Wednesday, November 20, 2013

"ds106 is What Happens When You are Busy Making Other Plans"

Photo Courtesy of Jimmie Hepp

Late last week, I had asked someone for a picture of a messy office.  I wanted it to go with this quote to illustrate that my life had been taken over.  Rather than attempt that, I thought I would show you what I have been working on. (Thanks to all who found some REALLY messy spaces).  This is Makana, a local Monk seal who has been coming to Ho'okipa Windsurfing Beach for over 15 years. Makana means "A gift from Heaven."   As a volunteer for the Monk Seal Foundation, I have been working on a fundraising project for the foundation.  I recruited local photographer, Jimmie Hepp, to donate the photograph.  This is just one of many donations for the fundraiser to help this endangered species through education and public outreach.

The Daily Create for ds106 can take on many facets.  For me, Makana has been my daily create.  Through social media over the past week, we have reached over 8000 people to raise awareness to the fact that there are only 1200 of these animals left in the Hawaiian Islands.  During the fundraising effort, I found it interesting that there were so few artistic representations of the monk seal.  There were plenty of turtles, dolphins and whales, but very few of the seal.  It is important to me that people 'connect" with Makana through a photograph like the one above. We take care of our local seals!  The Daily Create in action!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Daily Create - Just Do It!

I really have missed ds106.  The Daily Create is such a beautiful concept, you really need to try it.  I am making up for my absence by doing as many as I can this week.

It started off with Kevin Hodgson's (@dogtrax)  PhotoBlitz "New England Leaf Collage."  That got me inspired to check out the Daily Create since it had been awhile.  Birds.  Well, let me tell you, I get to see some awesome birds in Hawaii, but the ones I like the best are the cattle egrets who prance about our lawn morning, noon, and night.  Every try to take a picture?  They can feel your vibration once you start looking for your camera.  So, I moved out to a old fence that was overgrown and, luck a hunter in the blind waited for his prey.  As I sat there, I noticed this incredible looking fruit like yellow thing that I had never noticed before.  I took a picture.  There was a green one.  I decided to hell with the egret, let me do a Autumn Photo Blitz Maui style.  Bananas on the vine, wild poinsettia coming into season, red ginger, and the fruits of the harvest, papaya and lillikoi.  And the fruit like yellow thing?  It is a prickly melon.  I threw in a shot from where I was standing trying to catch a picture the egret just to make you jealous.

Birds! Twitter, Hitchcock, Make it all About Birds

So, as you can see, I came up empty with the egret, but @RockyLou inspired me to be creative with the idea with her "FreeBird".  I realized I had the perfect bird right in front of my face.  This is a lacquer tray with a peacock feather.  I really had to work at getting the lighting because it kept wanting to reflect all the daylight.  I finally put it up against the kitchen counter and turned all the lights on.  This reduced the glare dramatically.  We live with my 97 year old mother-in-law and I use the tray to bring her meals.  When Mariana Funes asked about the tray, it reminded me taking pictures is not enough.  You have to write about them and the process.  My process is fairly simplistic, so I go for the story.  Thanks, Mariana!

Take a picture of a real dog or draw one and take a picture of the drawing.

For over 20 years my husband and I have raised dogs.  Our last dog died about a month before we left the mainland.  I was just going to put up an old picture, but then I realized that our cat, Gita, who made the trip and is adapting well to his new environment (we call him the cane rat mauler), is really our cat - dog.  And, please don't tell him differently.  Fellow ds106er, Mariana, once again, asked about him and shared this clip of a cat who thinks he is also a dog.  I was sorry to have to tell my husband that the video of Gita with his head hanging out of his red pick up had already been taken, so it wouldn't be going viral (in the event he could ever actually get it).  Check it out, it's pretty funny.

Trace a photo of yourself. Upload both the original and your drawing.

I have not yet discovered my inner drawing artist, so I decided to use a couple of apps that I have been playing around with Mobile Monet and Manga.  I had actually used these to create some profile pictures when I started to create my digital identify.  I like the texture you can get with Monet (bottom) and I like the lines you can get with Manga (top).  I suppose I could've experimented a bit more, but, instead, I decided to show the original picture with my Dad taken in 1964 and another with a similar profile taken 20 years later.  Uh oh.  I'm on the left in both pictures........

