What flows below are the bits, ideas, experiments, projects, assignments, and assorted weird ideas all associated with my participation in ds106, the most innovative open course every, first launched in January 2011. I am currently teaching my own section online at University of Mary Washington!
ds106: Digital Storytelling Tagged Stuff
If you have been looking for a DS106 experience to join, your boat comes in March 18. That is when an online course I have been invited to teach in DS106 style starts. EDIT 572: Digital Audio/Video Design and Applications is part of a graduate certificate Instructional Design and Technology (IDT) Program at George Mason University.
Last summer Nada Dabbagh asked me if I could teach this course with a storytelling approach, even bringing the ds106 mode to it. “Are you sure?” I asked.
This class will be 7 weeks long, and is two credits, so I have been paring back a bit of what I typically do in the UMW courses (see the general syllabus).
What’s different for this course is that the students are all working employees of a major consulting firm, working on the IDT program at GMU. They have been described to me as “road warriors” meaning people who continually travel to client sites, and that their typical work week was intense Monday through Thursday, leaving the rest of the week for their studies. The folk at GMU were fine if I did not use the Blackboard LMS and require students blog in a WordPress.com site. But they were wary of asking them to create many more accounts.
The idea behind the title “DS106 Goes to Work” is asking how do/can the methods and techniques of digital storytelling be put to use outside of academia, e.g. in a work environment? This was approached so successfully last fall by Rochelle Lockridge in bringing the open DS106 inside the corporate intranet of 3M, and the paper I will co-present with her and Mariana Funes at OER14.
I see this GMU course as being somewhere between the “behind the firewall” design that Rochelle did, and the wild west open space of typical ds106.
The big question for me is not really knowing what to expect from attitudes and experiences of these students. I will have to find out and adjust as I go (same story every time I teach). That was the reason for making the video above, and to outline some information about the experience I will be emailing to students this week (the intro post for the students is baking in the blog oven)— a different flavor of the “scare email” Jim, Martha, and I have used at UMW.
So here is what is happening, I have two sections at GMU who will get the same course content (I believe one is a new cohort in the program, the others have been in it for a year). In the first week, they will be asked to set up wordpress.com blogs, and email me their sites, which i will add to ds106. There will be a page to see the posts in section 1 and another for posts from section 2, plus a way to see ones from all GMU students combined (the beauty of tagging feeds in Feed WordPress).
It will help them understand the power of an open class if the ds106 community can chip in some comments as these students start lighting up the course in 2 weeks. This is crucial- as a big important chunk I am leaving out is using twitter/Google+ with these students. It was a hard decision, but I have to limit the number of things I ask them to focus on. I did open up their Blackboard sections with just a discussion forum for Q&A, if they want a place to ask, but the amount of social interaction might be slim. I am trying to make that all take place within their blog conversations, and things I will reiterate in course videos.
But it an open course too, so if you want to follow along, tune into the weekly assignments (it even has an RSS feed for you old school readers). If you already have a blog connected to ds106, use it; otherwise sign up a blog and associate it with the open online participants.
If you are new to ds106, see our suggestions for getting started.
Maybe a shorter course commitment and not as full nuclear blast intensity as the usual DS106 might be your speed?
This is a new approach, full of unknowns and potential Bengal tiger traps.
There are some things I could use help with. For a project< i want them to identify something they come across that is some sort of instructions, explanations, that could benefit from redesigning with a more “storied” approach. I need help finding some things as examples, dull manuals or worksheets? The thing is because of the proprietary nature of their work, and for creative exercise, I want them to choose something out of their normal scope.
My original idea was to play with the genres of how companies are portrayed in movies, which seem to be mainly comical/farce or dark/evil (that was the reason for the clips used in the video above) — and probably not the only real narratives out there. Open participants are welcome to use that as a possible frame for assignments (and yes, the clips I found were largely white guys in ties, how true is that?)
Of course, in open DS106 people mostly choose to whatever they want.
That too is be design.
I hope you will join us.
And that’s the last time I put on a suit for this class!
For today’s ds106 Daily Create, Got CAPTCHArt? the challenge was to make some art out of those crazy “prove you are a human” devices.
Captchas are not quite as easy to find any more with interesting words. I have some in my flickr from the grand old days when you got real jumbled words, and sometimes freaky combinations, including this unlikely combination of names
I wonder what happens when one puts Cory Doctorow with Alan Greenspan? I used the portrait of Doctorow in his office that Jonathan Worth made available (creative commons) in the For the Remix project.
