Week 7 Reflections!

It is wild to think this is the end of week 7! This course has gone by scary fast which means the summer is going by scary fast (especially for a teacher). However, it is exciting to know I’m at the finish line and about to complete my Master’s Degree! Crazy!

As for my work this week I completed all of the requirements of the week’s assignments by the required dates. I also met my own personal goal of spreading the week’s work out more than I had done the previous week, which I think helped improve the quality of work. I’m really glad I gave myself some more time to reflect on the reading, add to annotations and create for DS106. I was also really inspired by Lisa’s post this week about finding my voice, and tried to step a bit more outside of my comfort zone and share more of my voice-something I really don’t love doing on social media. Reflecting back on weeks past I can see how my I’ve become more and more comfortable sharing in the open. That being said sharing in the open is something I do still struggle with and at times find myself over analyzing before sharing-it’s the whole ANYONE can see this.

I did really enjoy our reading this week, and felt like it gave me an opportunity to be a bit more critical which is a good thing. I still wish that online annotating was something I had the opportunity to do in previous classes. I think our reading presented an ideal, but at times felt a bit unrealistic to implement at times. I also really enjoyed going back to looking over everyone’s work, not just those in our group. I found some blogs I really enjoyed and some work that really inspired and moved me. I wish there was more time to view it all! It’s amazing to see what people are creating. It also helped me see how we all have our own voice, even if it takes a bit for it to come out in full force.

After checking out some of the other blogs, ones that weren’t in my group, I realized how I would have liked to been reading them throughout the course. However, the great thing is I can go back and review more when I have the time. I’ve already bookmarked a few with themes I’m interested in exploring myself.

I think the larger issue surrounding my work and my theme is did I do enough? Did I do enough to connect my work to my theme? Does my DS106 work help me explore my theme? How do I feel about my theme now in relation to how I felt at the beginning of the course? I’m excited to explore all of these questions throughout our last week. Overall though I am really happy with the work I have produced and would say I have exceeded my own expectations of what I thought I could do, or would feel comfortable doing in this course.





Confused Emotions

TDC1655 Contrasting emotions asked for the created to look for an image that shows a clear emotion and then overlay text of the opposite emotion on that image.

Here is my creation:

Photo: imgur.com

Week 7: Digital Story Critique

This week I came across an article titled 10 Best TED Talks of 2014 for Educators. The article itself was from Edudemic.com-a website that I had never heard of before that claims to connect technology and education-a good fit for this course.  I ended up choosing the first video on the list: Clint Smith’s The Danger of SilenceIt’s only 4 minutes-you should watch it.

The video is extremely powerful, and felt fitting considering everything that is going on in the world right now. It has a strong message that all educators can bring into their classrooms.

Based on Lankshear and Knobel’s framework I found the following:

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

The author of the story Clint Smith, was involved in the story in multiple ways. He speaks his story through a lyrical narrative. He appears passionate and knowledgeable about his story, which makes it more interesting and engaging for the audience. The online audience has multiple ways of becoming involved in the story. They are able to comment on the story, share it in multiple ways, and rate the story.

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

Being a TED Talk with no visuals there aren’t many of the literacy dimensions that Lankshear and Knobel mention in their framework. However, the story has a strong narrative with interesting elements of poetry that help make it really amazing. It almost felt like a less is more situation-if there were other literacy dimensions I think it would have taken away from the story.

  • 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?

The story first came to life for me in the form of the Edudemic.com article. I’m sure there are other websites that have shared this story as well. I actually realized for the first time that if you hover over the number of views the talk has had (over 3 million in this case) you can see the different outlets the video has been viewed by, which is a fun feature. Obviously the sharing of this video, and the fact that it comes in the form of the popular TED Talk, helps to expand its impact.

  • 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?

TED Talks always seem to have great production value, and this video was no exception. However, it was the content of the story and its delivery that made such an impact on me. I was really inspired by the message, and plan to talk its message into the classroom with me. It is truly a story that can be shared with all students. I really can’t think of anything I would change.

