Week 5 Reflection


So, week 5 has come to an end.  My first impulse on reflecting upon the week is to say how much I’ve enjoyed interacting with other Digital Stories participants and others who I’ve communicated with through Twitter and other social networking platforms regarding subjects and creations initiated through this course.  Secondly, the Daily Creates have been nearly addicting and  the Mashup Assignment, once I decided on one, was very fun as well.  I like what I produced this week.

I feel I did a better job keeping up with my commitments to this class, however, I continue to start my week jazzed to get stuff done early and end up finishing and launching a great deal of the assignments on the weekend, just before they are due.

I have a new plan for this coming week however.  I got an idea from the audio book I’m currently listening to within my personal interest area:  The Charisma Myth, by Olivia Fox Cabane.  By nature, people tend to take as much time as they have to complete a task.  I believe this is a big reason why I start each week jazzed to get my work done early and then I end up not being able to really finish and launch Olivia tells a story about how she had a year to finish a book, but imposed an artificial timeline on herself of one month.  Of course, she wasn’t able deliver a completed book within a month, but she did deliver a rough draft of 1/3rd of the book to her publisher in that time, much more than she normally would have produced.  chrisma

I’d like to try an experiment in Week 6.  I am going to commit to producing at least rough drafts of all assignments by Wednesday and then use the remaining time to edit and perfect my work.  I’m excited to see how this turns out.  I look forward to Week 6!

Here’s the video that got me interested in listening to her audio book:






Why So Angry, Alien?!

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For this weeks Assignment Bank assignment I chose one called This Doesn’t Belong Here.  This assignment you need to mash up two different iconic movie scenes. However, you should aim to be as subtle as possible. Perhaps a famous prop that simply doesn’t belong or a character that looks a little out of place.

So my photo-shopping ended up a little less than subtle.  However, this was a fun assignment to fit this angry little alien from my childhood into iconic science fiction movies.  I tried to pic my favorite one, but then just decided to share them all here.

Together We Are Brilliant!


This weeks required reading: Communities of Readers, Clusters of Practices by Henry Jenkins, focused on participatory and collaborative learning.  He talked about a myriad of reasons why and ways for students to learn together.  Collaborative learning groups have obviously been around as long as people have.  However, in our recently much more easily connected world, it is certainly much more simple to find people with learning interests in common, and perhaps more important than ever to find people who know the things you want to know and learn from them.  Sadly, however, this concept, especially as it relates to using social online spaces for learning, is still largely revolutionary. Many Educational and corporate institutions continue to shield students of all kinds from social and collaborative spaces where people can meet and learn from others.  The concept of Showing and Sharing Your Work can seem frivolous to some, and even dangerous and damaging to others.

I can say with complete certainty that my online Communities are the reason I have my career.  I was fortunate to have stumbled from here to there as I was trying to figure out how to use rapid e-learning tools several years ago, into a whole world of amazing people working, sharing, and learning together online.

Some of my favorite experts:  Jane Bozarth, Michael Allen & Tom Kuhlmann

One blog would lead to another and I found myself communicating sharing and collaborating with people all over the world.  My mind was blown as I began to meet people at conferences whose blogs I had read or screen casts I had watched and learned from.  I was definitely a fan-girl and a bit of an online stalker to many of these individuals for sure at first, but as I learned more and got a little bolder, I found that this community was about everyone sharing, asking questions and learning and creating together.

It is important for us as learners and educators of all kinds to continue to not only discuss but demonstrate how collaborative learning is an important tool to “Break down the walls that isolate classroom teaching from the larger learning ecology surrounding schools”.  Jenkins (2008).

Week 5 – Mashing It Up To Reinforce Learning

This week for my digital story critique, I am actually using a digital story I created for work. this week.  I believe this fits in with the idea of the digital story mashup as well as my personal interest theme of building self confidence.

How does this project fit into my interest theme?

I began this job just over 5 months ago.  My last job had begun to feel a bit like Groundhog’s Day and I knew I needed a change.  One of the projects that interested me in this new gig was, ironically, leading and facilitating instructor-led management training classes in addition to designing and developing online content.  At my last position I would never have done any instructor-led training at all and definitely not management training.  There were other people to do that.  I was the only Learning Tech person, so I was loaded with online, mostly compliance training.  This was not only a fun departure, but a way for me to expand my experience as a learning professional.  Also, it seemed like a fun stretch to me that I’d be facilitating management training, as I’ve always stayed clear of management jobs in the past.  This was definitely something I had to just decide I was going to figure out how to get myself to do confidently.  This was going to require some major power posing!

I’m happy to say I have wrapped up the first module out of the 5 management classes successfully.  We also wanted some sort of a reinforcement program for the content.  I created this video was to reinforce and remind attendees to the first module, called Meeting Leadership Challenges, about the processes and tools that we learned and used in class, and hopefully help them change their behavior rather than just attend class and forget about it.

This was a fun project for me, but required many different types of involvement and dimensions to complete it.  I had to write a script, stage directions and scenarios, find actors and film them, while giving them direction.  I then edited and mashed up the many segments of video and audio files using Camtasia and added what I hope are some fun elements including video transitions, a few graphics and some on-screen text.   I also included a couple of popular reference audio pieces such as the Masterpiece Theatre music intro, a classical piece to back up my coworker with a British accent who I convinced to be the narrator, and a silly pop song to indicate the riotous fun and excitement present during our management training classes.  We pushed this video out to participants through our LMS along with digital files reinforcing the materials used and discussed.

My biggest criticism of the video is that it is a little too long at nearly 6 minutes.  I am not sure if the employees will watch for the entire time or skip through it.  Hopefully they will be interested enough in seeing their coworkers’ performances to stick around until the end.  For the next in the series, due out next month, I will shoot for a 3 minute reinforcement scenario.




Reflection Week 4


I just don’t have much to say or for that matter time to say it this week.  A funeral, many relatives, grieving and comforting, many commitments and a family pet kills a kitten in front of small children and everyone is stunned and faced with death and grieving again.

I feel I did the best I could catching time between commitments.  My interactions with classmates this week were definitely the highlights.

It was good, important, to be here, but I am so excited to be going home tomorrow and back to more living and learning.

That is all for now.  Onward.





Those Tasty Digital Story Bits

Super Digital Stories Bits

I had a hard time choosing a design assignment from the ds106 assignment bank this week.  I looked at several and kept tossing them aside for the next and the next, so I decided to grab a random assignment and tell myself I would just do it no matter what it was.  The assignment I ended up with was to design my own cereal box.

This turned out to be pretty fun.  I thought of this class approaches digital stories as a series of small interconnected stories, that we are constantly creating digital story bits, some of them are more tasty than others, and how every once in a while you even run into a secret toy surprise!

I made a cereal box for Super Digital Stories Bits which includes Gifs, Blogs, Tweets, and at the end of the rainbow, who knows?   This was a simple creation, I used PowerPoint graphics capabilities to draw a 3-d box using lines, then used  used shapes, logos, and pictures I found on the web, saved it as a picture and uploaded it to Flickr.

Some more great resources for using PowerPoint’s graphics capabilities:

How to Easily Make Killer Graphics in PowerPoint

How to Create Your Own Illustrated Graphics in PowerPoint