Response to Digital Storytelling Article 09/29/16 — September 30, 2016

Response to Digital Storytelling Article 09/29/16

I have come to realize that digital storytelling can be a powerful tool. Whether the story is just for fun, to sell a product, or to provide instruction, if composed properly it is very effective. When considering digital stories as a means of communication it is important to understand some of the basics.

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The article written by Bernard R. Robin titled The Educational Uses of digital storytelling does a nice job at establishing definitions and a basic framework for composing digital stories. I agree with Robin when he states, “digital storytelling is not a new concept.” Digital storytelling is familiar, especially when used to inform about a particular product, but the use of digital storytelling as a means to educate in the classroom is a newer application.

I appreciate the classification on digital stories into three types. This helps build understanding and enforces the seven elements of digital storytelling. The author defines the three types beginning with personal narratives.

 

“One of the most popular reasons for producing digital stories is to create a personal narrative.”

 

This is true and, and as the author points out, personal narratives are great for delivering and educating varying perspectives. Being introduced to, and understanding others perspectives, is a valuable learning tool. I often use a perspectives activity in the facilitated courses I develop for my company’s Leadership Development. An understanding of perspectives adds to a participant’s emotional intelligence and fosters a foundation allowing for better collaboration.

The author then goes on to introduce the two other types of digital stories; digital stories that examine historical events, and stories which inform or instruct. I have personally experienced stories that present historical evidence. One that stands out was about Martin Luther King Jr. and was part of a perspective activity. This activity was a module for diversity training provided by MGM Resorts International. The use of digital storytelling to share individual perspectives is most certainly a great activity.

The author continues with Digital Storytelling as an instructional learning tool and enforcing literacy skills. I personally work with adult learners who are high performers within a corporate setting, but I strongly feel that no matter the audience; K-12, millennials, or more senior learners, could all benefit from digital storytelling as long as the activity is set up correctly. As the author points out,

 

“One of the major questions that teachers, administrators and technology support staff ask is: do the students have access to the technology they need to create digital stories?”

 

That is a very real concern for all audiences. I also agree with the additional concerns raised by the author. It is difficult to accurately gauge participant’s comfort level with technology. Available time is also difficult to gauge because of all the variables, including the previously mentioned concern.

Overall, the use of digital storytelling in learning environments is viewed positively in my perspective. It enables working with different types of stories to create a powerful experience that is personal and memorable. There is also a very attractive opportunity for participants to empower themselves by defining the learning experience.

Digital Story Critique 09/28/16 — September 29, 2016

Digital Story Critique 09/28/16

I am always amazed by the amount of things that can happen in a short amount of time. This digital story presented by Google is an excellent example of this. “Google Search: Reunion” is a touching story that happens in 3 ½ minutes.

digital_story_picture

The story begins simply with an engaging and attention getting scene that frames the place where this story takes place. A grandfather is telling a childhood story about a friend with whom he became separated from when India and Pakistan became two distinct places. The granddaughter becomes inspired and uses Google to accomplish a reunion of friends separated by many decades.

The story flows seamlessly and all the characters work together to deliver a very heartfelt story of happiness. Each scene flows into the next and is further unified in the background by a musical score. This musical score continues to define mood and place. Music plays a very important role in promoting an emotional response.

This digital story also gives voice to Google services. I’m well aware that Google can be a powerful tool, but if I had not, my perspective would certainly after watching this story. The manner in which Google is promoted throughout this story is almost invisible, but maybe this digital story is all about Google. Overall, this is a very good production. As a viewer I experienced many different emotions determining in the end that Google is a pleasure to use.

Using the assets provided by Jason Ohler I chose to evaluate this presentation using Story, Flow/Organization/Pacing and Sense of audience. I’m not sure how this story could be improved. Instead I would like to ask, “How do you think this story could be improved?” Google Search: Reunion is touching and memorable, with an overarching purpose- to remember Google is there for you.

