My ears are ringing = Summary Unit 7

Another week of audio creations not only working on some of my own, but listening to others’ work. #noir106 is in group work and producing radio shows that will be broadcast on DS106 radio after the UMW Spring Break. Week of March 8, 2015 – ds106radio

My plan was to attempt to do an audio event of about 5 minutes. I have put that idea aside for now. I am working in Audacity and creating some tracks. I am looking towards a time when I have more purpose for a full audio event. Until then, I am trying to step up each practice by using new tools, features and ideas in using sound.

I started with the theme song. While I felt accomplished, taking music and trying to cut it up into something new was not easy. My final outcome I was happy with – but not as a finished product. There are some choppy transitions that I just couldn’t smooth out and the more I tried, the farther down the path of losing my direction I headed. I decided to stop. At this point, it should be a complete restart. I am okay with that-  this is about the learning. I chose a favorite song of my Dad’s, A taste of Honey played by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass.

Next I went to commercial creation. Not because I need commercials, but as the topic and assignment to use for more audio practice. I decided on Oriental Drugs of Milwaukee. This one had 14 tracks going and aside from having to use my voice for the voice over, I was pleased with the outcome.

I had another commercial idea ready to go. Not being able to find anyone to read some lines for me, I had seen in Ronald L’s Google+ post that he had used text to speech for voices. I gave it a try and was happy with the results and that it would add variety to an audio session so it would not sound like 5th grade Kathy on a rainy day passing time creating a one person radio show! I was finding it difficult in deciding if I wanted a female or male voice over. I decided to do both figuring it would be something that could be used by having two different spokespersons. I named my product Riverside Whiskey, named after the park of the Eastside story.

I felt as if I was improving with each creation. Aside from some computer generated voice blips, I was proud of how these came together. I even played them together  – but didn’t post the dual voice track.

Next was an intro bumper. My Dad was a Muppet show fan and like Waldorf and Statler – the grumpy old men hecklers. This pulled together nicely and quickly – in comparison to the first audio assignments. A lot smoother than the previous creations. I did get some feedback that the background music could be louder and that it sounded lost behind the dialog. Looking back at what I did, I can now see before a final export, I should take off my headphones and listen as someone who might find the sound would do. In my headphones the stereo and sounds seem well-balanced – listening just on a laptop speaker the music is a little distant. Tweaking to one or two listening option configurations should probably be done to insure a good sound product.

Spent a lot of time reading other blogs and noir106 assignments posted and tweeted as groups and individuals were completing over the week. Again the learning is happening for me in seeing how others learn and what they discover that I might not see on my own.  I even found a few blogs that were new to me. It is great to see the growth of everyone in 7 weeks. Truly amazing.

Since I am on the ds106 path the same time as #noir106 – some of the traditional students have taken the time to offer feedback and look at my work. That has been helpful and great to be part of an energized and active community. It is great to now be getting some feedback and suggestions too, instead of just a positive comment – which is nice and always appreciated – but the feedback is helpful too. I even got called out by one of the students for not putting enough detail in my write up for a daily create! Terrific!. @mburtis, @jimgroom, @pbh256 all have to be tickled pink at what a great and creative cohort in action right now.

The group radio shows sound fantastic. So unbelievable how well group work in an online environment can pull together. I know it can happen because I have been a part of similar things in the past. What I have enjoyed this time is watching how it develops, grows and succeeds and to see all the light bulbs go off when it happens. Great 2 weeks for watching good practice in action.

I have listened to some that have posted their group shows. I think the “public premieres” will be even more exciting than listening to the soundcloud postings. Listening to the postings now Is kinda like watching the dress rehearsal. Exciting – but definitely not as great as the opening night. It will also be nice to listen the week of March 8 and catch all the little things a first listen does not uncover. The added plus of listening with others will be fun too. I am very impressed with all the groups works and the variety of shows.