Wikipedia has a public domain portrait of Greenspan, at a very similar pose- in front of bookshelves.
I brought both into Photoshop and resized Greenspan to overlap Doctorow (with the transparency on the layer low enough I could see both). I did a bit of distortion on Greenspan to get his face to match up to the shape of Doctorow. I then split Greenspan’s image in half down the nose, deleting the right side, and did some more warp work to line up the glasses and the nose of the two men. On Greenspan adjusted the saturation down and tinged him a bit to match the sepia tones of Doctorow.
But they were reverse in order from the captcha, so I merged them into a layer, and flipped it horizontal.
They eerily merge! I put the captcha on top, with some transparency.
To make it complete, I found a quote from Greenspan
In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. There is no safe store of value.
Put simply, I want to treat my readers as partners and not crooks. There is no future in calling your most active promoters crooks.
I mixed and matched the sentences to put words in their mouths.
In the absence of the gold standard, I want to treat my readers as partners and not crooks. Put simply, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. There is no future in calling your most active promoters crooks; and there is no safe store of value.
Are you scared now? DONT MESS WITH CAPTCHAS!
I might have nightmares of the irrational exuberance of a kid who is time-rich and cash-poor.
We were excited that SourceFabric asked to stream 2 hours of ds106 radio for their program for World Radio Day.
I got a smattering of suggestions interest in the google doc, but a big gold star sticker goes to Dr Jones for sending me 2 great recorded remix sets. I have a lot of archive material, and put it in a playlist.
It was 8 hours long
I thought maybe we could do some call in stuff too, but since I had so much stuff, I kind of just took it over. Sue me. I put all the files in iTunes, and for the longer clips, I use the setting where you could define where it started playing, so I could have just a sample.
My setup was the usual Rube Goldberg iTunes/Skype audio to Soundflower mix in Ladiocast Stream with Nicecast setup
I’ve done this enough times, but I always run it through a test on the local server, and review the recorded archive. The Skype part is tricky, I use the test call for both ends of the audio. The trickiest part for skype is getting the levels even between me and the people talking into Skype.
Anyhow, I made a full archive of the show, about 2:20 (as in two hours)
We had a good number of listeners on our end (like 14, which is huge). I have no idea who was tuned in via SourceFabric. That’s the nice thing about our little group- we had a lot of people actively tweeting back, and that ability to hear from your audience is what makes this more than just broadcast.
Anyhow, here is the playlist. It’s hard to get two hours of representative material since we likely have weeks of it, and its probably a wee bit tilted toward stuff I was part of. So be it.
Of course we started off with the “Can You Dig It” station ID, and below I try to link to all sources or references
- DS106 Station ID
- Dr Jones does World Radio Day 2014
- GIF-A-CHROME introduction part of the GIFaChrome story
- ds106-help-desk by Todd Conaway
- bag-of-gold a brilliant remix of Gardner Campbell by Tom Woodward
- Zombie Free Radio DS 106 radio show by Summer 2012 UMW students and open participants Ben Harwood and John Johnston
- ds106 Radio Tribute written, sung, and played by Bryan Jackson
- Bryan Jackson parody by me
- To Serve Learners a ds106 Zone group radio show from Summer 2013
- Dr Oblivion’s Voice Mail
- ds106zone LoDown 001 from Scottlo (where are you?)
- Jonah ds106 Bumper
- Kootney Radio ds106 Visit visit with Grant Potter, myself, and Brian Lamb to the community radio station in Nelson, BC– played the call in segment from “Seldon” from Kentucky
- Cover of the Chronicle by the Dead Moocmen
- Noiseprofessor parody by Giulia Forsythe
- ds106 shrinking the big questions Fall 2013 Headless show by the 3Ts, plated the segment on ds106 numerology
- ds106radio-rockumentary with GNA Garcia, Grant Potter, myself, Giulia Forsythe, Bryan Jackson (Zack Dowell on guitar)
- Scottlo Earthquake Report from Tokyo maybe the most impactful event, Scottlo live broadcasting right after the March 2011 Tokyo earthquake
- DS106 Station ID
- Comes-A-Time Radio Show
- Mantras and Koans bumper by John Johnston for Threading Bullets
- Mikhail G parody the most amazing imitation by GNA Garcia and Jim Groom
- Scary Stories from Strawberry — me and Bryan Alexander improvising a scary story.