 

 

 

Story

 

 

How well did the story work? This trait can address structure, engagement, character transformation or any of the other qualities of story discussed in Part II. In fact, an entire rubric can be devoted to evaluating the quality

 

 

The story works very well. The characters are engaging, the imagery is thoughtful and the music supports emotional involvement.

 

Flow, organization and pacing

 

 

 

Was the story well organized? Did it flow well, moving from part to part without bumps or disorientation, as described in Part III?

 

 

Google Search: Reunion is not short of flow. This story moves along smoothly and each scene blends into the next. This production is very well done.

 

Sense of audience

 

 

 

How well did the story respect the needs of the audience?

 

This story respects the needs of almost anyone to be found as the audience. It is a very nice story and Google is obviously pitched, but it is effective.
Audio Assignment – Week 5 — September 23, 2016

Audio Assignment – Week 5

At first I was intimidated by this assignment, so I visited the DS106 bank and searched for something that interested me. I found a topic titled Make It 800% slower and the example given was a song by Justin Bieber called U Smile that is slowed down 800%. This incredible lengthening of the song results in a very surreal rendition.

I listened to the track U Smile and was really impressed by how different the song made me feel. Not to be outdone, I saw this as a challenge. My decision was to make something that competed with the Justin Bieber example. I wanted something that would sound unknown and uncomfortable.

I have listened to Nine Inch Nails since introduction to the music world. To me, Trent Reznor is an extremely talented artist who offers unique sound. I selected to work with a song titled Lights in the sky that is the seventh track off the album The Slip. I was impressed with the results once I slowed it down 800%. The song becomes very odd, even somewhat creepy, but not terrorizing way. I could see this playing in the background of a Sci-Fi horror movie. Please take a moment to listen to and enjoy the track. Feel free to skip around. Your ears may be surprised by what you hear. Click the image below to listen to the track. Use headphones for greater impact.

nin_art

I used Adobe Auditions and Soundcloud to complete this assignment.

Blog response Chapters 2 & 3 Week 5 — September 22, 2016

Blog response Chapters 2 & 3 Week 5

Chapter 2 – Music remix in the classroom

Erik Jacobson

 

I have been aware of music, music composition and music remixing for a long time. Currently, Dubstep is a popular form of remixing and talented DJs can earn fame and fortune. This Dubstep phenomenon has also led to the selling of amateur mixing tools so anyone can remix music.

While I’m not 100% sold on the power of remixing music and using as a tool in the learning environment, I’m also not going to disregard the power it may have. I work with adult learners in a corporate environment, so using this type of media would be challenging. I believe that it would be fun and engaging, and that it has the potential to bring collaboration between participants. I could easily compose a remix and incorporate that, but the time needed to create and implement an activity for participants would be much more challenging.

I am familiar with sound mixing and remixing, and the technology involved is not a huge challenge. While I did not grow up with an entire radio station library in my pocket, the nature of my scholastic studies and profession have allowed me to embrace many different types of creative software. The participants I deal with would, for the most part be very challenged and overwhelmed. I appreciate the author addressing that art does not come from nothing. It is important that participants in the classroom have many resources to draw inspiration from all around them.

I am intrigued. How would participants convey a message about professional experience or leadership using remixed music or sounds or their own voice? Having different generations collaborate would also be fun. Baby Boomers would have to work with Millennials, so the outcome could be rewarding. I will have to investigate this a bit more and set up a focus group in an effort to assess this possibility.

 

 

Chapter 3 – DIY podcasting in education

Christopher Shamburg

 

“…the power of audio to entertain, inform, and persuade.”

 – Christopher Shamburg

I must admit that podcasting interests me. I think that it would be a great deal of fun to identify a friend or peer and just talk about the silliest topics. My podcast would probably be comparable to The Howard Stern Show, although much less popular. It is worth noting that delivering a podcast at work, for me, would likely be unwelcome and disruptive. I work quite a bit with leadership development and am keenly aware of the corporate culture. I would use the podcast to challenge junior leaders to change the culture, which could end badly.

“The key for using podcasting successfully in education is, I believe, to abandon the model of simply enhancing the existing curriculum and to deeply reflect on the types of skills we want students to have in the kind of world in which they are living now.”