I didn’t keep up with the Daily Creates this week – I only did two. Not to offer excuses, but I am creating daily- just not always digitally or to the prompt that is listed. I have a pig painting in progress and also have been doing some window treatment creations for my daughter’s new home. They just closed on Friday the 27th.

buying paint IMG_1903 IMG_0448

The TDC prompts I did compele:

I thought I would create during the UMW spring break – and I still might. But I am also scheduled to paint rooms in the new house and 10 gallons of paint are calling and curtain rods and curtains to be hung. So while the UMW cohort is on break  – I will also be taking a short break.

ds106 – 4 Life.

Eastside Audio Blitz Week 1- behind

The week went by quickly and I have fallen into the behind category. My week 6, 7, and spring break I have charted a little differently as an open course learner than the path of the UMW cohorts in #noir106. That has proven more challenging. I really have to set up my own markers and targets.

First of all – the #noir106 cohorts are rockin! Wow – so many great creations in design and audio. And a huge surge in community connectedness. Usually about week 6 in an online course the wall hits you in the face – but this cohort saw a wall and said ” We are going over it!”

The instructor led sections have required everyone to comment on at least 10 others blogs, soundclouds, flikr etc. as a requirement this week and next. I have done that already and haven’t been tracking where I go. I did some shout outs in my summary of unit 5. Since I am not tracking points – I am skipping the listing this summary – but you should see me on the comment pages. 🙂 Sometimes I spend more time reading and learning from those than doing my own assignments. 🙂

Special thanks to the UMW students who did check out my work and offered suggestions and comments.

I spent the first part of this week viewing others posts and work (M-Tu). I then got caught up with rooting for everyone to find a group and get going on their team work. Watching the process was interesting and it was great to see the increase in connectedness and sharing. By then it was late in the week and I was ignoring audio and spent time on design for the audio.

Again – I am working through this learning to become better skilled to create family stories. In week 5, I chose my Dad as my character to focus on for assignments. The other side road I am taking is that I am not part of a group for a radio show. I did find a #4life group that was taking on open course 106 participants, but I wasn’t sure if my life and schedules would allow me to carry my weight in a group.  So I have decided to create an “audio event” independently that will follow most of the radio show specifics. I also am building it around my goal of family stories.

This week I created my Personalized Learning Path in writing to see if that would help me stay focused on track. It does – but only if I go back to it and use it!

Some of the assignments I completed during this week are: (you can click on the links to see the assignment specifics and process)

A logo for Eastside.

Eastside Logo

A poster to promote and give a visual design to the audio event. This took some time, but I really enjoyed it and I learned many new things. I did put out a version when I hit the wall and didn’t know what to do or what missing. That is the great thing about the online community. Within an hour I had messages and suggestions which were enough to get me to look at things differently and acted as a huge boost in pushing me to go back and improve. It is that balance of independence and community that creates higher outcomes and makes the learning fun and satisfying.


Theme song for Eastside.

This poster is part of the package for the audio event – but was done as part of week 5-design.

Poster: Minimal Design

This puts me behind the cohorts. My rational is I will be working on things while they are on spring break – so I have 1.5 days for every day they have to get things done.

On to the next unit/week!


30% – Really? Only 10 wks left?

Time is flying by! 30% of the framed structure and suggested timeline of this ds106 course is now history for me. 5 weeks wow!

Unit 5 focused on Design. The topic that resonated with many who are on the path and has generated some awesome creations.

12 Stars total was the goal for the unit – plus 3 daily creates. My daily creates for this week were non #ds106 creating home decor and paint choices as my daughter is closing on a new home at the end of the month. Photoshop came in handy for inserting her belongings and trying out new colors, fabrics and textures. So another perk of an open course participant – altering the daily creates. I ended up doing a few, but late. Better next week is the plan.

Here are the assignments I created in Unit 5:
Design Assignment 313

reverese2Animating a movie poster.  4.5 Stars.
This was creating an animated GIF. In an early unit I created a few animated GIFs. This time I made it more complex and pushed in using features in photo shop that I had never even opened before. I struggled in deciding if I would use GIMP or PS. I settled on PS mostly because I have the software and wanted to make use of it. This poster came up in a search as NOIR, but it is a recent film. For the purposes of this assignment it had elements that made sense to me for animating. Still pushing me to try more, but not so complex that I would suffer learning thru complete failure. this took some time and went through a few iterations before coming to the product above. I don’t think I would have been able to tweak and improve on it without community feedback. No one gave me a specific answer- which is great, but the back and forth conversations, tweets, and idea sharing helped me see things I missed or had not considered as well as prompted me to go beyond input provided as well. I am pretty proud of the last iteration. The hard part is to not keep just making gifs! You get hooked.

