Final Portfolio for INTE 5340 – Importance of Digital Story-telling

digital storytelling

How and why is it important for you to tell stories?

Stories carry, pass on, information, feelings, passion, ideas, culture, humor, and so much more. This hasn’t changed, story telling is and has always been important to people. We tell stories to educate, to inspire, to entertain, and to learn. The only thing that has changed is the ‘how’ that stories are told. Stories are still told verbally, sung, illustrated, instrumental, or written, but the means for which these are completed have evolved to fit within the world today. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Sharing a picture and asking for what those words are can produce a thousand more words. Take that picture and change the context, add a caption, change the colors, combine it with another image and then see how may words you get. Digital story-telling has just taken the act of story-telling to the next level. We have so many new tools and ways to tell our stories that our stories can be anything we want. This course has helped to open my eyes to the greatness that can come from participating and interacting with people. Great things will happen.  Ok, so not so great even bad things can happen too, but I feel like the great and good definitely out weigh the other.

Learning and how we learn are adapting to this world that is being guided by people that want to learn. To grow and understand things. Gamers are playing and learning from their play. People are experiencing things that are half-way across the world by simply wanting to know and clicking some buttons on a screen. I am enrolled in a graduate program, solely online, Interacting with classmates that don’t reside in the same city as me. I may never meet any of my instructors, but I am still learning from them. The digital world and creative, innovated people have made this happen. People chose to learn things that interest them. They seek out information, read stories, watch videos, view art on their own. No longer is education something that requires a teacher, people/students, desks, chairs and a room. Though it can and should continue to do so, but it is just one small way to learn. This is what digital story-telling is and why it’s important.

The following are some requirements for this portfolio that help bring to life the importance of digital story-telling.

Four DS106 Assignment Bank entries that developed and explored your focal theme
ds106 – Assignment Bank entries (4)
: These for Assignment Bank entries are the ones that best connected my focal theme of my vegan journey with the ds106 platform. It took me a few weeks to realize I should have been connecting my focal theme to these assignments from the get go, but I just wanted to make sure I completed them that I wasn’t thinking about the why or how they were done, just that they GOT DONE.

As I journey through life as a plant-based eater, I have come to realize foods that are generally thought of as a lunch or dinner food, such as veggies, can also combine with fruits to be very satisfying as a breakfast food. Juicing and Smoothies are big right now where both fruits and vegetables are combined to create a delicious drink, so why not combine them when creating a cereal. Talk about a healthy breakfast! All kinds of vitamins, minerals and nutrients all in a convenient bowl served with delicious almond milk.  Design Your Own Cereal Box Cover

This seemed simple enough, find foods that begin with each letter of the alphabet and make a collage. Well, I decided to make an A-Z Vegan food collage. Everything pictured in my collage is edible by vegans. I had to think outside of the box a little on some, but ultimately I was able to find 26 food items, all vegan, to create a color image. Which is very similar to a vegan diet, the more variety of color, the more nutrients and satisfaction with meals a vegan will have. It was also challenging to cut out each item to where they would fit together in a true collage. I love the snag-it image editor and though it has some neat functionality, it was not easy to cleanly cut each item out. Overall, I am satisfied with my work of food art.   A-Z Food Photo Collage

I enjoy going to whole foods to get healthy foods and veggies. Yes, they can be a bit more pricey but you are paying for good, wholesome items. As I am learning more about GMO’s, organic foods and animal testing I know that the products I purchase at Whole Foods are produced, grown and tested in ways that follow my newly adopted standards. Researching company practices and beliefs are just as important as reading the labels.  Whole Foods Veggies Logo Mashup

I had a hard time finding a 4th AB entry that fit in with my focal theme, so I chose this early visual image of my current emotional state. The picture is in grey scale because at the start of this course and of my vegan journey, there was now exact black or white way of heading out on my journey. I was going to have to venture out and see where the journey took me. I also have wide eyes in the picture to symbolize my eagerness to take things in and learn. I don’t want to miss a thing, so I’m keeping my eyes open as I embark on my journeys. Picture of my current emotional state

Four digital storytelling critiques, and from four different weeks
Digital Storytelling critiques, Using Ohler’s traits (2):

