Sunday, November 29, 2015

My Intro To A Game Design MOOC With Adobe Gen Pro


My first official MOOC course and I am happy to experience it with #AdobeGenPro. I chose to get involved with a course in Game Design with a focus on not only creating assets for a game, but also how to create a class or curriculum in games. I have to say I am pleasantly surprised with the interface provided in the LMS housed in Adobe Education Exchange. It’s easy to follow step by step lessons followed up with reflection and critique within the class forums. I can also see a list of students and read their profiles and choose to follow them or share experiences with them. Each user can make a simple profile with some basic information and linkage to their social media and personal websites. The coolest thing about the profile is that it displays different badges you can earn by taking courses and participating in the network. You can check out my profile here as an example. If you are an educator or student, especially one who uses Adobe, you have to check the Adobe Education Exchange out!

We are three weeks into the Game Design course and I already feel so rewarded. I’ve learned a lot and used Unity to make a basic terrain level that can be experienced as a simple character in the actual game environment. What’s great about Unity is that it is robust, yet simple to average users to grasp and instantly build assets. We were tasked to create an island level, however I did not want to create the typical tropical or desert island. Instead, I wanted to make a glacier level. I found the challenge of creating interesting ice and snow rewarding so I would not be tempted to use the standard textures and assets in Unity. The trick is to create several tiling textures and blend them together with various painted techniques in Unity to make something interesting. It took a little while, but I think I pulled something off. What do you think? You can check out a brief video of my level with some physics assets and see my screenshots to let me know. If you are interested in this course, since it’s a free MOOC, you may still be able to join and catch up with us. You can see the course page here.
Screenshot in Unity editor
Screenshot in Unity editor with interface

Sunday, November 15, 2015

A Response to The Future of Privacy in Social Media


I was totally fascinated by Danah Boyd’s “The Future of Privacy and Social Media.” I like how she prefaced the idea of privacy with how people act as teenagers versus how they may act as adults and what they are willing to share with social networks. What’s even more interesting, that Danah did not discuss, is what will parents share about their children on social media and networking that their children will feel violated by when they are of age to understand what their parents posted? A child that was born in the mid to late 2000’s (and later) may find it harder to get a date in the future if their prospective date can look at all their embarrassing stuff their parents posted on social media about them. Even more frustrating, children do not own these accounts so they do not have control over how their image or stories about them are shared. In ten to twenty years, it will be interesting to see how children in the early 21st century deal with this issue of privacy out of their control from their early life.

Mommy issues...

Danah also described some of the various ways teenagers deal with privacy in their own way. Most of the techniques involve practices to avoid being seen by authority figures or family members. It seemed like every circumstance of privacy violation, described by Danah, mentioned posts being viewed and commented by their mother. Teens may think this is an unfortunate discomfort only afforded to their teenage years. But rest assured it’s an issue that lasts long into adulthood. Although I choose not to share most personal posts to social networks, my sister shares every idiotic thing she does. There were some years of Facebook wars between my mother and sister that lasted well into my sisters 30’s. Maybe my sister needs to grow up? Maybe my mother needs to not worry so much and mind her own business? At any rate, things are usually easier when they decide to unfriend each other and only share more appropriate things in person. I’m 99.99% sure neither my mother or sister will not read this blog so let’s hope I don’t get in trouble!

Cryptic faders

The most intriguing anecdote Danah shared was about a teen who would deploy several tactics to make herself visible to the public only when she wanted to be seen. This teen used cryptic text that made sense only to the culture of her peer groups. She also deactivated her Facebook account on a daily basis at night and reactivated it the next day to make posts. This essentially, makes her seen only by the people who she chooses to see publicly. I thought this was ingenious and sneaky but who doesn’t sneak around when they are a teenager? Which Danah tipped her hat to the teens by noting cryptic text and “fading” in and out of an active account as a practice of the oppressed. Are teens oppressed?

Corporate exploitation

The final thing I’d like to point out about privacy from Danah’s talk was the idea of consent. Consent is usually perceived as mutual understanding in agreement to do something. How many times do you install software or software updates and read all of the “terms of use”? I just installed two pieces of software last night for another class I am taking as a MOOC. I did not have time to read all 58 pages of the “terms of use.” I just clicked the check box in order to install the software so I can conduct coursework. My thought was, “No, I don’t have time to read this document and watch the 5 videos required for this course module.” The next time you install the itunes update, and you are required to click the checkbox that you agree to “terms of use,” think about all of the millions or billions of people who did not read this agreement. Is it ethically right for companies and corporations to require users to agree to terms that are inaccessible due to length of documentation? Because the users did not actually consent to the use of terms, rather simply clicked a checkbox, are they obligated to use as described in the terms? Do we expect this to become a bigger privacy and “consent” issue in the future? I think this is the broadest use of corporate exploitation ever known to society because we don’t actually consent but because the companies have the power over the technology we need to perform duties for work, life, and school we allow them to use our data and intellectual property freely.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

A Tribe of Designers: Designing To Learn Networked Learning Space


After last week’s discussion and exploration in “tribes” by review of two articles by Jeff Goins: Finding Your Tribe May Be the Hardest Thing You Do, and Three Important Steps to Building a Killer Tribe, and another Ted talk by Seth Godin The tribes we lead, I think I am ready to apply these concepts to the networked learning space project. The NLS that will be created for course work in INTE 5665, and out of personal and professional interest, is Designing To Learn. Designing To Learn network provides resources to engage and motivate members to be productive by learning through practicing design. I do believe there is a need for organized and directed multi-discipline study of design as we move through this century.

Firstly, I think this network is helpful for anyone trying to engage and communicate effectively in web 2.0 practices such as blogging, creating a website, creating a logo, and a whole host of artistic and creative things typical educational paths has not lead one to be proficient in. Secondly, those who are learning about design, which should be just about everyone who does design for a living, or those who are enrolled in college for design, should be looking for inspiration from multiple sources outside of their niche disciplines. Additionally, knowledge and skills needed to be successful in design in the 21st century cannot be obtained through typical education. The needs of society and the rate of change in the design disciplines is beyond the scope of courses for credit. In other words, successful designers should be connected to communities of inspiration and practice.

To help myself clarify my own intentions for the “tribe” I intend to create, I will look for guidance in Jeff Goins 3 Steps:


1. Be as personal as you can be...


I’m going to be honest, I don’t really share too many personal things to the world via social media. I may be guilty of a couple “fur baby” pictures and rants about racism and equality on Facebook, but other than that I try to keep my personal stuff out of the limelight. However I think when it comes to my own successes and failings as a designer and student I’m an open book. I’ve definitely been feeling the burn lately with being an instructor and designer AND grad student. I’m willing to share what I can without breaking professional boundaries.