I ran into a few issues with getting the gif to run in wordpress- but the community quickly answered and redirected. AWESOME!

Minimalist Movie Poster – Character Inspired 3.5 Stars

Queen Tillie and The Rabbi

Poster: Minimal Design

I am finding wisdom in the themed aspect of the cohorts. The headless course is well structured and provides a great learning experience. The theme aspect, this time period cohort studying Noir Film within a ds106 framework has participants carrying a character they developed throughout some of the assignments. I did not hook up with #noir106 until after they had completed the writing unit and did not create a character. It really became clear how useful a character would be to tackle assignments. Keeping assignments interesting, but also allowing focus on the real skills and not trying to think of context or content from scratch each time.

I decided to develop a character. I am using my Dad. My future #ds106 #4life will be creating stories out of family content of photos, video, artifacts. So I decided I would start with him in this learning process. I will take liberty and embellish the truth at times, but he will be my character.

Jerry as my subject – I created a poster of a book that could be a movie written by the class president and class thug remembering the glory years of growing up and high school on the Eastside of Milwaukee. My Dad was on the football team. The poster came together in thought and design quickly with using my context and content. I think that was easier than trying to think of something new for a movie that already existed.

Learning By Design – Using Design and Visual images to understand content. 3.5 stars as listed – I bumped my version up to 5 stars!

Sketchy Dr. Groom on Assignment

This assignment was a blast! Time consuming, sometimes frustrating, but definitely got the problem solving and creative juices flowing. I wanted to do sketch noting and a RSA on a budget type of creation. I went through some prep in reading, looking into different ways to create and experimented with a few things. That took about a half day overall if added up. I again used Photo shop to use more features available. I also went back to Audacity to continue with more sound editing and features so that I could include in this creation. Using the Groom is missing theme provided some light-hearted and fun content for use as well. I think with the addition of audacity and creating the animation video it is worth the extra boost in stars.

Some of my favorites from others this week:

Most of my favorites from this week came from being able to see them on the Twitter feed. The visuals, the 140 characters or less, the ability to keep a column of the hashtags makes it so efficient to pop around and see great work. I went back to the blog post roll in the Noir106 site. While it is helpful it seems much more tedious and less interesting to find and view work that others have created and posted. Many more clicks, waiting for things to load etc. Besides a title there really isn’t much to draw one in to explore like there is on Twitter.

My plea to other ds106/noir106 participants.


You will be amazed how it will connect and help your work when others can engage easily and provide critical friend feedback and support. Don’t be shy! SHOUT OUT!

Groom on Assignment and challenges from Burtis and Bond to use assignments with Groom as a subject seemed to pull the community together around a common topic and showing off their design skills. It was great to begin to see new avatars on the Twitter feed. I am also looking forward to Monday and taking some time to look thru the website feed to see which design assignments others chose and what their creations turned out to be.

This photo shop hack by J. Law was classic! Great job Groom does look a little schizoid here doesn’t he?


Brian Christensen used the Godfather as his Groom poster spoof. I loved these movies when they came out and actually read the books! – maybe that is why I was attracted to this creation.

Check out his soundcloud sitcom song by Brian Goulet – Brilliant!

Mia Boleis has a very sophisticated and elegant poster going on.

Some terrific work by Landon Epperly I think he will be showing us a thing or two of greatness over the next few weeks. Take a look at his work so far.

And I love the wit, humor and intelligence of Emily Bostaph! I am a fan!

Too many others to mention here – but I will stop by your posts if I see them in Twitter. Keep sharing!


Creative Hands

tdc1129 Creative Hands

Super Power tc 1130: Home Design

tdc1130 Super Power

Play with Your Food: tdc1134


Also did a quick animated gif in honor of @mdvfunes birthday Feb. 15.