Stories in/of the Web

While I read through Week 9:  Stories from the Web, I failed to produce any content.  As I was writing up this blog, I received a text from two friends in New Orleans with this picture. Sensing an opportunity at hand, I quickly looked up the local paper, but was unable to find any front page that I could use X-Ray Goggles, so instead, I found this jpeg and was able to tune my Gimp skills by inserting the picture.  The original text went to about 8 people, so I sent it to everyone.  Within minutes, I got the desired response.  It also allowed me to embed a message chat into my blog, which I had never done before.

“I discovered today…”

I discovered today that 60 seconds of a movie has an incredible amount of information.  Fellow ds106er, Mariana Funes magnified that minute by separating the audio and the video tracks of a movie clip for the Movie Reading assignment.  Having worked in a Film/Sound Recording Studio in the 80's, I sat through countless mixes for WGBH's Nature series.  Sometimes getting the layers of sound just right took hours.  Steve Izzi, the lead engineer was a perfectionist and he could make it sound like you were right there in the natural habitat, weaving sounds together into a montage that was clear, clean and crisp.  Movie reading is bringing back that skill set that has been latent for over 30 years.  I guess I discovered 2 things today....

Not realizing that I had missed the narrative Daily Create, I added this one.  It's always funny how you start out with one realization and then come to another.  I suppose that is part of our unconscious mind at work.  Making art gives expression to those deep voices inside ourselves, if we would only listen.

So, as I said, I have missed ds106 and the Daily Create.  But even more, I have missed the community of creative artists who have been on this journey with me, and especially our resident shrink, Mariana, who this week reawakened my creative self.  Thank you.  #4LIFE

Sunday, October 20, 2013

There is NO AWOL in #ds106

The past two weeks have been devoted to Audio in #ds106 and I feel like I have been unconnected.

Fortunately, there is nothing like AWOL in #ds106, because there are......

...notifications from the group on their Daily Creates, their radio commercials and teasers... or people like Ary Aranguiz who is participating in StoryHackVT and seek our support... or Kevin Hodgson who is always dabbling with some new tool and sharing his incredibly creative work.. or Alan Levine on the road spreading the #ds106 word and looking for stray MOOSE!

Not to mention Mariana Funes who posted a #Phonar that prompted me to record my own... and new member #106 Gail Desler who may be overwhelmed by the fanfare of her auspicious arrival as the 106th member of our G+ group (I had to drop what I was doing to add a celebratory GIF in her honor)....or running into Janet Webster in Stephen Downes online Moodle MOOC2, or wondering where Dave Barr went... All of this makes me feel connected to a community -- a community of learners, of artists, of creators. An open community with no rules or teachers, where you are free to come and go as you please, yet you KEEP SHOWING UP because there is value in these connections.

So, while I was consumed by other work, I was able to find a way to combine some of the key elements of audio into a few key ideas that resulted in the following work.

Because this is audio week, I went back to an idea that I had earlier, but never put together.  I was taking pictures for the Design Safari and took a picture of the wind chimes in the bathroom for "A Good Use of Space."

I realized that I had accidentally switched the setting to video and I recorded the sound as well.  This made me remember an old childhood song that I wrote with a friend (I can't remember the whole song or the friend), but I thought it would be a cool exercise to record as an audio exercise.  Not to mention, it would help me get more familiar with Audacity and Movie Maker.  Here is the result:

Motivated by Mariana Funes'  "What the Hell, I'm doing a #Phonar as a Daily Create", I decided to combine a few elements together, the personal story and the Daily Create #647.

Write a satirical article riffing off a typical news story inspired by the Onion.

The personal story talks about the creation of the news story of the Mendenhall Glacier.