This story is one that exposes just a small glimpse of why I am choosing to eat a vegan/plant-based diet. Animals, yes even animals that are raised to be food, should not be treated like this. News Story – Fort Morgan, CO

As soon as you tell someone, you eat a vegan diet the words “Where do you get your protein”? come out of their mouths. Seriously, all of a sudden they are experts at protein sources? If these people had any nutrition background at all, they would be aware that everything that was once living (plants and animals) contain protein. People eating a western diet consume way more protein than was is needed so I guess I understand why they ask the question but it still irritates me (now 3 months into my vegan journey) when someone asks this. Native Foods, Where do you get your Protein?

Digital Storytelling critiques, using L&K literary dimensions (2):

This mashup image is a new favorite of mine. I watched this version of Willy Wonka and really didn’t care for it. Johnny Depp’s portrayal of Willy Wonka absolutely bugged me. I think it was because of expressions and mannerisms shown here in this image that turned me off. However, when I saw it combined with a vegan and/or anti-fast food  message I loved it. This expression fits so very well with the disgust of fast food.  Prior to me deciding to go vegan, I ate at McDonalds quite a lot. It was a fast breakfast and hot coffee that I could eat during my 45 minute commute into work. After going vegan, I thought hey I can eat their oatmeal in the morning, but sadly no. Their packaged oatmeal contains dairy. So no Mcdonalds or fast food really for this girl anymore. I’m sure I make this face, when someone asks if  was to join them for lunch and they are going to a fast food place. Vegan issues image

I’m pretty sure this video was not viewed by any of my classmates, but I still included it here. The whole point of digital story-telling is to share stories and information, have something to say to the world. The creator of this video, sure did have something to say. He put a cute humorous spin on it, but used factual information and images to support his views. The time and amount of work he put into his lengthy video was not for nothing. It touched me. Yes, one little person in this big gigantic world but that’s all it takes to make it worth while. I retweeted his original post to vegucated, when I first came across it. I am still sitting on the side of the pool, barely dipping my toes into the twitter pool and this video had such an impact on me that I, without hesitation clicked on that re-tweet button and passed it on. Then I chose to write a post about it. His time and energy creating this video was definitely not for not. Love Inside Your Tummy

Three weekly literature responses (about L&K and supplementary research literature) as an indication of your developing scholarly appreciation for learning theory, research, and application

The final chapter of L&K’s book really tied everything together for me. I could see that by having the class participate in ds106, our instructor Remi Holden, was just introducing us to a new world of learning and interacting with people and our fellow classmates. Remi’s  theories and methods used in teaching, or pedagogy is very much for his students to be hands on. To learn and do for themselves. To ask questions and interact with others to gain better understanding. We wouldn’t have been able to truly appreciate digital story-telling if he just told/lectured to us about it. Live it, experience it, mess up and move on. That is how we as a class learned about digital story-telling and why it is important.  L&K – Chapter 8

Chapter 6, helped me realize that even as a occasional member on social media, I am still a participant in this digital story telling world. I am sharing information about me to whoever whats to know. Mostly this is just shared with my friends, but friends of friends can see it and learn a little bit about me. I am sharing my passions and vegan journey with the ds106 community. I’m tweeting on a weekly basis, well sort of, though I’m sure it is more of a daily or better yet almost hourly platform, but I’m still testing the waters.  I have been a member on online dating sites, though the verdict is still out on whether ot not that was a good idea for me. My everyday practices with social networking was much more than I originally thought and chapter 6 showed me this. L&K – Chapter 6

After reading chapter four, I realized that I understood more about the why of remixing and that it’s isn’t just a practice to merge, mashup, combine things just because but that in this day and age with the tools and software we have available to us, remixing is now more of an art form. Digitally telling stories by combining sound and vocals that don’t necessarily go together, but can. Taking images and changing the intended meaning to fit a trend or meme. Remixes require, yes I said REQUIRE, creativity. Ok, I’ll say well thought out and executed ones require creativity, bad ones just required the tools. L&K – Chapter 4

A selection of social media and networking interactions as illustrating digital storytelling as a communicative and networked process.