– Christopher Shamburg

Similar to the remix reading I appreciate the author walking me through the steps of moving from podcast listener to podcast creator. I was introduced to different resources such as the application Audacity. The author makes a good case for podcasts vs. vodcasts and I agree that audio is here to stay and in this type of delivery much more engaging.

Podcasting is definitely worth looking into. The author provides some great examples for implementing podcasting in the classroom such as fictional dramatizations. The dramatizations could focus on positive and negative interactions from employees at work. We also have various regional sites around the country and an audio tour would help to define location based perspectives that could lead to a greater understanding and improved communication between sites. Overall, given thoughtful and careful planning, podcasts have the potential to be a valuable learning tool.

Digital Story Critique 09/22/16 —

Digital Story Critique 09/22/16

When I first thought about, and investigated digital storytelling, the focus was on an individual’s experience provided through a TED Talk or about a place that had been abandoned. As a designer and visual communicator, I began to wonder how else digital storytelling could be used. I searched around and discovered that companies are increasingly using digital storytelling to introduce and sell products. Digital storytelling is being used all around us to promote brands by connecting with us, keeping our attention, and eliciting an emotional response. Is this new? No, of course not, but it is more thoughtful and engaging than ever.

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There is an interesting Peugeot digital story presented in a graphic novel format. This story is designed to auto play, or the viewer can scroll through it at their own pace. I highly suggest that you let it run on auto play with the volume on, and a set of headphones makes it better. The background music and sound effects are important and well done. In the beginning I was jarred by the initial action sequence that set the tone for the entire story, but as a warning, don’t turn the volume up too much.

Being that this is a digital story about a specific car technology being presented by Peugeot, there must be a couple of layers to this story. I thought that it was engaging to have the female character be the embodiment of the Hybrid Drive technology. Throughout the story we are connected by different select drive options. This adds a rhythm to the story, which is appreciated. We also hear the car’s voice as we engage these different drive options. There are also different ways to interact visually. Some of the images are static, while others are animated. The direction of the scroll changes too, adding to the engagement factor.

Overall, this digital story is presented very well. The elements used throughout work well together, however, I would’ve liked to have more interaction than just clicking to find out about Peugeot vehicles. It would be nice if the viewer were able to direct the story based on their decisions along the way. There could also be an option to select different environments or scenarios. While this is a departure from digital stories, which I would normally critique, I believe that there are some valuable elements here. This digital story really portrays the importance of composing a script, using storyboards, and pacing. The use of voice is also interesting because we are not given a human voice. The voice is something mechanical and is represented through a female character. Overall, there are elements here that could be used in any digital story.

Using Jason Ohler’s Assessment traits I have decided to critique this digital story using Project Planning, Originality/Voice/Creativity, and Flow/Organization/Pacing. As I addressed earlier, the use of additional interactive tools would have been appreciated. A stronger human element would have created a greater sense of connectedness as well. In conclusion, this is a very well done digital story.

 

Project planning Is there evidence of solid planning, in the form of story maps, scripts, storyboards, etc.? It’s obvious that there was solid planning behind this digital story.The result is an engaging experience which entices the viewer to learn more about Peugeot.
Originality, voice, creativity How creative was the production? Did the student exhibit an original sense of voice and a fresh perspective? This story is very creative in the way it’s presented. The direction of the scroll, the cars voice, static and animated slides all contribute.
Flow, organization and pacing Was the story well organized? Did it flow well, moving from part to part without bumps or disorientation, as described in Part III? This digital story flows nicely and is organized well. The areas of the story where a different drive mode is engaged creates a nice pace.
Digital Story Critique 09/15/16 — September 16, 2016

Digital Story Critique 09/15/16

the-fallen-wwii

http://www.fallen.io/ww2/

Numbers are a curious thing. Some numbers we can easily comprehend, take the number 10 for example. We have ten fingers, as long you’re willing to not argue about how to correctly classify thumbs. When the numbers become larger, for example Ten Million, then it becomes a bit more difficult to comprehend. What if we tried to comprehend One Billion or One Trillion? We know that these are very large numbers, but do we clearly understand how large? In the digital story, The Fallen of World War II, Neil Halloran portrays the number of lives lost during that conflict. This digital story is powerful in the way it addresses numbers.

