always reassuring to hear, especially when you aren’t sure of what you’re producing.

This week, I learned so much about audio storytelling. I gained many skills in using the Audacity program and familiarized myself with some of its basic functions: trimming audio files, time shifting, etc. I also learned a lot of valuable information on what audio storytelling is in general, as well as its main building blocks and techniques. Having this knowledge made it easier to approach the assignments this week and complete them in an efficient manner. Overall, I enjoyed this week of DS106 and I’m looking forward to next week’s assignments! I can already see, 4 weeks in, the great benefit this class will be to the remainder of my academic career and into the future.

Weekly Summary: Three

This week, I learned a lot more about the elements that go into storytelling, as well as the different ways to tell a story and present to an audience. Definitely, the biggest thing I learned was the relevance and importance of digital storytelling. Not all stories have to be the stereotypical book with pictures or words exchanged around a campfire. Given that we live in a time where technology is improving at such rapid paces, it make sense to place more emphasis on learning about the importance of generating and sharing digital stories. You can view a more in-depth response to this on my blog in the post on “What is ‘storytelling’?”.

It was also super helpful to think about stories and their overall shape. Kurt Vonnegut provided a simple and clear visual to understanding some of the stereotypical plot structures of stories. But it was also great to apply this to any and all other stories we know. Most do not ascend in the typical way one would expect. Rather they fluctuate up and down, from good to bad, not always ending in good as noted in my interpretation of the shape of The Great Gatsby.  Also in this post, I discussed how a video I viewed in my Sociology class is representative of digital storytelling. It employs all the techniques and elements of a digital story while moving across time and space, going from good to bad. For this assignment I looked up a general plot summary of The Great Gatsby, so as not to forget any key moments in the text. I then plotted the main events as points on Vonnegut’s spectrum ranging from good to bad. I connected these points and generated this fluctuating yet eventual downward sloping plot structure.

I liked having the ability to view past responses and stories from the class. I think that’s a super unique quality to this community, in that it keeps growing and we have the ability to feed off of one another. This improves the class for future students who will join the group! Being able to look at other stories from previous students gave me a greater insight into what a digital story is. It can take many shapes and forms, from picture to video. I chose to reflect on a students interpretation of a classical painting, Starry Night. The student approached the activity in a unique and creative way. It also gave me some ideas on how to manipulate already generated content and make it my own, new creation.

We created one of our first assignments this week, “Telling a Story in Photos.” I really enjoyed this one, and I think that picture media is a way in which I prefer to approach telling a digital story. You can view my assignment here, and you can further review my personal reflection on the assignment here. For this assignment I used a video on Facebook I posted. I had a hard time capturing clear images and screenshots, so I got frustrated. However, I clicked around and went to the “Edit Video” section. I was then able to save the actual thumbnails available to my computer and upload them together in a sequence for the blog post.

I had a hard time with the commenting activity. I enjoyed the comments left my others, but with some I wasn’t sure how to respond. I also, wasn’t sure how to leave a comment for other that would generate discussion. I felt that I left meaningful responses, but in the future I’d like to create more of an atmosphere for conversation. Should I ask questions? However, I did get some cool ideas for other blog posts in the future. I’m not sure specifically of those right now, but I liked the way some of the posts were formatted as well as the content. I thought the feedback I got was nice and interesting, but it didn’t necessarily call me to change anything or improve. I know my work wasn’t perfect, so I would’ve appreciated some more constructive criticism. But, overall I’m pleased that students within our community liked my posts.

I was only able to complete 3 daily creates this week. I procrastinated, not realizing how much work I have to do. Unfortunately, I have a paper and two tests this week, so I spent more time on those and forgot about DS106 🙁 So sad, but it will NEVER happen again! I won’t let the senioritis get to me 🙂 Here are the three which I did complete: Daily Create 1, Daily Create 2, Daily Create 3. For the first one, I thought this was a unique and cute assignment! I actually have a game, that’s like Apples to Apples, called Bubble Talk. In the game you match funny captions to an outrageous picture. For the second daily create, I liked that we got to do something to cheer up another classmate! I’ve had those moments where my computer suddenly crashes in the middle of a midterm paper, and it was NOT pretty. But, in the end I survived, and I hope that the pictures made Kelsey’s day a little better. I loved the third daily create! I thought of it right away and couldn’t wait to draw it up (because I was in class when I had this great revelation). BALL-E saved the day, and we can all go back to Earth now! But overall, I liked this one because it gave a whole new perspective on the movie in a fun and creative way.

Overall, I’m really enjoying this class. It’s challenging me to think in new and different ways about telling stories and media in a general. Thinking back to when I first started with this a few weeks ago, I’d definitely more comfortable with posting and creating content on my blog. I don’t have any questions right now, but I’m looking forward to what this next week’s assignments will be!

 

Weekly Summary: Two

I definitely enjoyed getting into the nitty-gritty of the class this week! It was definitely overwhelming in a lot of ways, but I liked being able to experiment and explore with the various assignments.

Overall, I executed and completed the assignments well. Each one was done fully and to the best of my own ability, and I didn’t allow the confusion and mistakes to keep me from completing each task. I had the most difficulty and trouble with installing the various plug-ins (Akisment, Twitter, Flickr, etc.) It was just something new and different that I’d never done before. However, I’ll say now that I felt very accomplished when I finished these and they actually worked! Like I tweeted, English majors can do computer assignments too!

