INTE 5340 – Week 3 Reflective Summary

I am seriously frustrated with myself. I haven’t been able to stay up with my assignments this last week and a half and I feel like I have missed several opportunities throughout this time to grow with my understanding of digital story telling. I read through posts quickly and then intent to go back and respond or re-read to make sure I understand what I’m reading and can formulate a decent response, but time gets away from me and then I’m left at the end of the week frustrated and responding less informed. Maintaining a full work schedule, social media accounts, vacations, basically just living life and taking a graduate course can be stressful. I felt this way at the end of last week and after a week it didn’t get better, it progressively got worse. Staying on top the the reading isn’t the hard part, really, its being able to understand the information and be able to process it. I read chapter 3, twice but I still don’t feel like I fully retained the information nor understood it. I’m thinking I will have to read it a third time before I can even think about reading chapter 4. I know I missed may good points after reading through others responses and I’m frustrated with myself not being able to successfully keep up. I know I have had a great deal going on this last week and a half but I didn’t expect keeping up with twitter posts and blog posts to be so time consuming. I am using feedly and I have a tweetdeck but this group of people release a great deal of work. It baffles me how anyone has the time. I’m jealous that they can put so much into this course and contribute to the class so successfully. I think I missed the second TDC last week (I’m going to have to go back through my posts to verify) and I know I’m not going to be able to do my second TDC this week. It’s crazy how time flies, you think I have plenty of time to get everything done on time, but then the week is over and you’re left wondering where the time went.


Test of my new plant-based diet

I have been in Massachusetts for the last 5 days and I have been tested on many occasions. First, the work conference I was attending had amazing seafood dishes. Piles of crab cakes, bowls of lobster claws and peel and eat shrimp, and many other items I can’t recall because I didn’t want to think about what I was choosing to not consume. I loved shellfish, and when I first made arrangements to attend this conference, the thought of consuming local lobster was very high on my must do list. I refrained from eating any of this tasty looking food, but I have to admit it took some will power. I enjoyed the vegan meals the catering chef made specifically for me, I was the only vegan eating person at the conference and to be honest the Hyatt Boston Harbor was very accommodating and every one of my dishes was super tasty and very filling. Second, I extended my stay here in Massachusetts to visit a very dear college friend, Laura Williams. We have eaten some amazing meals together in the 20+ years that we have known each other. She was super excited to plan my visit out on the Cape, which included a fresh seafood meal. We went out to dinner this evening and I was tempted yet again. The food looked amazing. Smelled just like fresh seafood should smell like. As I was trying to figure out my food choices, I really considered ordering a seafood meal. Like really considered. The more I thought about it the more I just couldn’t imagine eating any. Opted on a side salad, french fries and seasonal vegetables. The baked potatoes were prepared with butter, so they couldn’t serve me a dry potato. My choices were still questionable on them being a true vegan option, fries were probably fried in the same oil as the fish and I’m pretty sure the seasonal veggies had some butter on them. So over all, it wasn’t a true win for my diet, but I didn’t consume any animal flesh. My friends even up-ed the temptation by offering me a little lobster bisque taste. Dipped a spoon in the bisque, handed it to me, and suggested I just taste it. I smelled the bisque, it was so close to my lips. It would have been so easy to quickly lick the spoon and taste this heaven. I didn’t taste it. I just could not put the spoon in my mouth. Thinking about it literally made my stomach turn. The original thought was ok, I knew I wouldn’t actually go through with eating any but the actual act of doing so was real. I got a visual image in my minds eye of the creature and JUST COULDN’T consume any. I am more than happy to eat my plant based diet, I know it will fill me up and a living creature isn’t consumed in that process.

Response to L&K – Week3, Chapter 3: “New” Literacies: Technologies and Values

new Literacies

New Literacies: Everyday Practices and Social Learning by Colin Lankshear and Michele Knobel, is divided into 3 parts;

  • Part 1: New Literacies: Concepts and Theory
  • Part 2: New Literacies: Some Everyday Practices
  • Part 3: New Literacies and Social Learning

Below is my response to Chapter 3, which falls under Part 1.

This chapter presented a lot of information on the ever changing and evolution of new literacies. At the beginning of the chapter L&K compared the life-span of a new literacy to the life-span of a car.  As I was starting to read this chapter, I realized  that this was how I thought the life-span of a new literacy was. L&K moved away from this comparison to get the reader to better understand how new literacies change over time by introducing a better way of thinking about how outside forces are the driving forces for the changes in new literacies.

As the needs and demands for a way to create, share, use, and utilize a new literacy change and evolve, so does the new literacy.  The community that consumes and uses a literacy dictates how that literacy will change over time. If the literacy doesn’t meet the needs of the community that uses it either an additional new literacy will come to be or the one that failed to meet the needs will evolve in a way that will meet the needs.  If a new literacy was all encompassing and always met every need, our world would become stagnant, eventually boring, in my opinion.

