There is always something that throws me off each week. I used WordItOut to create a wordcloud that represents my experience in this course so far. For the life of me, I cannot get the wordcloud to display on this page. I have included the link to my creation. If anyone has any suggestions of how to get this to display, I am happy to take them and try again. It was fun to create, just not as much fun to post!
Well, I’m taking the reflection to my blog this week, but since I’m interested in vulnerability it’s probably time to put myself out there. I felt that this week went a little smoother for me, I am getting a better handle on all the moving parts of the course. I do still feel a bit intimidated about the how to be creative beyond the written word. I find it difficult to come up with ideas on how to represent my topic visually, is this digital writer’s block? This week my favorite part was the digital story critique, probably because of her presentation and the topic was so relevant to my focal theme.
I have been wondering about the final portfolio and course review. Are we going to get more information on this soon? I am trying to get a sense of how I may be able to tell a story around vulnerability. I am wondering which video platform you both recommend, I think I will need to experiment with the video and audio? I learned that I am not as comfortable being on camera or exposing myself in video. I guess I am not going to become a social media personality any time soon! However, this is interesting since my topic is vulnerability and the idea of being on-screen makes me feel incredibly vulnerable. I’m working through how this may relate to what I produce in this class.
At times I still feel a little frustrated by the creative process and making creative connections through my daily creates. I would like to branch into some more video with these, but I need to allow myself time to learn the new applications I may be using. I feel I am connecting and interacting with hypothesis more successfully. It is fun to get responses from other peers and to get their input. This week I realized that I started to annotate with the course and not the group. Luckily, I caught this, but I am concerned I may have annotated with the larger group last week. Overall, I would give myself a meets expectations evaluation, getting there but still a work in progress.
Another day, another application learned. I had no idea there were so many video platforms to choose from. For this assignment I decided to use vine and complete the Name That Book assignment. The goal was to use objects in order to represent the book I had choosen. I was inspired by the conversations of travel going on around me as I celebrated a friends 80th birthday.
Vine is an easy application to use. However, the challenge was the timing, six seconds makes it hard not to rush through the object. It took me a few attempts to get three components within the six second frame. Since I am a little camera shy and rarely want to be seen on video, I had never thought about capturing my activities within a six second frame. There is a lot of creative vines out there and many people seem to tweet and share mini moments from their day. Maybe one day I’ll join them… maybe.
The first time I viewed this story it changed the way I viewed the concept of vulnerability. It is a story that brought me to my theme for this class- how do we allow vulnerability into our everyday lives and allow this to become a strength rather than a flaw? For this critique I will be focusing on story because I want to see how she weaves academic work into a narrative. Since she is a researcher I am going to look at research and how she makes this her data relatable. I also will analyze her media application and how this directly affects her presentation performance, is she engaging and how does the media support this.
Brene Brown immediately starts off telling a story with the memory of an event planner tried to redefine her title to make her more approachable, interesting, and an exciting speaker. She humanized herself before getting into her research and the details of what her interests are. Her story could be considered heavy; it involves emotion, connection, and challenging us to be seen, really seen. Shame is something we tend to walk away from, but the way she tells the story of what shame makes the topic approachable. She engages us in the story, by giving us examples that are relatable and real. It’s hard not to identify with them at some level.
She has done her research, it is her career and her way of understanding the world. She believed she could control, measure, and push the messy away and compartmentalize it. When she speaks about her tweet, “what makes you vulnerable?”, she is demonstrating her credibility, but still maintaining her connection with the audience. She presents her research as a narrative about her own process of doing the work, realizing she is in need of support, and then reengaing with the research again. She does not need to cite herself or her work, she just needs to tell her story.
Finally, her media application and presentation style I think go hand-in-hand. Her placement of images in this story works to keep the audience on track with her narrative. They give us soft places to land and reflect on the topic as she is telling us about. They are simply and yet, clear in their meaning. She also uses these images to poke fun at herself and bring in humor and wit. This is where her presentation style shines through, we are able to engage with the topics of shame and vulnerability because we are allowed to laugh at what it means to be human. She employees strong use of tone, vocal variety, facial expressions and rate to help set the flow and feeling of the story. Ultimately, I thought she nailed this. She was successful at making concepts that we tend to “numb,” comforable and okay to engage with and think about.
Do it yourself, get engaged, and participate in the digital space. As I read, Lankshear and Knobel’s chapter on DIY media I couldn’t help but reflect on the notion of “produser.” We must actively participate and produce media, rather than just consume it. As I woke up to the new ticker yesterday and the Brexit decision flying by, I was struck with the discussion of DIY economics and democratic debate. My social media pages were fully of statements, discussions, and a sense of sudden change into the unknown. As a consumer it is easy to passively engage and observe what is going on. However, as Lankshear and Knobel (2008) suggest, “the concept of produser captures how digital, distributed networks make possible non-hierarchical and open participation in online communities, the rapid sharing of ideas and resources, how users are able to tap into the collective intelligence of a group or community to contribute in small, modular ways to larger projects, and how knowledge can be used and shared among peers and experts” (pg. 10) . When we engage online and create meaning through text, image, video, sound we are no longer merely consuming information we are actively using it.
The concept of affinity spaces as generative environments where we can pull learning from those who are participating, challenges the traditional approaches to learning and the pushing of information. This weeks reading and the international political landscape made me want to dive into deliberative discourse. According to Donald Ellis (2010), “ The tendency for citizens to identify with larger groups and direct their loyalty to organizations such as political parties is destabilizing to pluralistic democracies. The internet can play an important role in the decentralization that is necessary to ensure that small discourse communities are included in the deliberative process” (pg. 4). In a direct democracy we vote and hold elections however it has issues as, “it fails to inform and actualize its participants. Nothing ensures that citizens will have informed opinions or that they will give thought to the impact of the decision on others” (Ellis, D., 2010, pg. 6). In a deliberative democracy mutual reason-giving is required . In a “ddeliberative social system moves people out of their parochial interests and contributes to a broader sense of community mindedness, as well as providing new information that clarifies and informs opinions” (Ellis, D, 2010, pg. 7).
Identity widening can be influences through, “participation in digital media affinities for doing identity work can be understood as an integral and radically coherent dimension of being a contemporary person living a contemporary life” (Lankshear and Knobel, 2008, pg. 14). Digital media and being a produser within this space allows for deliberative discourse evolve. Ellis (2008) suggests “as in any deliberative or dialogue group there must be equality with even access to speaking,transparency so no rules of the public space are secret or biased, and accountability” (pg. 11). The anonymity that can exist in digital discourse has to be removed in order to be deliberative. It requires that the participant be authentic and vulnerable when participating in the digital public sphere. Rather than hidden and promoting ones beliefs from behind a shield. I’m not sure I am there yet myself, but it’s interesting to consider this type of courageous conversation.
Ellis, Donald G. (2010) “Online Deliberative Discourse and Conflict Resolution,” Landscapes of Violence: Vol. 1: No. 1, Article 6