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Tag: storytelling

ds106: teaching an ethos

My final paper is proceeding apace. And by “apace” I mean WHY DID I SIGN UP FOR THIS LAST SEMESTER? What made me think this was a good plan? DEAR GOD I GRADUATE IN TWO MONTHS!

Panicking aside, I’ve made some decent progress on sorting out how I want to conclude my paper, and how I’m going to get there (kudos to my adviser Dr. Whalen for all the awesome conversations in that vein).

First and foremost, I think that for the purposes of this paper I’m going to define online learning as a branch of edtech. It makes a lot of sense to me: anything that happens on the internet is facilitated by technology, which, to my thinking, makes online education a function of educational technology. Therefore, when I use to the term “educational technology” or “edtech,” I’m also referring to online courses, open and otherwise. I hope to use “edtech” as an umbrella term, and then narrow my terminology when needed, such as when I’m referring to open educational resources or massively open online courses in specific. Then again, if that usage is completely wonky in the actual edtech/online ed world, I’d love some feedback so I’m not producing a paper that’s unintelligable.

I think one of the struggles I’ve been having in trying to pin down where I want my paper to wind up is that, as usual, my focus wasn’t narrow enough. I’m not going to be able to make large pronouncements about The State Of Edtech with this project, no matter how much I feel like that’s what I should be doing. What I can do is narrow my focus back down, like I keep talking about, and bring things back to ds106. Finally. After about three blog posts insisting that’s what I was going to do.

The D Chord Song

I changed up the Make Music DAMNIT assignment a little, and instead of talking about the first song I ever learned to play (that was probably something random from a kid’s music book on the piano), here I talk a little bit about the first song I ever made up on the guitar.


Create through the crap

I LOVED having the chance to listen to Ira Glass discuss his early work in radio, and then hear an example of how stilted and awkward he was even eight years into the business. What he said about beginning any creative endeavor with good taste, about knowing that the work you’re producing isn’t up to your own standards, really resonated with me. I dabble in all kinds of creative crafts–crochet, drawing, singing and songwriting, playing the guitar, photography, digital art, poetry and prose, even cooking–and in all of them I run across roadblocks when I look at what my favorite creators are producing and think, Look at this stuff I just made. It’s NEVER going to be as good as their stuff! or the even greater pitfall of, Why isn’t my stuff as good as their stuff right NOW? It’d take so much work to get there, I might as well stop trying.

EVERYTHING IS STORIES but actually wait this is difficult

As a caveat to my post last week about stories, storytelling, and how utterly rad crazy awesome DS106 and new media are in terms of discovering new ways to tell them, I wanted to ramble a little about how impossible storytelling can sometimes be.

I’m in a fiction writing class at the moment. Finally. After sticking to mostly poetry and lit classes for my entire college career. It’s a great class with a fantastic professor and we have really useful workshops, but I’m struggling. Part of that is definitely lack of practice, but a significant chunk of my stuck-ness is that fiction writing (or nonfiction… okay, prose) isn’t my strongest form.  I like new storytelling forms, ones that have pictures and sounds and clicky buttons. I like fanfiction, where you walk into the story already knowing and loving the characters and concepts, where you’re basically reading an individual’s personal exploration of stuff you really care about. I like Tumblr, where people tell their personal stories with gif images and wildly hyperbolic text. I LOVE (seriously. Like, will-legally-marry-when-they-pass-the-law L-O-V-E-LOVE) webcomics, because they are EVERYTHING I have ever wanted in a storytelling medium.

Short stories, though? Just text? A novel or novella-length book? While I will probably die with a book in my hands, creating something like that is insane.

Cool monomyth, bro

Kurt Vonnegut’s quirky explanation of story-shapes immediately brought to mind one of my favorite posters: It’s a fantastic (if abbreviated) visual explanation of Joseph Campbell‘s…