Saturday, May 4, 2013

Thanks & Done

The first time I read about ds106 was on my birthday. Isn't that meaningful (:   It was also the day or at least near to the day where the regular students started the course. I looked around on the ds106 pages and found one, that instructed the regular students. I liked it and thought maybe I can do some of this, too. I did and it turned out I did even all of the assignments. I left out attending the show or the open laboratory for they happen when I was asleep and I my spoken English may not be good enough and I may have felt out of place.

The language has been a great point for me during the four month of ds106. On the one hand it was a great challenge to see if I can get along in a course given by a university, on the other hand the writing was the most troubling part, except from learning how to create a gif. However. I did fine and even improved my English language skills.

Apart from this I've learned so many about photography, design, video and audio production and I've learned about new possibilities of telling a story like web stories and mashups.

Concerning the communication I did open online courses earlier and I consider ds106 has the best possibilities to communicate with other participants, but to me communication seems still broken and unstable. I consider online communication in general casual and where masses of people try to communicate, this issue becomes even worth. DS106 don't have these masses, yet.

Comments have been part of the communication. I did not receive many of them, but value any I was given. I think Alan Levine comments most, but beyond this he often mentioned my work on twitter

or even on his blog or in a presentation during an online conference. I got a lot of confidence out of his consideration although I had the impression it was sometimes more about my sad experience than about my artwork ;)

I supposedly did more comments than I received and unfortunately often had the feeling the comment was not welcome. In the end I can not know, for it is commenting not communicating and I never became really any feedback on my comments, which is OK. It just would have been nice. Anyway it's not entirely true, Michael Branson Smith has given nice feedback.

Where I did not participate much was twitter, because my twitter account doesn't work properly. My posts are just partly shown via the appropriate tags. Sometimes I tried to reply to someone, but it all remained unnoticed like it is often with twitter, because the different threats are too many to keep an overview.

Concerning my digital story telling creations I am very pleased with both, my works and the ds106 platform, especially the assignment bank and the "weekly stuff to do" posts by Alan Levine. I've started with learning about making animated gifs and doing daily creates. I've finished more than 18 daily creates. I did not post about any but this link shows the ones I've posted about.
With all the categories the assignment bank and the daily creates are sorted into, it could have been forgotten that it is about story telling. Still it is. I've learned early via the daily creates that little pieces of media can tell a whole story, like just one picture or a hummed song; and I've learned that a creative caption or title adds enormously to  a story.
Yet I've also learned  about more extensive digital ways to tell a story like videos or audio pieces. My Best Work you can find here. The selection contains creations I feel good with, because they seem to be me. Other works might be better or more interesting, yet they feel more strange to me. Funny, isn't it?
In the end I combined in extensive projects what I've learned. For this take a closer look to my radio show, where a little girl experiences the unhappiness of war, and the final project, where I imagined a world in which two sides battle around creativity (final project - making of)
I like the story of my final project, yet I am worried it is too strange to others. I may even touch the values of people, like being a decent, hard working person, who tries to add to their society. I hope the exaggerated style will help them to see this is just an idea and a story which tries to make a point.
While I've created the story I often thought it might be better to create my own videos and drawings and animations and photos. The style would have been more consistent, there were not copyright issues and I would spare me the trouble to find in other peoples work what I want to say. Still it would have been months finishing this kind of project.

Four month ago I posted about what story telling is for me. I still agree. Moreover I was surprised how insightful my post already was. I already knew a lot about digital storytelling although the term by that time was completely new to me. Yet it is not as personal as I've stated in my post, but often has to do with being able to tell a story you were instructed to tell, which might be useful when you have to fulfil the expectation of clients, maybe in advertising agency.
Although the assignments are very open for ones own interpretation they contain instructions you mostly try to satisfy. This was a good exercise to me, because almost everything I've created in my life was self motivated.
Another aspect of this early post was that stories children are telling are often considered as lies. I think nothing has changed here, except in my inside. I now don't think I was a liar when I told a story but just a creative child full of imagination. I like this change and it will help me going on as a digital story teller. I just want to say the support, which ds106 provided my creative and imaginative part did me a lot of good.

Concerning my contribution to the ds106 community I think of two assignments I've created and with them two tutorials.

1. Multiply Yourself - I instruct to take two or more photos of yourself at the exact same place and to make you appear more than once in a picture. It seems more difficult as I thought or my tutorial is not for people who are new to the mask technique and my teaching skills my not be the best. Still I think the idea is interesting.
Find the assignment here and the tutorial here.

2. Rotoscoped Action - I instruct to take a sport or dance scene and to draw the outlines. Then it should be combined to a animated gif or video, which I've forgotten to write about. Unfortunately I can not edit the assignment text any more. Further the page does not show the video, although if you click on the placeholder you'll be assigned to it.
Find the assignment here and the tutorial here.

For some advice for future ds106 students I've created a comic strip with funny "star people".

Now I think I'll continue doing ds106 assignments. Still the last four month I was just lucky to have so much time for this course. I may be able to do sometimes a daily create or assignment, yet it will be far less time I'll spend within the ds106 community, which means this post is A Little Good Bye and many thanks to all who have contributed to this fantastic opportunity to learn about digital storytelling.

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