Tag Archives: ds106

The Childrens’ Season: DONE

Last night I finished up my segment for the Ds106 radio show “Dog Days of Summer” that my class will be broadcasting on Monday.

The Childrens’ Season by mburtis

Overall, I’m really happy with how it turned out. I used audio that Leslie and Jim submitted of interviews with their children as well as a short interview I did with Madigan. In addition, I found a couple of interesting video clips on the Internet Archive. The first was a documentary about a progressive British summer camp for kids during World War II. The other was a documentary about a summer community program for teens in NYC during the 60s. I liked the sounds and stories behind these films, and decided to incorporate them into the overall segment.

I also tracked down some Creative Commons music that I used throughout the segment.

Here are links to the source material:

I have to say I loved working on this project. I need to push myself to do audio more, because I find it so satisfying. When I was working on the piece I could hear in my head what I wanted it to sound like. Sometimes I was able to actually execute my “vision.” Other times, as I worked with bits and pieces of the tracks, I heard new things that I decided to use instead.

There is definitely a kind of media fluency involved in working with audio like this that is a challenge to develop and foster. Simply wrapping my brain around the different tracks in my head and associating those ideas with the actual tracks in the software is a huge challenge for me. It’s like I’m having to develop a cognitive understanding of the media and the way it overlaps and intersects. It’s very different then constructing text narrative or meaning.

The Childrens’ Season (In which I beg for your help)

This week in Digital Storytelling, the class is working on a radio show in which each student is responsible for contributing 5 minutes of audio. The theme of the show is “Dog Days of Summer” (chosen by the class). We’ll be broadcasting it live next Monday during class. (If you’re at UMW, feel free to come be part of the live studio audience on Monday morning in duPont 310.) Continue reading The Childrens’ Season (In which I beg for your help)

Making Sound Mean

We’re moving into the audio portion of Ds106 this week (and I still need to do a look-back on all the great design/visual work that the students have done!).

Last night’s assignment was to create a sound effect story, and I actually managed to carve out the time last night to make one of my own.

Park story by mburtis

I’m pretty happy with how it turned out — although I’d still like to go back in and add/tweak some sounds to make the narrative a bit clearer. Hopefully, it makes some sense.

It was also a nice refresher for working with Audacity, and it reminded me of how this is a great assignment to get people exposed to basics of the application. By working with sound effects from other sources, it frees you up to just play with the tool, as opposed to worrying at this stage about the quality of recording.

For the rest of the week, students are working on their segments for a radio show that the class is creating collectively. Each student is responsible for five minutes of the final show, and they’ve chosen the theme “Dog Days of Summer.” One student has volunteered to host the show live on DS106 radio during next Monday’s class. Should be fun!

Burning Up

I came across this site today, and am oddly furious about it. The premise is that it asks people to consider what they would take from their house if it was on fire. And then said people are to elegantly photograph their choices. That’s my description. Here’s the one from the site:

If your house was burning, what would you take with you? It’s a conflict between what’s practical, valuable and sentimental. What you would take reflects your interests, background and priorities. Think of it as an interview condensed into one question.

Not to be too schoolmarmish about this, but I’ve known people who have actually had their houses burn down. I’ve been with them as they’ve scoured through the remnants of their belongings and witnessed the heartbreaking scene as they realize some of their most dear possessions are gone. I’ve also witnessed the total relief on their faces as they realize how close they came to truly awful physical danger. And I’ve seen how hard it to reconcile those two disparate and fueding feelings: devestation and almost spiritual relief.

I’m quite sure they didn’t regret grabbing the coconut they broke open with their head. Or their favorite denim shirt. In the end, as sad as they were to lose their wedding photos and family antiques, they also realized that they had kept only things that mattered. Their freaking lives.

There is something so privileged about this site’s directive to quantify and describe one’s life in images of stuff.

I know, I’m not getting it and I’m being a total wet blanket.

But at a time when we seem to be hearing everyday about people losing their lives to horrific tornados, earthquakes, and other dastardly disasters, it’s hard for me to feel like this site is much more than permission for some hipsters to show off all of their most cool stuff in pretty photos.


May Term DS106: It’s all about failing, publicly and often. Also, broccoli.

It’s hard to believe that we’re already more than 20% done with the first summer session offering of DS106. It’s been four days of intense activity and technical snafus.

Drinking from the DS106 Firehose: CC Some rights reserved by jiparker on Flickr

The technical issues have, at once, been the most frustrating aspect of the week — while also providing the most important “object lessons,” I think, so far. Continue reading May Term DS106: It’s all about failing, publicly and often. Also, broccoli.

All things seem possible in May

“The world’s favorite season is the spring.
All things seem possible in May.”
Edwin Way Teale

This time last spring, I was feeling guilty and conflicted about our plans to cut down two huge oaks in our backyard. We needed to bring them down in order to finally have enough sunlight for a vegetable garden. In our defense, we are surrounded by many, many huge oaks on our property, but I still felt awful about doing it. Continue reading All things seem possible in May

On Authenticity and Creativity in DS106

Two of my students have raised an issue in the completion of their final projects for DS106 that has given me pause. Both of them expressed concern about whether I would believe that the work they were turning in was truly THEIR work. One of them suggested in an email to me ways in which she could prove this to me. The other preemptively wrote a supplementary blog post in which he included screenshots of the process of making his final mashup video, just in case I might think this work was not his. Continue reading On Authenticity and Creativity in DS106