Unit 3 Summary

Made it to the end of another unit. This one has been spread over a month and as I started to take notes about what I was doing and how long it took, I would say something in the region of 6-8 hours in two spurts at the beginning and end of the last four weeks.

Did the Unit ask for literally a daily create everyday of the Unit, or is there a missing word? ‘Try to complete at least daily creates this unit’ – the missing word surely is ‘three’ isn’t it, lol? At least daily creates – that implies more than one a day, right? OK, let’s assume three daily creates. I’m still under par – only managed two. I promise to do more in the next unit, honest, but for now, there is this one and this one in unit 3. The daily creates are not working for me yet.

This is my opening Unit 3 post about storytelling. I’m not sure that I learned a great deal about storytelling in this unit, but it was useful to start thinking about how you might tell a digital story for the final project. Kurt Vonnegut’s ‘Shape of Stories’ is a handy way of thinking about story arcs in terms of what happend to the main character of a story, but it only gives you an outline of one character and therefore not a detailed analysis of story or how to telll good stories since you can have a good shape, but would that necessarily give you a good story? Vonnegut is a great storyteller with an insight about story structure, yes, but someone who can take experience and make it strange and realistic at the same time. I must read Cat’s Cradle again – it’s one of my favourite books. This is my ‘Shape of Apocalypse Now. It begins with a slight rise in fortune, takes a big downturn, before a slight rise again, but Willard (Martin Sheen) ends further down than when he began. It is not Cinderalla afterall. I wrote about this story from UK politics and how social media can create stories that speed everything up – a story can unfold really quickly.

I enjoyed looking at Brooke Parker’s Alice, Interrupted from the collection of previous students’ work. Some of the stories drew on contemporary American celebrity culture, but I preferred this story because of it’s reference to a classic story.

I did both photo story assignments. In the first one, I put together five photos from the summer when I visited York to watch the beginning of the Tour de France. They tell a story in the sense that they are chronologically sequential. The ‘Five Card Flickr’ task was fun – it allowed me to imagine a cat called ‘Crack’ and a visit to its neighbourhood from a team of Christian evangelists – ‘Crack Kills Jesus Saves’.

I worked my way down the open ds106 flow looking for post to comment on. I was surprised at how few of the posts were directly about ds106 or ds106 daily creates and assignments. As a forced form of participation it was good to be made to read other people’s posts and leave a comment. This is something I might continue. I commented on a musician’s post about how he writes his songs, a woman who had just done a daily create video about the contents of her fridge, another woman just starting the open ds106 course and a couple of my students – Annie and Nic.

I feel very comfortable with the blog and the ds106 experience altogether. I am struggling to complete the units in a timely fashion due to other commitments, and it would be nice to do  more daily creates. I’m being quite thorough and trying not to skip too much. I feel like I want to get through the next units more quickly and start thinking about the final project.

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