Learning with Digital Stories: Final Portfolio by Brian Rocz

The product of eight intense weeks of learning, sharing, discussion, media creation, frustration and uncontrollable weeping.


  1. This is my story, my journey through the Learning with Digital Stories class at the University of Colorado Denver. It was a short road that strangely seemed to stretch to a distant horizon. I was looking for an end and now that I have reached that "end" I realize that there is no destination perse, but rather only the endless journey with pitstops along the way.
  2. We learned that education entails engaging in "new literacies" like social media and networked technologies. I had to dive into the subject matter because there wasn't time enough to contemplate my ignorance. Thinking about our class readings made me aware of the larger role that social media and our networked culture can play in education and personal growth.
  3. Assimilating This New Information

  4. There was a lot to take in this semester. It was stressful, yet rewarding. The course readings covered a wide range of topics like ideas about "new literacies," social learning, blogging and steering education away from the traditional top-down model. Everything that I read in this class I will be digesting for a time to come.
  5. Media Production

  6. We produced a lot of media in this class. Being able to create our own "stories" was challenging, fun and sometimes a little frustrating. I was able to choose projects that forced me to learn something new about whatever piece of software that I was using to create the media.
  7. I created this video tutorial on how to model a chalkboard in Blender (3D modeling and animation suite). The object was something that I have been meaning to make for a while for an older personal project.
  8. Creating a Chalkboard in Blender: Part 1
  9. This is a 3D animation made to look like a sticky note flipbook animation. The outlined look was created with output settings in the software. I never used the cartoon shading function before, so there was a bit of Googling answers and tweaking settings to acheive the look.
  10. I wanted to depict the joke that Stormtroopers can't hit anything.
  11. I have always liked rotoscoped animation--drawing over a video frame by frame. When the opportunity to create one presented itself, I took it. I recorded some video game footage and imported it into graphics software. I have to say that I have a new respect for any artist that does this kind of work. It was very time-consuming and tedious. That doesn't mean that it wasn't interesting. I liked the result and wished I could have done a longer clip.
  12. Scribbled to Death: Star Wars Battlefront Rotoscope Animation
  13. Story Critiques

  14. These digital story critiques challenged us to focus a critical eye on various media. Analyzing their storytelling dimensions using various criteria. I have done plenty of critical readings during my English undergrad experience. Looking at these digital creations as "stories" didn't click with me at first. But coming to realize that a story doesn't have to be a traditional text narrative. Stories are personal, or cultural ideas and expressions that create meaning. Any creation made within a social context in any medium can be considered a story.
  15. Social Media Awareness

  16. I am not an avid user of social media, though my use and understanding of social media has grown a bit during this course. We used Hypothesis annotations to discusss course readings and twitter for communication for the most part. Following is a selection of interactions that expanded my understanding of the value and use of networked technologies for education and social interactions.