Earlier this week Dean invited Instructional Technology Specialist, Alan Levine to steer our live session on the topic of Digital Storytelling.  During his presentation, Alan mentioned a website called DS106, an online course for Digital Storytelling that you can join anytime and sort of use as you like.  Dean asked us to check it out and complete two assignments from two different categories.  Let me begin my saying that my archaic operating system and lack of Photoshop made this very challenging for me.  I wasn't sure where to start, so I clicked the 'gimme a random one' button at the top.  You might be thinking, "That's the spirit!" or "How brave!" but I clicked that button close to 20 times, looking for an assignment that interested me and that I could do with the software I have.

The first one that caught my eye was Letters in Your Surroundings under the Design Assignments.  It looked snazzy and creative which is right up my alley, so I set to work.  This week I had also learned the importance of using images off the internet under the Creative Commons, so I began searching for the letters I needed to create my name.  After I had downloaded all of my images, I pasted them into a Word document and formatted them to be the same height.  From there I saved my document as a PDF in iPhoto by selecting the option from a drop down list in my printer dialogue box.  Then I opened the image in iPhoto, cropped out the extra white space, and was left with this!  The pictures are a little blurry, but that's what you get when you don't have a proper photo editor.  I still think it's pretty cool. 
Images Used Under Creative Commons From (Left to Right): John-Morgan, Camera Eye Photography, *Ann Gordon, p_a_h, isconniethere, Nina Matthews Photography, janetmck, Nina Matthews Photography
I went back to the random assignment generator, and clicked a few more times and came up with the Comic Book Effect assignment under Visual Assignments.  I was determined not to let my lack of a photo editor bring me down, so I went into the App Store on my iPad and bought the Halftone app for $0.99.  I then uploaded a photo I had taken of my cat, Hank, earlier this week with the Hipstamatic app and added some magical comic book effects.  It was really easy to use and looks pretty cool.  I emailed both of the pictures to myself so I could upload them here for you to see:
Before (Jimmy Lens, Kodot XGrizzled Film, No Flash)
Comic Book Hank
There are hundreds of assignments to choose from which would give students tons of choice if you decided to use DS106 in the classroom.  There are lots of connections that could be made to areas like literacy that would provide an alternative to boring old book reports.  Check it out and post your creations below!

06/11/2012 8:18pm

Wow! Some people really have to train their eye(s) to see more than just a physical object but you're clearly a natural at it! And great problem solving skills to get the final picture formatted so nicely! Whoever says that technology doesn't promote critical thinking skills is off their rocker and should read this post about your thought process! I personally think trial and error is sometimes the best way to learn.

I'm surprised you didn't do the Cat Breading assignment (http://assignments.ds106.us/assignments/cat-breading/)
I wanted to but I don't eat bread so I thought buying a loaf just for that would be wasteful, haha!

06/12/2012 12:13am

I really wish I had seen the Cat Breading assignment. In fact, I just threw out some bread from the cupboard (I forgot about it because we don't eat much of it either and we have to hide it because Hank will tear into the bag and eat it). Next time we have a loaf, Cat Breading will ensue. As for my process, I was so frustrated but I couldn't let it go so I figured out a way to work around my challenges. And I learned a lot so I think it was worth it! Thanks for the comment, Denine!

06/13/2012 11:21pm

I'm working on pulling in your ds106 posts, but it seems weebly might not have filtered rss feeds for tags or categories. If you plan on do more ds106 work I'll follow up on this, otherwise no sweat and your cat problems rocked :)

06/14/2012 2:13am

Thanks, Jim! I have heard that Weebly's categories don't quite work with DS106's tagging system, which is too bad. But if you can get it to work that would be great; I would love to share my work on the site! I have also subscribed to the daily assignment on twitter with the hopes of trying to do at least one DS each day. Thanks again for stopping by!


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