Dead Poets Society


This week I chose I design assignment from the DS106 Assignment Bank.  I landed on Design Assignment 1974: Favorite Movie Quote.  This assignment asked the creator to choose a favorite movie quote and insert the quote over an image from the movie.

I chose Dead Poets Society for a few reasons:

  1. It is an amazing movie.
  2. It goes along with the teaching theme.
  3. The quote could be used in a classroom.


First I used  to search for an image that allowed for modifications. Once I found an image that made sense I saved it to my desktop. Next, I had to think outside of the box on how to edit the image and add text. Most of these assignments I have been doing on my iPhone with different apps because I don’t have Photoshop on my desktop, but I decided to challenge myself to use my desktop-I figured it’s getting to the end of class I should be able to figure this out! I remembered that Lisa had mentioned something about PowerPoint being a good resource for editing, so I decided to try it out. From there it was pretty simple. I opened PowerPoint and pasted my chosen photo into a slide. Next I played around with the text features to get a look I liked. Finally, I added a border to the image to make it look a bit more like a poster.  I’m really happy with the result and I feel like I was able to make it my own-I know this is a popular movie so there are similar images found on the internet.


I really think this is an assignment I could adapt to use in the classroom. I’m picturing students doing a similar creation for one of their favorite books. It would give me insight into what they like to read and why, while allowing them to be creative.

Week 7 Reading Response:

This week we were given a choice between McIntosh (1989) and Nilsson (2010) for our required reading. I chose to read and annotate Nilsson (2010): Developing Voice in Digital Storytelling through Creativity, Narrative and Multimodality because I am very familiar with the McIntosh (1989) reading from other coursework.

Nilsson (2010) features Simon, a nine year old student, who finds it difficult to engage with tradition schoolwork. The article goes on to explain Simon’s increased motivation and engagement with the introduction of digital storytelling and the teacher’s expanded view on literacy. Nilsson (2010) explains the important of writing with voice and allowing students to find their voice in the classroom. Students need to be able to explore ideas that interest them, in order to increase intrinsic motivation. As I commented in my Hypothes.is annotation:

hypothesis I was happy to see that some of my peers felt the same way-that schools are trying more and more to allow students to write about topics they care about, as long as the writing mechanics are present. It is an example of the importance of knowing what we as educators are assessing, if the content is not being assessed, just the writing, why can’t students pick their own topics? This should be considered in other subjects, not just writing. For example, new literacies, such as digital storytelling, should be used in subjects like science and social studies. As long as students can demonstrate an understanding of the subject area content it should not matter what form the knowledge takes. This also makes the job of the teacher more enjoyable. Grading student work that has “voice” is so much more enjoyable than grading work where students solely demonstrate memorization. As you can see this article once again expanded my views on digital storytelling and how it is used in the classroom.

I am curious about the specifics of this particular study of Simon and the work with his teacher. There were many times throughout the article I questioned how the teacher had so much time to be spending with one specific child. I appreciate the message of the article that students should be given multiple ways of expressing themselves in class, however I have to say this is easier said then done. At one point the article explains that Simon spent 70 minutes working on his project with his teacher-I have to wonder how this was possible. I noticed from my peers annotations I wasn’t the only one questioning this. Overall though I appreciate the message of the article and agree with the majority of its ideas.

These ideas led me to search for an article about using multimodality in the classroom with students with special needs. I chose to read Ting (2014): Multimodal Resources to Facilitate Language Learning for Students with Special Needs . This study discusses how the use of computer technology, like interactive whiteboards, can help to support learners with special needs. Studies have actually shown interactive whiteboards can increase student motivation and participation, things I had assumed but I was unaware of the research supporting these ideas. I appreciated this article because it included some realistic lessons, which helped support their findings. These realistic lessons helped me realize the problem with Nilsson’s (2010) article-some of it just didn’t seem transferable into an everyday classroom.

Overall, I enjoyed both articles this week, and really felt like I solidified my increased positive feelings about the use of technology to support and enhance student learning.

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.