You know the guy in the circus with the spinning plates? That’s what I felt like this week. There are just so many moving parts to this course, and we’re working double-time due to the nature of a summer course. It’s all I can do to keep up with everything. But, I need to savor this because in 3 weeks I’ll be finished with the program.

Doubling up on assignments added to the load this week. I scrapped several ideas/ directions because I was getting too bogged down by tech. I had intended to create a ChatBot conversation but after trying 3 different ChatBot creation tools, I gave up because I just wasn’t “getting it”, and the tutorials were somewhat lacking. I also ditched creating a branching scenario with InkleWriter. Again, I just wasn’t getting it. And then there were workarounds. I chose to use the tool Pablo to create the media for my 5-day social fiction assignment I posted on Twitter. But it was acting glitchy about publishing, so I just created screenshots of the text/images I made and uploaded those to Twitter. I was happy with my final resulting project for the Vintage Poster, but realized after that I was supposed to tie it in with this week’s topic. Fail there. But I really liked the end result and learned a lot about creating GIFs along the way. Stretch there.

So, to recap:

Daily Create:

For this Daily Create, it was a pretty simple matter of inserting yourself into an iconic scene. I saw some pretty bad examples and was inspired to try to make it as realistic as possible, plus be a little tongue-in-cheek and poke a little bit of fun. I used Photoshop to insert my head and adjusted sharpness, density, and color to try to match the other skin tones in the scene. I do kind of have man-hands so I went with the original justice’s hands.

Weekly Assignments: Social Fiction

As I stated earlier, I used Pablo to create the text/image for the series so there was a consistent look to the media. I started off Day 1 and invited others to contribute to the story. I tried to come up with a very open ended starting point that would be easy to add to.

I’ve become buddies with @LauraSeward1 , and she was kind enough to add to the story. Again, I tried to find appropriate imagery to complement the plot thread.

I don’t know if people weren’t understanding that I was asking them to contribute. I thought I was being pretty obvious. @THiNGkeriNG added to the story for Day 3, and so did @woodsfern THANK YOU! But nobody else did so I wanted to be fair and remixed their contributions so both could be represented.

The next day I thought I need to be proactive, so I invited @dr_yap to contribute. So grateful- thank you!

For Day 5 (the last day) @meromeromeagher contributed to the story- thank you! A bit open ended for a conclusion, but whose to say the story couldn’t be continued?

I was a little disappointed that more people didn’t contribute, but my guess is I’m not the only one with the spinning plate syndrome.

Weekly Assignments: Vintage Poster

When I started searching for vintage posters to remix, I totally went down the rabbit hole. There are SO MANY beautiful, incredible posters out there. And the whole national parks series is just breathtaking. I got really caught up in the logistics of how to make a GIF and was working on the premise that I would use a static background and create progressive versions where the action would change in each scene, just like frames in a video. Since there is a road in the scene it seemed logical to have a car move through the scene. I selected a vintage car from a YouTube video a grabbed screenshots to work with. I outlined the car in Photoshop and gave it a shadow underneath. In Camtasia I created 7 different frames. In each frame I made the car become larger and move forward in the scene. I had to play with the timing and finally ended up with 5 seconds for each frame. That yielded a somewhat normal rate of speed for the car to move through the scene. I exported an mp4 and converted it to a GIF trough GIPHY. Here’s the result:

Weekly Critique: Killing Kennedy

You can read the full Critique here.

In a nutshell, I was very enamored with the tech used to create the piece. A very effective way to tell a story, specifically history, in an immersive and compelling way. I think this applied to teaching in that by using multiple modes of media you can create an experience that promotes learning and understanding. Teachers should be using these kinds of experiences to try to connect their students with historical events. I remember the droning history teachers I had accompanied by dry textbooks. I think I would have been much more engaged in history class had I been exposed to this kind of media-rich experience, rather than just copying down dates and events.

And- this was my favorite new thing this week.

Next week, I’d like to try to stretch myself and do something that involves code. Hopefully, I can find something simple that won’t be too intimidating. And I hope to not feel so fractured and hopefully have time to absorb more of other students’ work and interact more. That’s the challenge/stretch territory for me. As an introvert, it’s really hard to put myself out there. We’ll see.


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