New literacies promote creative ideas and different ways of thinking. Communities that use them are engaged with each other and as ideas are shared new ones come up and the evolution of that literacy takes shape. This is fascinating to me. Simply having a new literacy is not enough, people want bigger and better, which ultimately changes the new literacies of today to become the new literacies of tomorrow. I love that a lot of this change and creativity happen on its own, because of public consumption and demand.  Using these literacies is not usually something that is taught, its a learned skill. Once someone has invested their time in learning it, they are engaged with it. When someone is engaged, creativity and sharing happens and the cycle continues on.

Basic literacies of reading and writing really couldn’t evolve, but having them had encouraged, supported, and allowed for the evolution of these new literacies.

No,  not all the users are directly involved with the evolution, in fact it’s probably a small percentage, but the creative minds of that small percentage develop amazing products that these communities embrace and use as to create, share, and to find meaning. The cycle then continues when the products need to evolve and change again.

Digital Story Critique #3, Week3 – Native Foods – Where do you get your protein?!

Native foods – Where do you get your protein?!

The Myth of High-Protein Diets

For this review I, I chose what I thought was just a couple paragraph article found on the Native foods blog. However, there was an included article at the end of the native foods story that tied into it. I am including both in this review, since the Native Foods article refers to the New York Times article.

I chose this because it ties into my previous review, regarding vegans and protein.

Content understanding: 10
The informational content of this article is great. Facts and numbers are presented to give meaning and factual evidence to the statements made. Several sites are linked for more information and it is all presented in a easily understood format. Having statistics to back up the information gives the reader a way to relate the information. Just saying “the American population consumes more meat in 2000 than they did in the 1950’s”, doesn’t mean as much to a reader as “Although people have been told for decades to eat less meat and fat, Americans actually consumed 67 percent more added fat, 39 percent more sugar, and 41 percent more meat in 2000 than they had in 1950 and 24.5 percent more calories than they had in 1970, according to the Agriculture Department.” (Dean Ornish, 3/23/15)

Sense of audience: 8
I think the target audience for this article is defined well. The article is more for the meat eating population. Most people that eat a plant-based diet have probably come across this information at different times on their own. Not all, vegans/plant-based diet eaters do research on their own, but if they are like me they are excited to learn as much as they can regarding this topic.

Flow, organization and pacing: 8
I think the flow of the article was effective. Information was provided and then the article moved on. Topics were organized well. The order in which they were presented flowed logically.

Overall: 26

Digital Story (selected scholarship) Critique #3, Week3 – Veganism in a Nutshell

Veganism in a Nutshell

This article defines veganism and explains how a person who chooses a vegan diet can get all the necessary recommended nutrients. This article is not so much a ‘story’ but more an informational list. As I continue on with my vegan journey, I still get asked almost on a daily basis “What do you eat for protein”? Most food contain some amount of protein, but the majority of people think that only “MEAT” contains protein. Even before I chose this plant based diet, I knew that meat was only one category that contained protein. I learned this as a very young age. I was raised by a single mother with 4 children. I can remember many weeks my mother couldn’t afford meat, but we always were feed an adequate meal. BEANS are fairly inexpensive and provide great nutrition. Thinking back, I ate a vegan, plant-based meals most of my childhood. I wasn’t always happy eating pinto beans and homemade cornbread, but it was what my mother could afford and I am grateful my mother cared to feed us as healthily as she could. Now as an adult, I love eating pinto beans and cornbread. Whenever I eat this for a meal, I am reminded of my mother.

Having balanced, full of variety meals will keep a vegan healthy without consuming animal products.

Story = 3
Since this was a more informative reading than a story, I am giving it a 3.

Sense of Audience = 10
This article was targeting non-vegan people. Explaining what it is and how a person following it can do it effectively and healthily. I give this a 10 here.

Research = 10
Again, since this was more informational, there was obviously research done. Lists and conversions were provided. I also give this a 10 in this area.
Total of 23 points for my critique

ds106 – Assignment Bank – June 26, 2015 – Video: DS106ers React!

Assignment: So reaction videos seem to be all the rage these days. Just go on YouTube, search reaction videos and hundreds of results will show up. Now it’s your turn to add to the growing list. Find or have a friend send you a video you’ve never seen before and film your reaction! It’s not necessary to have the video you watched layered into your reaction video, but do at least link the video you watched.

Video I watched:

My Reaction video:

INTE 5340 – Week 2 Reflective Summary

This week was much less intense than last week, in regards to my participation in this course. I feel like I was able to get a better understanding of the information presented in the L&K text and I’m starting to be able to connect the information in meaningful ways in my own life. I’m certain that I may be missing some points and some of my understandings are a bit off, but I’m okay with this. I have a feeling that as I start week 3 and I read through the L&K text, I will get more information to build my understanding of this robust topic.

