Final Reflection for INTE 5340

About Me:

Video

Graphics

Web

Social, Audio, and Dialog (talk to someone)

Details of an e-mail discussion I had with friends regarding remixing, our patent system, copyright, creative commons, etc.:

https://medium.com/@andrewgappell/week-4-reflection-for-inte-5340-remix-week-29dec879834a

And I feel I was very active and social on h., and revved up my participation on Twitter once I was encouraged to do so.

I feel I stretched myself enormously in this class, and am very thankful for this class, because I never would have struggled for hours with some of the programs/software I used for the first time during this course. But these struggles really helped put me in my future students’ shoes, and make me wonder, would they enjoy doing this? I kept in mind they would probably figure it out a lot more quickly than me though. ; )

I did have a couple of off weeks which were reflected in my grade. It is summer afterall, and I am remodeling a house (which isn’t done yet). and moving this weekend. But I do feel like I gave this course my all for the most part. I spent many a Friday and Saturday night at the library getting work done. Not complaining, just sayin’, I signed up for a summer graduate class, and I expected it to challenge me. It sounds like some of my classmates were surprised by that? And an accelerated class after all. I will reflect in my class evaluation that I did not think this was an over challenging class, but I do have some ideas for improvement which I will provide later in this post.

I definitely feel more “knowledge-able” after taking this course. I have gained much more confidence in experimenting with new programs/software, and I am even more convinced that as a future teacher I need to do everything I can to help create a Creative Culture within my classrooms, where digital media, storytelling, and learning, is highly integrated. There is no doubt in my mind that is the future, and thank goodness the diversity of learners will finally have the diversity of tools and media they need to learn and be creative.

About Us:

Per the diagram to the left from the Creative Cultures article we read as a class this week, I think Digital Storytelling & Learning align with notions of Having, Doing, Being, and Knowing on many different levels. But first I want to include part of the conclusion from Creative Cultures article: “In today’s terms, it means we need inspirational environments, and well-designed, easy to use online platforms — as well as physical hands-on tools of a pleasing quality — which we can use to develop and shape ideas (having). It means we need inspiring relationships with people we can learn from as we create brilliant things together (doing). It means we need a supportive, creative ethos, which offers striking role models of people who have taken risks to produce great innovations (being). And it means we need access to stimulating examples and the support of knowledgeable peers and experts — online, offline, or both — so that we can benefit from existing ideas and wisdom (knowing). Finally, to increase the diversity of possibilities open to us, we need languages and platforms which enable us to build bridges of shared meaning between cultures.”

In terms of digital storytelling and learning, we have more resources to do more things than we ever have before. And with more and more people having access to the tools they need for digital storytelling and learning, especially access to the internet, the doing keeps growing exponentially. And as we become more connected globally because of the internet, and other digital media, we are able to find inspiration and supportive environments for the creative cultures we want to connect with more than ever. So someone who once felt alone in the their interest in something can now find people all over the work who share that interest. That sort of collaboration, and ability to share stories and ideas digitally is advancing everyone’s learning and hopefully making the world a better place. Unfortunately I often worry about the power of capitalism and marketing, and whether as we all become more aware of what others have, especially stuff, will we continue to want more stuff? Of course there are plenty of digital stories being created to combat the consumption of more stuff, but the power of money always worries me.

https://anticap.wordpress.com/tag/conspicuous-consumption/

What were your favorite stories/moments with classmates?

I really enjoyed our discussions over h. It hasn’t been that long since this course started, but we have used h. so much that is just feels naturally to me now. (Except for the recent time when it didn’t save a well thought our response for some reason). But when I first found out about h. it blew me away! I couldn’t believe I hadn’t heard of this before. It just makes so much sense and I have been telling a lot of people about it. I can’t wait to incorporate h. into my future classroom. And I felt like most of the comments on h. by my classmates had substance, so it was easy to get discussions going. This has not been the case for most of my other online courses, so kudos to my fellow classmates and for the professor for picking interesting videos and articles to discuss.

Some of my classmates favorite projects throughout the class were the following:

Jenna’s sketchnotes creation inspired me to do my own.

I really like how Sheena often got her kids involved in her projects and made them very personal.

About Learning

  • Did we meet the following learning objectives of this course?
  1. Critically examine and critique multiple forms of digital storytelling and participatory learning experiences; Yes, via the critiques due each week, and the weekly reflections in which we critiqued our own work and our classmates. We did this throughout many of our h. discussions as well.

2. Frame a digital identity wherein you are both a practitioner-in and interrogator-of various media and social networks; Yes, same as above. It is very easy to be critical of other people’s work, but it is much more challenging to create work yourself, and reflect on it. I learned a lot from the “doing” and “reflecting” of this course. It was very helpful to receive feedback from an expert (the professor) as well.

3. Iteratively and rapidly produce multiple digital stories by leveraging a variety of tools, methods, and design principles; Well, “rapidly” is a strong word. But I definitely got better and deciphering new programs as the course went on. I still have a lot of work to do to feel like I am really enjoying a “hero’s homecoming,” but I am definitely improving, and my interest is piqued.

4. Develop a critical stance toward digital storytelling as a social learning platform and community of practice. The “Finding Voice” module for this course was excellent at getting us to meet this learning objective. Especially for high school students who often feel like no one will listen to them, or think what can they do to save the world?, there are so many examples of people making a huge difference with digital stories, and making sure their voice is heard. That is so powerful, and very different from when I was in high school.

  • What were your greatest take-aways?

Well, I feel like I have covered this pretty well already, but to reiterate, this is just the beginning for me. As a future high school teacher I realize to be an effective teacher I need to be presenting materials in various digital formats, and making it possible for a creative culture to be created in my future classrooms. We talk a lot in my UCD teaching licensure program about creating a safe learning environment, but what is the point of that if it isn’t truly creative as well. And creative in this day and age must include digital storytelling as well as the more classic formats.

  • If you were to teach a course like this — what would you do differently? / How can we improve the learning experience of INTE5340?

As the professor I would not create so much work for myself! It sounded like it wasn’t only the students getting overwhelmed with all of the creating going on, but the professor as well. I would only require one digital story creation assignment per week, but hold the standard of quality higher. I can’t imagine how hard it is as a professor to gauge quality though, especially as we are all starting from different places. I suppose you gave us a bit of a pre-assessment at the beginning of the course to see where we are starting from. But ultimately it is on the students to push themselves and either pay for credits, or pay for credits and the much more valuable learning.

I also would require more collaboration between students. We had to remix someone else’s work one week, but I think you could have forced us to collaborate a bit more. I really enjoyed when we did the podcast with a couple of my classmates as it made the class feel more personal, and like a real class. This is my favorite online class so far, but it is still very different from meeting in person. I do really miss that direct interaction with people.

All and all, I thought this was a fantastic course, and well balanced. I appreciate that you didn’t kill us with work for a summer class, but still kept the bar high. Like I said previously, the discussions in this course were the richest online discussions I have had in any of my online classes. And the flexibility of this class to try what we wanted to try, and create our own assignments was so liberating! I liked that there were some ideas for assignments, but that we were not bound to them. I suppose this might have been the same with the Critiques, but I felt like I had to pick one of the ones you provided for some reason. And as I was not very impressed with most if the options for critiques I found this part of the course a bit underwhelming.

Thank you.

-Andrew

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