Daily Create 1649: Line Drawing

#tdc1649 Make Continuous Line Art 

Assignment: Oh no DRAWING! You can draw, trust us. See what you can create in one continuous line, no picking up the pen, cursor.

You might have to think about it first! See it in your head. Or copy something you see in your view.

OG Line Art:

FullSizeRender (1)


Reading Response Week #6:Connected


  1. Lankshear and Knobel (2011) Ch7: Social Learning, “Push” and “Pull,” and Building Platforms for Collaborative Learning
  2. Scott Campbell:The Importance of Being Along in the Digital Era
  3. Smartphone stress: Are you a victim of ‘always on’ culture?
  4. Relationship of Smartphone Use Severity with Sleep Quality, Depression, and Anxiety in University Students


Close up of friends with circle of smart phones

This week’s Lankshear and Knobel (2011) Ch7: Social Learning, “Push” and “Pull,” and Building Platforms for Collaborative Learning, brought up some great learning theories. The chapter began by delving into the meaning of social learning through context and authentic activity. These concepts along with this quote, “If we want to learn deeply, we need access to the means, contexts, and tasks that are integral to generating knowledge, not simply to content transmission and abstracted activities of application like ‘essay writing’”(p.212) kept reminding me of my time as an ELL teacher. Teaching English Language Learners or ESL (English as a Second Language) is always more successful with authentic learning, in the right context and knowing positive cultural means. In this way language and social learning are similar, but they differ in that social learning is a catalyst for innovation and creativity. Now learning a language through a participatory and social manner is beneficial and doing it online can be transformative for many. The children I taught always learned the English language way better on the playground than in the classroom. How can we apply this to technology in the classroom?

I was also very interested in Lankshear and Knobel’s ideas that the information revolution is actually a relationship revolution and in that regard, what is more important is how we learn rather than what we learn. When focusing on how we learn we actually get a deeper sense of learning that can be altered, applied in different situations and expanded upon. When learners focus on the how they become part of what they are learning and can connect to bigger communities of learners. This is a revolutionary idea in that it takes the top-down approach of education and brings it down to focus on the learner.

Speaking of the top-down directive of traditional education, “the push” and “pull” theories in this chapter further call for change. The push is the pre-determined curriculum pushed out to teachers, the dictated information, the “programs” which I have taught the whole time I have been a teacher. The pull is learners being networked, sustainable resources created and developed as needed, platforms of learning, participation, and practice. For me, this is something to be excited about in education.

On another note, I did read all the recommended reading for this week but would like to focus on Scott Campbell’s The Importance of Being Along in the Digital Era. This was not the first time or will be the last time I have read about or analyzed my need to be connected and my lack of solitude. This article also came at a time when I have just had three weeks of guests visiting from out of the country. I have not had a moment to myself in a long time, not even counting my digital addiction. Anyway, it is sad that we feel the need to always be connected and that we now have to actively seek out being alone. And what does this mean for work-life balance (my focal theme)? Since we are always connected online we are also always connected to work. This BBC article Smartphone stress: Are you a victim of ‘always on’ culture? , claims that we are having to manage a broader range of information and communication at work and home leading to more stress. On average we are consuming media for more hours than we sleep! This peer-reviewed article Relationship of Smartphone Use Severity with Sleep Quality, Depression, and Anxiety in University Students adds that our smartphones can lead to a behavioral addiction that may need serious monitoring and in cases cause depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders. So where do we draw the line in our new online participatory culture? Learning, working and playing needs to be a mix of digital and offline activities in order for a balanced life.

Daily Create 1647: C64 Yourself

Make yourself a retro computer portrait! The C64 Yourself site converts any image into something that would look at home on a Commodore 64 screen.

C64 Self2

Warning Poster: Beware When Life-Juggling

Create A Warning Poster

Assignment: Create a poster warning people of some sort of danger. It can be a danger that isn’t ever present, like the lochness monster, or something really elaborate, like beware falling off of a rhino into a bath of lizards and Shia Lebouf. Have fun with it and get as creative as possible! Gimp or Photoshop are suggested.

This week I chose a Visual Assignment from the DS106 Assignment Bank on creating a warning poster. My focal theme of work-life balance definitely deserved a poster warning of the consequences of an unbalanced life. I wanted to keep it simple like this example:


My version:

A New Design

I started to make a poster through Canva.com, but like previous attempts to use this site, I had trouble. Instead, I googled “online poster creation” and found postermywall.com. This site was very easy to use and offered free clipart with minor restrictions. I used red font for the letters in “Warning” to elicit the concept of danger. I chose a picture of a woman juggling many representations of aspects of her life because I could relate to this image and chose an emoticon that represented negative feelings. I then was unable to download my poster from  postermywall.com and without paying for an account or liking the site on my Facebook page. I chose the later though I would have preferred to know this requirement before using this site.