“We are going to tally up the tens of millions of people whose lives were cut short by the war.”

  • Neil Halloran

To introduce this story Neil Halloran addresses numbers by bringing a perspective on average lifespans and how long ago World War II took place. This first step is important because it sets the tone for numbers to come. It is also clarified that we are just calculating the deaths of civilians and soldiers, not injuries. As we move to larger numbers and pause for a moment, just think about how many more people were affected as result of injury. The first group of casualties addressed were those of Americans, and the story points to D-Day. As we continue, other nations are addressed and casualties are broken down into different theaters of the war.

Neil Halloran includes pictures of civilians and Soldiers throughout the story. This is very important because as we become fixated on numbers it is important for us to realize exactly what these enormous numbers represent. Through these pictures we are intimately connected to the numbers. Another valuable tool used is the ability to pause the story and interact with the timeline. As we pause and reflect on the timeline, we learn about the number of casualties for each nation and the battles representing those casualties. Not only is this a story with an enormous amount of perspective, it is also a learning tool. There is definitely research done to create this story.

“Six million Jewish people were killed in the Holocaust.”

This story about casualties culminates when we address civilian casualties and the Holocaust. The story addresses the circumstances of these deaths, whether it was by death squads or concentration camps. Many civilian deaths also occurred because of Nazi occupation and included gypsies and the handicapped. As we move forward and add up all of the casualties by nation, it is a powerful image.

There is music in the background, and a constant “clicking” heard reminds us of the numbers. The Asian war theater is addressed and the numbers continue to add up. It is at this point during which the human element began to fade a little and the presentation became colder, more sterile. Additional pictures would have helped here. Overall the graphics, sound effects, and narration all work well together.

“The Long Peace.”

  • John Gaddis

The story ends, as well as it can, on a positive note. The time before World War II is addressed, global population is addressed and we include time. This gives us an idea of proportions and is a welcome addition. Neil Halloran then speaks to “The Long Peace” as coined by John Gaddis in 1989. Battle deaths are declining steadily despite ongoing conflicts around the world. There is an additional element and that is the story is designed in such a way that it creates a rolling timeline that recognizes the time on your computer and we zoom down to each passing second and we are reminded that numbers matter.

Using the recommended assets provided by Jason Ohler, I chose to evaluate this digital story using Story, Originality/voice/Creativity, and Research. Neil Halloran did an excellent job. The inclusion of music, pictures and interactivity is appreciated. The only improvement that I can think of would be to add some additional pictures throughout the second half of the story.

 

Story

 

 

 

How well did the story work? This trait can address structure, engagement or character transformation.

 

Overall this Digital story was very well done. There was a clear beginning, middle and end.
Originality, Voice, Creativity

 

 

 

How creative was the production? Did the student exhibit an original sense of voice and a fresh perspective?

 

While the digital story deals with a familiar topic it is addressed in a unique way. I enjoyed the originality of how the number of lives lost during WWII was portrayed.
Research

 

 

 

Was the student’s project well researched and documented?

 

The story was well researched and it shows in the interactivity where additional information is available. It is worthwhile to pause and investigate the different battles and casualties associated with each.
Response to Digital Storytelling 09/15/16 — September 15, 2016

Response to Digital Storytelling 09/15/16

 

How to Master the Art of Storytelling on Snapchapt

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Snapchat is used by many as a social media toy to create and deliver temporary messages. When Snapchat was first introduced, Generation Z and Millennials snapped it up and began communicating with ease. As Snapchat has aged, so has its users. Today, Snapchat is used by a wide variety of age groups to deliver short term/temporary messages. Users are not likely aware that they are actually delivering digital stories.

“It’s no secret that Snapchat has its limitations, but to become an influencer you have to think creatively outside of these boundaries. Add multiple “layers” to your snaps. These can be drawings, emojis, filters and music.”

