Slow or Motion in the Ocean?

Trying to figure out the meld of video week between #Noir106, open course – #ds106 and personalized learning plan.

I think I overshot on this week. Blended using my Dad as my character and video. I got caught up in the content – pics and some scarce video in trying to do an overview or what is becoming a 4-7 minute trailer for his future story. It will be about 6 minutes, but taking days – and still not be what I wanted in the end but a good learning experience.

In the meantime – the UMW students are following their instructor leads and creating building blocks and knocking the socks off me! Brian Goulet – a fantastic video of the assignment talking to myself! It has inspired me to try – but I am still stuck in the mud in getting going on it. His approach was awesome. Brian is a natural in the spotlight too.

This 4life person – Janelle Pierangelino did a smooth into and teaser. She makes it look so easy! It really is in the writing and telling before the tools.

Tiffany – wow! She has shown us how this is about the real person and that life is full of experiences that we can take as building or destroying. She shows us building is the route to take.

And Spencer – the man is a cranking machine! – Can’t wait to see the Lego stop motion!

So for me – I have been immersed in lots of still shots – figuring out keyframes and editing to try to tell a story. This first one will a re-do – a learning experience. As I progress I find how important organization of content and STORY is so important. Kinda like painting a room – it is all in the prep. Finding content, determining a focus and story line – finding the right content to go with the story and how to focus for a viewer without including everything (because you can’t) and getting it down to the high points.

I have spent almost 3.5 days on this so far and it will not show as that when I am finally done – but that is okay. I am already looking ahead at how to improve and what stories are next.

Looking at the assignments – I have also been trying to figure out the skill and when to just you a tool that gets you a product. The WYSIWYG tools are great if you have a specific story and it is complete. They are great for the quick, the temporary the need it for a flash in the pan now.

The difference really takes me back to even what @jimgroom is doing with the Atari games. There is a lot behind all the technology we use. It is becoming mainstream and easy to use so that everyone can look good. BUT – even with the ease – the best will be those with depth and thought. And appreciating all it took to make it so easy is still worthwhile. We will not all be programmers or developers – but it is necessary in creating good work to understand that there was a path to get to where we are now and it  is important.

With all that – here is a use what there is template –  with the learning point of trying to remember to turn my phone horizontal!

More to come… for my Jerry video post!

D&D, Bathroom Quickies, Green Tea Ice Cream, Fedoras, ….

Radio Listen Tweet Alongs Week of March 8th.  ds106.ioAnimatedNewOldFriend_290

Noir106 student group collaboration radio shows premiered on ds106 radio at 9pmEST M-Th this week and will continue the week of March 16. Live tweet alongs were part of the airing of the shows.

I had listened to several of the shows on Soundcloud the previous week, but the act of listening with others really makes a difference. It brought visions of old photos and documentaries about radio programs and families sitting around the radio together to listen. I even had a Walton’s flash back to seeing John Boy and all the family in the living room listening to the radio!

Back to points – it was a roller coaster of stories, genres, strategies and approaches with each show. None were the same. Tweets came in from collaborators that they had anxious moments as their show was next and they didn’t think it could hold up to the one they were listening too. A sure sign that there was respect and admiration for the work being listened too. But each was so unique they stood on their own.

I failed to keep track of which group and time, and won’t be able to comment about each and everyone. And I do not have a requirement to do a specific review – which also allows me to just enjoy each one for what it is. I looked forward to the time each night.

Groups all had a struggle point  – why wouldn’t they? This is a group collaboration of individuals who have not worked together and have about 8-12 days to come together and get something produced in media that is likely new to them. The plus was even if a group had a struggle point – i.e. difficulty in normalizing audio, or a story line that didn’t quite develop as fully as intended – another area would shine so brightly that the struggle point was not as clear. Every team seemed to bring the their best to the group and it showed.

A few groups came pretty damn close to nailing it all and were outstanding. This activity was a learning experience – so there is no ranking or contests in my mind. It is finding the shining moments and seeing that the struggles were acknowledged by the participants as what to do better next time. Pure gold to hear and read. Everyone moves forward.

I enjoyed each show and found moments of sheer genius in each and inspiration – but also those moments when  – “oops – that is something to remember when putting something like this together”. Outstanding bumpers, commercials, sound effects, scripts. With audio weeks this great – video is going to blow the roof!

Great work UMW Noir106. Looking forward to next week.

This is a current Kohler commercial that reminds me of the show “Noir Not the Father”. #bthrmquickie

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?

Trying to stay Straight on Down the Line

My journey to ds106 began in a Flickr 365 group in which @cogdog (Alan Levine) was one of the instigators…..errr….founders, of the group that started mostly as people somehow connected to education and technology. The community was welcoming, supportive and structured, but not mandated structured. The way in which the originators of the group set up the context for participation and their modeling invoked positive connections. It also showed how everyone has something to give and share some of the time, some all the time, and some only when you really need it. From this group I have established deep and lasting relationships with people I have never met in person. It has been 6 years since my first photo and I am still connected to a core group even though we have all moved on to other things or directions.