Things would not be complete without a Daily Create "Notice the Ground Beneath Your Feet.Document with an Enhanced Photograph." This opportunity afforded me a chance to bring our community a little closer with the Mosaic above. I took the liberty of using a cool beach sarong to use as my "ground." I then took all of the images posted for the Daily Create and made a mosaic illustrating the importance of our connection, our intersection, and our relationships that make #ds106 the magical place where 'Puff' lives.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Haiku in Haiku

It’s October! Write a haiku about any special October day

When was the last time you wrote a Haiku?  5-7-5?  I am fortunate to live in Haiku, Hawaii and took the opportunity to make a Visual Haiku.  Quite frankly, I need to improve my GIMP skills, so it was a great way to explore layers, typeface and manipulation. Did you know that typography evokes a sense of place?

The papayas were picked on the property.  The background is a placemat that was the perfect backdrop.

I was thrilled that my #designmeld partner +Ary Aranguiz followed my lead with her own visual Haiku.  It's all about inspiring each other to be more creative.

Autumn Haiku

What's your Haiku?

Monday, October 7, 2013

We Are All [Artists]

We started off Design Week with inspiration from Tim Owens @timmmmyboy.  I loved it and used it as inspiration to create a Haiku Deck using all original photographs.  (First time ever!)

We have been asked to reflect on all aspects of design -- "What is design? It is everywhere you look- anything we create or manufacture has key design elements.   This exercise makes you acutely aware of your environment.  You begin to see things in new ways. Even fonts and typography are elements of design.  Are you a Comic Sans Criminal:  Spoiler Alert - I was formerly a CSC)?  Did you know that typography can evoke a sense of place?   

I have become so attuned to design that I spent the week watching TV with no sound.  It really is an eye-opening experience!

We have been given a plethora of Design Resources for review in order to become more familiar with elements of design.  My favorite resources is from Duke University's Lab in Digital Knowledge:   "What Do 21st Century Literacies Look Like?  This is ds106 in action!

"When we expand the digital meaning-making conventions that make up 21st century literacies, we expand our ability to interact and connect with each other. Designing in this new digital medium contributes to the development of an even wider collective effort of understanding and communication."

In order to demonstrate our understanding, we were to undertake a Design Safari.  As I write this summary, I realize I don't follow directions very well, and selected one image from my week's catalog of photographs to illustrate my understanding of the concepts. Since it was a safari, I couldn't resist importing the images into MovieMaker and adding a safari soundtrack (thank you YouTube Downloader/Converter).  What I like best about the piece is that it is a safari in Hawaii.  My granddaughter loves to make dioramas when she visits, so the title slide is her contribution.  (We were supposed to upload to Flickr tagging photos #designblitz and blog about whether the images were effective or task).

Another assignment was to design a poster...These projects all involve some aspect of re-editing existing content to change the meaning or making something new that visually represents an idea.  

I decided to use this opportunity to combine ideas for 2 different classes and the 6 Word Memoir was the perfect opportunity.  I ended up with a poster as well as a slide presentation in order to share the idea of "Promoting Creativity in K-12 Education in multiple ways.  I have already received feedback that the font and placement is too busy on the poster and am working on the revision.

 6 Word Memoir

I have also watched with fascination the development of a ds106 collaborative story writing project started by Ary Aranguiz using gifs to tell a story.  Not having the opportunity to participate as yet, this project is the embodiment of "experimentation with collective design processes combined with the development of the images" that is described in "What Do 21st Century Literacies Look Like

As Tim Owens pointed out, a creative environment can foster creativity, and ds106 is giving us that environment."

How Do You Know You Are Learning?

List twenty ways you can document your learning. How many have you done this week?

As you might imagine, because this was a written assignment (no frills, no pictures, no html code) I started to generate a list...and then half way through the exercise, I realized I needed to be more creative [duh, it's a Daily Create, stupid]. So I decided to use words that ended with     -ate. It was kind of fun. Did you know that in chemistry, -ate is used to form the names of salts from acids [acetic acid ..acetate].  Sounds like a transformation to me, doesn't it?