– Austin Luliano

I recently installed the Snapchat App on my smart device and quickly noticed that it has limitations. Similar to Austin Luliano’s, observation in his article, “How to Master the Art of Storytelling on Snapchat,” I too immediately felt these limitations. This was frustrating at first, but with a little help from my teen daughter, I began to explore what Snapchat can do. The limitations I experienced challenged me to communicate in a different way. I had to practice creativity which included unusual angles, adding layers such as emojis, and occasionally music.

I was soon delivering Snapchat messages on a regular basis and probably just irritating my friends and family with my new toy. I started to realize that Snapchats matter and that they produce a reaction in whoever I send one to. Austin Luliano suggests in his article to investigate other users of Snapchat and discover what makes a great story. As it turns out, a great story has a beginning, middle and end. Once I applied this and was thoughtful in my narrative, my digital stories became more meaningful. I noticed that my friends and Family on Snapchat would respond more often.

“When you share audiences and collaborate you both become more successful. You both gain more followers and build a bigger community. Remember, a rising tide lifts all boats.”

– Austin Lulino

I was establishing a community and building relationships; Snapchat became a rewarding experience. Snapchat literally rewards users for accomplishing certain things such as consecutive daily snaps, using text in snaps, using filters and using Snapchats video feature. It is fun, and my brother, who lives out of state, who also happens to be my biggest fan, is communicating with me every day. I asked him to join the Snapchat community and I may have created a monster, but that is a story in and of itself.

In the article, Austin Luliano touches on collaboration for fun, and for success. While this is just a small part of the article, it is very important. As mentioned earlier building a community and creating meaningful relationships using Snapchat is rewarding. Currently, I’m working on building a community and composing meaningful stories. In the future I would like to experiment with marketing myself. How well can Snapchat portray a skill set? That, for me, is yet to be seen.

Blog Response Ch. 4 Visual Networks Guy Merchant (week three) — September 9, 2016

Blog Response Ch. 4 Visual Networks Guy Merchant (week three)

This week’s reading was intriguing. As the author begins speaking about graffiti and the social group associated with it, I thought about my own experiences attempting to understand graffiti growing up. The graffiti artists were labeled delinquents and often associated with gangs. Most of the time charged with defacing private property. While I don’t agree with graffiti, it does create a visual network whether just for fun, the thrill, defining home turf, or art.

The author ties his experience with graffiti culture to Flickr. I have a Flickr account and although I don’t use it often, I have never really thought about it as a tool for creating visual networks. Instead, I’m practicing what is referred to as “networked individualism.” I have a photo album and I keep it private, sharing only occasionally with family and close friends. I’m now thinking of defining a photo album with a theme and making it public just to see what happens. Just over a year ago I took up photography as a hobby, I could use this as a method to network while displaying my photos. Until reading this, I was not aware that Flickr allowed for the creation of tags. This is something worth exploring, while working to become a more active and public participant within the Flickr world.

I appreciate the real examples of how other users interact with Flickr and create visual networks. These examples help support creating a Flickr Identity. While I’m not sold on establishing “friends” through Flickr because, similar to Facebook, people that follow you are not necessarily real friends. This is something that I find hollow about virtual relationships. Although there are meaningful interactions within the defined space, I doubt any “friends” would show up to help you out of a jam? A bit cynical, I know, but they likely would not.

I do agree that Flickr can be a learning resource. By utilizing Flickr we can engage in conversation and discover what could be new interests. As an amateur photographer it would be a great resource to see how others tackle the subjects I find interesting.

Digital Story Critique 09/08/2016 (2) —

Digital Story Critique 09/08/2016 (2)

I was searching for digital stories and I came across one that was quite endearing and human. As I clicked through the story, I couldn’t help being overcome with an overwhelming sensation. The story is about a small town in Canada’s Northwest Territory called Pine Point. Pine Point is interesting because it was a mining town that existed for a brief time and then was erased from the map.

pine_point

The story focuses on a handful of characters including the narrator whom I hear only briefly. We learn how the town came into being. Built on the mining industry to house employees and their families. All the things associated with a small town show up, schools, grocery stores, a motel or two, a skating rink and some places to get a drink. This story focuses on a high school class somewhere during the 80’s. This story literally placed me down my own memory lane. I tried to recall past experiences and old friendships, which for me had also drifted away, and similar to the Pine Point story, some of my memories were crystal clear and others were so faded that details are impossible to make out.