Just a random post, not really expecting anything out of it. Just getting some thoughts out and I was pleasantly surprised that three of my fellow classmates commented to give me support. I was very appreciative of the support and should have responded to them each individually. Staying on top of comments and connections with others is still not a strength of mine in regards to this course. I at the very least ‘liked’ any and all comments to support the people that took the time to write them, though I certainly could have and should have replied with a ‘Thank You’. Many of my classmates are great, caring and supportive people. It was nice to be able to experience a course like this with them.  Feeling uncertain

ds106 The daily create
Simple quick little assignments and yet people were reading and commenting on them. I even got a few re-tweets from people outside of this course of my embed art post, comments on my kid story from a classmate and even got a couple of views from the post of digital flowers to my aunt from facebook.

Embed art in the everyday

To be a kid again

Flowers for Aunt Pat

Everything listed here has helped me become a digital story-teller. I have shared my ideas and thoughts. I have given the world a glimpse into why I am choosing to no longer eat animals. I have participated in assignments on ds106 and challenged myself to try new things.

Welcome to my story!


Response to L&K – Week 7, Chapter 8: Social learning and new literacies in formal education

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 8, which falls under Part 3.

This is my response to the final chapter in Lankshear and Knobel’s New literacies book. As I was reading the final chapter, I was reflecting on my journey through this semester and this course. The chapter goes on to discuss two cases of social learning and new literacies within formal education programs. Throughout reading these I couldn’t help but to compare these cases with my own social learning and new literacies in my formal master’s program offered through the University of Colorado Denver.  This program I have selected to pursue is everything this chapter sums up. My master program is offered as a completely online program. I connect online with my instructor and classmates from the comfort of my home or office. For this reason I still have a hard time truly seeing the ‘social’ part of the learning as I have yet to meet face to face with any of the other students within my program. Oh wait, I have met face to face with one fellow student, but only because he and I worked at the same university, campus and in departments that worked closely together, but otherwise I would not have had face to face interactions with anyone in this program.

So having pointed this out, why do I still feel that this is social learning? Well because we are collectively learning the same material and supporting each other along the way. The act of being social no longer solely applies to being in the same geographic location and physical space. Having read through this New Literacies book by Lanshear and Knobel, I now have a much better understanding of this. As the world of learning and teaching evolves, so does the definitions of how those are accomplished. Simply learning things online doesn’t make it social, its the interactions in whatever form they come that do. Tweeting a message out to the world and having it become seen by others, commented on by others, liked by others, re-tweeted by others is what makes it social.

Higher education curriculum’s are seeing the value in offering programs that are different from the previous standard of teaching. Otherwise, this course wouldn’t exist nor would I as the student be sitting here typing my response to this chapter. Not only is higher education starting to adopt these new literacies within the programs they offer, but so are earlier levels. It’s becoming obvious that in order to meet the needs of these younger students and to prepare them for the world they will soon be apart of, they too must moved to curriculum’s that will give these students the skills and knowledge to succeed. As presented in this chapter, one case uses ‘gamelike learning’ to connect the demands of the world and the 21st century with how these students learn.

As the world changes, so must how we teach. This final chapter sums this up and the rest of the book took me through the journey of seeing this. I have been frustrated and confused practically this entire semester, because I didn’t understand social learning, new literacies and how they are being used to better prepare today’s learners for the world of tomorrow. I’m not saying this chapter suddenly brought this all into focus, because trust me I’m still learning, but summing up the book it has made me understand why we as a class participated as members of the ds106 community and why the different assignments were asked of us. In order to understand the importance of digital storytelling we must first understand the need and how these digital stories will be used.

ds106 – Assignment Bank – July 24, 2015 – Design – Design Your Own Cereal Box Cover

Assignment:  Cereal Boxes are often overlooked when it comes to design. But think about it, they have some of the most iconic and memorable characters all over the world. Make a mock cereal cover with a mascot- it can be anyone or anything. Go crazy in any editor such as GIMP, Pixlr, or Photoshop with the type of cereal you are advertising and the overall theme and effects of your cereal box cover.

fruit and veggie cereal

This is my cereal idea. Veggies can also prove to be tasty in combination with fruit, so why not have a fruit and veggie cereal. The mascot for this cereal is from Disney Jr.’s “The Bite Sized Adventures of Sam Sandwich!”, the character is ‘Salad Lad’. I thought what better mascot for my cereal, than a character made from veggies!

ds106 – Assignment Bank – July 17, 2015 – Visual – A-Z Food Photo Collage

Assignment:  A-Z Food Photo Collage

This is my A-Z vegan food collage mashup.