My favorite part of this week was the Daily Creates! I loved them so much and they really got me thinking and using my imagination. I’m the kind of person who enjoys prompts to stir up ideas and projects.  Here are the links to my four Daily Creates and how I created them:

Hello ds106!

  1. Flickr Photo Introduction to ds106: For this assignment, I post the most recent “selfie” I’ve taken to introduce myself to the class.
  2. My second Daily Create for the week was recreating a movie slang with UK slang. This was a fun one, and I really enjoyed learning some new words too!

pug love for breakfast

3. My third DC was “What’s in your toast?” I had some trouble with this one at first because I didn’t know how to edit another image onto a previous image. I ended up using a website called Pixlr to lay the pug image over the image of the toast.

4. The final Daily Create for this week I just did today with the new format/website. I found this great image of a young woman walking up a set of stairs to a degrading clock. I thought this was a great representation of the quote, as I imagine the young woman making a decision between acceptance or resistance. I tweeted the image to the ds106 Daily Create Twitter account.

Besides the Daily Creates, I also really enjoyed creating my first Digital Storytelling Assignment! It definitely had its setbacks, but I was victorious in the end. I’m looking forward to the more I’ll have to do the rest of this semester. You can read about my experiment with this assignment here.

I learned the most through not only these original creations, but also through the two reflections required for this weeks activities. They brought a new perspective and approach to this class for me personally. My first reflection covers Gardner Campbell‘s talk and the second covers the presentation given by Michael Wesch.

Finally, I experimented with and customized my blog site more. I added an About Me page as well as a twitter feed and subscription widget.

–Amanda

Weekly Summary: One

This week, I feel that I completed the requirements as best I could, given my limited knowledge in creating a digital presence. The easy part was definitely reading over the syllabus and orienting myself to the class. All of the instructions appeared straightforward and easy to follow. I didn’t have any trouble registering for a domain name. Again, the instructions and articles were very informative. I’d say this was the easiest part. My domain name was available, given that my legal name is fairly unique (my last name, because I definitely know too many Amandas). Installing WordPress was simple as well. The instructions were straightforward, and I didn’t find myself lost in the process. Also, registering my blog was stress-free. I had no trouble inserting my information into the form.

However, creating the social media accounts and populating them with my pictures and information proved to be more difficult. I assumed I would be fine given that my generation grew up alongside the emergence of social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter. The hardest part proved to be orienting myself to the layout of websites I had never used before, such as Flickr and SoundCloud. Fortunately, once I had a better understanding of how the sites worked (i.e. how information was shared/created/found) the process went a lot better. I got to the point where I enjoyed exploring around on Flickr and customizing my own pictures. With Flickr, I uploaded pictures of people important to me. I added captions as well as updated the privacy settings so others could view them. For SoundCloud, I uploaded one sound clip of my pug, Zoe. This site may take me awhile to get used to because I’ve never interacted with audio media before. I’m hoping for the best! Now I’d like to connect with friends and family members who also have accounts on Flickr and SoundCloud. Before this class, I had a Twitter and Gmail account, so it was not an issue to begin utilizing these for ds106. On Twitter, I submitted a tweet with a fun fact about myself and the hashtag, #ds106 to add it to the class feed. For YouTube, I used an application on my phone called Video Editor, which I believe is an app that comes standard on LG smart phones. Basically, I was able to make a slide show and set it to music with text that played simultaneously with the pictures.

The part I enjoyed most was definitely creating the WordPress blog post with my multimodal introductions. I found this to be a fun way of introducing myself to others via Internet tools. It’s also super easy to talk about yourself, because you know everything there is to know! Therefore, this process didn’t prove to be difficult in any way. I learned how to embed various medias within a blog post which I believe will prove to be a very valuable tool in the future.

I learned so many things in this process. Most importantly, I learned how to create a digital identity. I hope to maintain this identity well beyond college because I think it will be beneficial when applying for jobs and expanding my resume. I also learned how to use different social media accounts like Flickr and SoundCloud. I’m sure I will learn more in-depth about all the options and customizations these sites offer with posting original content. I will also say that after watching the Introduction Video for Week 1 of ds106, I learned more about the class in general. I have a greater sense of the structure of an online class, this being my first one, as well as what is expected of me as a student in this community. I am really looking forward to the impact a class of this nature is going to have on my academic career.

As far as things I would do differently, I definitely should have started working on this earlier in the week. I read through the syllabus on Monday, but didn’t actively begin completing the assignments for Week 1 until Thursday night. This didn’t prove to be too much of an issue given that the first week is mostly an orientation. However, I didn’t leave myself much room to solve issues I ran into. This is definitely something I am going to keep in mind for future assignments. Computers and technology do not come naturally to me, so I will need to take advantage of all the time provided.

As far as questions go, I sent an email to the Digital Knowledge Center, but never received a response. Is this normal? I ended up working out the issue I had encountered, but this does make me concerned for other issues I may have in  the future.

Below is the link to the blog post with my multimodal introductions.

http://awassenberg.org/uncategorized/getting-to-know-amanda/

Looking forward to the rest of this class!

–Amanda Wassenberg