Week 5 Reflection

Week five was a busy one for me and I found myself challenging myself to learn some new techniques and applications. I faced the frustration at times because that is what it means to engage in DYI learning. You have to get in, try, and hopefully find the play in the process.

As I mentioned in my reading response this was a heavy week in the world, but it was good to dig into the readings and look into some new research on the issues facing us as a society. I felt like my posts and tone this week were more focused more on social justice and the importance of discussing  who has access to produce texts and who gets to be heard and who may be silenced in the mainstream rhetoric. I feel it is important to ask critical questions of what it means be collaborative on-line and deliberative in taking on issues, rather than ranting. I found that my daily creates are coming more naturally for me and I find myself being able engage with the community more fluently. I also feel like my group is giving me good feedback and helping me read the texts from a new and more interactive way. I am seeing how annotation can make the meaning of the text become more rich from all their perspectives.

The mashup assignment was a great challenge for me, but it also became the assignment that I felt like I really pushed myself to work with new applications and learn new things. I found myself wanting to know how to negotiate the systems faster. However, I realized that once you get in and learn the next time I use video I will be more fluent and probably be able to focus on the quality of production more. I think I would like to learn more about video making applications and learn about how to make video that is stylistically sophisticated. I am getting an idea for a digital story that brings my focal theme together, and I am surprised that I am seeing some illustrations in it. I would not consider myself a talented artist, but I am envisioning some attempt at this. I am surprised that my theme of vulnerability has been leading me to think about what this means for the public realm and how the role it plays in how we may be able to engage in learning or not participate in the process of learning. As I mentioned it seems as a country we are entangled in the negative and positive emotions that comes with being vulnerable.

To conclude, I think I am started to exceed my own expectations in this course. Some may not agree, but I feel as if I was able to think critically and take on more challenging mediated assignments. I suppose I am starting to feel more literate within the digital space of learning, participating, and contributing.


Week 5 Daily Create 2: Bob and Sue a Lifetime of Adventures

In this episode of “The Adventures of Bob and Sue,” we find Bob at a loss of what to do. He has a night on the town with his old buddies from high school. Their antics and banna comsumption lead to some poor choices. Sue is left unimpressed and Bob will have to find his way back into her good graces.

bob and sue

Week 5: Mash This Baby!

Make-Believe and Imagination #ilt5340 #ilt5340d #ds106#MashupAssignments, #MashupAssignments1481

BOOM! My first mashup, complete with natural audio and many attempts at figuring out how to do this assignment. It ain’t perfect, but it’s there.

My process for this assignment was born out of an evening taking care of my close friends kids. It involved play-do, which we all should still play with to engage with creativity and fun. I then was their “chef,” with a take-and-bake pizza. In the midst of preparing their dinner we had a potty training moment while the fire alarm went off. However, in the end we saved pizza night! I filmed these sessions with Vine, which in the end I hope conveyed the energy of the evening. I thought about adding music however, the background noise seemed to convey the story better.

I then had to figure out how to download the vine clips in order to create the mashup. I used Freemake.com to combine the videos. When I was in this I made sure I turned on the join files feature (top right of the screen). My biggest challenge was getting the files to download as MP4, my computer was not giving the option to save in this format.At this stage of the process,  I’ll be honest I made some angry gestures at the computer and I was told my face was displaying frustration by a stranger in the coffee shop.  I ended up downloading an application called VideoGrabber and using the free trial. They don’t make the free trial option very intuitive. As a tip: when you add a download it takes about 5 seconds to load when you click evaluate, but I was it leads you to think you need to register or purchase. I then created my first You.Tube video and uploaded this into my blog.

I’ll say that this assignment required patience since I had to watch quite a few tutorials and play with new applications. I almost gave up… but, I didn’t. And while this will not win a Oscat, I figured out how to do this and that felt quite good. My theme for this assignment was finding ways to play and be joyful after a week that could make any adult feel a little vulnerable. The gift of being around happy kids is that they can make you imagine a whole new world filled with stories, make-believe, and when the melt downs happen sleep cures all!