- What Makes You Dynamite? a radio show by Spring 2013 UMW students
- #ds106radio race theme song – for the hare created by Leslie Lindballe for the KCRW Radio Race
- Talking Vinyl with Gardner Campbell from my visit in 2012
- Freedom Aircast a remix of Jim Groom live broadcasting on an airplane
- David Kernohan Plays the Blues a bit of recording from the live radio
- David Kernohan parody by me
- This Arizonan Life a radio show I did in 2011 with Todd Conaway
- DS106 Station ID
- ds106 Mexican Radio a bumper by me
- Where its At (Blogs and Twitter) a sloppy remix of a MIDI version of Beck and a computer voice reading lyrics written to matich
- Dr Jones does World Radio Day 2014 PT II
- DeadMoocmen Medley of Hits
That was a lot of fun, hope you 14 enjoyed it too. And the rest who tuned into Sourcefabric, I hope you said, “What the bleep is this?” because sometimes its better to not be totally obvious.
Speaking of the Warriors and ds106 radio, a little back track to Jim Groom
It helped me realize that ds106 Radio is, at least for me, that alternative narrative of possibility wherein we both share take culture that is meaningful to us freely as well as re-frame it more personally for one another—we control the vertical and horizontal, which is just another way of saying the means of production. The idea of this platform flying in the face of controlled channels of distribution.
GNA had a good idea for the ds106 Daily Create scheduling…
@cogdog just rappin here… How would it be to have the daily create bot tweet out more than once a day? For multiple TZs (lifestyles)?
— GNA Garcia (@DrGarcia) February 8, 2014
I had been thinking about the timing of when they are published; it has been 10:00 AM EST from the beginning, aiming likely at our students in Fredericksburg, and/or first thing in the morning for the west coast, and something totally inconvenient for people in other time zones.
Here is the thing about time zones– no matter what time you schedule something, it will be a crappy time for people elsewhere on the globe.
That is a problem I cannot fix.
But is a good thing to have the TDC planted in your head early, so I have just modified the site, so new ones are released earlier, 5:00 AM EST. We do this in WordPress as scheduled posts, so it was easy to tweak in my script that creates new ones; the ones already in the queue were edited in the dashboard.
This means for North American, your TDC will be waiting for you when you wake up. Most of you. For friends in the Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Zanzibar… well maybe still not optimal.
But as GNA suggested, it would help to have the @ds106dc tweets repeated at reasonable intervals. I set up dlvr.it to send the tweets based upon the RSS feed from the site, so as soon as new ones are published, the tweet will go out (within an hour, the is the frequency it checks the feed).
I could not find an option in dlvr.it to repeat a tweet, so with some poking around, I came across http://tweko.com/. With this service, any tweet that goes out from this account with a #tweko hash tag will be repeated 2 more times at 8 hour intervals.
I will know in a day if it works.
But now, you have fewer excuses for not doing your daily exercise!
Especially the artist of that image ;-)
To cap off a full weekend, after attending the SCC Tech Talks on Friday I headed north to Flagstaff to catch the show by Ira Glass at Northern Arizona University. The great irony is that I found out about this show via a tweet from my friend Grant Potter in Nova Scotia.
I ought to brain dump all I absorbed from the show; it was just that good. I have no photos. There is a possible chance I accidentally clicked a button on my phone and opened a ds106 radio stream. I am just not sure.
He entered on a dark stage, all we hear is his voice. He was carrying some sort of tablet device he used to control the audio clips he played, and the light from the screen was all we could see. And he began talking about how intimate the form of audi is, how it might make more sense to just do the entire show in the dark.
Which of course was a set up. The lights came up, as did the applause. Glass made some jokes about the sound we all knew comsing from the body we did not know.
From my row K vantage point, he carried some resemblance to our new old new old radio friend, Scottlo (where are you brother, where are you?).
A fair bit of the show went back to the fantastic Glass Manifesto post I discovered last week, He contrasted the difference between typical news coverage, CNN style of booming music, and authoritative “We know the story” voice, and the different approach done on This American Life. He emphasized that notion of their style having one layer being the plot, the person’s story, and at the same time, the importance of it illustrating a message about “the way the world works”.
Often I talk about how people new to storytelling string things along like a series of events– and I framed that as a negative, but Glass spoke how that is the narrative flow that pulls you along, if crafted well. He used the example of “Just Keep Breathing” the story of the New Zealand girl who was bit by a shark. And her story, she does tell as a series of events, but as Glass notes, once you are in– you cannot leave that story. “Did she die?” was a funny line. The thing is, the story, told in the subject’s voice, traces to the larger story of a common human experience of parents not believing what their kids say.