It has been a jammed week with design but fun! Closing this week off by dinner on Sunday and relaxing for the evening – at least that is the plan!. Glad to see more participation in the social networks from others and hoping it increases.

What will week 6 bring?

Four Units Done- No Way!

Well, I used to think time flew bye when I was busy at work and that calendar just flipped at warp speed. I had some time where the time seemed to be taking a long time to move forward. Then I jumped into this ds106 life and I am seeing the calendar fly again! But it is in a good way for sure. Flying by, but rich and satisfying.

Having this adventure run along side a group of students at UMW using the ds106 model with a theme of Noir has kept me focused and on track. While I am working through at my pace and timeline, having 3 sections of students in a traditional model with weekly deadlines keeps things moving and energized. I guess there is value in having some structure and explicit accountability to someone to keep things moving until everyone in the world is truly on the far end of the learning continuum and has achieved independence.

My path is part open, part noir106. I choose what I want to do. Although the basic infrastructure of ds106 focuses on a framework and sequence that builds and ensures success so the major difference is that open course is not themed.

Unit 4 is Audio. Working with audio in manipulation, storytelling and most of all listening.

A radio bumper was required as a prep for radio assignments in the weeks ahead. I thought I might do a Noir bumper – but the sections were hot on the topic and had to do a bumper in the genre so I chose to do a generic ds106 radio theme bumper. I kinda missed the thought of “bumper” and pushed this one to the 30 second extreme. But I love the song and to me it seemed to fit in the spirit of the open radio station.

The details are here on how I built this assignment.

One assignment that had me really regretting I didn’t go full #noir106 and create a character was the sound effects story. Having a character to build and define through the weeks is really a plus. In some ways it may feel constrictive, but when you don’t have one – you can really see that it helps focus and as it builds depth it puts to rest having to figure out what your story is because it is already directed. I think this assignment could/would have been more focused on using the audio to make the story if I had a character.

I am okay with my outcome and have notes on what I will do to include the sound effects in my family stories to be created.

I was going to push myself to complete the same number of stars as the student groups – but hey – life happens and I didn’t get to it. I did gather audio clips and some music for creating  a speech to music – but didn’t get to putting it together. I am coping out and sticking with the open course syllabus for Unit 4. I still want to do the assignments I picked out – they just won’t make this timeline.

Being able to take part in a couple of live tweet events while listening to ds106radio was rocking! The first one I missed because I was time zone challenged. Didn’t register that the announcement was EST and was na hour late. I could listen to the program, but it was minus the back channel.

The next two evenings I tuned in. It felt like talking while the movie was playing but not getting any dirty looks or sushing sounds directed towards you. The range of experiences and ages of those who were tweeting made it a richer experience. The radio ads were a hoot!

All I could think of was MacGyver and duct tape. LUX did everything for a woman! LOL

Daily creates this week were a nice mix (thanks @mdfunes). The puppy caption took off quickly and by the time I figured something out – it seemed not worthy because of all the brilliant submissions. That was one that was great to be a viewer.

I did 3 as suggested this week and feel pretty good about that. Daily Create makes me feel like I need to do one every day – 3 in a week suggested makes me feel like it can be accomplished but still lets me do more when it works.

The first one was paper sculpting and making a video to show it.

The ruin-porn photo would have been more adventurous if we hadn’t just had a foot of snow fall that needing clearing. So I had to use a photo I already had instead of finding a new subject. But it worked.

What were those doors leading too?

I'm Sorry Noir DS106Radio

The I’m Sorry daily create worked in perfectly with me missing the radio broadcast.

Make your Dot! tdc1126

And I submitted an idea for a TDC which came up – so felt the pressure of having to submit!

The other part of this week is that I moved my blog from to my domain through ReclaimHosting. This took some time – but not extensive in exporting and configuring. I am happy with the move to http;// The format gives me options for setting up things the way I would like instead of limiting. I still ahve some trouble shooting to do. My Twitter timelines don’t seem to stay live. I also have not been able to get the ds106radio widget to work as an embed.

How’s it going?