2. Stay relevant to your audience…


This one is tricky. What I think is relevant may not be to the community. Because many of the entries to the community may be selected and curated by me, I intend to follow what I see trending and post more things like that. For now I intend to mix it up and pull from many resources until I find what sticks. The other challenge with relevancy is feedback. I’m still wondering about all the different ways I can get the community involved with feedback, other than “liking” something. This may result in finding a niche for this community that I did not expect.

3. Create mouth-watering anticipation…


Another challenge. How can this be done? I think first and foremost people can anticipate new posts to the community at least every other day in order to keep them engaged. Perhaps I can create weekly tutorials and freebies like downloadable Photoshop brushes, 3D assets, and drawing demos. Of course this takes a lot of time, but I’m hoping my dedication would be reciprocated by the community.

So what do you think? Are you ready to join this tribe?

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Design Sketching With Traditional Mediums

Finished Sketch
Yes I still use markers on occasion! Every so often I really get the urge to remove myself from the computer and draw with traditional mediums. For some drawing with markers and pencils as traditional design mediums comes naturally. For others CAD is their main means of communicating design. Whatever the case, drawing with hand techniques is still relevant and useful especially when communicating quick sketches and ideas. Sometimes on the fly, and sometimes with the client present. You would be amazed at how much progress you can make with your client if you would take the time to sit and draw with them as a co-designer of the space you are trying to create.

This example shown is from a demo I gave to my interior rendering class. It is from one of the books we refer to called Color Drawing: Design Drawing Skills and Techniques for Architects, Landscape Architects, and Interior Designers 3rd Edition by Michael E. Doyle
Ink Drawing
I also included the scan of the ink drawing. I often use print outs of my scans as rendering practice to check color combinations. Show us how you render with hand techniques. Visit Designing To Learn G+ community and share your work!

The drawing shown in this post was created with the following process:
  1. Light pencil sketch, darken after checked for accuracy, focus on contours.
  2. Overlay pencil sketch with vellum and create a thin line drawing in pen.
  3. Use markers to define value and color hue. Start with light and work to dark.
  4. Apply colored pencil to add additional highlights and shade where needed.
*Remember to apply marker first. Colored pencil wax can act as a resist to marker inks!



How To Render a Realistic Interior in Photoshop


Finished Rendering

See the full tutorial here!

In this tutorial doc I walk through how I rendered an interior in Photoshop with an exported line drawing from Sketchup. I’ve found many people are looking to add some extra flair to their 3D drawings or learn how to completely render their sketch in Photoshop. This tutorial should serve both, but mostly shows how one can create a realistic interior in Photoshop without having to texture everything in 3D software.
 
Line Drawing + Materials
I’ve included both the original line drawing with material references as well as the finished rendering. What do you think? What unique ways do you use Photoshop to create or enhance your renderings?

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Get Loose! How I Used Vine to Show How I Warm Up Before Drawing



Practice makes perfect! The old adage usually applied to learning something new like playing a musical instrument or sport. But what about drawing? If practiced regularly, I think anyone can draw well although most people think you either got the talent or you don’t. The challenging part, is tuning everything out and warming up to practice. I teach my design students on the first day of class each semester some basic exercises to practice different mediums, and train their muscles, eyes, and minds to “sync up” to produce better results before tackling a more complex drawing.



Try it out - try to draw some straight lines, perfect circles, and ellipses. Throw in some curvilinear lines. Stay fast and loose. Try standing up. Think about what your elbow, wrist and shoulder is doing and fine tune your movement. When you start feeling good and you got your head in the right state of mind to draw, move on to a more complex drawing. I’m sure you will find you enjoy drawing more and your results will be better with a little practice!

To show how I practice warm up drawing exercises, I wanted to use Vine, a simple app to feature looping videos. I’ve been captivated by this medium since I discovered it back in July of this year. Some of the loops are incredible and I enjoy watching them again and again - especially in the Art channel. One of my favorite “Viners” is Pinot - very inspiring! I found Vine particularly useful for showing processes or animation like Pinot. Or utilized to pique someone’s interest in a subject to explore further. Because of these things, I chose it as a particular social medium I would like to explore to feature design topics. This is my first Vine of many I hope.

The first barrier to entry to use Vine effectively for me was figuring out how I should prop my phone up to record myself drawing. The vine app requires that you hold down on the screen of your phone for the duration you would like to record. Obviously this is not conducive to any physical activity or drawing especially. I can’t hold the phone and draw at the same time! I’ve seen other incredibly complex Vines out there so I know there was some other way to create these Vines. I did a little research and found iKlip Grip was a great product to use as a tripod.

iKlip Grip

I went to my nearest Apple store to find it and I asked one of the workers, where this product was. He walked me to the back of the over crowded store and pointed to the selfie stick section. He had no clue it was a multi-functional device and thought it was just a selfie stick. I picked it up and showed the box to him and pointed out all of the features, mainly, it can be a desktop tripod or extended height tripod with a Bluetooth shutter remote. By the looks of this young man, I was twice his age so this was gratifying to point out something “new” to the youngster.


With my iKlip Grip, I was all set to start creating Vines. However I was confronted with one last hurdle. The Bluetooth remote does not work with the Vine interface! I discovered by Google search that since 2014 Vine users could use clips from their camera roll instead of via the record functions in the Vine interface - perfect! I set up my tripod and recorded a few sessions through the iphone camera app. I found it best to show a top down view of the drawing page with the extended tripod. After I finished recording my sessions, I imported all of my clips into the Vine app and edited their duration and start and stop points. Overcoming both hardware and software hurdles I can say I’m happy with my first Vine. I hope to produce many more exciting Vines featuring design process and drawing. Maybe one day I can produce something as great as Pinot.


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

My First Twitter Experience Changed The Way I Learn Forever

Games for Change @G4C

Summer - the time of year where I always try to cram six months worth of stuff into three. There’s something about it, maybe it’s the longer days due to the summer solstice, or maybe it’s my way of making up for all of those lazy summers I had when I was a kid sleeping until noon. Whatever the case, in the summer of 2015, I decided to begin my journey as a graduate student at CU Denver in an intensive eight week course, INTE 5340 Digital Storytelling, that changed the way I think about education and the potential of social learning.

My first term as a graduate student in Information and Learning Technologies & Adult Learning, I knew very little about social media platforms and pedagogy of social learning. I had been lurking on Facebook for about a year, my Google + profile was full of cobwebs, and I just started to learn how to use Twitter. As a fledgling Twitter newb, I decided to jump into a Twitter chat to begin to spread my wings. My first tweet chat was with #EdGameChat with the focus of digital games in the classroom and Greg Toppo to promote his book The Game Believes In You: How Digital Play Can Make Our Kids Smarter. I have strong interest in “gamification” and educational games as I have a background in game development. As the Twitter discussion began, it was a little overwhelming. The questions were asked by the discussion moderator and then all the answers would fly by before I could even finish reading the question. I kept having to scroll up and down in the browser to look at the participators responses and engage based on that. I think I managed to come up with a couple of good replies by the time the rest of the discussion was three questions ahead of me.


