Week 1 Summary

Week 1 Summary

  • How well do you feel you completed the requirements of the week’s assignments?

I feel like I completed the requirements this week very well in the way that I interpreted them. I think that a lot of my assignments make sense if you slightly suspend your disbelief. I think I have completed the structural components well this week. i.e my website looks good, it is clear and simple to use, it is organized. I personally believe I have included the story aspect as well however I think that this is where I will try to improve in the weeks to come.

  • What gave you trouble? What did you enjoy most? What did you learn?

The thing that gave me the most trouble was interpreting each assignment. I think that each of the assignments in week 1 had a lot of artistic freedom, so it was often difficult to know if the direction I took each assignment was the correct interpretation. It also gave me some trouble figuring out how to incorporate a story into each assignment. For example I chose to do the color changer assignment. I wasn’t exactly sure how to incorporate a story into an post that was an adaptation of a photo. Also when I tried to make the stories, I tried to make them creative and interesting. I didn’t know if this was the right idea or if this was out of line. The thing I enjoyed most was creating the tutorials for each of the visual assignments. At first I simply typed instructions for how I created each visual assignment. After experimenting with some screen recording software I was able to produce better tutorials. I thought I documented how I made each visual assignment in a clear and concise way. I also enjoyed the photo safari. It was fun to see what I could come up with in such a short amount of time. This week I learned how to set up a web environment using wordpress, and how to change and manipulate that web space to make it look aesthetically pleasing and to make it simple to navigate and use. Having never used twitter before I learned its in’s and out’s.

  • What would you do differently? What questions do you have?

If I could do anything differently, I would try to have a story in my mind when completing each assignment. I think having a story in mind, then using that story to do each assignment is easier and more effective than having already completed the assignment and then trying to craft a story that fits. Some questions I have are: Is every assignment supposed to have a different story or is the entire blog supposed to tell a singular story through a compilation of each assignment? Can the stories be funny, offbeat, poetic, different? Should the stories be straight forward, well written, and have perfect grammar and sentence structure? Should the daily creates attempt to tell a story also or are they limited to the 140 character limit on twitter?

  • What are some of the larger issues surrounding your work? Cultural/Societal implications?

It is remarkable to reflect on the dramatic changes that have occurred in communications over the past decade and the dramatic societal impact of these new methods of storytelling. Of course, the purpose of communication is typically to tell a story and the world is awash with stories being told by prominent politicians, international protestors, presidential and political candidates, celebrities and sociopaths, by nearly anyone with access to a mobile device. I look forward to Digital Storytelling 106 because it provides wonderful insight into how the online environment can be used and manipulated to channel information in hugely diverse ways. Tweets have changed the world dramatically, and I reflect on how the Arab Spring was driven by the leaders’ Twitter feeds. Donald Trump has been hugely successful at marketing a Presidential campaign 140 characters at at time. How is that possible? In this course, I hope to learn a huge amount about how the digital communication world actually works and how these diverse stories get told and disseminated. The world of a few newspaper publishers controlling the news is gone forever. Now the story is told in tweets, text, video, audio, and a million mixtures of these media. My DS106 blog will be a first exploration of this brave new digital world!

  1. Commentary on Setting Up your Domain and Social media

Learning how to use wordpress to make a new blog was a little bit overwhelming at first, but I quickly got the hang of how to use it. Adding content, updating, and editing my blog quickly became second nature. Setting up the social media did not give me much trouble. While I did not have twitter, soundcloud, or flickr, I was already familiar with how to use them.2

2. A link to a mutlimodel introduction blog post

Multimodel introduction blog post

3.Commentary of Customizing your blog

I wanted to customize my blog so that it was streamlined, straight forward, and simple to use. I wanted it to be ascetically pleasing so that viewers would be interested in staying on my site and looking at all of the content. I tried to have it organized clearly with the latest content being on the front page. I had the idea of putting each post from the week on the main page and also having a separate page each post will live after that week is over. The stories will still be visible but are not the main attraction. I also wanted some of my favorite pictures to backgrounds on the site.

4. A link to a reflection about all the material you viewed/read about visuals of storytelling.

5/7. A link to your Photo Safari and reflection on photo safari

Click here to visit the photo safari post 🙂

6. A link to your photo reflection

Click here to see the photoreflection

8. A link to three daily creates

Click here to see my daily creates

9. Links to 4 different visual assignment blog post

9 Lives Visual Assignment 

Color Changer Visual Assignment 

Story Map Visual Assignment

Spubble Visual Assignment

10. Reflection on how you felt about the Visual Storytelling.

I felt the visual story telling aspect was the hardest part to incorporate into the this week’s assignments. I found it difficult, for example, to understand the opportunities to turn the color changer assignment into a story or at least to add story elements into it. I think this is where I will try to explore further during the coming weeks. Digital storytelling is the vast Wild West and there seem to be endless opportunities to tell stories, true, untrue, iconoclastic, profound, or even vulgar. I am not sure where the boundaries can or should be in my voice in all of this. Are we, as students, free to experiment broadly with different voices, points of view, and story lines, (recognizing the need to be civil about it all)? Can we tell stories that just aren’t even true (since that is actually the need of Professor Polack’s blog – “Not Digital Truth Telling”)?

As I worked on developing my own voice, I experimented with creating a non-traditional example of storytelling. In the “Color Changer” assignment I compared the two pictures of my house with the double rainbow to Noah’s Ark in a story that is told in a voice between Holden Caulfield and Huckleberry Finn. I don’t know if others will like it or find it objectionable. As I search for my “favorite voice”, among many, I hope to find one that is witty, probably iconoclastic, informative, and not insulting. I hope to play around with that and seek other’s guidance in terms of its “acceptability”.