Reflective Summary for ILT5340 Digital Storytelling: Weeks 4 and 5

*I am currently working my way through my fourth semester of the Information and Learning Technologies master’s program at University of Colorado, Denver.  This is the third post within a series of reflections that I’ve been assigned to write for a course titled Digital Storytelling.

Weeks 4 and 5

  • What have you learned about digital storytelling from participating in your assignments (your Daily Creates, your DS106 Activity Bank Assignments, response to Lankshear and Knobel readings, your self-selected storytelling readings, critique of digital stories, various responses to your CU Denver peers, and engagement with other online social networks)? What have you learned about your focus topic? What have you learned about yourself?

These past two weeks have taught me quite a bit!  I learned how to use PowerPoint to make a treasure map.  I learned how to use Adobe After Effects and utilized current knowledge of Camtasia to make a movie spoiler.  The Art of Digital Storytelling: Become a 21st Century StoryKeeper taught me about the Take Six: Elements of Digital Storytelling to help increase the quality of your stories.  DS106 Treasure Map

I critiqued a phenomenal digital story titled His Saving Grace that I found on the Chicago Tribune’s website.  It’s a lavish multimedia presentation, complete with police audio clips, news reports, photos, short video clips, and audio narration from chef Curtis Duffy (the subject of the story) that was then used to create a documentary.   I revisited one of my all-time favorite songs to create a visual out of one of its lyrics, expressing my feelings about clouds of all things.  Daily Create 5

I critiqued a a short stop-motion animation titled A Brief History of the Modern Strawberry (as well as an accompanying five chapter written piece titled Dark Side of the Strawberry).  The video explains “how clever advertising tactics and certain pesticides helped make the juicy red fruit cheaply and widely available” and the “hidden costs to using those chemicals.”  It was quite eye-opening.  And lastly, I critiqued the first chapter of Digital Storytelling: Capturing Lives, Creating Community, by Joe Lambert, where I learned that digital storytelling is a means of creative expression, helping us to not only express our stories, but to figure out what exactly they are as well as what they mean, for us and for our audiences.Modern Strawberry Header

  • What did you enjoy most? What gave you trouble?

I enjoyed the creative aspect the most – the pieces of work where I can utilize my creative energies and make my own digital stories.  I truly enjoy the process of finding ways to tell my stories and learning new technologies to create them.  I also really enjoy interacting with my fellow students and seeing the work that they produce.  Critiquing other digital stories is also becoming easier for me, as I feel like I am becoming more critical of the work I am consuming and I am understanding more of what goes into creating these different pieces.  I didn’t have any real troubles this week except for time management issues and a struggle to fully comprehend my chosen reading chapter.

  • What would you do differently? What new questions do you have after engaging in your assignments?

In doing things differently, I think would have done my chapter reading work before anything else, which is what I plan to do this week.  I think that having read more information on digital storytelling first might give me a new lens through which to critique the work I consume and through which to create my own digital stories.  Even though I have struggled with the academic texts, I have learned something new from each chapter I’ve read.

  • What are some of the larger issues surrounding your work, particularly as they relate to exploring your focal theme?

I don’t have any real issues surrounding my work this week.  I am going to try and make more of a conscious effort to create more work that relates to my theme though.  I felt so boxed in during the first three weeks that I think I took a sort of “break” from it over the last two.  But I’ve actually found a few incredible resources that have digital stories that pertain to my theme and I think I’ll spend some time with those.  I do wish there was more engagement on Twitter with my classmates, I always found that aspect very interesting and kind of fun!

  • How well do you feel you completed your assignment requirements? On a 10-point scale, with 10 the highest possible grade, how many points do you believe have been earned based upon your weekly digital storytelling practices? Briefly explain your self-assessment.

I would give myself a ten, as I always will when I feel that I’ve given 100% effort!  This will never mean that I feel I was perfect or that I couldn’t have done more, because that is actually one of my weaknesses…I don’t know when to stop.  I always want to do more.  But I do feel that I put in all of my effort and I truly enjoyed what I created and consumed over the last two weeks.  I’m starting to really appreciate the schedule we’re on and always knowing what work is expected of us.  Feature_Image