I am posting prior to the weekly deadline of the student sections because I started my unit seven days ago – so this is my Sunday night. A good tip – I did take the advice of previous ds106 students and added to the summary as the week progressed so that at the end of the work being done it is just some tweaking and voice to be done. That was an excellent piece of advice and good to learn early in the journey. So here is my unit summary for Bootcamp week 2.
I have confirmed that I can fill out a web form and follow directions!! My blog is registered on the DS106 Openonline page feed. 🙂 Happy Dance for Digital Mustard!! Having an established identity for the blog creates a different feel and perspective for doing the work. It is mine – not the courses – so its my creds on the line now. Name your blog and own it – another nugget to collect.
Customizing my Blog
This part is a satisfying accomplishment. In my past professional work there were many different tools to be set up and configured as well as designed. Websites, communities, LMS, email templates, virtual conference rooms, etc. Creating for a business group is different in that you have other factors to work in to the mix and pleasing multiple stakeholders. In many ways this is another way for me to see if I can “cut the mustard”. Can a establish an online presence that reaches others, makes sense, communicates well and is sustainable and maintainable in a real life situation? That is yet to be determined.
Themes: – SO MANY THEMES!!! One could get lost for days just looking at themes.
- Does the theme have a good layout for widgets?
- Clean and minimal? Colors and Pattern?
- Text dominant or graphic dominant?
- Do you want to pay or try a free option?
Settled on the 2011 default theme. It gives me the option of a rotating header graphic to include some of my photos without having to change the header all the time. I like the randomness and the dynamic nature. The theme also allows me to pack in content through widgets and posts and not have all the “noise” around it of background graphics and colors.
Personalizing with my own pictures was important. Having widgets for my Flickr and Instagram another plus. Tying in community thru the Twitter feeds was also important. While I can use Tweetdeck – a quick glance in the blog does a status check without getting sidetracked when trying to do other things.
Blog Menus: Establishing a menu for navigation and categories to keep things organized and flowing came next. Tagging is still a skill to improve upon. I tend to create too many new tags instead of confining to a set. I am also trying out the sharing feature in order to push my comfort level on the fact that others could indeed be interested.
I do think it is already starting to reflect who I am and how I am and will be growing thru this process and onto #ds1064life by taking my own spin on suggestions or guidance given. I especially like the comments back that allow me to find out things about myself that I didn’t realize were showing or how someone else may view.
Things I would like to do in this space would be that after completing the ds106 units that I have been successful in establishing my place and my voice and can continue to add and expand for some time to come.
ARGHHH!!! – Just found the toggle bar! I was wondering why this theme didn’t let me format more!!! Should have remembered – the same thing is in Moodle now and other online systems.
While I am currently owned by wordpress.com and have not installed my own on a domain – I will get there in the future and be able to export to a new installation. Since my day job often involved systems configurations, the chance not to have to install the plugins etc. was a relief. However, I KNOW I will want my own domain and be out from under the constraints of the mass provider. But I also am one who believes not everyone will be able or want a domain of their own so this journey will help in my understanding how others can accomplish similar success within a hosted service.
EMBEDDING – Flickr did not embed at first.Solicited help from the ds106 community and got some ideas, mostly what I had already tried – but they did spur me to think differently and kept me focused on finding an answer. Turned out to be a default setting (?) under Permissions/Privacy in which the option “Hide from 3rd parth and API search engines…..” was selected. So when wordpress.com would go out for the embed, it couldn’t find the picture and would leave it as a text link that had to be clicked. Problem solved and working now. Cool beans!
Animated GIF – Say it like Peanut Butter: This was an assignment and actually became fun after I got started. I can now see why it becomes addictive.You can read the blow by blow details if you like for these 3 different Wonderful Life GIFs. I went from not a clue to using some wysisyg tools as well as started explore Photoshop and other tools for creation. I think the power of being able to use this method with an actual message or statement is the full implementation. It is also one of those things that takes time and the better it is, the longer it will take and the less noticed the actual process is and more importantly the message is conveyed. When I get to the point of hitting the message strong and no one commenting on the techniques or tech of the gif I know I will have arrived.Still working on the animated GIF concept and trying a GIF Fight – which will probably be a hangover into the next unit.
Gardner Videos: At this point as an open course participant I am opting out of a fully written analysis and reflection of the Gardner videos and bags of gold. I did enjoy the videos, but at an hour plus each, as entertaining as he is, I drifted. Some of that was time of day I was viewing and also because his message was not new to me. It was validating and good to hear his delivery. Some of the other participant reflections I read were spot on and had me cheering. The downside was it reminded me so much of work and getting people on board in their enlightenment and understanding of personal cyber infrastructure. At this point in time, I am focused on implementing the process and the thoughts rather than creating the band wagon to get others on it. The mood will eventually strike me and I will most likely reflect and post at a later date under Chasing Shiny Objects.
NOIR: I think some of my distraction from the Gardner videos were the posts and tweets around NOIR. The instructor sections are taking ds106 thru noir and sounded much more interesting at the moment than the videos. I probably won’t go down a full noir path – but sampling and taking on some of those activities in place of the ones in the headless course may show up. The characters students are creating are fantastic! I read some of the background and am trying to learn about noir.
Daily Create: Thank you #noirds106 sections, #ds106 and #4life participants! Following the parallel activity of the 3 sections ramps up the energy for learner independence of an open course track. You automatically have travelers with you on the journey. Seeing the instructors post for students and watch as they create and figure things out as one class in their busy schedules and life is such a boost. The creativity and innovations, views and discoveries coupled with seeing it all thru diverse lenses of individuals from all stops on the path of life. I am fortunate to have embarked at this time. You guys rock! The other community section consists of those who have passion for this journey and could bleed ds106 – another great resource. The diverse nature of the community adds significant energy to the creative juices and the support to push the sides of the box out of the way and take chances.
How does this relate to Daily Create? Well – the instructor lead sections are working for points and they have to do a daily create – DAILY. Yeah – how about that?
My muses for some of the challenges were Janelle Pierangelino at the Original and Only Janelle Pierangelino and Mia Boleis at What’s Up Mia? in the instructor led sections.
Some of My Daily Creates
So – How do I feel about #ds106 after unit 2? – For being January in Wisconsin I am feeling absolutely fabulous about #ds106. I don’t know if it is New Year organization tendencies or what – but I am welcoming the efforts needed to tackle things. There is frustration, feeling overwhelmed, feeling less than adequate. There is also energy in accomplishing tasks and seeing a thought come to life in a creation. Mostly there is this connectedness and energy of meeting new people without really meeting them and catching their energy. It brings warmth to the heart and soul to see creating and connecting and especially the unconditional support of each other without any previous relationships.
Keep it up #ds106 ers! Love it! Embrace it! Fail forward! I’m along for the ride and looking forward to it.