Week 5 Story Critique: Because Being Silly Matters Too!

OMG… I just have to say that this was not my original story, but after fighting with embedding a Facebook video for three hours… I am giving into my second choice. Okay,the vent is done!

I would like to welcome you to the Shetland Islands, where my parents and I immigrated from. I am biased, but this is a beautiful place and the culture and people are even more beautiful. No, this is not a go visit Shetland post, but if you do please know that you need to plan ahead as you will be traveling into the middle of the North Sea. Originally settled by the Picts, it has a strong Norse tradition and yes, Shetland Ponies.

What types of “involvement” – and by the author/creator(s), participant(s), and/or audience – are apparent in this story?

One is supposed to enjoy this piece as an audience, it brings a little fun to the famous pony icon. If you are a participant in this story,  it’s okay to dance along and smile. As the author or creator the motivation for involving the audience it to really bring focus to the locale the background behind the dancing. In relation to my theme, it’s hard to break out of the norm and be yourself. This little pony is dancing their way into joy.

How would you characterize the “literacy dimensions” present in this story? 

Well, I could make the argument that this is an example of fan fiction as it rewrites the traditional notion of the iconic image of the Shetland pony. It is composed to bring them into life with a personality and an attitude of confidence. It could also been seen as a tied to a commercial purpose a way of reading “Visit Shetland” in a more modern and digital way.

Pony on Belstone Common, Dartmoor

What are the online spaces and sites that bring this story to life? Why do these spaces and sites matter to the impact of the given story?

There are multiple online spaces for this story. It was found on You.Tube, but was originally created for online interaction. It went viral and some sites that it was used on would include traditional texts such as the Daily Mail, Visit Scotland, ABC News, ITV News and the BBC. It was also seen on Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, Pintrest, and many more sites. By having this story of the dancing pony going viral it brought attention to the islands in a very public and inventive way. It engaged potential tourism to the islands and became a sensation on its own. By sharing this story it spread the story of visiting a country.

Based upon your assessment of involvement and literacy dimensions, what modifications and changes to this digital story might improve aspects of narrative, production, media usage, and/or audience engagement? 

This was well produced, they must have waited for a perfect day in Shetland. It can be a day where you cannot even see the ponies because of the fog.Very powerful images of the landscape and scenery. I think the remix of the music was well placed. I may have shown a little more interaction with the other ponies to set the tone for what a “non dancing pony” looks like. I think audiences’ really enjoyed this story as it was spread across the digital space and across the western world. I think there is room to work on the moon walking feet, I could see a little digital modification here, but this is getting quite nitty-gritty with my critique.

Since I know the culture of Shetland, I did laugh at the cliff moment because one must be cautious when waking on the Isles because the cliffs can sneak up on you or have some mighty winds. I also thought the interaction with the tractor was well done. When we are brave enough to be uniquely ourselves we often stop dancing when someone is watching. I thought this added a bit of humor and humanity to the piece. I was engaged and I hope you were too!.

Week 5 Reading Response: Literacy Matters

Heavy would be the word for this week. Followed by the emotions of fear, shame, hate, love, kindness, and hope. You can see and feel the tensions in this country; our differences feel palpable. It’s an uneasy place to navigate. Some of use based on the color of our skin are able to navigate with truly different realities based on the privileges that come with our race. Yes, I am talking about white privilege and it can be an uncomfortable conversation to have, but it’s important to look at what that means if you are white. It’s not a new conversation, Peggy McIntosh wrote this simple article back in 1988 focusing on ways we can unpack the invisible privilege of being white. Looking at white privilege does not mean that we do not have our individual challenges, that we haven’t felt vulnerable, but it does mean that we may walk differently through the world.