I stumbled through my first Tweet chat, I gained several new followers and several others followed me. Some of the people I followed were key figures in games ed. By following them I feel as though I am “in the know” when it comes to things regarding games in education. All I need to do is open up the Twitter app on my mobile device and read through the daily Tweets. If I choose to, I can engage in chat with others in #EdGameChat to promote collaboration and social learning. This includes authors of pedagogical texts and professors at renowned universities. To me, this is the most powerful, motivating, and enlightening learning experience I have ever engaged.

Throughout the remainder of the summer semester, I was able to engage with several others in the affinity group ds106, which served as the primary home for the digital storytelling course. I was also able to engage with all of my classmates in many meaningful ways on Twitter and follow their educational journeys over the course of eight weeks. In fact, I continue to engage with my colleagues at UC Denver through Twitter. I can follow what they are doing in other classes, and coordinate with them to take classes together in the future, or see what they are up to in their professional work. In essence, through the use of simple 140 character communiques and links, I have established some basic networks and relationships to promote social learning beyond the confines of a school, a classroom, and the LMS.

The ease of access and simplicity of the platform makes Twitter easy to engage throughout the day - waiting in line, uploading or downloading files, in between meetings, etc. This leads to routine behaviors and ways of being that enable life long learning that is current, relevant, and ever-changing based on trends and shared knowledge. Although I think there are many great platforms for social learning, Twitter, in particular, has made me a believer in the power of social learning and behaviors that lead to rich online experiences. It has changed my life.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Digital Storytelling Final Course Portfolio and Reflection

See Storify Link

How did you learn in this course? How do you understand your social learning practices given theory shared by L&K?


As a learner relatively new to online social learning, the practices of this course INTE 5340 Digital Storytelling, were at first, challenging to adopt. Prior to the start of the course, I set up a Twitter account and started participating in discussions like #edgamechat, and looking for people to follow in regards to education and personal interests. I set up a website called Designing To Learn to feature my professional and educational work that tied in with the blog I had already set up. I also read a majority of the course text New Literacies: Everyday Practices and Social Learning 3rd Ed by Colin Lankshear and Michele Nobel. However, I did not fully comprehend what I was reading or doing prior to the start of the course, things quickly started to make sense after the first week of engagement. By the practices as outlined in Ds106 how to write up assignments like a blogging champ” and the syllabus for the class, I was able to quickly participate in ‘new literacies’ as described by Lankshear and Knobel.

Social learning, as described by Lankshear and Knobel, simply put, is complex and self-reliant. Engagement involves aligning oneself with affinity groups and social media networks to participate in discussions and perform works that have meaning to the participators of these networks. Although in theory one can participate in these networks simply by being a passive read-only member, the requirements for this course meant that students were read-write participators. This means production by making blog posts, carefully crafting critiques of media, producing original Tweets, and a host of many other creative things as outlined in the ds106 assignment bank, the storytelling affinity group which this course was aligned. The choices and works produced in the course were decided upon through self-interest and focus on a particular theme of scholarship, essentially creating a sense of self reliance and autonomy in one’s own learning. Success and failure may depend on one’s ability to participate in online social learning and deep thinking through synthesis of multiple resources and networks. Ultimately, successful online social learning creates a sense of identity and ‘learning to be’ that sends learners on trajectories to become masters in their own crafts and domains.

How might your experiences in this course inform how you learn in the future, whether in formal (graduate) coursework or when pursuing your own interests? In what ways do you understand yourself a connected learner, someone networked into other communities (like DS106) and also linked with other people?


Through the connections made in this course, some weak and some strong, I can potentially engage with people on future projects or collaborations by continued membership and appreciation of the affinity groups which I belong to. Or refer others to their works for guidance. This sense of being a member to a community of practice transcends the course and formal education. I may interact with others through the connections made next year or ten years from now through twitter, blogs, ds106, or other means of communication. I may listen to Mariana Funes podcasts and continue to correspond with her on Twitter. I may enjoy tweets from Dr Garcia as she practices drawing exercises and offer advice and encouragement through tweets and retweets. Who knows if this will happen? The important thing to note is that it can happen because of the connections made and shared interested in being a digital storyteller. In essence, the affinity groups, connections, and affordances by web 2.0 have provided the means to be a life-long learner.

How was this course different from prior (graduate) courses?


I can imagine the design of this course was very different from many other available graduate courses in the ILT program, or in any other program at any other school for that matter. This is because what Remi has put together is ‘new’ and relevant to the technologies and pedagogies of today (refer to Remi’s Ecological Pedagogy). There are similarities to what was outlined in the Lankshear and Knobel text in the last chapter, however we utilized several divergent platforms that were not mentioned in the text. Namely, the use of Twitter and course alignment with ds106. This is in stark contrast to courses held in the confines of a LMS with a small number of students. Our interactions in this course overlapped many networks and engaged professionals and students alike. The result of this ‘externalization’ of course discussion and products, in my opinion, yields more professional and fruitful results. As stated in my response to chapter eight in the Lankshear and Knobel text, there’s no ‘secret’ LMS hiding intellectual gems from the world. This motivates participators to succeed because anyone, co-workers, colleagues, classmates, future employers, and the like, may have the ability to witness the products of the course, and perhaps it will mean something to someone else. In final reflection of this, I prefer to engage with ‘the rest of the world,’ instead of limiting Discourse and discourse to the secret minds and murmurings of the few who would choose to take a digital storytelling course that only uses a LMS.

How did you contribute to the development of this course and our learning community?


The initial two weeks of this course were rough. Most students shared that they are new to social learning practices and leery about exploring topics outside of the LMS. Additionally, the syllabus and pace of the course left little room for fault. As directed by Remi, students were to attempt to answer each other’s questions in the LMS within the first two weeks. Many issues came up about using Twitter, or making ones avatar show up, or how to best implement a feature on a blog, or clarity in assignments, etc. Through the online practices in the courses I currently teach, I felt desire and ease to help students with many of these logistical questions at the beginning of the course. As the course developed, I shared my expertise in drawing, design, and illustration and I believe I contributed to the development of techniques and ‘know how’ in regards to some of the daily creates and visual-design assignments as represented in tips and tutorial links in my blog and tweets.

In what ways were you responsible for directing both your own learning and also the shared experiences of peers/others?


Whenever I had a questions or concern I also shared this on Twitter #cudenver15 to notify other students. My two biggest concerns this semester that were ‘open air’ questions and answers on Twitter were in response to copyright concerns and morality / ethics. Mariana Funes was very helpful in suggesting readings and guidance as well as Lisa Dise in regards to copyright. Mitchell Woll offered some inciteful tidbits about morality issues in light of the Charleston shootings by reminding us about artifacts like manifestos created and shared by affinity groups as I was seeking answers to chapter three responses and trying to cope with news about senseless killings at the same time. Asking the tough questions and sharing the explorations of these inquiries very publicly helped direct my learning and contribute to others in and outside of the course simultaneously.