Kevin Hodgson @dogtraxx upped the ante when he created a humorous Haiku Deck to illustrate his ideas. Since I had done a Haiku Deck earlier in the week [I really like Haiku Deck, btw], I decided to illustrate my ideas visually as well. Thanks for the inspiration, Kevin.
  1. Write a Story
  2. Make a Diagram 
  3. Record a Poem
  4. Shoot a Video
  5. Write a Song
  6. Post a Blog
  7. Take a Picture
  8. Create a Slide Show
  9. Make a Movie
  10. Host a Google Hangout
  11. Create
  12. Innovate
  13. Curate
  14. Narrate
  15. Illustrate
  16. Annotate
  17. Meditate
  18. Accommodate
  19. Debate
  20. Bloviate (I love this word.  It summed up the current discussion of the U.S. government shutdown this week).
(NB:  I intentionally only illustrated 10 of the ways that I document my learning using the words that end in -ate).

How do you know you are learning?  How can you document it?

Monday, September 30, 2013

Digital Creativity: Harnessing the Collective Energy

"It is innate for human beings to create stories and to create art."  ~Jason Eskanazi

In Week 5 of DS106, we were challenged to create stories through our photographs. Using suggestions borrowed from David duChemin in his book Ten:  Ten Ways to Improve Your Craft,  we were asked to be more deliberate in taking photographs.  In an age where everyone takes pictures of everything ALL THE TIME, they are doing just that.  They are taking a picture to record an event, not a photograph -- a creation, a play on words,  light, or perspective.  Not since I took a photography course in college have I been so deliberate about taking photographs.  At the time I had a 35mm SLR that my father bought on a trip to Vietnam in 1965.  We developed our own film.  We captured ideas and translated them to images.

The first exercise was a PhotoBlitz.   The exercise challenges you to think quickly and creatively.  You take 11 pictures given certain key words in 15 minutes that evoke the given idea.  I chose Ho'okipa Beach on Maui's North Shore for the exercise.  Other students expressed feeling awkward taking photographs in public (who is this weirdo)?  Beach goers are more relaxed and I was free to roam.  I chose to create a Haiku Deck on Visual Literacy using my pictures.  Schools focus on Literacy, Digital Literacy, Numerical Literacy and Cultural Literacy.  Rarely do we see focus on the importance of Visual Literacy and how it can be used to draw connections across the curriculum.

We were then asked to select what we considered our five best pictures.  These were my favorites....


"And we find that people doing this week’s work come away noticing the world around them in more detail." ~Headless #ds106

My next photography exercise was not assigned.  We took a Road Trip to Hana and I decided to try out the suggestions that I learned during the week.  Follow the rule of thirds, change your perspective, get pickier, pay attention to the moment.  No longer was I just clicking, I was actually designing the picture.  Not too bad for an amateur with an iPhone.  I also employed the Fast Tricks for the iPhone to further enhance my skill set.

Sea ArchLava CliffsFollow the Path...The Jeep Goes Everywhere!Windmill Farm PerspectiveHamoa Beach
Hamoa Beach #2Haleakala National Park SignA Zen Moment on the Beach

Road Trips, a set on Flickr.

The final exercise I was able to complete was to "pimp up" my Flickr account.  That included creating a set of my best photos.  I decided that I would select the Blue Ribbon photo for each week of #ds106.  This way I can see the progression of my work (hopefully)!  As you can see above, I was able to embed a Flickr set into my blog and used FlickrSLiDR to embed the Blue Ribbon Photo of the Week in a Flickr Slideshow below.

Blue Ribbon of the Week

Created with flickrSLiDR

I spent a considerable amount of time looking at the work of fellow DS106ers, commenting on blogs, seeing incredibly creative images, methodology, and hard work that has been expended this week by the community.  I am energized by the collective energy that is evolving.  Each idea generated creates a flurry of activity, support and partnership.  Consider Rochelle Lockridge & Christine Hendrick's Audio Week in Review, or Ary Aranguiz's CollaboGiffing Project, Mariana Fuenes's determination to isolate the "eyes" in Ary's animated GIF and John Johnston's Photoblitz name a few.   

DS106 channels the collective energy into the creation of stories, sounds, and art that allow us to make make meaning of our experience.  In Is There Such a Thing as Digital Creativity by Julian Sefton, she suggests that the process of selection, manipulation and decision-making in meaning-making through comparison of editing across media...points to the way that digital creativity – or at least meaning-making in the digital era – brings together in the new ways processes that used to be separate and bound by academic convention.

