Week 7 Reflection- Dialogue & Soliloquy

This week we took a look at many of the themes we have already encountered throughout the course, but focused on the aspects of dialogue in storytelling. I had some challenges with this, and with the dialogue assignments in this course, because I do not always find ways to document when dialogue is happening. It seems to add a certain pressure that does not always benefit the authenticity we are going for. This is tricky, but the video playlist this week, had videos that took a look at three different models to this dialogue concept.

My favorite video focused on digital campfires, or the idea that we can take something like telling stories around a campfire, and build those same kind of connections digitally. This is one aspect of these digital platforms that I greatly appreciated and really liked. As someone who teaches another language as my job, I feel very strongly about connecting with other cultures, and both sharing our stories and learning from, our brothers and sisters around the world. If we can use technology to hear real life stories from places that normally are not represented in the news, or where they currently may not even have internet, I think so much learning and self-realization could take place. The discussions surrounding this video and other ones on the playlist were great and really spoke to where our storytelling has been in the past and where it is going in the future.

For this weeks Daily Create I did an Off-Beat Inspirational Poster. I went to Cheeseman Park, somewhere I am daily, and decided to take a picture of the long path ahead of me. There also is a dirt path, but I took the other one. My quote says, “Just because my path is different doesn’t mean I am lost…but it’s quite likely!!” This makes me laugh. I know that many times, people wander, and it’s totally intentional or whatever. But, I know in my life, my ‘different’ path than people my age traditionally are on, is just purely me having no idea what I am doing. More often than not, I am just lost. This was a funny spin on that for my Daily Create this week. This was fun.

We had a slightly different week than we normally would this week as we did not have an article to annotate, but rather we had to do two assignments compared to the usual one. Honestly, this threw me off. We are getting down to the very end of the course and the assignments I have chosen to this point had left few left that I was super into. So, having to scrounge for two was more difficult than anticipated.

For my first assignment, I did a Posterize It! spin off a movie currently in theaters. (Apparently I was in the poster mode this week) I had seen Wonder Woman with my boyfriend and thought it was good, so I thought I would take an image from this movie, remix it, and turn it into a poster. Then, to put a modern spin on it, I plastered constructivist ideals all over the poster, but still tried to stick to the main plots of the movie.

This did not necessarily tie into our theme this week, but it was fun to create a movie poster and experiment with different fonts and ideas surrounding this methodology. I loved the idea of taking something current and completely integrating a foreign concept into it. I was really happy with how it turned out and I was stretched because my computer shut down on me twice in the making of this poster and I had to start over both times. I also had never used this software before, so it was great learning experience and something practical I can use while teaching in the future to customize my own class posters.

For my second assignment, I did the Vintage Futurism assignment. This was super interesting to me and also tied into my first assignment because they both were a remix of sorts. In this one, I definitely had some trouble. Nevertheless, I had a short clip that I was able to produce.

My goal was to take an educational video from the past and do a bad lip dub to it. I watched several music lip dubs that were done professional and were awesome inspiration. However, I had no idea where to start. I do not have any high tech software or photoshop or video editing device so I was lost. Additionally, all the old time videos that I found were done in black and white, but did not have a lot of dialogue. Instead, there was a voiceover the whole. This made it quite difficult to do a bad lip dub, so I ended up just doing a bad voiceover. It was bad. The educational video was about healthy choices. I ended up just doing a voiceover about all the dumb things middle schoolers think about daily, such as lunch, Takis, and Instagram. I tried to just narrate what was going on, with a modern twist, but it did not turn out as I had hoped. I get very frustrated with how incompetent I am with all this, because I do feel like I have some good ideas, but the execution is just so off because not only do I have to create something, but I also have to teach myself new programs and platforms each week.

One part of the week that wasn’t a total frustration was the weekly Critique. This week, I chose to look at an online course offered through Kansas State University called ANTH101. This is a free, online course that challenges students to learn about their humanity while creating connections. Read my full Critique below (I had this done and then forgot to tweet it out until just now….woops)-

This course directly ties into our theme this week. People from all over are taking this course and then connecting on this online platform. In addition, the textbook for this course is split up so that one chapter is read each week during the course and discusses themes such as what makes us human, our need for connection, and the role of language. I found a lot of parallels between this course and the idea that dialogue is so necessary as part of the storytelling process. It reminded me of my first Critique of the semester about StoryCorps. That organization centered around preserving and sharing stories, much like ANTH101 puts the emphasis on human stories as a means to connect.

Overall, this was a very busy, fast week for me as I am trying to get all my work done early before I go away for a week to Lake Powell. I learned just how important Dialogue is for creating connections and sharing stories. However, I still struggle with the digital aspect of this. Yes, it can be good to document, yes, it sometimes is amazing to cross-culturally engage, but do I always need to capture, document, and record conversations in a digital sense. To me, it is more of a hassle and takes away from the authenticity. I see the benefits, but definitely is hard for me to grasp. I also, am not just an open book, so mustering up courage to engage in dialogue that is very structured, and not just natural or random, is something I struggle with. Podcasts, Interviews, “Skype Dates” with the parents when away at college, were never my thing, it all seems way to forced to me.

We were asked this week to-please define Digital Dialogue & Soliloquy in your own words. How do these fit in the landscape of Digital Storytelling & Learning?

For me, I would say that Digital Dialogue is the use of technology to interact and form connections with other individuals. Soliloquy follows this same model, but when sharing your digital story, there is not necessarily a back and forth commentary going, rather you are sharing your story digitally unsure of who your audience may be. While a dialogue is more of a conversation, storytelling and learning still can bring about a conversation, even though the premise of it is not initially to engage in dialogue.

Overall, this week was very interesting as it engaged several themes from the past weeks of this course. It really showed just how important our own stories are as well as hearing and learning from the stories of other people. The storytelling narrative has changed throughout time and will continue to do so in this digital age of the present and future.

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