I love it! Having purpose and having community to share creations with and learn from is key. Having responses to posts and feedback is worth a million bucks. It really does show how publishing, being public and sharing with others makes your work real. It drives you to do better and to complete.

I am thankful for being able to meet others, interact and engage with them as they create or publish. In some ways it has felt like being a groupie of a stalker. In the Google + group it seems I am posting more than others – but it is just that others have already done the things I am just starting. I could have stopped – but figure eventually there will be others and it be helpful for them to see there are posts.

I do like seeing others attempts at assignments and the write ups. I have to confess – my preference is a link and shout out in Twitter more than going through the RSS Feed on the website.  The tweets are more focused and direct and allow for wandering and immediate connection for me. Until everyone has tagging down better – you can miss things in the feed. If they are in Twitter – they seem more accessible.  I have come to follow a few because they are present and post- hoping more start engaging through Twitter and blowing their horn when they do something so we all can learn. We want to see what you are doing!

No complaints.

I am enjoying being able to be in the role of learner and one of the “class” instead of having to facilitate or lead. At the same time I am so appreciative and awed at the great examples the instructors are setting and the broader application of this model and process in professional learning as well as student learning. So many good lessons for others to learn.

Can’t believe it is Sunday already? Looking forward to the #noir106 weekly video on Monday and moving to next steps and unit 5!


Visually Consumed – Unit 3 Summary

So many happenings during this week and unit. As I am connecting with #noir106/#ds106 students I find that I am completely absorbed and consumed by this work and not have it feel like work or exhausting. But I do run out of time!

I am so glad I am now an independent learner who must plan and develop out a learning path and not be doing these tasks and challenges to “make the grade”. #ds106 through a university system has it still needing to keep one foot over the fence in the current education system. However, the format, delivery and process of #ds106 can transform a learner towards independence and personalized learning whether it be as a student or a professional.

The open course framework allows for flexibility, choice and voice, but still provides a well thought foundation for building skills and understanding over the span of the units. Since using social media as a professional (or personal) learning community is an integral part, that there are 3 sections of university students working as classes creates opportunities for learning from a wider group. In order to stay relevant and appreciate what I can gain from these students in my development I need to engage and to follow some of what they are attempting.

The #ds106 model has a general frame of how it approaches skill building. The instructor led sections follow a theme within that framework. Spring 2015 is NOIR. Looking at digital storytelling and building the personal infrastructure skill sets through study and use of NOIR films and stories. I am dabbling in NOIR to have some common experiences and opportunity to learn from others. I am also sticking to some of the headless course assignments and flow to use my theme or context. My reason for embarking on this journey was to build skills and experience to begin to use family content to build digital stories.

Unit 3 – Visual

This unit begins to look at photography in storytelling. The open course assignments were to use flickr and do some 5 photo stories – no words. I used my own photos and not random ones from flickr to begin to see what I may have or not have in my content resource. Since I don’t have things scanned or organized yet – it was still limited choice. I used pics that we gathered when my dad passed away for his memorial. (July 2013).


From here I created my path by doing some of the assignments from #noir106.

Without my creating a character to build I had to use others for the reference starting point. What’s in My Bag?.

Your purse, bag, packpack, murse, whatever, is your constant companion throughout your adult life. What are the essentials in your bag that get you through the day? Take a picture of the items and detail each of them with a description.

My Bag

Animated GIFs were two other assignments and one an improvement and greater learning on process from Unit 2.

Glitch Art Gif and Say it like Peanut Butter.


There was also a Photo Safari of which I accomplished with some actively sought shots and some safari through my photo collections. This method worked as life and weather became constraints under the deadline of happening within the timeframe.

I used a Google slide presentation and not just putting the images in a post or linking to a photo album. I could not find a cat.

Daily Creates Unit3

I attempted to keep up with the students and do at least 3 daily creates this week. Creating a 2048 game board was a challenge as I couldn’t find details on what the purpose of the game was – only that it was addicting and based on math patterns. It was addicting to play the different boards – but I still don’t understand what you are supposed to try to do! I used my donkey planters as the subject.

Planting Asses 2048

The other creates were:

Droodle Call

Liberate Art Cards