DS106 showcases the power of digital creativity by harnessing the collective energy of the group.  In eLearning and Digital Cultures: A multitudinous open online course, Jeremy Knox (a co-facilitator of the course),  observes that where work was collected and displayed together, the observer begins to get a sense, not of the individual merit of a single piece, but of the collective energy and intensity of the multitude...a shift away from thinking about individuals to thinking about connections, flows, and relations that exceed us as human beings.

DS106 transforms digital creativity into an engaging (often intoxicating) social experience.  We move from passive participants to active content creators. In the sharing of our individual stories, we contribute to the collective energy of the group.   In his blog, Kevin Hodgson reminds us that  the activity of making shifts consumers away from mass-produced materials and therefore, provides an individualistic sense of creation; and that the social element of digital literacies has the potential to increase engagement and heighten the creative element of making something that will impact the world.

What DS106 exemplifies is the synergistic creativity of the group, the importance of collaborative storytelling,and the opportunity to hone the skills necessary for creating, communicating, collaborating and networking in a digital world.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Communication - A Lost Art

Make a photograph that illustrates an aspect of communication.

I enlisted my granddaughter in this exercise.  We seem to be obsessed with communication these days, our cell phones tethered to us wherever we go.  But are we really communicating?  

My initial idea was that I wanted to use a picture that showed communication devoid of technology, something like this (my granddaughter receiving a lei after her dance recital).  

This exercise made me think about what communication is really about these days.  Is anyone listening, or are we just talking...

Make a photograph featuring a path, road, or trail that leads the eye through the photograph.

Sandy Brown Jensen picked up that these lupines were in full bloom and in Oregon, hers were long gone.  Yes, I cheated just a bit.  This picture is our home in Steamboat Springs Colorado.  This picture was taken in early July, but it is the background image of my computer, so I look at it every day.  You can just barely see the road curving out to the right, but it was just such a great image that fit the Daily Create. 

Make a photograph that features a grid of some sort today.

One thing that DS106 teaches you is that if you look closely, you can see many things.  We move too fast to notice the details.  This is actually the table on our lanai that sits on a tile floor.  I love how the grids intersect.  I also started to play with the Rule of Thirds.  I downloaded Gorilla Cam to my iPhone (I don't have a camera) which overlays the grid for you.  

What is Philosophy to you? Record an audio definition in 30 seconds or less

This is my first adventure into Audio in a very long time.  As our Headless Volunteers, Christina Hendricks and Rochelle Lockridge pointed out in their DS106 Headless 13 Audio Week 4 Review, the VoiceOver is too low.  I am just learning Audacity, and spent so long just getting the 3 sounds to work together, I let it go at that.  Fortunately, the podcast was full of great ideas, including the simple AMPLIFY to make it work.  Not sure how I missed this in the tutorial, but that's the great thing about DS106, we are all here to help each other.  They also questioned the use of the echo. I was going for the cellar effect, but I see that it did not exactly work.  I should go back and redo it, but I am already launched into Week 5, so we shall see.
Thanks for listening!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Little Miss Muffet...

I am finally sitting down to write a reflective blog on Week 3:  What Mean Ye Digital Storytelling for DS106. In a recent comment, I described myself as being way behind -- and our Headless Cheerleader +Christine Hendricks  reminds us that "it really doesn't matter if you're "behind." I've heard people say there's no "behind" in ds106, because, of course, nothing is required! You can do what you can, when you can."

I enjoyed describing what Storytelling means to me in my blog Once Upon a Time.  Little Miss Muffet was one of my favorites, and my Dad always used to call me that.  It brings back many wonderful memories of my childhood.

In addition to the stories that make up our cultural literacy, fables, fairy tales, myths and legends, nursery rhymes and the Bible, +Sandy Brown Jensen reminds us of the Hero's Journey.

Kurt Vonnegut gives us the shapes of stories,
Image:'s infographic-style interpretation of Kurt Vonnegut's "Shape of Stories" theory.

and our High School English teachers taught us there are 7 types of stories summarized in Christopher Booker's, The Seven Basic Plots.