How would you have designed this course differently?


First and foremost, many of the practices and social learning that was engaged in this course was appropriate, current, and enjoyable. The course was only eight weeks long, the learning and participatory practices were intense. Although it was mentioned that it may require a minimum of fifteen hours a week to properly complete course work and engage in social learning, I probably spent 25-30 hours a week devoted to this course. Part of this may be because of the choices in assignments or new technical learning in combination with divergent platforms. It’s easy to get distracted and follow learning down rabbit holes to other topics and musings. Knowing the high possibility for technical error and multiple paths and choices delivered through autonomous learning, I would choose to reduce the amount of assignments each week. I would suggest a week of production that looks more similar to this:

  1. A Daily Create
  2. An Assignment Bank project
  3. A response to L&K text synthesized with scholarship
  4. A critique of a digital story
  5. A response to another student’s reading response
  6. A response to another student’s critique
  7. A response to another student’s AB project
  8. A weekly reflection

The last requirement, “a response to another student’s AB project,” was not a required part of this course. I think this would be a welcomed addition to further learning, analysis, and critique, in place of one response to the Lankshear and Knobel text. This may reduce potential redundancies with multiple responses to other’s Lankshear and Knobel text each week. Also students would be well served to receive critical feedback on their work especially in an educational setting. Being able to carefully, and critically, craft responses to peers work is a highly valued skill in professional work as well as being able to accept criticism. As a professional design and an instructor of design I can attest to these skills, not just in my day to day practices, but also from community feedback at the college where I teach.

How do you understand Remi's course design and ongoing decision-making? As many of you are educators (whether in K-12, higher ed, or corporate settings), how did this course change your understanding of pedagogy?


From the beginning of the course when Remi discussed ‘ecological pedagogy’ and ‘open’ course design I was eager to experience the course practices and theory as a student. Similarly to Ken Robinson’s concepts of ‘organic systems’ in relationship to learning, Remi suggested pedagogy that creates the conditions to cultivate learning through a multiplicity of learning environments, platforms, and settings. In essence, this pedagogy allows learners to make their own learning choices by finding ways to flourish in the rich landscape of web 2.0 platforms. The particular way in which we ‘learned to be’ in this course can be represented as the ‘pull’ model rather than ‘push’ as defined in the Lankshear and Knobel text. There was some necessary ‘push’ in the form of the syllabus and requirements for the course, however individual choices ‘pulled’ individuals in directions that supported their own interests and learning goals. Pedagogy that can be classified as ‘pull’ is a departure from most courses I have taken or taught. The practices in this course has made me appreciate the autonomy and ability to choose ways in which I define to learn.

Has your understanding of "instructor" changed, and if so, how?


I have also come to appreciate collaboration with others in social learning networks as ‘instructors’ in their own right by demonstrated expertise and the sharing of knowledge in areas in interest. This in some way has changed my idea of instructor(s) and the roles they serve. In this course Remi was for the most part ‘hands off’ and allowed students to explore ideas and ‘teach’ each other. Remi offered advice and inspiration in the form of screen casts and tweets, but the day to day practices of the course were essentially, in the hands of the students. Although I would not suggest this approach for all classes and subjects, it was very appropriate for this course at this particular point in time at the graduate level.

What feedback would you like to share with Remi as he (or a colleague) will likely teach another version of this course in the future?


For the most part, this course was excellent. I thought engagement and social practices were evident for most students. It was very challenging and motivating and I would gladly do it all over again. If I had to make any suggestions, it would be to lighten the load in the first week and require students to create a screencast to introduce themselves and share their strengths. This may help students direct questions or promote an overall sense of comradery and personality from the get go. This perhaps will also allow students to deal with logistical questions and concerns with social learning and the requirements of the course. My second suggestion would be to change weekly production to what was shown previously in response to "How would you have designed this course differently?" Week one and week eight would be less typical production for introductions and conclusions to the course. Overall the course was solid and requires only minor tweaks if any. I can’t wait to apply what was learned to the courses I teach and develop new curriculum with these online social learning practices in mind.


Citations
New Literacies: Everyday Practices and Social Learning Third Ed by Colin Lankshear and Michele Nobel. McGraw-Hill Education 2011.


Robinson, K. (2006, Feb). How Schools kill creativity.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Trajectories and Reflections: Week 7 Reflective Practice

Week 7 Collage

Introduction

As part of the educational discourse in digital storytelling each week, I will conduct a reflective practice self assessment. These ‘reflections’ will serve as both formative and summative assessment to the learning goals of the course INTE 5340.

See learning goals in the INTE 5340 syllabus. See DS106 syllabus.

Requirements and Production


DS106 Assignment Bank (Video Assignment)
Creative Education Compilation: VideoAssignments1736

Response to Lankshear & Knobel “New Literacies” chapter one and selected scholarship
Social Learning Trajectories: A Response to Lankshear & Knobel Chapter 8

Digital story critique
The Cake is Not a Lie: A Critique of Portal 2 Puzzle Maker "Making Space for Physics"

Comment peer critiques (x2)
Week 7: Critique

(I only found 1 critique to examine posted by other classmates this week!)

Comment peer chapter responses (x2)
Moving Towards "Pull"- Last L&K Response

We need a remix for that books ending!

Reflective summary
Trajectories and Reflections: Week 7 Reflective Practice

What was challenging?

As usual, the assignment chosen from the video assignment bank was the most challenging product of the week. I had to search for and review dozens of YouTube videos around the focal theme of ‘the importance of creative arts in education.’ Then I had to figure out how to process these YouTube videos into something I could import into Adobe Premiere. Once imported, I made many clips from the videos to merge into a single cohesive video that synced with the music. Some parts synced better than others, although I was happy with the completed result. Another challenge this week was finding a quality ‘remix’ that I wanted to critique using Lankshear & Knobel literacy dimensions and coordinate with the focal theme. I did happen to find a great digital story about modding as used in education and synthesized with core subjects. The critique of which was challenging however due to lack of depth in the story. Overall I think many of these digital stories available for critique lack some depth because they are designed for rapid consumption on the internet. Overall, with both the video assignment and critique, I had to reach to get what I needed.


What was most enjoyable?

The most enjoyable part of the week was seeing the video I created come to life with the music. It brought me great joy to remix these videos of students enjoying creativity and the arts along with the music. This week was also enjoyable to Tweet with members of the course about looking forward to wrapping up this class. Also a couple of students created interactive, collaborative stories that were fun to read and engage with. Although I missed the boat on contributing to the story because I was very busy working, I enjoyed seeing the collaboration.


What was learned about the focal theme and what issues / questions have emerged?