In this weeks reading by Henry Jenkins (2008), the concepts of access, privilege, and participation were what stood ou to me. These have always been issues within our society. Who has access to knowledge and learning? Do some have more privilege based on socio-economic status and how does this influence how they participate in the world? Jenkins suggests, “Educational reformers have long argued that schools need to break down the walls that isolate classroom teaching from the larger learning ecology surrounding schools, incorporate outside perspec-tives, connect textbook knowledge with real world contexts through authen-tic inquiries, and link emerging expertise to the meaningful performance of social roles” (2008, pg. 232). We need to break down many walls to allow everyone to engage and participate in society. 

Since we live in a “2.o” world, we are participating and engaging digitally more than ever. There are so many platforms, apps, chats, videos, networks, communities, and sites where digital learning can happen and where the discourse of learning occurs. When you are not face-to-face with someone it can be easy to let this space of learning and communicating become adverse, demeaning, and downright threatening at times. How we build community digitally is incredibly important and how we use it do divide, censor, and condemn is also important. When we blog, tweet, create, and share publically we are sharing our own narratives. In the book the “The Political Is Personal”, “Generically, the autobiographical form emphasizes personal narrative as authentic and authoritative” (Anderson, K.V., 2011, pg. 132). This means that what we post it can be considered a way to enter our voices into the world, but by being authoritative there is responsibility to consider who our potential audience and what meaning are we sharing with each other.

As Jenkins indicates in the goal of the Teacher strategies Guide, literacy should be a generative process, that is purpose-driven, recognizes individual motives, and how those motives can be used for collaborative decision-making (pg. 13). I would argue that as we engage and participate in social media and digital spaces we encourage discourse that is deliberative, critical, and inspires collaboration. These spaces can become a way to spread hate, intolerance, fear, and messages that are meant only for consumption not active engaged discourse. It can also be used as a positive space to consume support, love, and community. My friends mother posted this on her Facebook page (for privacy reasons I am not going to provide the link):

My Darling Daughter:
I love you so much that I have to say this. I do not want you here anymore. I want you in Ireland or Canada or Austraulia or Lower Slobbovia or any Damn Where they do not kill Black Folks. If they are doing it to the Brothers, it is just a matter of time before thE Sisters are next. i love you too much to think about you being one of the martyred. Please leave this damn crazy country while there is still time. I would rather see you as a barrista in Canada or a nanny in Ireland or a sheep shearer in The Outback and know that somewhere on this Earth you were still living and loving and breathing. i am very serious about this. Our country is sick, very sick, and believe me a char woman’s job in Manitoba looks pretty damn good to me right now. Honey please leave and take cHESSIE WITH YOU. lOVE,

Becoming literate with new technologies opens up an individual quick access to connect, communicate, learn, and share. Many people participate and engage with a true sense to learn together and collaborate to create new texts that inform, entertain, and engage. However, mother’s should not have to ask their child to leave their country because the public discourse is creating a society that does not feel safe to be one’s true self. We matter, learning matters, but I get to walk safer today then my friend because she is a black lesbian who does not have as much invisible privilege as I do, as a straight white woman.


Anderson, Karrin V.”The Personal Is Political:Negotiating Publicity and Privacy in Hillary Rodham Clintons Living History.” Telling Political Lives. 1. Marshall, B.V., Mayhead, M.A. United States, 2008 . 132-146. Online.

McIntosh, P. “Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack.” https://www.deanza.edu/faculty/lewisjulie/White%20Priviledge%20Unpacking%20the%20Invisible%20Knapsack.pdf. June 9. 2016.

Jenkins (2008) Afterword: Communities of Readers, Clusters of Practices

Photo Credit: Black Lives Matter isn’t stopping – POLITICO www.politico.com

Daily Create 1: Week 5

This week has been a heavy one for our country. I’m looking at the theme of vulnerability. I don’t think anything can make a human more vulnerable then being forced to follow directions from a person of authority who is holding a gun at them in point blank range. Especially when they live with the knowledge that they are 700% more likely to be profiled and shot if they are a black male. Can we start to change the political discourse that is heightening fear, hate, and violence? Can we start to be the United States rather than the Divided States.