Vegan A-Z collage

There is an image for every letter in the alphabet, some are specific types of the food. This was a challenging assignment as there are not that many foods that begin with “U”, “X”, “Y” and to identify Vegan items was even more of a challenge.

Food items include from A-Z: Artichoke, Basil, Corn, Dates, Endive, Fennel, Grapefruit, Hazelnut, Iceberg Lettuce, Jicama, Kale, Licorice root, Mandarin Orange, Nectarine, Oats, Pineapple, Quinoa, Radish, Soy (beans/milk), Tarragon, Umeboshi, Vanilla bean, Watermelon, Xanthan Gum, Yeast, Zucchini. Can you identify the items?

ds106 – The Daily Create – July 10, 2015 – The end is near, An industrial farming cows death haiku

Assignment: “Here I’d like for people to write a somewhat serious poem, ideally a haiku or tanka, from the point of view of someone who is going to die and knows it. Haiku in English has been often been taught as a nature poem of three lines alternating as five syllables, seven syllables, and five syllables. Not only is that not really the case (haiku in Japan are often written in one vertical line), but it has done such a disservice to the form of haiku that poets who work in the form are often overlooked. And since everyone thinks they know what haiku are, there are thousands upon thousands of awful poems that simply miss the boat.”

Cameron Mount (@cameronmount)

You have been told. Write your death poem. If you need more guidance Cameron has written a lovely poetry game for death poems to help us learn how to do it well. There is also a why ‘no 5-7-5′ post referred to in the game that will give further guidance.

The end is near – An industrial farming cows death haiku

cow hiaku No grass insight

Look at all this waste

How do I taste?

ds106 – The Daily Create – July 7, 2015 – Boundaries


1. Find two spaces that share a boundary
2. Do something to highlight or alter the relationship between those two spaces

Boundries pic

This to me has many boundaries. The boundary between the light and the shadow on the carpet, the boundary (glass) between the plant and the light, the boundary between the top of the table and the portrait of my late mother, just to point out a few I see. In all of these identified boundaries the light illuminating the shared space either creates the boundary or highlights the boundary. Of these boundaries, I find the boundary of the glass holding the plant back from growing higher to be the most interesting. The plant wants to grow, the light from the lamp encourages the plant to grow, but despite the glass hindering the plant from growing taller, it still grows. Pressing its leaves to the glass, soaking in the light. Plants are amazing. They grow even when they are limited and bound by their surroundings.

I’m not sure if I really understood this assignment, but looking out into my living room after reading this assignment, this everyday scene caught my eye. I see it everyday, but today it spoke to me. I just needed a little bit of encouragement from a ds106 assignment to see the beauty in it.

ds106 – Assignment Bank – July 7, 2015 – Mashup Assignments

Assignment: Think of anyplace you spend money, and what you most often buy at that place. Then redesign their logo to incorporate your favorite product. Do as many as you want.

Whole Foods Veggies

Since choosing to eat a vegan/plant based diet, I have been shopping at Whole foods Market more and more. I Mostly purchase vegetables and other vegan items, but have started to pick up a few whole body items. Since this assignment said to chose the items you purchase most, I went with VEGGIES. Spending a little bit more for better quality items, is completely worth it to me.

ds106 – Assignment Bank – July 2, 2015 – Design Assignments – Merit a Badge

Assignment: Badges. Badges are the future of education. With a badge, you can express your skills in a visible and authentic way. Without a badge, you’re just another worthless drain on society. Better get yourself a badge.

Amelias Badge

Here is my badge: I work with computers, I am an animal lover, I am a twin, and I am an artist. I earned this badge by simply being me.