I tried the 5 card Flickr story exercise "Think Globally, Act Locally" which resulted in a rather bleak story about extinction.  +Sandy Brown Jensen commented that she learned this exercise by writing a sentence for each picture.  This exercise clearly indicates that the pictures alone should convey the story with the narrator able to add only a title and description.  The randomness of the pictures selected forces you to think outside the box, but it can also create a somewhat disjointed story which was clearly expressed in the comments by the viewers.  "I understood your visual progression up until the horse, then I lost the mental thread."

flickr photo by keepps

We were also encouraged to view stories created by the DS106 community.  I started out looking at inSPIRE, a community created collection of the best work of past DS106 students.  I was immediately taken by Silent Era's Back to the Future inspired by Ben Rimes, the Tech Savvy Educator, because of the author's comments.  This is the true spirit of DS106.  (It is interesting to note that Ben's original video went viral).

Many times, I see the awesomeness in other people’s work and think to myself, “There’s no possible way I can do that!,” and shy away from the assignment.  But for some reason, Ben’s jaw-dropping “Silent Era” assignment and the genuine and unselfish way he shared his process inspired me.  It gave me that needed push to improve upon what I had already done.  Not only was I inspired to do my own assignment better, but I am also inspired to try and inspire others in the same manner in the future.

As I checked out Ben's Blog, I was fortunate to find the perfect example of a Digital Story that was created by his wife "One Day in 60 Seconds."  There are lots of web sites out there that allow you to create different digital stories over time, but this is so poignant, crisp, and to the point -- all in the span of one minute.  It has a beginning, middle and a perfect ending.  I am inspired to create a similar type of story.

The importance of the daily create discipline is becoming more evident as the course progresses.  Our creativity is like a muscle that needs daily exercise.  I am struggling with being able to technically create the image in my mind, but each with each exercise, the muscle memory is taking over.  It was nice to be able to combine this week's work into a single blog, Creativity - A Daily Exercise.

One of the most important ideas that is conveyed in DS106 is the importance of documenting the process used to create your image.  I am not at the point that I am using any complex design, but looking at +Alan Levine's description of "On the Cover of a DS Book" for Anya Kamenetz's next book is a standard that I will strive for.

In many cases, I wait to view other people's imagery until I have at least the idea of what I would like to construct in order not to be influenced by other's work.  Once I have an idea, or even after it is posted, I will then look at what my colleagues have created.  I am amazed at the talent that is exhibited and am learning many tricks of the trade.

I also appreciated the comments this week for #talkingheadless106.   I tried to provide good feedback and appreciated the comments that I have received.  I think that because I am new to the group, it will take a while to be more comfortable in providing effective feedback.  Steve Wheeler talks about the importance of blogging and feedback in his blog - Blogging as Conversation.  The community of DS106 is constantly evolving, but it provides a safe environment for experimentation that encourages creativity and conversation.

Parting Shot: The important thing is not the camera but the eye. ~Alfred Eisenstaedt
Eisenstaedt reminds us that our films and cameras can only take photos of what we see through our creative vision. It also emphasizes the importance of training the eye to “see” a picture before clicking the shutter.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Is God Dead?

What is Philosophy to you? Record an audio definition in 30 seconds or less

As a freshman in college, I was introduced to philosophy through the words of  Frederick Nietzsche.  Nietzsche led to Kierkegaard  and Kierkegaard led to Descartes.  For me, the construction of an argument to prove that God does exist is absurd.  Fortunately for me,  Alan Watts opened the door to Eastern Philosophy, and to this day, through the practice of yoga, I believe that each individual has their own personal philosophy that is an integration of the mind, body and spirit.

This is the first time I have used audio for the Daily Create Exercise.  In her comments,  +Christine Hendricks calls it 'polished.'  I had done an off the cuff version that was 58 seconds and thought the feed would cut it off at 30, so I transcribed the words, cut out the chaff and this is the result.  I was pleased to find out that Black Sabbath had the perfect album cover to compliment the clip.

Creativity...A Daily Exercise

I was feeling like I had done little work this week when I went to look at my Daily Create blog posts.  There were none!  Fortunately, I had participated, I just did not take the time to write up the process (I confess that I don't have a complex process yet for what I am doing).  I will just share what I succeeded at -- and where I failed.  Failure is good.  It is part of the learning process.  I was thrilled when I went to review the Weekly Assignment Checklist to discover that it was suggested to combine the Daily Creates for the week into a single post.  So here it goes...