My 365 Albums:  2009  2010  Dailyshoot   (got busy the next years and didn’t create albums!)
365 Group on Flickr
DailyShoot on Flickr

I was already a part of an online world – but this group extended my connectedness to the globe. My professional side, I have been online in education since 1992 and started with the Freenet – bulletin boards (yeah – you #noir106 students may need to look those up in Wikipedia). I have moved through more than a dozen LMS systems, course development tools, video, and more. Most of my work was in professional development and systems with educators as the students, focusing on how to move them towards working with their students online. The problem was my job was in getting these things going and getting others to see the possibilities and a vision. It left me only time to do things as a “work hobby” in getting systems and direction started and handing it off to others to do the creating. My dream was to do the creating and see something from start to finish. But something called needing a paycheck and others deciding leadership was a better route for me to make a difference, set the direction. I enjoyed my time in that role and can look back on making a difference. 2014 brought forward family health issues. I was able to take early retirement and focus on family and take on new things that hold me only accountable to myself. I knew I wanted to jump into ds106 – I have for a few years now. It has taken me a year to get adjusted to letting work go and allow me to focus on my own passions and create again.

With the new year – I started on my own in the headless open version of DS106. If I was going to make this happen for me- I had to do it. I couldn’t use the excuse that @cogdog was having to move on with new ideas, that @jimgroom and others were now continuing in their care for ds106, that it was now not the newest kid on the block. But I believe in its foundation, methods, and philosophy. It is a game changer. It is not just a course for UMW – it is a way that connects around the world and makes a difference.

Straight on Down the Line Groupie or Stalker

Whether it was karma or dumb luck, my journey into independent learning with ds106 aligned my time in learning cyberspace creation with 3 awesome sections of students in the journey at UMW as #noir106. It also provides me some motivation and some accountability to get things done. The ds106 structure is solid, but takes themes with each new cohort. Previously student cohorts explored through Wire and other themes and genre. This cohort is exploring through Noir Films. I am not old enough to have experienced noir firsthand (REALLY I’M NOT!), but close enough to those who did that I can recognize it. I love getting to know the students and other participants and see how they grow! Because or the open format someone like me can walk along the process without being official. How life is that! But it also can cause some unsettling of traditional format students and seem like stalking or intrusion. But cleverly – it is life and no matter who drops in everyone has to figure out how to accept, include, or ignore and put aside. Students have their guides (instructors) to help them balance that as a real experience. Watch and learn from them.

I am going through ds106 as an open course and independent learner. I don’t know that I will ever take an official “education system” learning opportunity again – or at least not until the systems change some things. My last professional work was in understanding how systems need to change. I am living my convictions. So that means I am responsible for my learning, for determining my path and my greatest success. I go the route of failing forward. I believe in personalized learning, creating my path and reaching learner independence. I believe our economy and world needs people who know how to become independent learners for their success and the success of our communities.

I have created my own expectations to stay on course and be productive in this ds106 structure. I am honing my foundation skills so that I can take my personal content – family pictures, video, artifacts etc. and create digital stories for my daughters and any future family members.

Traveling along  the learning path with the noir106 for me borders on groupie and stalker. Groupie in how there are so many talented people and it is exciting to see who comes out of their comfort zone and shares their talents. I am cheering for you – talents you may not have known existed because no one else responded.

Stalker in the sense that I am not one of the students in a section, but with this format (which is totally awesome and the way many things should be) I am not confined by having to get a grade or still “in the system”. I also have the background and now time to explore, take in and respond to work being done by others. So at times that can prove to be awkward because while the sharing gives me opportunity to know others, sometimes they don’t realize they are sharing much is noticed by others. I have the luxury and freedom to be around more often too- which I suppose could get creepy – like -“why is she always there?”

Stalker in the sense that sometimes we don’t know how much we shared and when someone notices it is sort of unsettling. We thought we were saying something no one else would notice. But guess what – it is okay to share and find out about yourself.

I want to thank the ds106 community. There are #4 life folks who have embraced and welcomed. Thanks to  @mdvfunes  @rockylou22 @johnjohnston @ronaldL  The #noir106 students have been inspirational – I told my family – “these college students are kicking my ass!”,  I have to work on the next assignment! You keep me  reaching to higher outcomes, ideas and solutions.

The instructors – Burtis, Bond, Groom – examples and modeling what great educators should do – outstanding!  And I can’t go without recognizing the #4life folks. Through the Google + community I have connected with some lifers and people with some very creative talents and even more so the willingness to share and take new people into the fold. I am learning so much and appreciate the diversity and many views and directions.

I wish for the traditional students – you find the nugget of gold in this experience and carry it forward. It is not just a 15 week course – it is a model of how life is full and how you can create and give to community. My challenge to the grad students and the other open course followers – QUIT staying on the sidelines and let us know you are there!! You are missing the energy. Connect with more than just the open line feed.

Can’t wait to see the #noir106 character transformations, and the creations. I am looking forward to staying connected with you past your course if you see the opportunity – you have a fan for your work and your life!

and some days I am a groupie – in awe of your work,
some days a stalker just viewing, learning, and feeling left in the dust –
and some days just not there at all – but never you are never out of mind. I will be back or just a post/tweet away. Keep creating, learning, and sharing. You can make a difference. Wishing you all continued growth and success.