Due to my work responsibilities this past week and most likely next week, as I am attending a professional development conference, my participation may be limited to what is required. I have tried to follow blog and twitter posts from my fellow classmates, but admittedly I just haven’t been able to stay as up to date as I would have liked. This community (twitter) moves so very fast, information comes and goes in a blink of an eye, I’m still very baffled how people can keep it all straight. I will do my best this next week to participate at a higher level.

Response to L&K – Week2, Chapter 2: Literacies: practice, Discourse, and encoded texts

new Literacies

New Literacies: Everyday Practices and Social Learning by Colin Lankshear and Michele Knobel, is divided into 3 parts;

  • Part 1: New Literacies: Concepts and Theory
  • Part 2: New Literacies: Some Everyday Practices
  • Part 3: New Literacies and Social Learning

Below is my response to Chapter 2, which falls under Part 1.

This chapter gave me a better insight to ‘new’ literacies and how they are evolving and changing on a daily basis. 20 years ago the concept of social networks and social learning was just coming to be. The idea of involving oneself in multiple communities, outside of one’s physical demographic area, never crossed my mind. Today, the majority of the worlds population is part (even in a very small way) of communities of people and many don’t ever interact face to face. This course, social learning, sharing of information within a group of people is a great example of how literacies have changed and will continue to change. I participate in social media. It started with myspace, connecting with people I no longer lived near, to my participation in Facebook, now  twitter, blogs, flickr, etc. By participating in these networks I am learning the practice of being social outside of my physical space. Learning this ‘new’ literacy. I am able to make connections with people I would never have connected with outside of the internet community. People can belong to so many different communities and actively practice within them, it just boggles my mind.

After reading the chapter, I understand that the practices of literacies identify different ways of being in my life. These are classified as a Discourse, way of being. I have a Discourse of being a graduate student at the University of Colorado Denver. I have a Discourse of being an Assistant Registrar for Degree Audit. I have a Discourse of being a twin.  Within these Discourses, say my Discourse of being a twin, I have knowledge of what it’s like to be a twin, I have a discourse of sharing my life with someone I have known since before birth. I have a discourse in a bond/connection with another person at a different level than most.

So when I think about my participation in online social communities, I now have an understanding of how I can put meaning into these practices. How my participation identifies who I am as a student, as a professional, as a friend, as a sister, etc. My participation creates meaning, for me, in that community and encourages others to make meaning of what I share.

Something that was brought up in chapter 2, is the launch of Facebook in 2004 by Mark Zuckerburg and his collaborators. Was this launch, for all intents and purposes, a ‘new’ literacy being unleashed for public consumption?  I would argue that, yes it is a new literacy. This was a way to connect to people that didn’t exist before. People’s participation within the site has changed since the initial launch and overtime will change again, I’m sure. People may have completely online relationships with people they have never met and will probably will never met, at the same time is also a ‘friend’ with the person sitting next to them on the couch. Facebook removed the physical walls that really bound our existence with regards to our social lives and enabled people to experience friendships and connections all over.

Digital Story Critique #2, Week2 – Vegucated

Get Vegucated

The above link takes you to the Vegucated home page. I cannot specifically share the documentary with you, as I don’t own it. There is a way to purchase it on their site or if you have NETFLIX, it is currently available there. I, HIGHLY, recommend you check it out. This documentary changed my mind on consuming animal products. This documentary takes you through the journey of 3 ‘Meat-Eaters’ that decided to go vegan for 6 weeks.

Get Vegucated – where are they now
The above link will take you to video clips of the cast members several years after their participation in the documentary. These short clips show you a glimpse at how participating in the documentary changed their lives. If you are able, you should watch the full documentary prior to watching these but they are freely available here if you want a taste of Vegucated.

My reasons for going vegan on May 1st 2015, was solely for weight loss. I had previous success and wanted to see if I could achieve the same results. A week into my Vegan journey, I came across the Vegucated documentary on NETFLIX and my life will forever be changed. I had such a strong reaction to the information presented and literally from the moment of stopping the video vowed to eat vegan for life. I was a person that ate very rare beef, loved a fully loaded chili cheese dog, and drank a ton of milk, VOWED to completely stop consuming animal products as a response to this video. Do I think everyone will have this bold reaction, no absolutely not. However, being informed never hurt anyone and why not get this insightful information in a very entertaining way.

If I were to pick some assessment traits to critique this documentary, I would chose: Project Planning, Media Application, and Content understanding. All of which would receive a 10/10. Producing an independent documentary is not something that is just done. All that were involved created a piece that is highly informative, well written, well planned, engaging, heart-felt, researched and effective as a story. You aren’t simply given information, you get to experience how the cast received the information and how they take it in. These are everyday people, like you and me, that embarked on a journey and allowed it to be documented for public consumption. I can’t say it enough, you should really watch VEGUCATED!