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DS106: a reflection

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I now know how to proficiently use flickr, twitter, wordpress, gimp, MPEG streamclip, audacity, soundcloud, videopad, pwnyoutube and youtube. Yet, I think ds106 has taught me more than just how to use new tools. Looking back to my first post about my own cyberinfrastructure, I questioned whether the informality of blogging could be useful in the world of education. I did not have an answer one way or another. Through this class I have decided that a focus on blogging and the internet is a necessary part of education.

Although blogging is informal, it is a platform for expressing true thoughts and emotions. It may not be the place for formal essays and papers, but as an outlet to share comments and address issues, it is the perfect place.

After this semester, digital storytelling means something entirely different to me. In the beginning of this class I was apprehensive about put myself on the internet. I did not want to be completely open or honest…I was embarrassed you could say. The thing is, this is my space (no pun intended). This is my personal place to share myself with whoever wants to listen. And the interesting thing is, I will never know who exactly is watching so why is there any reason to be embarrassed?

Moving on to the more physical aspects of the class – my best assignments! I had a lot of fun (and sometimes no fun) learning how to use all new programs. Some of my assignments could use more fine-tuning, but all-in-all I was happy with how many of them turned out. My favorite assignment of the year was The Flash comic book ani.GIF. I spent the most time in GIMP working on that project. I learned how to use the clone tool, the free select tool, and the importance of layers. It was a time consuming assignment but I think it paid off in the end. My most popular assignment of the year was probably the Making the Rosetta ani.GIF. Most people commented that it was mesmerizing to see the latte art.

If future students asked me about this class, I would tell them to be afraid, be very afraid! But really, I would advise students to have enough free time to treat this class as a 400 level class. The workload is intense and in order to enjoy accomplishing the work (because it is fun work to do) you must have enough time to give to it. So, be prepared. Second, don’t worry if you don’t have knowledge of anything computer or internet. It is all intuitive and it isn’t about what you create just that you keep creating.

Finally, if I was in charge of this class I would remember to not get too bogged down with the number of assignments, stars and daily creates. Instead, I would focus on digital storytelling. Many of the assignments are fun to do but hardly tell a story at all. If this is our cyberinfrastructure, shouldn’t we be doing more than simple video editing?

I will miss this class! But I’ve learned a lot. Last thing to figure out….how to archive and move all of this content! 

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