Take a photo that represents the TDC idea of regular exercises of creativity

This is probably where I got stuck at the beginning of the week.  I wanted to use a rotating 3-D Text animated GIF to use in another daily create.  I was able to create the GIF.  I just did not manage to insert the animated GIF onto the static image.  Despite assistance from Rochelle Lockridge and Christina Hendricks, I did not have the time to stick with it so I let it go.  I ended up using a portion of the GIF for this image.  I never did the Daily Create for this day, but it went perfectly with the title of my blog.  Next time.  

Baby panda bears are happening everywhere! Write a birth announcement for one.

What's in a Name?



Since I couldn't come up with a pithy little statement that hadn't been done by fellow DS106ers, I decided to use Google Translate for the announcement.  I thought it might be fun for the Zoo to have a contest to name the Panda Cub, because I am fascinated with the importance the Chinese place on the naming of babies (pandas included).

Another custom is to find the newborn baby's Eight Characters (in four pairs, indicating the year, month, day and hour of a person's birth, each pair consisting of one Heavenly Stem and one Earthly Branch, formerly used in fortune-telling) and the element in the Eight Characters. It is traditionally believed in China that the world is made up of five principal elements: metal, wood, water, fire, and earth. A person's name is to include an element that he lacks in his Eight Characters.

Take a photo that represents the idea of clarity

I can see Clearly now...

This is the image that I took that I wanted to have DS106 4Life in a 3D animated rotating GIF. I thought that somehow I could use the screensaver on my computer to capture the image, but that failed.  I did however,  find a 3D Text generator. I also wanted to lift the glass and have it float on a different background, but all the techniques that I tried were hampered by the lack of definition of the color of the glass and the background. I tried many different manipulations and eventually called 'Uncle.'  When I looked at the original image, I actually thought it was quite cool and decided that it was a worthwhile submission. And the bonus is that I have a DS106 4LIFE screensaver.  Apparently, I am hooked.

We predict the next book by @anya1anya is about #ds106. Design her some cover art.

I had this idea at the beginning of the course, and thought that this Daily Create was perfect for it. Unfortunately, I didn't get the entire gist of the exercise and have the image and title, not the whole book cover.  I try not to look at the Daily Create gallery until I have started on my idea so that I am not influenced by others.  In this case, when I saw the other images, I realized that I had totally missed the boat.  I did read with interest +Alan Levine's detailed blog on the creation of his image.  The process and the final image is what DS106 is all about.  

Create an interesting high contrast black and white image of an easily overlooked object.

A Dying Breed

This is the cover of the Maui Wrap which is delivered free to our mailbox.  It is the only print newspaper that I read anymore.  Hence the title:  A Dying Breed.  When I posted to Flickr, I got a comment on the article itself by someone who thought I was referring to the Outrigger Canoes.  I appreciated the opportunity to have the conversation.  This is another attempt at attempting to insert an animated GIF into a static image (newspaper boy in upper left corner over mailing label).  Again, unsuccessful, but with experimentation, I was able to get a negative image which reminded my of the original type presses.  

In looking back over the week, I had actually contributed to 5 of 7 Daily Creates.  While I was unsuccessful in executing many of my original ideas, I learned a great deal.  I also realized the importance of mastering the animated GIF, as well as other basic PhotoShop (or GIMP) manipulation techniques.  I appreciate the time that seasoned DS106ers take to document the process for newbies such as myself.  I appreciate the opportunity to be in such a creative community.  Indeed, I am in DS106 4LIFE.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Once Upon a Time....

What do you associate with the word storytelling?  What comes to mind visually when you think of the word?

When I think of storytelling, the first thing that comes to mind is my grandmother's Curio Cabinet.  For as long as I can remember, when I would visit, we would spend one afternoon cleaning the cabinet in which she placed her treasures from around the world.  Since she was Russian, many of the objects came from her mother prior to the Revolution.  We would take each object out, clean it and she would tell me its story.

For me, storytelling embodies voice, emotion and  connection.

