ILT Final Portfolio, Diving in, Looking back and continuing forward

I have breached and entered the digital realm, a place that I now enjoy, but a few months ago, I would have never imagined myself. In becoming acquainted with with multiple ports of social media, I am now part of a vast network of storytellers, this is a story of my journey.

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  1. From creating GIF's to public annotations, daily creates and DS106 assignments, this where my digital and reality self meet. I will learn it is not about giving in to one side or another, or letting go of traditional methods, its all about participation, not just watching and listening, but diving in and being an active participant.
  2. I always knew that storytelling was important from a cultural aspect, it's how we keep our cultures alive and thriving, it's how we never forget.Story telling is way to communicate, to share what happens in our lives, and to make new history. Until ILT5340, I had never really understood the impact of social media and digital affinities to storytelling. Blogging, Tweeting, Instagram, I found all of these to be tools of egocentrism rather than venues for storytelling. It was a rocky road to begin, filled with perturbation and a little unwillingness to change. Before ILT5340 I had never tweeted, or posted very much on any social media sites, the onslaught of publicness and exposure to so many digital outputs was very overwhelming at first. Being required to tweet, blog, annotate and participate on varied levels int he DS106 community in this new world was exciting, and nerve racking all at the same time. One of my first twitter posts about my new digital experiences...demonstrated my unease with change, as a life time student I should have known that I was about to do some serious authentic learning, learning that I will never forget.
  3. As an art teacher, I instantly became part of a enormous community of artists, my theme for ILT5340 helped to catapult my Twitter followers, and develop my online persona. Art is the oldest form of storytelling, and for me is far more than a passion or hobby. As a teacher I use art to transform inequities, build understanding and community, and to draw a passion for learning from everyone that I meet. Using public art, graffiti and social change as a venue, my coursework took shape, every week informing my readers and followers about historical and upcoming artists from around the globe while I learned the in's and out's of digital storytelling. From Banksy to Montague, to Osgemeos and Hassani, each week I revisited favorites and learned about some new artists through new connections via Twitter.
  4. In learning about digital story telling, I began to realize, just like in art there are many forms, different mediums and outlets for storytelling, a story may be long, or a short meme, it may be a movie, a Gif or a blog post or even an Twitter post. Story telling is about the voice you use to communicate with others and how you raise awareness to the topics that are important to you. As we dove into the digital atmosphere, we joined a large online community of learners, creators and communicators in DS106. Through the DS106 hub, we would complete assignments and be challenged to participate via daily creates. What was at first a chore, the daily creates became for me, a way to make connections outside of ILT and form new bonds with people around the world. I began to see that these little experiments in creativity were not just for me, but another way to share my story and passion of art and creating. I regret now not challenging myself earlier to experiment with the daily create everyday, in looking forward I know that it is something that I will continue to participate in daily, and am trying to "remix" (Lankshear and Knobel, 2011) the practice in my own classroom to help students understand the power of storytelling while working on their creative powers!
  5. Along with daily creates, via the Ds106 community I also learned new mediums and forms of story telling through the assignment bank. This experiences of choosing my own assignments was new, in academia we are so used to being told what to do and how, the DS106 community comprised of learners and creators from all backgrounds, nullifies the idea, as did ILT5340, of a professor and learners. Here we are all learners, learning from each other. At first it seems so awkward, no wrong answers, so many different ideas floating around. The need for feedback and acceptance plagues my first few weeks, as I make the transition from traditional academia, to digital. I learn that much like in life it self, the more you give the more you get back, feedback from peers takes place in greater numbers the more feedback that you give, you have to actively participate. It seems so logical, but took me nearly half the class to understand. Some of my favorite assignments from the Ds106 assignment bank include:
  6. Not all the assignments were completely successful, but all used different media outputs; photoshop, incredibox, stopmotion and an movie stills with Image Macroanaylsis in JavaScript (IMJ). Where I started off being jaded about the lack of creativity in digital affinities, I am now a bonafide member of Gif creators! Through communications with members of ds106, and others in my new digital affinity world of Twitter, I let fear of the unknown go, fully gave into learning without an instructor and taught myself how to make GIF's and meme's. This may seem miniscule in the entire scheme of things, but I think for me this is where the class changed, I became even more active in my participation, I was learning for myself, and this may be the greatest gift of ILT5340, this is what every teacher hopes that their students will take from their class, a passion for learning for the sake of learning, not for a grade, not for public accolades, but for the pure joy of learning and becoming a more versatile person in the community and world. My first GIF:
  7. Outside of creating, I also learned how to critique digital stories using Jason Ohler's traits of assesment and digital literacy dimensions to better understand the digital storytelling process and purposes. Sticking to my theme, weekly I choose different posts and videos of artists and their endeavours, successes and failures. At times it was difficult to mesh both public art and graffiti with the tone of social justice and change that I wanted to, but overall I am very happy with the choices of artists that I made, and hope that others not only enjoyed the read, but also walked away with a better understanding of advocacy and art. My story critiques followed the famous Banksy, up and coming female artist Shamissia Hassani, and even took a different perspective looking into the work of not so popular artist Casey Nocket. I am not sure that in 8 short weeks I fully understand the concept of digital literacy dimensions, though they do mirror traditional literacy dimension, but that too is something that I can now learn on my own. It's like being a reborn student, learning on your own. My most successful digital story critiques meshing both my theme and the critique of a digital story:
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