This digital story had many elements that made it enjoyable and memorable. The story is interactive which is fun. As the viewer you have the power to move forward or backward in the story. There are “clicks” set up that cause a video to play or move objects around on the screen. The music in the background brings completeness to the entire experience. It’s funny how easily music can define something. I know that on occasion I’ll hear a tune on the radio and I’m immediately drawn back to some distant memory like it was just an hour ago.

Overall I feel this digital story was very well done. Anyone with an ounce of curiosity should take time to view and interact with Pine Point Northwest Territory.

Using assets provided by Jason Ohler I have chosen to evaluate this presentation using Voice, Flow/Organization/Pacing, and Research. This story really provides it all. A strong voice and a very believable human element existed throughout. I feel like the only thing that would make this digital story better would be if it engaged a sense of smell or touch, which we know is very difficult to deliver online. Maybe there are ways to accomplish this such as instructing a participant to fetch a handful of leaves and an old spoon before taking this journey-just ideas!

Voice

 

 

 

How creative was the production? Did the student exhibit an original sense of voice and a fresh perspective?

 

The voice of the producers came through strongly and was immediately engaging. The voices from the handful of characters, including the town was also apparent and engaging.
Flow, Organization and Pacing

 

 

 

Was the story well organized? Did it flow well, moving from part to part without bumps or disorientation, as described in Part III?

 

The story was well organized and it did flow well. The ability to click at your own pace was welcome. I never felt out of place or lost.
Research

 

 

 

Was the student’s project well researched?

 

The presentation was well researched, and not only were we introduced to characters we also followed up with them later in life. The same is true for the town.
Bucket List — September 8, 2016

Bucket List

Where do I begin? There are so many items on my bucket list that I had to pause and really consider a few that would not only be fun to accomplish, but also fun to share. I composed this visual using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.

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  1. I would really enjoy traveling to Iceland to camp underneath the stars and the Aurora Borealis. I have always been intrigued by this phenomenon. I remember learning about the Aurora Borealis as a child. Being able to visualize Earth’s magnetic field as it interacts with charged particles from the sun creating light. Throw in a little desolation, glaciers, and the proper equipment and that would equate to perfection!
  2. A visit to Hawaii is worthy of making anybody’s bucket list. Although I do desire a visit to Hawaii, I am little bit more selective in my purpose. A hike up Mauna Kea is a must. There is a reason that some of the most powerful observatories are located there. Secluded from light and air pollution. Make my way up on a moonless night and the Milky Way would surely dazzle.
  3. Meeting Keanu Reeves is indeed on my bucket list. If you haven’t already, I suggest that you take some time to learn a little about this guy even if he is not your favorite actor. Keanu is an incredibly generous person and lives a pretty low-key lifestyle for a movie star. He is also involved in a custom motorcycle business named ARCH Motorcycle Company. These are not just your run of the mill custom motorcycles. These are custom fitted to each individual similar to being fitted by a tailor. Whoa, meeting him and seeing his cycle creations!
  4. Japanese culture is definitely one that I would like to become better acquainted with. What better way than to attend Sumo Wrestling. I’m positive that this would be a very memorable event and I would love for my family to join me. To witness the tradition and to feel the energy in the only place where Sumo is practiced professionally would be a real treat.

I really enjoyed this assignment and I spent more time on it than I had anticipated, primarily defining my top items. A bucket list is not something most of us think about very often. I, for example, get wrapped up in work, school, chores, family, pets, etc. It is nice to take a step back and consider some things that may be a stretch, but are definitely possible. Perhaps we should all consider making time to mark off a few Bucket List items. Live well!