What emerged this week as an issue or area of concern was brought to light by Anne Melzer in her response to the Lankshear & Knobel text. She was very critical in her response and mentioned that it may be unfair for instructors to teach who do not know how to use technology, or may be illiterate in ‘new literacies.’ My question for her was essentially, “how can we help?” As students and teachers at CU in the ILT masters program we hold a unique responsibility in our communities to, in some ways, inform others about these ‘new literacies’ and how they may be leveraged in courses and communities of practice. My concern is that there may not be ways to reach current instructors from K-12 to higher education in our communities because there are not systems set in place to inform and instruct. I can say from experience at the two year technical college where I teach, there are some workshops, but seldom to never do these workshops inform others about how to use ‘new literacies’ in their classes, and more in general, how to be computer literate. This is touchy and complicated issue because many of my colleagues are of mature age where they perhaps did not ‘learn to be’ with digital technologies. Some may not wish to learn these new technologies or simply have a hard time grasping ‘new literacies.’ My hope is within the next couple of years I can work through the systems, and build some programs to support faculty and staff better to integrate and understand current technologies to facilitate learning and engagement.

Points earned 10/10?

Although we were assigned less work this week, I still challenged myself through the video assignment and critique. I also researched potential ways to deliver the portfolio final assignment by practising with various applications. I discovered, through Emily May’s assignment in Storify, that it seems it is the best platform to produce a portfolio for this class because of the ease to leverage social media. I appreciated the awareness by Remi to drop the daily creates so we could spend some time preparing for our portfolios and produce quality and depth in our last assignments. I also noticed an increase in engagement on Twitter this week and there were some great discussions and collaborations. For continued self-criticism and engagement with others, I give myself 10/10 points this week.


Citations
New Literacies: Everyday Practices and Social Learning Third Ed by Colin Lankshear and Michele Knobel. McGraw-Hill Education 2011.

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Cake is Not a Lie: A Critique of Portal 2 Puzzle Maker "Making Space for Physics"



As part of the continued practice in digital storytelling, in INTE 5340 MA ILT at CU Denver, I will consume a digital stories and offer critiques. Until now the course has focused on Jason Ohler’s assessment traits as criterions to assess stories. For the remainder of the critiques in the course, I will focus on “everyday remix practices” as described in the Lankshear and Knobel text New Literacies: Everyday Practices and Social Learning Third Ed by Colin Lankshear and Michele Knobel, on pages 127-140.

To coincide with my theme, ‘the importance of creative arts in education,’ I’ve reviewed and critiqued some everyday remix practices of teachers in creative curriculum settings. This week I wanted to look at another creative way students ‘remix’ learnt material. I was inspired to look at Institute of Play after reading chapter 8 in Lankshear & Knobel “New Literacies.” Chapter 8 describes in some detail how Institute of Play creates ways for K-12 students to engage in creative and social learning that utilizes ‘new literacies.’ As can be seen in the video, using game mods in an excellent way to solve problems and experiment with practical applications of math and social learning.

Kind of Remix: Modding video games


From modding video games: “Likely to involve lots of trial and error and retrial, etc..”

Math students use Portal 2 Puzzle Maker, a mod of portal 2, to create scenarios that can demonstrate learnt knowledge such as solutions to mathematical problems. Lisa Castaneda, a teacher at The Evergreen School describes how she used Portal 2 Puzzle Maker to demonstrate parabolas and vertical motion. However, the process of creating this was not directly shown in the video, I can imagine it took several tries to successfully create a level that operated correctly and applied mathematical problems. Joshua Weier, Project Lead at Valve,goes on to describe how Portal 2 lends itself to the creation of these levels and puzzles by mod communities. What was done in puzzle maker reduced the barrier to entry easy so that any student or teacher can create their own puzzles. Although accessibility makes the mod and game easy to create with, it still take lots of trial and error to make a fun and functional mod level that makes sense. Yasser Malaika,Developer at Valve talks about playtesting, iterating, and implementing as processes that Valve uses to create levels and how Valve wanted to give this process to the creators in the puzzle maker mod community.

From modding video games: “May involve sharing tips and problem-solving advice on forums.”
Joshua Weier talks about how a week after Portal 2 Puzzle Maker launched they received nearly 120,000 level submissions. He then talks about how it’s exciting because people are sharing their maps. Today there are several communities where ‘puzzle makers’ can contribute tutorials and commentary about level creation. For instance, on the Steam Community (Steam is a platform utilized by Valve to download and play video games, chat with other gamers, share achievements, etc.) web site for Portal 2 there are 88 guides to ‘modding.’ There are wikis, blogs, YouTube videos, and a website dedicated to teaching with portal called teachwithportals.com. The product was such a success there are many social learning communities to engage with.

From modding video games: “Paying attention to design, layout, what can and cannot be done within the terms of the original game to make the mod workable or user friendly, etc.”
The primary way to interact as a player in Portal 2 is to create portals in the walls to move from an area to another. The level creator will design levels to make moving from area to area a challenge. Leslie Redd, Director of Education Programs at Valve talks about a “low threshhold” and being able to transfer from the tools to build a level to actually playing the level within seconds. This makes the mod user friendly and relatively easy to engage creators and players. This promotes engagement with ease, which is why this mod is so appealing to learners and educators.

Overall, Valve created a really inspiring product that just so happened to be useful as an educational tool. It’s nice to see that once Valve learned how their product was being used in schools they developed programs to support this learning. I really enjoyed learning about how this mod was used in educational settings. I just wish the video demonstrated more clearly the practical applications such as the parabola example given in the first part of the video. How was this problem given to the students and how did they solve it?


Citations

Creative Education Compilation: VideoAssignments1736




Creative Arts in Education

Throughout the semester while researching scholarship related to ‘the importance of creative arts in education,’ I’ve looked at many YouTube videos. I’ve critiqued and examined mostly creative everyday remix practices of teachers and the works of Ken Robinson. To round it all out, I wanted to create something that showed the students. What does it look like when creative arts are implemented into education?

Different Colors

I chose to compile the videos set to Walk the Moon Different Colors. Since the first time I heard this song it made me think about why teachers do what they do and fight to make better experiences for their students. Hence the lines, “this is why we’re biting the bullet, we know the kids are right.” It’s not easy to change the landscape of ‘high stakes testing’ and integrate engaging, creative curriculum. Although there have been great improvements at some schools, as can be seen in the compilation video, others still lag behind due to governmental policies and funding. Never the less, we can see instructors “biting the bullet” as they may struggle to implement creative curriculum.

The lines, “Different colors! We carry each other,” I also thought were poetic in regards to education. We know from Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences that everyone has several modes of thinking and learning. When assessed, we find some are more dominant learning perspectives than others. In the classroom and school setting these different ways of being and thinking must be attended to in order to fully engage students. This is why the arts are so important, because they engage students in several other ways that are otherwise alienated by sitting in a chair quietly studying for a test. There is additional poetry in the lines, “Different colors,” that can be seen in this compilation by the various ethnicities and cultures. As a member of various cultures one may belong to various Discourses through which they develop a sense of being and seeing the world. These often are expressed in the typical school day and must be respected and appreciated. I believe through various means of expression whether it be physical activity, the creation of visual art, or music, one can find ways to relate to another who may identify with a very different culture. These means of expression bring out potential collaboration and social learning.