There was a middle section where he explained all the times he spends on the phone with lawyers– dealing with smut. The laws on what can and cant be said on the radio are apparently a moving target. The prologue about a traveler’s dilemma of using the Knee Defender was a problem because the subject referred to himself several times as “not wanting to be a dick”. Apparently one use of this is allowed, but multiple times is considered “dwelling on it”.
Glass played examples of how his questioning technique always tries different angles to get the interview subjects to say in their own words, the large message of an episode. That focus on getting the key elements from the person, not summarized by a narrator, is important to remember.
He gave a lot of insight into the making of the Harper High story. It began with an interest in covering one of the Chicago urban schools, where the death rates of students was outrageous. He playfully described how a TV news would have to do so much to generate the feel, but how the format of audio gets to that closeness and intimacy carried by people’s stories, not recorded to see. The crew from This American Life spent 5 months developing the story, and it turns inside out your stereotypes of what gangs are about.
Glass did a lot of banter with the audience, a funny riff when he acted surprise to find Jews in the mountains (“Outdoor Jews? That’s crazy”). He referenced the journalism students in the audience. While there was an outline, he spoke rather much like you were just sitting around a dinner table.
I noted at least 8 or 10 times, he referred to recording as “getting it on tape” or “reviewing the tape”– although they work digitally, he uses the old media as the reference to anything recorded.
There’s way more, and I might have to dig through my cobwebs to get to an answer.
I did get a chance at the Q&A section to ask a question. The audience was slow to raise their hand, so I got the second one. I was thinking all along about a way to ask him to say something I could record as a bumper for ds106 radio. It just sounded so cheesy, and I really wanted to ask what I ended up asking. I did mention I was a fellow Baltimore born kid, and yelled out the name of Milford Mill High School, where I went, and he did a few years before me. That seemed really lame, as I was never a big cheerleader of high school, and there I am pumping my fist.
Anyhow, my question was noting that This American Life gets a lot of submitted story ideas; the stories come to them, and I wanted to know what he woudld advice to students about finding the angles into stories. He talked about getting a sense and try a lot to come about ti with not just the news type questions. He talked about his frame for a story on weather when he moved to Chicago, and found the angle through people’s experiences who were struck by lightning. He talked (like the transom piece) about how it took him 8 years to get the right way if doing this– and even played that early clip of him telling a story trying to “sound like an NPR guy”. He reminded us that we tend to forget that others have to work long and hard to get to the well known personas we know.
And then we went our separate ways. Ira missed his chance to hang out on the deck in Strawberry.
I got a lot out of this, I may have some clips to use for the next ds106 class. I may.
And just for more irony, I just saw Ira Glass has a twitter account:
He has upwards of 47,000 followers.
And he has not made a single tweet nor does he follow anyone.
That’s how you get to be when you are that good.
February 13, 2014 is World Radio Day a UNESCO Project aimed at making the world aware of the power of radio as a platform for change. Via our friends at SourceFabric (makers of the open source Airtime software), ds106 radio is going to be part of the SourceFabric Radio day long program.
What is special about radio? According to the event site:
The World Radio Day seeks raise awareness about the importance of radio, facilitate access to information through radio and enhance networking among broadcasters.
Radio has to be recognized as a low cost medium, specifically suited to reach remote communities and vulnerable people: the illiterate, the disabled, women, youth and the poor, while offering a platform to intervene in the public debate, irrespective of people’s educational level. Furthermore, radio has a strong and specific role in emergency communication and disaster relief. There is also a changing face to radio services which, in the present times of media convergence, are taking up new technological forms, such as broadband, mobiles and tablets. However, it is said that up to a billion people still do not have access to radio today.
On that day, SourceFabric is running 2 hour blocks of streams from an invited set of internet-based radio stations that run Airtime, and you can tune in to their broadcast via the schedule page.
They are giving ds106 radio a 2 hour block of time at 21:00-23:00 CET (12:00pm PST / 3:00pm EST / 8:00pm GMT check your local time) when they will play whatever is on ds106 radio through their channel.
Let’s plan something! We had a great response to our 3rd Birthday, come back again for more.
