Module 7 Reflections

Digital Storytelling (INTE 5340)

Photo by Andrea Hernandez

In Module 7 House Stark discussed forms of new literacy that foster creativity and collaboration. This is currently a big focus in the school district I teach at, so I was enthusiastic to discuss this topic and gain new insights from my group mates. We all shared similar frustrations at the amount of time that is spent preparing students for standardized testing, often at the expense of providing them authentic and developmentally appropriate learning opportunities. When students enter the work force, companies expect them to exhibit the ability to work effectively with others to determine innovative solutions to problems and to adapt to continually changing environments. We discussed ways we can make changes at the school level by facilitating the development of critical thinking, media literacy and research skills for our students. Ideas included:

  • teaching social skills for participation in the digital world
  • exposing students to a variety of informational sources beyond just books and articles
  • teaching students how to search for sources and discern between good and bad sources of information
  • promoting the spirit of collaboration and shared discussion around information
  • integrating games, simulations, robotics, and technology into the learning experience
  • organizing activities that support long distance collaboration with other groups
  • having students share their learning and creations with a wider audience beyond just their teacher and classmates
  • teaching connections across universal themes rather than specific standalone subjects
  • providing student centered, high interest instruction that allows for exploration of passions

I’m taking a media literacy class in the spring and I’m really excited to explore this topic further!

My creations this module:

The Hack the News challenge was really fun and encouraged me to think creatively. I read the Wired Article on Clickbait Psychology and learned that clickbait is essentially when an article doesn’t deliver on it’s headline promises. Emotional manipulation, curiosity, anticipation and the gambler’s paradox all encourage users to click headlines. I kept these strategies in mind while remixing all of the headlines, descriptions and photos from NPR’s homepage using Mozilla’s X-Ray Goggles. It was really challenging to come up with news headlines that were engaging and utilized click bait psychology. I came up with ideas by thinking about current stories in the news, stories that would be intriguing to me, and I got a few ideas from Clickbait Headline Generator as well. I found it extremely frustrating that there is no way to save your work before publishing using Mozilla’s X-Ray Goggles. I lost everything I had done after completing 95% of the project and had to recreate it all from memory. I found most of the images I used on Pixabay or by Google searching images labeled for noncommercial reuse with modification. The next day after creating my project I opened it and discovered all the photos I got from Pixabay were gone and replaced with an image that said “No hotlinking”. It wasn’t a big deal to replace those images with new ones, but I’m not sure why the no hotlinking messages didn’t appear until the next day.

I used LunaPic to edit this black and white photo so that it has one red element. It took me quite a while to figure out how to do this in LunaPic, but once I found the right effect it was easy (It’s called color spotting in Lunapic). Learning through trial and error isn’t always the most efficient use of time, but it allowed me to discover and play with some of the other photo editing tools and effects as well. I really like LunaPic because it’s a free web based photo editing tool with many options.

I used Sketchpad to create this drawing of Captain eBook, a digital literary superhero (ereader icon from Open Clip Art Library).

One of my favorite creations from a classmate was Erica’s 10 Ways Photography challenge. I don’t have much experience with photography and I appreciated her suggestions of creative and therapeutic ways to use photography. I tried out some of her suggestions while on a climbing trip over Thanksgiving Break. Here are some of the photos I took:

I also liked Arielle’s satire radio advertisement. She brought up some humorous points about living in Colorado that had me laughing. Robin’s Twitter poll story about Steph was creative and entertaining. I like how she found a way to engage classmates on Twitter by having us vote to choose the story outcomes.