How This Video Was Made

I first had to watch many YouTube videos to get a sense of some that may work for what I was trying to achieve. I tried to find some videos I knew would work with the lyrics and structure of the song. Fortunately, I was able to find most of what I needed on the Edutopia YouTube channel. I also used a video from Institute of Play. To edit these videos, I had to convert them into a format that I can import into Adobe Premiere. I used “clipconverter” to do this. This tool is nice because it is all web based and does not require the user to download any software. It is important to note that with ‘“free” to use software and web tools there is always potential for malware and viruses. I noticed the tutorial for this assignment linked to tools that were considered malware by my virus scanner. Hopefully I dodged a bullet on that one, but it’s another important lesson to learn about engaging with ‘new literacies’ to not blindly trust these “free” softwares or sources linked by others.

Once I had all of my videos and music collected in Adobe Premiere, I was able to make different cuts and arrange them as I saw fit to sort of sync with the music. I also created a title screen and credits roll, and a few other transitional effects such as the flashes for “tonight we raise a fire!” I learned how to do all of these things previously last week when I created “Fish Out of Water - Boundaries Exercise tdc1276” a daily create. I was able to accomplish all of this simply by spending a half hour to an hour watching tutorial videos about Adobe Premiere.

Disclaimer
The intent of this remix is for educational purposes only. The work is intended to be transformative in nature. The work is not for sale and it is not to be used for profit. This work was a requirement for a graduate course INTE 5340 Digital Storytelling. Please see citations for additional links add credits.

See 17 U.S. Code § 107 - Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use.

Citations
Walk the Moon (December 2, 2014) Different Colors, Talking is Hard ℗ 2014 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

Edutopia, (June 15, 2015) “Rolling Out” a Game in the Classroom

Institute of Play, (December 5, 2014) Say Yay to Play: The Anti CookieCutter School

Edutopia, (May 21, 2013) How a Longer School Day Can Improve Academics

Edutopia, (August 29, 2012) Arts Integration for Deeper Learning in Middle School

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Social Learning Trajectories: A Response to Lankshear & Knobel Chapter 8


Digital Storytelling For The Illiterate Generation(s)

The eighth and final chapter of New Literacies: Everyday Practices and Social Learning Third Ed by Colin Lankshear and Michele Knobel was like reflecting on the past seven weeks of my life from a programmatic point of view as a digital storytelling student. My first response to this was “Why didn’t I read this chapter first so I knew what I was getting into?” Then I realized, I probably would not have understood any of it had I not experienced ‘digital storytelling.’ As I was reading the chapter, I was constantly analysing the program Lankshear & Knobel suggest, and comparing to what I am experiencing in current curriculum. The first major difference in the curriculum noted in the text versus what students at CU Denver Masters in Information and Learning Technologies program experience was some limited face to face and group instruction. The MA program at CU Denver is completely online. Students may meet face to face if they reside in the same relative geographic location, however many students in the program live in various ‘out of state’ locations. This changes the dynamic of the course. We did not work in groups in face to face or even telecommunicative means. We instead, entered a much broader network more similar to a MOOC. Where students created their blogs, set up Twitter accounts, and participated in the online practices as described by ds106. None of which are centralized in a typical classroom or even online practice of a university such as the use of a LMS. Canvas was used in the course as the LMS but it wasn’t by any means critical to the course and was only seldom used for logistic reasons. By doing this, students were expected to ‘pull’ information and resources from any number of places in the larger network of online social learning. In fact, in many instances fellow ‘ds106ers’ contributed to the more intimate conversations and inquisition on Twitter #CUDenver15 or on personal blogs of students. In essence, the course experience by CU Denver masters students can be viewed as many overlapping networks and communities of practice.

Although students did receive, help, guidance, comment, and critique from fellow students and members of the broader communities of practice online, there is a sense of isolation. This, at first, makes engagement challenging, especially during the first two weeks when ‘learning to be’ a digital story teller. However, reflecting upon the solitude of the experience in digital storytelling with CU Denver, I appreciated the autonomy and ability to ‘win or fail’ through my own desire to ‘pull’ in various directions. This of course, creates a more stressful situation perhaps, but the reality of the situation rapidly prepares students for meaningful participation on their own terms. Successes and failures are our own publicly seen. There’s no ‘secret’ LMS hiding intellectual gems from the world. This motivates participators to succeed because anyone, co-workers, colleagues, classmates, future employers, and the like, may have the ability to witness the products of the course, and perhaps it will mean something to someone else. In final reflection of this, I prefer to engage with ‘the rest of the world,’ instead of limiting Discourse and discourse to the secret minds and murmurings of the few who would choose to take a digital storytelling course that only uses a LMS.

“Because the ‘natural home’ of social learning is the everyday world of social practice at large, it maintains points of connection to human lives as trajectories in ways that are often lost by hiving off formal education into contrived spaces, time frames, and idiosyncratic ways of doing things.”
(Lankshear & Knobel, 2011, p. 248-249).

Preparing The Next Generation

The second interesting part of chapter eight in Lankshear & Knobel describes scenarios in which ‘new literacies’ and social learning is deployed in K-12 settings. In short, this is inspiring and fascinating to me because what is described aligns with the focal topic ‘the importance of creative arts in education,’ and prepares young students for the world in which they live, whether they intend to go to college or not. According to Ken Robinson,

“In practice, teachers in all disciplines usually do, and should, use a wide repertoire of approaches. Sometimes teaching facts and information through direct instruction, sometimes facilitating exploratory group activities and projects. Getting that balance right, is what the art of teaching is all about.”
(Robinson, Ken Ph.D. 2015, Ch. 6).

What Lankshear & Knobel describe as ‘gamelike’ instruction at the Quest to Learn school, exemplifies social learning practices that are engaging both ‘push’ and ‘pull’ influences. Essentially, a pedagogy that is ‘balanced’ and relevant to the everyday practices of the times. Students understand complex identities in situated learning scenarios where they must assume the roles of designers, scientists, historians, mathematicians, inventors, etc. These roles are assumed by the deployment of various quests that include group and solitary activity. (Lankshear & Knobel, 2011, p. 247). What’s really inspiring, is the curriculum spelled out in the Lankshear and Knobel text. In summation, I have taken points from the text to provide in list form. This can be understood as:
  1. “Five key conditions for learning: sharing, reflecting, responding to and providing feedback, evaluation, and distributing knowledge and understanding.”
  2. “Three competency dimensions: Civic/Social-Emotional Learning, Design, and Content. Across these dimensions include: learning for well-being and emotional intelligence; design and innovation; complexity (or ‘systemic reasoning’); critical thinking, judgement and credibility; learning using a design methodology; and learning using smart tools (ibid.: 46).”
  3. “Five learning practices: system thinking, play design, intelligent resourcing, meaning production, and tinkering (ibid.: 66).” (Lankshear & Knobel, 2011, p. 248-249).
The list is impressive by higher education standards let alone K-12. If these things are truly engaged one can see extreme value of pedagogy that brings these things out through social learning and creative thought processes. All of these things are, in essence, designed to develop one’s way of ‘doing or being’ along the trajectory of their lives. The ultimate goal of this trajectory is to become mature learners who can engage by various means and roles necessary to solve problems, or at the very least, be literate or know how to become literate in ‘new literacies.’ (Lankshear & Knobel, 2011, p. 252-253). Additionally, these learning trajectories, in theory, should create ‘prepared’ students for college or life in general.