The cadence of one's voice is a critical component of storytelling.  When I worked as a Librarian is the Aspen Middle School, I loved to read stories to the kids.  It was my voice that made the story come alive.  I do one helluva "Wicked Witch of the West."  But, I am just an amateur.  Listen to some Cowboy Poetry, or the poems of Sarah Kay to hear how voice makes for a compelling story.

Stories are powerful when you are connected to them emotionally.  A great memory I have of storytelling are the stories told 'round the campfire.'  When I was young, I went to camp in Vermont.  The all girls camp had an affiliate boy's camp and several times during the summer, we would go to Camp Norway to sit round their large campfire.  We would listen to stories, sing songs, and play games.  I can still retell one of those stories that I heard over 45 years ago.

Our culture is based on stories.  Whether it is the Creation Story of the Bible,
the constant battle of Good vs. Evil in fairy tales,

or the subtle imagery of nursery rhymes,

most of us remember these stories from our childhood.  They are the remnants of the oral tradition, the way that wisdom and learning was passed from one generation to the next before the invention of writing.

How does Digital Storytelling change the way we tell stories.  I will never forget the time I visited my grandmother with my MAC Laptop and a camera shaped like a ball that connected to the computer (can't for the life of me remember the name), and we documented the Curio Cabinet together with a cassette tape recorder and camera.  I transcribed her words and printed a booklet for her.  I only wish I hadn't lost the original file, because now, I would be able to post this online.  What a treasure.  Fortunately I still have the printed version.

Digital storytelling is about sharing.  It is about extending your story beyond your horizons.  Gardner Campbell tells us of a boy from Africa who contacted him because he read a story that was posted by Gardner for one of his students.  This boy contacted Gardner because he HAD to contact the student who had written about Tupac Shakur.  There was a shared CONNECTION.

Storytelling for me is about voice, emotion and connection.  Without the story of my grandmother's Curio Cabinet, I would never have created one of my own.  Oh, and the stories it could tell.


Think Globally...Act Locally

Five Card Story: Think Globally...Act Locally!

Until each and everyone of us is willing to take responsibility for the world around us, we will continue to witness the extinction of the entire planet, one species at a time.

Creating a story from random images in Flickr is an interesting exercise.  It took me a few tries to get one that actually made sense.  This particular set of images is somewhat depressing, but I had to use the image of the horse because it was so compelling.  The picture of the plastic dinosaur is almost comical but it allows me to insert the concept of extinction into the story.  And it is comical to think that because of our own stupid actions, we are destroying the planet.  A good way to get the creative juices flowing.  Try one for yourself using this link....

a Five Card Flickr story created by Cathleen Nardi

Until each and everyone of us is willing...

flickr photo by bionicteaching

to take responsibility

flickr photo by bionicteaching

we will continue to witness the extinction

flickr photo by keepps

of the entire planet,

flickr photo by Serenae

one species at a time.

flickr photo by Serenae

Monday, September 9, 2013


In Week 2 of DS106 Bootcamp, Gardner Campbell encourages us to become architects of our own digital lives.

I spent the week "breaking ground."  I worked on a new image for my blog, I looked for new blogs to follow, I assembled the arsenal of digital tools that I will need to erect this "CyberInfrastructure."  I am not looking for a digital face lift, I am looking to add a digital voice to my digital identity. 

That's where I got stuck.  I wanted to reflect on the past week and all I could do was assemble the words of others. I tried weaving them together in a narrative, but it didn't sound right.  And then, I found this remix from Tom Woodward and I realized that this is exactly the piece that I was missing in 
the digital literacy puzzle: remix, redesign and reinterpret what I have learned 
so that it has meaning for me.

So, here is my attempt to recreate what I learned this week.  Week 3, bring it on!

I selected this image of the alphabet by Norwegian photographer Kjell Sandved, because of the concept of the emergent chrysalis.  My friend, Cheryl Arnett had one set up in her classroom this month for the beginning of the school year.  Her young students were fascinated when the butterfly emerged from its cocoon.  I imagine my digital voice emerging in this way.

"Technology amplifies the recursive practices of narrating, curating & sharing.  You need to learn how to control feedback."