Originally published by me at ds106 tricks (see it there)

cc licensed ( BY NC SA ) flickr photo by Evan Leeson: http://flickr.com/photos/ecstaticist/3289337255/

cc licensed ( BY NC SA ) flickr photo by Evan Leeson: http://flickr.com/photos/ecstaticist/3289337255/

I’m on tap to help lead The Week 4 of Headless ds106, and I can tell you right now I probably wont do much. I have way overestimated the time just to prep the lessons, and probably like many participants, feel awash in all the flow of stuff folks are doing.

That’s normal.

But that is also to show that this is a headless course.

The work for this week is posted which means– you can do whatever you want!

Helping out this week are Emily Strong, a veteran of at least two rounds of ds106. She already has her pom-poms on and completed a first assignment. Emily has created and blogged some stunning visual work.

And of course, who else do we think if when it comes to visual, but Giulia Forsythe, who like me was in that first freshman open class of Spring 2011. Tentatively we are going to run an open Google Hangout on Wednesday at noon EST to review the week, Emily wants to do some GIMP demos (YAY), and we will review some of the visual assignments we found most interesting. After all there are 145 of them. I tihnk it is interesting to share the strategies for selecting which ones to try.

We also have the fun photoblitz this week- it would be cool if some folks to this Tuesday so we have some new ones to show.

There are a few things at play this week:

  • I like to see how people start approaching their photography with more thought about composition, as well as noticing things they might not have paid attention to before- quality of light, shadows, spacing, balance, patterns…
  • We start using the assignment bank in earnest, giving you the latitude to choose the work you want to do. This is also a time to remind/suggest that this work in ds106 is more than just making the media, it is writing about the idea, the context, the story element, and also sharing how the heck you made it.
  • Note as well that we do not tell you what software to use nor is this a class in How to Do X in PhotoShop; and in fact, this calls on you to dig in to your self learning mode to figure things out (or learn to ask for help before floundering long). I can say that you will want to be aiming towards using a graphic editor that has layers; you can only do simple visual art in tools like Microsoft Paint and they always look like they were made with Microsoft Paint. Layers are the key. If you do not have access to Photoshop, get a copy of the open source GIMP, or try the web based pixlr. Layers are the bomb. Period.
  • And do not forget the forming and connecting for the radio show groups. Some folks are already coming up with themes (there is still plenty of time). We asked you to try a short team announcement this week, and next week we will ask you to design posters. In weeks 7&8 you will work on the shows in depth.

I remain amazed at the output people are doing for a course they will not get a single credit or badge for. This is affirming to the idea of ds106.

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