Week 6: Weekly Reflection


  • How well do you feel you completed the requirements of the week’s assignments (inclusive of at least two TDCs, your DS106 Activity Bank Assignment, response to course readings (grad students only), critique of digital story, various responses to CU Denver peers, and engagement with other online social networks)?

I’m happy with the work that I produced this week. I really liked the DS106 assignments this week, and enjoyed getting to choose my own DS106 Activity Bank Assignment. I chose an assignment that I can absolutely picture using in my classroom. I also kept engaged with my peers throughout the week.

  • What gave you trouble? What did you enjoy most? What did you learn?

I once again really enjoyed the reading annotations and discussions with my peers.The readings are so much more dynamic with the addition of the discussions. Sometimes the annotations help me make sense of things I’m unsure about. I also always enjoy looking over everyone’s digital stories, and reading responses. I have found such great resources from their work, and continue to be inspired by what they produce. I also love getting the feedback from my peers.

  • What would you do differently? What questions do you have?

This week was busy for me outside of this course, so I wasn’t able to get things done as early as I usually do, but I still completed everything by its due date. I’m still curious about our last week’s work, and what will be expected/what we will be producing. I’m assuming more of that will be coming forth this week. Plus I did spend some time looking over the work Lisa created when she took the course, so that helped give me a better idea of what to expect as well.

  • What are some of the larger issues surrounding your work, particularly as they relate to exploring your focal theme?

I found it easier to relate this week’s assignment bank work to my focal theme. In the beginning I was really having a hard time relating some of our DS106 work to my theme, but the readings have helped me understand the connections more and more.

  • Provide a self assessment of your work quality and effort on a “exceeding expectations,” “meeting expectations,” and “below expectations” scale. Why are you “exceeding” or “meeting” or “below” course expectations?

I believe my work met and exceeding expectations this week. I thought critically about my work, stepped outside of my comfort zone, and engaged with my peers. I especially think I did a great job with my engagement with the reading this week.




Wordle in the Classroom

For this week’s DS106 Assignment Bank I chose a visual assignment I could see myself using in the classroom. The visual assignment Word Cloud called for the creator to use Wordle.net or a similar site to create a word cloud. I could see myself using this site in a number of ways in my classroom. For one, I could ask students to create a word cloud about a particular chapter they just read in a book. This could be used to see what they are taking away from each chapter they read-in the end they could even have a word cloud for each chapter of a book. The other way I saw a word cloud being used in the classroom is as a sort of anchor chart, which is what I modeled below.

Here I chose words that I imagine my students and I would come up with while discussing expectations for accountable book talks in our classroom. These are words I would associate with discussion techniques students would use.


In order to create the word cloud I first went to Wordle.net.


Once on Wordle it was easy. I just clicked the link to create my own, and then listed words that I thought applied. Next I played around with the font, and color. There is the option to use one of their templates, but they were all really dark, and I wanted all of the text to be horizontal so students could easily ready the words.

Overall, I really enjoyed this assignment partly because it gave me different ideas for lessons and a new form of expression for my students.

Week 6: Digital Story Critique

These week I chose to explore TeachingChannel.org  for a video to critique. I specifically searched for videos that discuss deeper learning and collaboration because of this week’s Lankshear and Knobel reading. I landed on a video titled Deepening Text Analysis Through Student Talk. (For some reason the Embed Code wasn’t working)

teaching channel

Based on Lankshear and Knobel’s appendix in Ch4 New Literacies and Social Practices of Digital Remixing I found the following:

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

There is the opportunity for a lot of involvement/oppotunity for involvement in this video. I assume that TeachingChannel produced the video, but the teacher Ms. Nguyen also seems to be a creator of the video, and she is clearly the creator of the lesson. The students are all extremely involved in the video throughout as well. The audience also has opportunity to become involved by sharing the video, or commenting on the video. The audience is also able to download supplemental PDFs, or answer the guide questions on the right hand side of the video. Overall, there are many types of involvement in this story.

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

I believe that having the PDFs available for download, including a transcript of the video is one type of literacy dimension present in this story. There is also the video editing that took place to make the video appear professional. The video also includes helpful text, like the common core standards discussed, in order to add more depth to the story. Finally the switch between the one-on-one interview with the teacher, and the footage of the classroom discussions demonstrate further literacy dimensions.

  • 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?

This story comes to life in a number of ways. First the video is available on the TeachingChannel website, along with their YouTube site.  There is also the opportunity to “like” the video with the use of the Facebook like button above the video. Along with the like option the audience is also given the ability to share the video via email, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or embedding. The comments section along with the guide section help to bring the story to life as well.

