Dialog & Soliloquy

Are we more connected today, or less? You asked. On the surface, I think we are more connected by digital means, but I don’t think we’re more connected as human beings in meaningful ways. I think technology has isolated us more than we think or care to admit. I’m connected with friends back home on Facebook and have brief interactions based on their posts all the time. But when I went home last year and had face-to-face meetings with them, whether going out to dinner, or for coffee, or a beer, those meetings were true connections. I’m an introvert and am very comfortable being alone (I’m working remotely right now and love it). But sometimes I crave actual face to face interactions and need to go out and catch up with a friend. I really value those encounters.

So in a bigger sense, it really disturbs me to see how engrossed people are with the digital world. Everybody has their head buried in a device. We’ve forgotten how to handle dead time, when there appears to be nothing going on. So we turn to our devices instead of striking up a conversation with the person sitting next to you on the light rail. In general, I think humanity is drifting further apart rather than strengthening bonds.

Defining Digital Dialog & Soliloquy:

I think the Wattpad story illustrates some of the best use of digital dialog. Teens making literary spaces for themselves. Very imaginative and empowering. And Digital Campfires crosses geographic divides by bringing kids from completely different cultures face to face in a virtual setting. Wattpad and Digital Campfires are defining digital dialog. The literary device of soliloquy is seen regularly on House of Cards as fictional POTUS Kevin Spacey regularly addresses the camera/audience, usually after he has committed some heinous act. Digital diaries are commonplace on YouTube.

How they fit into the landscape of Digital Storytelling & Learning:

These are just different ways of communicating. You can use a typewriter and tell a story, you can mime clues as in Charades, or you can record a video, make a podcast, or a Twitter Essay. It’s still storytelling, just the methods and tools differ. Learning takes place regardless of the medium if sound pedagogical practices are followed.

This Week’s Work:

Daily Create:

I dipped a toe in the coding water with this Daily Create. This site allows you to make changes in the code that affect the movement of the dancing robot. It’s an interesting exercise to demonstrate how what you enter in code affects the rendering of, in this case, the dancing robot.

 

Assignment 1 of 2: Social Fiction: Amelia Earhart

Inspired by the WattPad video, I created a 7 part installment of a fictitious story about what may have happened to Amelia Earhart. My full assignment description is here. I enjoyed the process of posting snippets of the story over multiple blog posts. Most I created from the WordPress app on my phone. I had some publishing glitches but republished today and all seems to be working well. The only disadvantage to making the installments as blog posts is due to the chronological way in which posts are displayed. The last installment shows as the first post. So I numbered them to cue the reader to search for the first post to start the story. I had to do a little research to make things seem plausible, but that was part of the process and was enjoyable. I’m no writer, but it was a fun exercise. This also completed my web media requirement, as I created the WordPress site and blog posts to distribute the story.

Assignment #2: Twitter Essay, Subverting Fine Art

I was playing around with remixing on this assignment, adding pieces of modern tech to famous paintings. My Twitter Essay involved questions of how the tech would have changed (improved or altered) the lives of the subjects of the paintings. There were 4 different pieces created. The full assignment post is here. I’m not the only one to wonder about Christina. When I was at the library this morning I ran across a new novel based on Christina Olsen. It’s fiction, but evidently, the author wondered about Christina too.

This satisfied my last Social Media requirement.

Conclusion:

This was a busy week and I spent a good deal of time on the assignments. I was still light on interaction- participating in discussions, etc. My successes were with the assignments. I feel like I was creative in completely different ways with the work. and I think they were successful in achieving their intentions. I had some technical frustrations. I tried using some different tools that just weren’t working, I had issues with the StoryMap I created last week- had to punt and make a screencast to get it turned in. And the WordPress site was being very squirrely today, creating bad links, then losing my posts, but fortunately- somehow they were still on my phone app and I was able to share to Twitter from my phone.

I was inspired by Anne Elias’ eBook on her father. I connected her eBook with this piece I heard on NPR this a.m. It’s about a man who made a chat bot of his father’s recordings to help him to connect with his dad after he passed away. Here’s the piece.

I’m very grateful next week is the last week, but it’s been a really good class and I’m glad I was able to take it.

More on that next week.

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