These comments in Twitter were totally making me red faced and wondering how I could slide back into the shadows!  It is just what should be done to respect the work of others and their learning even if it reminds me that I can’t do it quietly without notice. But thanks for the shout out – now back to focusing on the students! Sometimes I can forget that there is a whole world out there watching the interactions.

Thanks to all for your acceptance into the community.

Post script to Bond: Heretic! LOL – first time I have been called that! Kinda like the role HA! Tend to think of myself just more accepting of many things and not one way – always open to the next view. Hence chasing shiny objects category – I consider not being able to say “no” at times a character strength and not a fault.  Also a reason for a couple of masters degrees instead of doctoral studies – I didn’t want a narrow path  – diversity is rich – just an opinion. 😉

ds106 Bootcamp Unit 1: The game has started!

Wow – I have taken the leap and started DS106! I have been wanting to do this for a few years now, but work and family and life was heavy and each time I got close to starting I procrastinated and found a reason not to become involved. What a mistake!

In this first unit I have been welcomed by others – rather quickly – which has been comforting and unnerving at the same time. There is no standing in the back of the room and observing once you add that hashtag to anything you do. The great thing is, this community is welcoming and accepting. The underlying value is respect and that everyone is good at something and everyone stinks at things too. If you don’t share it all, you don’t grow. And as long as you are not doing anything to hurt someone else – try it – you may surprise yourself.

As I watched the videos in the unit, they were a good reminder of many of the things I believe. Art – make it damn it! My background is that I studied to be an art teacher/art therapist in my undergrad program because there was an over abundance of elementary school teachers. I had no classes in high school, no actual art making experience before I entered the program, but they took me anyways as it was new and they needed some students. I was surrounded by “artists” but I didn’t let it get to me. Instead I submersed myself in the community and didn’t worry that my art was not at polished as others. By my senior exhibit my professor who needed to label everyone’s style determined that my art was in line with children and mad men. I wore it as a badge of honor!


  • #1 Don’t do it for the money or you won’t have anything.
  • #2 If you wait for perfection you will not be successful. Make mistakes, lots of them, and fail forward.
  • #3 READ everything you can get your hands on! Love this – but I am still a scanner – not one to read complete novels. Lost that in my graduate studies in not being able to stick with one thing if it was long. But in this nugget I read a Fast Company article that totally describes what I think every collaborative team should have and why learning is important – plus seems to fit this journey well:



Advice from previous students: 

While most of the advice I read, watched, listened to, was from students in a traditional semester experience it was validating to hear that at times this will feel like lots of work, but staying on course and keeping calm, challenging ones self to establish some habits it becomes easier. Learning is practice. If we don’t practice and practice often it will always be overwhelming. Keeping goals attainable and building upon them. And most of all – ask questions, pay forward, stay calm, and create!

A common piece of advice was to remember to do these summaries and to do them as you are working – not at the last minute. Journaling has never been a strong suit of mine and one I hope to polish during this journey for it to become habit and hopefully learn to be more succinct for myself and any readers as the units move on.

My Accounts:

I actually found I had accounts in many of these places but have not connected or in some cases not used at all! DS106 I can see already is providing me a framework for establishing a presentable way for me to connect and maximize the many attributes of the accounts for creation and communication. Focus and direction to establish a strong foundation in which I can take to the places my mind has visioned. So chasing shiny objects, but with results!

Me and hubby taking selfies for my niece’s 18th birthday video.

 Who am I? My About Page

What did I learn in this Bootcamp 1 Unit?:

I learned I have learned things in my journey that I have not used to create art. Many digital tools I have explored as part of helping others get started and they did the creating. Now it is my turn to use to create instead of to support the technical side or to only be the muse or encourager. I think if I would have been able to figure this out and have focus, many things could have been different. So mistake one – no regrets – move forward.

The hard part of this unit was in sticking with it and not jumping ahead or doing things part way. Also not to wait for perfection or the perfect prompt. I am learning that feeling uncomfortable is okay and means something is happening that could be good – I just don’t know it yet.

I don’t have direct questions yet. Well maybe – How the hell did you get this organized and so on target that it is still creating the energy it does after its initial run? There is the element of sustainability and scaling and it seems to be part of this? There are lessons here that can apply to other work people do.

What do I dread? – not sure yet – taking everything so far as looking up and not at my shoes.

Still have another Daily Create to accomplish to reach 3 for this unit. I have to admit – these are intimidating. It reminds me of Daily Shoot. Sometimes the prompt connects immediately, sometimes it doesn’t bring any thoughts to mind, sometimes it brings to many ideas! I did look at the submissions of others- that was even more overwhelming until I realized some take it beyond the quick create and turn it into an actual assignment instead of just getting the creative juices flowing. As I am in Open DS106 I may go back to past Daily Create prompts and make attempts in order to establish a closer to daily habit. The real time prompts will be better for community building, but also could be a show stopper until I have wider variety of modalities in my practice bag.

Here are my first two. (or use the nav to Daily Create Section)

IMG_8901 Daily Create