I’m willing to run the stream, and handle call ins from people who want to be part of it, call in via Skype. Let’s line up some examples of your favorite ds106 moments? I can think of from my collection…
- Scary Stories from Strawberry (with Bryan Alexander)
- Scottlo’s broadcast from Tokyo after the 2011 Earthquake
- ds106radio Rockumentary with Dr Gracia, Giulia Forsythe, Bryan Jackson, Zack Dowell, and Grant Potter
- ds106 Radio Parodies from our own telethon in 2011
Want to catch the action? Tune in to us at http://ds106rad.io/listen. Tweet along with is via #ds106radio
Want to contribute something to the playlist? Add some info to the google doc. Bumpers are awesome. If it is a long clip, edit it down to a shorter segment, and send it to the ds106 radio dropbox (pass=”wejamecono”).
Want to be on the call-in show? Awesome! Live conversation is the best stuff. Make sure I have your Skype handle (leave it in the doc).
We hope you can be part of our slice of World Radio Day.
Don't Rage around Miss Cicely Alexander! This is a response to the Tate’s call for their 1840s GIF party — they have made images available from selected pieces of art from their 1840s room and inviting anyone to remix as a GIF.
That is such a good idea I made it into a ds106 assignment.
I chose as my subject James Abbott McNeill Whistler’s Harmony in Grey and Green: Miss Cicely Alexander (1872-4). I saw movement possibility in the pair of butterflies, but was curious about the item at the base of the window sill… it is just some sort of etching ?? but when I saw the image it reminded me of one of those silly rage faces.
The first step was selecting the butterflies and putting each in a layer. On the base layer, I clone brushed in beneath them.
To be able to animate the rage head, I selected the rough rectangle of the left pane, cut it and put it in a layer below. This way, the rage face could be n between the two, and appear to rise into the window.
And the swinging leg was less hassle then I thought, select an approximate shape, and as long as it rotated, it would work meshed in with the skirt. I was able to clone brush in behind it, and fill out the shape of the hat.
To animate, I did a series to loop the butterflies over the girl’s head– doing a New Frame, and then moving the two different butterfly layers. I got a way cheaply as I did not have to flip them. I then copies the series of frames and pasted them at the end to have 2 loops. Similarly I made a new layer, and began the same process to make the rage face appear and rise. Once in place, I made another 2 loop series as the butterflies moved over to the Rage head.
Since the leg swing involved a change of shape, I had to duplicate the leg frame 3 rimes, rotate it a bit each time, the last two also distorting the leg to keep it in frame. And then I had 2 copies of the rage head, to make it rotate and shrink as the kick was delivered.
The GIF comes in tiny, because most of the image is a base layer that never moves; thats the beauty of GIF compression. Even the big one, at 550px wide and 965pc high, is only 365k but has maybe 30 frames.
I hope we see some more ds106ers take on the Tate 1840s GIF Party challenge
Can You Dig It? (the original call sign)
January 23 marks the day in 2011 when a blog post from Grant Potter announced ds106 Radio. I hope people who have been part of the community before, or just have been a listener, or just want to be near something cool, spend some time tomorrow celebrating this birthday. I’m not going to be explaining all about our internet based free form wide open manager-less radio station — see http://ds106.us/ds106-radio
I made the image above as one of the pre-cursor bits, today’s Daily Create was to make a birthday card.. I will tip the hat that tomorrow’s is to post an audio birthday greeting to SoundCloud.
There are not choreographed organized plans tomorrow, it’s just another day at the station. I did change the programming to be all day, from midnight PST (3 hours form now) to play for 24 hours a random mix of archival ds106 related content… I am way over due on writing up how to do this since we made some changes (another post “coming soon”) (I’ve written that before).
But let’s not rely on the pre-programmed stuff. If you are equipped to do live broadcasts, please step in sometime tomorrow (the PROTOCOL is to put out a stream request to twitter with the #ds106radio hash tag, or just try and grab the mic). Share your favorite memory, or just do something like Bryan Jackson and Leslie Lindalle have already done this evening, sing some songs. Tell some jokes. Perform a scene from a movie. Or just talk.
All of the best stuff of ds106 radio is the live stuff.
If you want to try broadcasting, we have all the info and coordinates you need at http://bit.ly/ds106radioinfo.
Or just tune in and listen- via http://ds106rad.io/listen.
Or tweet a birthday message to #ds106radio and say what you love about it.
Or help clean up that open radio document.
More on the radio station and hopefully some updates (revive the twitterbot??)…. soon.
But if you have had any experience, encounter, exposure to ds106 radio in the last 3 years, please give it some love back tomorrow.
At least tune in — http://ds106rad.io/listen