Designing To Learn

It is in these practices of social learning and ‘new literacies’ that I find great passion and motivation to implement new pedagogy into the design classes I teach. The next semester is just around the corner but there is still some time to plan and implement a few of the many great things I learned this semester. Although I am not sure it is possible to do so, I am starting to think through some of the questions I have about applying social learning and online practices such as: Can students set up blogs to post and discuss their assignments? What platforms and social networks are best for design students to engage? Other than the LMS, how can I engage students outside of the classroom in hybrid courses? Will these social learning practices be accepted by the college where I teach? Will my students be motivated to engage in social learning? How does this all align with the competencies of the courses I teach? In truth, to address all of these things may be a huge undertaking. For the moment it is worth focusing on a few things that will promote engagement and relevance to ‘the everyday lives’ of design students. For the future, I dream of design MOOCs and ‘game like’ scenarios. I know if I continue on my own ‘trajectory’ by designing to learn, many great things are possible.

Citations
New Literacies: Everyday Practices and Social Learning Third Ed by Colin Lankshear and Michele Knobel. McGraw-Hill Education 2011.

Aronica, Lou; Robinson, Ken Ph.D. Creative Schools the Grassroots Revolution That’s Transforming Education. 2015. Narr. Robinson, Ken Ph.D. Tantor Media. May 8, 2015. Accessed June 20, 2015. Digital File.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

'Pulling' Things Together: Week 6 Reflective Practice

Week 6 Collage

Introduction

As part of the educational discourse in digital storytelling each week, I will conduct a reflective practice self assessment. These ‘reflections’ will serve as both formative and summative assessment to the learning goals of the course INTE 5340.

See learning goals in the INTE 5340 syllabus. See DS106 syllabus.


Requirements and Production


The Daily Create (x2)
Fish Out of Water - Boundaries Exercise tdc1276

Look at all the people - hyperbolic tiling tdc1285


DS106 Assignment Bank (Web Assignment)
What Is Your Passion Archetype Character Buzzfeed Quiz


Response to Lankshear & Knobel “New Literacies” chapter one and selected scholarship

Comment peer critiques (x2)
Critique: Machinima- The Druid: Tree of Life - (A WoW Machinima by Nixxiom)

Mash-Up Lecture Series


Comment peer chapter responses (x2)
Chapter 7. Pedagogical Implications
New Literacies Review (Ch. 7) – An Need for a Changing Education System


Reflective summary
'Pulling' Things Together: Week 6 Reflective Practice

What was challenging?

Creating the buzzfeed quiz was the most challenging part of the week. I developed this assignment over the course of the week. I researched multiple intelligence theory and practiced several multiple intelligence assessment tests in order to craft it. I completed several versions of the quiz and opened it up to friends and family before I published it to work out some of the kinks. Ironing out the questions, the images used, and results was the most time consuming and challenging. I would have liked more time to test the quiz before I made it available but it’s hard to do everything I would like to do in the short amount of time available for these weekly assignments.

What was most enjoyable?

Overall I must say many people that took the Buzzfeed quiz after I posted on Facebook and Twitter commented saying the result seemed right for them. Seeing people comment or discuss their results from the Buzzfeed quiz was the most enjoyable part of the week. And some also mentioned they took the other self-assessment multiple intelligence test to see how they scored there as well. The idea of exposing people to this knowledge through a fun and humorous test designed for social media is inspiring.

What was learned about the focal theme and what issues / questions have emerged?

Chapter seven in the L&K text clarified what I was suggesting from week one - ‘mastery’ is a part of diving in to these ‘new literacies.’ It takes countless hours to develop true skill in various areas of interest fueled by passion. Finding these passions at an early age through diverse learning practices and exploring creative arts is essential to provide a backbone in understanding many of the ‘new literacy’ practices and online social learning.

Points earned 10/10?

I pushed myself again to deliver a quality ds106 assignment. I also participated in social media discussions throughout the week regarding area of focus and course topics. I really felt like my response to the L&K text felt natural and effortless because it answered many of the questions I was begging to know the answer to since week one. I give myself 10/10 points this week.

New Literacies: Everyday Practices and Social Learning Third Ed by Colin Lankshear and Michele Knobel. McGraw-Hill Education 2011.

Look at all the people - hyperbolic tiling tdc1285

Colorful People Hyperbolic Tiling tdc1285
Dailycreate tdc1285
This is a great way to synthesize art with math to make pretty visuals by formulas.
You can make your own with the help of this website: http://www.malinc.se/m/ImageTiling.php

Saturday, July 18, 2015

What Is Your Passion Archetype Character Buzzfeed Quiz


Archetype Collage (Buzzfeed quiz cover)

What are your natural aptitudes? Based very loosely off of multiple intelligences. Are you the Artist, the Technologist, the Naturalist, the Performer, the Musician, the Poet, the Athlete, Puzzle Fighter, or the Renaissance Man or Woman?



Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/421860690073254141/
Diana Ziv - http://zivcreative.blogspot.com.au/

A Meaningful Assignment

This week I focused on Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences Theory and Ken Robinson’s The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything. In so many ways this scholarship resonated with chapter seven in the Lankshear and Knobel text as well as my focal theme ‘the importance of creative arts in education.’ I wanted to find a ds106 assignment that could help me synthesize scholarship with ‘new literacies’ application. The literacy dimensions and cultural appreciation in order to craft a Buzzfeed personality quiz that has humor and meaning is really challenging. To create a quiz in this nature, one must use writing skills, logic, artistic, and technical ability. This is exactly why I chose to do this assignment: WebAssignments, WebAssignments1641. I wanted to ‘apply’ multiple intelligences and share this theory with others. I believe understanding and application of this theory as teachers and learners, one can better know oneself or their students. This understanding leads to better study habits or lesson planning and engagement. It’s important to note that as a teacher, this would also mean catering to several different types of learners, thus, why it is important to practice creative arts disciplines through synthesis of core subject curriculums. If you are new to Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences Theory, I suggest watching this brief video here.

