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Final Reflection Post

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I’m still not positive what a personal cyber infrastructure is, but I think it’s basically our own personal space on the internet, to do with it what we please. I think that it’s really beneficial to have something like that, and I think having a class full of young people learning how to have their own little corner of the internet is a great thing. To be able to understand the majority of the internet, you need a little guidance, and that’s exactly what this class has been to me. Learning how to operate your own tiny bit of the internet gives you a greater appreciation for the things you may find on it, and it really opens your eyes to the fact that the internet is there for more than justFacebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Storytelling, in the sense of this class, means a lot more to me now than it did when we began this course. At first I wasn’t sure at all what I was in for with this class, but picking it up during the Add/Drop Period proved to be a good choice. At first I thought this was going to just be a computer class and we’d learn how to make blogs and do generic, boring computer stuff. But I was wrong, very wrong. Mostly what we have learned how to do is convey an idea to someone through the use of internet and computer tools such as Photoshop/Gimp, Audacity, iMovie/Final Cut Pro and several others. We are still telling “stories” in the sense that I originally thought of them, but we are using different means to get them out to people.

I think the biggest thing I came away from this course was how to make the internet work for me. I already used the internet to social network, shop, and complete schoolwork, but now I have a deeper understanding of how to use the internet creatively to make interesting things besides just school assignments. Although I guess everything I’ve made in this class is a “school assignment” in some kind of way. I thought I knew how to operate the world wide web, but this class showed me that there’s more to it than I personally had experienced. I guess most of all I have learned how to display my creations on my own blog, which has taught me not to be embarrassed to show off my work, which I was a little bit at first.

Some “Hall of Fame” assignments can be seen here. I chose these because I think they most accurately represent what I learned this semester. The Warhol Something assignment that I created ended up being one of my favorite visual assignments. I don’t know why, but I really like what I came up with for that one. I chose Spiderman With The Stereo On because I think I did a good job fulfilling the requirements for that assignment. I especially liked how I had “MUTE” in the bottom corner (I thought that was a nice touch). I was torn between picking Spiderman or my Black Swan Silent Film Trailer for my “best of” video assignment. I ended up choosing Spiderman because I think it was a little bit more creative than the Black Swan Trailer. Although I do have a soft spot for that one because it was my first attempt at video editing, and I was pretty proud of it. If Movie Posters Told The Truth had to go in my hall of fame for design assignments, simply because I just love Mean Girls so much. And what I changed the title to is so very true. I wasn’t sure what to pick for remix assignments, but I liked my finished product for Pink Al Gore better than the things I created for the other remixes, so I went with that one. I think I only created one mashup assignment, my Jersey Shore/Truman Show mashup. I don’t really know how I feel about that one. I think it was good in theory but I executed it sloppily and didn’t really take the time to make sure it flowed smoothly. The one I picked for audio assignments was the Dramatic Reading. Again, I didn’t have a lot to choose from, but I think I did a pretty decent job on that. My friends seemed to get a kick out of listening to it, at least. Lastly, my “best of” daily create was Favorite Weather. I chose this one because I think it’s a good photograph and it depicts what I was trying to say very clearly but without being super obvious. It’s not a picture of weather, but rather what I would wear during weather like that (sunglasses and a light sweater).

To future DS106 students: Do not wait until the last minute to do your assignments because you will feel stupid when you look at other people’s laboriously created works, and yours was clearly made the night before. Also the assignments are usually not as easy or quick as they seem. ALSO, if you have a good idea for a final project, go with it. Don’t mess around for weeks “deciding,” just pick one.

I’d like to say if I was in charge of this class I’d lighten the workload a tiny bit. I know I for one did not complete 30 stars worth of video assignments (please don’t fail me), and I’m sure I skimped on some others. That being said, I know that the assignments are critical to this class, and I understand the importance of learning through doing. I was about to say if I were teaching this I might put up a calendar or syllabus on the website so that students might know what to expect, but I just looked and there is one! Imagine that! More advice to future students: look at the class website often, there’s probably a syllabus.

All in all, I’m really glad I took this class. At first I was just taking it because my dad had been bugging me to (he’s big on computers), but then I talked to some kids I know who have taken it and really enjoyed it. I started to think that maybe it wasn’t as strange as it sounded and it might actually be really beneficial. The first class meeting intimidated me a bit when we started right in on talking about web hosting and domain names and things I had never even thought about, but the jargon quickly became unimportant once we started creating things. This class is the only one in which my friends look at me searching YouTube for clips, or editing things like “Fat Cat Art” and ask me, “That’s your homework?”

If I hadn’t taken this class, I’m sure I’d get by fine, but knowing now what I didn’t know before, I feel like I really learned a lot. Thanks, Alan, for a very informative, very interesting semester.

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