Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Stories, stories everywhere

Even though we're only about two weeks into this semester, I'm already beginning to see that this class is unlike any other that I've ever been a part of. In the past, I've thought  about most of my other classes only a handful of times each week: the day class meets, and whenever I settle down to do homework. I also think about class within in a certain framework-- a selected classroom, and then my laptop and perhaps a textbook, as the location for the out-of-class work. This course is a different beast entirely, and I like it.

I think about classwork whenever I'm on Twitter and am excited to see the daily digital alchemy (#dda), which I look forward to as a fun challenge-- and I'm not just saying that. I appreciate that digital storytelling includes a large amount of creativity and the use of various mediums. In the past week, I've participated in four DDAs, which I will share at the end of this post. I think about homework when I've read the blog and know to be on the lookout for photo opportunities over the course of the week. This week, it was the elements:

I wouldn't have stopped to think about these elements as being connected to stories, but the framework of the class has given me a different perspective. I wouldn't have ever connected the idea of the four elements with storytelling, except for the idea of "digital alchemy." I was skeptical at first, but I'm starting to understand.

I appreciate the community of learners that surrounds this class. Last week's twitterchat was an incredible experience in seeing a bunch of people from all over come together and have a conversation, regardless of the many miles between us. I've also noticed this in watching the first studio visit with Professor Flores. The world is a very different place than it once was, and it seems only right that the classroom keeps up.

If the first studio visit is any indicator of the rest of the semester, I'm very excited to travel beyond the walls of the traditional classroom. It is endlessly amazing to me that we have the ability to be one handheld device away from not only communicating with, but actually seeing and talking to a person so far away, in live time. Thirty years ago, computers were just being introduced into businesses. Twenty years ago, email was a new and exciting way of communicating. Now, we call someone and can look into their face as we speak. People joke around saying "What's next? Holograms?" but I pose the question to you in sincerity-- what's next? Holograms? 

I can't begin to imagine how bizarre this world is to those who are older, and I feel blessed to have grown up when I did. Being computer-literate is almost like knowing a second language, and I'm glad that it has come naturally to me. That being said, I found it interesting when Professor Flores expressed that although millennials have an advantage with technology, we tend to think of it as existing for entertainment purposes. He said that when we think of serious study, we think of paper-and-ink books, and perhaps this suggests that we are not as digital as we think we are. I think this is a good point, although I think that it may change as more millennials become teachers and find the technologies that will tie us even closer to the digital world. The internet has unlimited potential for researchers and learners of all kinds, we just need guidance. 

There is so much power in the digital world. I'm learning this more and more every day, both through this class and through my studies in the digital humanities. I have been fascinated by science fiction for a while now, and it's so cool to live in a world where we're closer to the ideas of science fiction than ever before. The technology we have at our fingertips has reached surreal levels and continues to increase each day.

In addition to technology increasing, our world has grown much smaller. I mentioned this fact earlier in this post, but there is a fascinating community of learners at our fingertips, many only a tweet away. This ties into the whole concept of #connectedlearning, which was discussed in the studio visit, as well as in class. People can work together in ways that were once unheard of. Once upon a time, being a state away could mean that you'd never meet. Today, some of the people in our class got to "visit" Puerto Rico. Brave new world!

I'm excited to have watched this studio visit, and I look forward to future visits. After all, we have this great technology, it's exciting to use it to explore "new worlds!"


  1. I think the expansion of the "networked" part of the class even further would have value, but I appreciate that Mia and Alan are working hard to show that learning is not just within four walls of a classroom. Neither is the world. The "narrative' part of things is how we connect our stories, our experiences, together in meaningful ways.
    Kevin (out here in the wide open)

    1. Thanks for your reply! Very true that the classroom should spread into the world around us. Now that we are allowed these opportunities, we should use them to their full extent.

  2. I agree with you. This class is unlike any other in such a good way. I think we have been doing to same thing on the daily hunt for good dda images. And I literally laughed out loud when you said "holograms." I was thinking about how cool the google hangouts video was when we got to see Puerto Rico and Flores was talking. Awesome blog post.

    1. Thanks! I'm still holding out for those holograms! Maybe one day :)