The past 4 days has been the longest 8 years of my life. It was a lot of work getting my final story done, and some of it (lookin’ at you, GIF) didn’t actually need to be done. I like to think it added to my story, though. I hope.
I think I can safely say that this is one of the most challenging courses I’ve ever taken. I can’t believe how stupid I was coming into this class thinking, “Oh, it’s just a 100-level class, it’ll be easy!” I’d been really kicking myself after the first week. It’s always hard to get adjusted to a new course, especially one that’s online. I’d consider myself an online-classinista; I’ve been taking online courses for something like 5 or 6 years now, but I’ve never had one like DS106. This was a HUGE challenge, but at the same time, it was refreshing.
If I were to take this class a second time… I’d tell myself to have more fun. With a lot of my assignments, I set the bar way too high for myself, or I was too much of a perfectionist in trying to achieve what I saw in my mind’s eye. I’d want to remind myself that the class isn’t “Graphic Design 480” or whatever. It’s Digital Storytelling – STORYTELLING! Tell the damn story!
I’d also tell myself to pick a blog theme with a regular sized font. Once a week for the past 5 weeks I’ve gone deep into this crazy CSS and tried changing the font sizes for every little thing. I go to check if my changes have taken… and nothing. So I give up! Then the next day when I’m previewing a post I’m working on, my font is small and everything looks crazy. So what’s the truth, WordPress? How long does it take CSS changes to stick? My font is TOO BIG!
Of course there were a lot of technical things I learned in the past 5 weeks, like how to make a GIF using GIMP, and how much my computer hates gif attempts that go over 50 frames. For some reason though, I kept making 50+ frame gifs, especially in my goof gif post where I ended up including two Parks and Rec bloopers all gif-ified. I also like to think I got pretty good at navigating Audacity, after having to use it not only for week 3 but for weeks 4 and 5 too! I was hesitant to use my own voice in a recording, but one of the audio posts I like the most is my college radio ad one. I’m glad we had to make so many audio posts in week 3 to get us used to using whatever program we had. It’s like having to know how to walk before you can run – you need the whole foundation there!
However, I think that once all is said and done, I got better at using digital media to tell stories. This class is digital storytelling, after all. In week 2, reading the Vignelli Canon really opened my eyes to what I had been doing wrong. One of the things that stood out to me was the emphasis on intent. If the intent behind a design is clear, the design itself will make sense. This translates to storytelling using digital media. Before, I was posting whatever I made and saying, “Look at this.” After having read Vignelli, I understood that I needed to clarify why there was a reason to look, or at least why I made it.
I feel like I may have learned the most from week 3’s material on audio storytelling. I listen to podcasts and radio stories a lot, but the way they told their stories had never crossed my mind. (I’d say it’s like Vignelli says – a design done well is one that you don’t notice at all!) One of my favorite clips from the week was Dissecting Joanne Rosser, Papermaker. It was short and fun to listen to, and it helped me learn how to really listen to how sound helps carry the narrative along. I listened to that a couple times while I was working on my summary of the TED Talk about the robo-seals and the Moon Graffiti story.
Throughout the course, I definitely got reminders that not everything I make is gonna be good. Some of it is just gonna be crap. Some people won’t know what the hell it is, and sometimes it’ll be my fault for not telling its story! I made it all the way to week 5 before making the worst thing I’ve ever made, and I still put that in my final project.
But enough about stuff I made that sucks. One thing I made that I really love is my sticky note gif! This was another assignment that should have been quick but ended up taking WAY longer than it should, because of my issues with GIMP. But I really love that gif, regardless of the flaws that still show in the final product. I think my mom shared it on her facebook. I also really like all the things I did for my final project that aren’t the video. That video will haunt me for the rest of my life.
Anyway, that’s it for me. Blog over. Bye-bye. Thank you to everyone! 🙂