After watching the video take a short self assessment test. With the results of the assessment in mind, then take the Buzzfeed quiz. The Buzzfeed quiz is intended to add an extra dimension to the concept of multiple intelligences. In that it suggests you may favor certain roles or archetypical characters. It is this idea of these ‘characters’ that makes the ‘just for fun’ Buzzfeed assessment inspiring. As opposed to Howard Gardner’s classification such as “visual-spatial,” the Buzzfeed quiz suggest you are an artist or a designer. Not just any artistic character, Salvador Dali, was in fact the artifact image I chose to represent artists. I think by using artifacts in this way, it has great meaning to the test takers. Perhaps more meaning than knowing one is ‘logical’ or ‘visual-spatial’? Or for test takers that are unfamiliar with the chosen artifact it gives them an opportunity to click the link for the source image and read about the character represented. All things considered, this assignment for myself, and I hope the test takers, is meaningful and fun. (This is for entertainment purposes but some may still find the quiz inciteful).

Take the Buzzfeed Quiz


Crafting a Buzzfeed quiz

At first, I brushed off the Buzzfeed quiz as something that may be relatively easy to do. I’ve made quizzes before as an instructor, but actually, the dimensions to the Buzzfeed quizzes are far greater than a typical quiz you may give students in a brick and mortar classroom. For instance, every question requires a picture which then needs to be given appropriate credits and linkage. These images as cultural artifacts are intended to have meaning to a vast number of people. So the breadth of cultural knowledge to consider is challenging and then also the choice of one cultural artifact over another. 

Then there’s the questions - witty, meaningful, with a little bit of tact (hopefully not too offensive). Also embedded in each question there are three answers. For each answer, the quiz maker can assign a result and this is the tricky part. The way in which the answers are phrased (biased of course) can mean more or less probability for one result over another. For example:


Q1: I like to paint, draw, or create things.

A1: Yes, Creating art is my life.

A2: No, Art is boring.

A3: Sometimes, When I feel inspired.


If “No” is selected, I can assign that result to ‘logical’ or ‘technical’ based characters as they are, in my mind, the opposite of artistic. This is a stereotype of course but the Buzzfeed quizzes, in my experience, are intended to be funny and rely on these stereotypes. Just like a good comic makes his or her jokes relatable to the audience, they use artifacts that rely on stereotypes - it’s part of humanity and culture. Ultimately, these responses to the 20 total questions created 60 possible answers to sort through. I decided to make equal chances for each character result and after I tested this it was too boring. I tested the offline quiz and had a few friends and family members take it as well. I took the quiz at least 10-15 times and I tried to enter a frame of mind of each character to result in that character. I had to spice up the responses a little to make it more funny to engage the audience.


I added the characters here for amusement. There are 10 different characters so chances are you will only result in a couple. I hope you enjoy the quiz!


The Artist
You might be good at creating compelling imagery, sculpted objects, or motion graphics. You observe the world and interpret it through artistic expression. You thrive in disorder and lack of income.

The Designer
You seek order and perfection in all things man-made. You may practice drawing, CAD, 3D modeling, and building structures… and sometimes you may also practice obsessive compulsive disorder.

The Technologist
You specialize in using technology to your advantage. You may be good at coding and (or) electrical engineering. You have an intimate relationship with your computer(s).

The Naturist
You love nature. You often long to be outdoors. You may enjoy hiking, gardening, and taking care of pets or domestic animals. Baths are optional.

The Performer
You like being in the spotlight. You may like to dance, act, or play and sing music on stage or in front of the camera. Your excellent at ignoring the strange looks in public transit for reenacting all the parts from entire plays.

The Musician
You enjoy listening and (or) creating music. You find meaning and purpose in experiencing life through music and can’t live without it. When lacking inspiration, you may find interesting places to put tattoos and piercings.

The Poet
You relate to the world through words. You may like blogging, writing in a journal, or creating poetry. Your favorite past time may be curling up with a good book or correcting your best friend’s grammar mistakes.

The Athlete
You can’t sit still for more than 10 minutes. You seek physical activities and competition where you can exhibit your athletic tendencies. You were once diagnosed with ADHD and refused to take your meds… then proceeded to literally climb all the walls in your school.

The Puzzle Fighter
You enjoy exercises in logic. You may be good at solving rubiks cubes, Pi, and the mysteries of the universe. You may enjoy studying the molecular structures of various types of cheeses through sniff tests.

The Renaissance Man or Woman
You excel at many things and you find variety stimulating. You thrive when you can use your multiple talents to solve problems. When bored, you may find yourself looking for employment in a completely different profession or applying to graduate school… again.


Friday, July 17, 2015

Artistic Fan Remix: Critique of Ken Robinson on Flourishing




Voice: Sir Ken Robinson, Director: Jim Batt, Artist: Molly Crabapple

As part of the continued practice in digital storytelling, in INTE 5340 MA ILT at CU Denver, I will consume a digital stories and offer critiques. Until now the course has focused on Jason Ohler’s assessment traits as criterions to assess stories. For the remainder of the critiques in the course, I will focus on “everyday remix practices” as described in the Lankshear and Knobel text New Literacies: Everyday Practices and Social Learning Third Ed by Colin Lankshear and Michele Knobel, on pages 127-140.

Kind of Remix: Fanfiction short movies (if one must be chosen from L&K text)


Three Literacy Dimensions:

1. From making movie trailers: “May involve knowing how to include written text in the remixed video to help convey new storyline.”

2. From creating fanfiction: “Understanding the structure and purpose of narratives and using this to guide writing.”

3. From creating fan art: “Being able to draw/paint etc.”


“May involve knowing how to include written text in the remixed video to help convey new storyline.”

Molly Crabapple, the artist creating the painted images in the video, does a great job of accentuating the narrative by Ken Robinson. She does this by very artistically including choice words into the story being painted. These words are painted large in some parts of the animation to emphasis points, other times the words are positioned by the cat characters such as holding a sign, or thought bubbles. This ultimately takes place to create another clever story using cat characters doing various things. Overall the combination of text and characters creates a new story while still supporting the narrative.

“Understanding the structure and purpose of narratives and using this to guide writing.”

The creators of this animation clearly have a great understanding of the narrative provided by Ken Robinson. The whole animation keeps pace with Ken Robinson’s words, thus the animation had to be planned to keep up with spoken word. This must have been challenging because there are different pauses and pace throughout the narrative. In addition to adhering to the structure of speech, the narrative directly guided the paintings in relative time with each other. This seems like a very challenging process to keep sync but the animation makes this look effortless.

“Being able to draw/paint etc.”

When I first watched this video I took for granted that Molly was painting this. I thought it was a marker or pen. Then I saw her splash paint on the page and I noticed the pool of paint on the sides and the brushes. I started to really pay attention to the craftsmanship and detail and it’s amazing there are very little, if any, visible errors. There is poetry in the creative expression by this ability to paint and what is being said in the narrative. That people are creative and talented and should “flourish” if given the opportunity to practice things which they are interested in.