  • 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?

I really don’t know what I would change. The video was informative, engaging, interesting, and helpful. I was specifically impressed by the lesson itself and don’t really think I would change anything. Clearly a lot of hard work and thought went into both the lesson and the video.


Week 6 Reading Response: Push and Pull

This week’s required reading was Lankshear and Knobel (2011) Ch7: Social Learning, “Push” and “Pull,” and Building Platforms for Collaborative Learning.   For some reason I found myself going back to the article throughout the week, and adding on Hypothes.is once more annotations were added. I think part of it is there are so many different beliefs surrounding learning theory I sometimes find myself completely agreeing with one, and then reading about another, and seeing the benefits in that view as well. However, Lanksher and Knobel’s views on social learning and making learning authentic are ideas I can truly get on board with.

One quote from the chapter that really stood out to me was the following:

“If we want to learn deeply, we need access to the means, contexts, and tasks that are integral to generating knowledge, not simply to content transmission and abstracted activities of application like ‘essay writing.'” (Lankshear & Knobel, 2011, p.212)

This quote along with their further explanation go on to say that knowledge can only be gained when the learning activities are authentic, transferable, and in context. Ironically this idea goes along with the Freire quote I included in my Week 5 Reading Response: DigStory Definitions. I think the message is that we as teachers are not the giver of knowledge, but instead we should be the facilitator of learning opportunities, where students are engaged in authentic, project-based learning, that can be applied outside the walls of the classroom.

All of Lankshear and Knobel’s discussion on social learning made me reflect on my theme of teaching diverse learners. What about the students who have difficulties socializing and collaborating? What does social learning mean for them?

These questions led me to an article from the Indiana Resource Center for Autism, titled Incorporating Typical Peers Into the Social Learning of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  The article discusses different types of peer-mediated instruction and intervention that can be used in schools. These types include: integrated play groups, peer buddies, and group-oriented contingency. These strategies help children with ASD learn about social behaviors, which is the goal, but they also do so much for the typically developing students. It encourages these students to be more patient and understanding, and can increase confidence. I think this article introduces another type of social learning that Lankshear and Knobel don’t really address. I do wonder what they would say about students who struggle with the type of collaborative learning they focus on in their writings.


When I relate both readings back to my ongoing definition of digital storytelling though I do think that digital storytelling, interactive media, and project-based learning can really help students who struggle with social interactions, or traditional classroom learning. Maybe these more interactive, hands-on approaches can help students with ASD? However, I still think there is the importance of extensive planning and structure with these activities or students and teachers will feel lost/overwhelmed without guidance. In the end though I think the different modes of expression we have discussed in all of our readings can only help reach more of our diverse learners.


Week 5: Reflection


It is crazy to look back and think about week one in this course-things have really changed. I feel like I have hit a rhythm with my assignments, but not in a way I just do them without thinking-like in other courses. Instead, I understand the flow of the course, but the content is always evolving, which keeps things interesting. I completed all of my week’s assignment and once again surprised myself with my production. For example, I really tried to take Remi’s advice and not over-think some of my DS106 creations. Instead, I tried to engage in the play, and have fun with the assignments without worrying about “rules.” I also pushed myself in my blogging, and got more personal than I would typically get.

I did struggle a bit with the photo editing aspect of my Mashup creation but as I stated above, I really tried my best to not over-think and have fun with the assignment. I really enjoyed the work I did on my story critique this week. Instead of connecting the story to our week’s reading, like I have in the past, I took another route that helped me reflect on this week’s tragic events. I also, as always, loved reading over other people’s work, especially their digital story critiques. I especially loved this post from Laura. The new concept of Do It Together, from the Jenkins’ reading was something new, that really struck me as well.

I think starting the assignment bank work earlier in the week would help me tackle the tech aspects of the assignment better in the coming weeks. As for questions I’m becoming more curious about our final assignment during week 8 and what that will look like. Week 8 happens to be the week my husband and I close on our first home, so we have a busy few weeks coming up!

My work seems to be gaining more “depth” as we talked about in previous weeks/readings. It is amazing how much this course has made me reflect on so many different aspects of my story theme, because of all the different views/discussions I’ve been exposed to. I start in on one annotation with a peer, which leads to a thought on this and that, then someones Tweet makes me think of something else, or leads me to a certain article-the depth of the course, and resources are almost overwhelming at times, but in a good way. I find myself bookmarking more and more in my “teaching resources” folder. I think because of this engagement, and the fact I complete all of my work on time and with quality, I would say I have met expectations.