Daily Create # 1646

#tdc1646 This is not a Magritte Remix

Hopefully, you have seen René Magritte’s insanely great Treachery of Imagespainting, a picture of a pipe with the caption “this is not a pipe.”

Create your own version with something from the current era for the pipe and try to stay as true to the aesthetic of the original as possible.


Week #5 Refection: Change

Week #5 Reflection

emoji strong

  1. How well do you feel you completed the requirements of the week’s assignments (inclusive of at least two TDCs, your DS106 Activity Bank Assignment, response to course readings (grad students only), critique of digital story, various responses to CU Denver peers, and engagement with other online social networks)?

I think I did well having completed all the required work this week. I started the week by creating a movie poster mashup. I thought the concept was good but the final product could have looked a bit more polished. I am still getting a handle on using Photoshop type software and spent quite a bit of time creating the poster despite it looking a little amateur. I created two Daily Creates throughout the week. I had planned to do more Daily Creates for fun but ran out of time. In my reading this week I focused on the aspects that need change in education and schools. We read Jenkins chapter on Communities of Readers, Clusters of practice, where I chose to focus on the change needed for technology to become completely integrated into schools along with participatory culture. I read most of the recommended reading but chose to write about the Letters to the President project, where students are able to annotate material in the upcoming election. For my personal scholarship, I read about the repercussions of overscheduling children and the influence it has on work-life balance at a young age. On the heels of this reading, I critiqued a digital story involving a video for teens on work-school-life balance and the things young people can do to take care of themselves. This week I also critiqued two peer reading responses and two peer story critiques. Since my group is small I am still critiquing the same people and I am finding it interesting the materials and resources these peers are finding on specific topics. And for the second week, I feel my conversations through online annotating are getting even better.

  1. What gave you trouble? What did you enjoy most? What did you learn?

Creating the movie poster gave me the most trouble this week. I plan on researching better Photoshopping tools that are easier for me to use. I really enjoyed the readings this week. I found the topics varied and interesting. I am still processing the disparity, mentioned in Jenkin’s chapter, between participatory culture and Web 2.0. My ideas have even changed since discussions with my peers in online annotation about this topic.

  1. What would you do differently? What questions do you have?

I might have done a different D106 assignment bank mashup but I am glad I can learn from the experience I did have. Right now I do not have any questions.

  1. What are some of the larger issues surrounding your work, particularly as they relate to exploring your focal theme?

My focal theme, life-work balance, is a bit ironic right now because I am feeling a little burnt out. I am finding that I am spreading myself thin this summer and feel I am on a treadmill to get all of this work done. This is also my last class in this graduate class, just turned in my portfolio this week and looking for a job right now too. Hopefully, I will find more tips for me to get a better balance through my research in this class.

  1. Provide a self-assessment of your work quality and effort on a “exceeding expectations,” “meeting expectations,” and “below expectations” scale. Why are you “exceeding” or “meeting” or “below” course expectations?

I think I am exceeding expectations right now. I am completing all of the work on time, responding to peers and processing all that I am learning. I am doing work that is meaningful to me and hopefully others.

Daily Create #1641: Oh Yeah!

I forgot to post this on July 6th! I created this last Wednesday. 

We once had a Daily Create where everyone yodeled. That was fun and strange.

How about an “Oh … Yeah …” audio create? Push “record” on your audio player, and give us your best and most dramatic “Oh … Yeah …” and then share it out.

oh yeah



Story Critique #5: Work-Life Balance: Teens

Week 5: Story Critique

Life Balance For Teens: https://youtu.be/geMUicEId9k


After reading about the effects of overscheduled children for my interest driven scholarly research this week, I thought a lot about work-life balance (my focal theme) of children and teens. If children and teens struggle to have balance in their lives how are they supposed to achieve a healthy lifestyle as an adult? I found this video created with powtoon.com by an organization called Positive Mental Health. The video is a slideshow instructing teens on how to juggle school, socializing, family, work, etc.

What types of “involvement” – and by the author/creator(s), participant(s), and/or audience – are apparent in this story?  The creator of this story was knowledgeable about the lifestyles of teens and the stressors they face. He/she used a fun platform, powtoon.com, to make the lesson more relatable and exciting. The audience is expected to be able to understand the concepts presented and ask for help.

How would you characterize the “literacy dimensions” present in this story? The literacy dimensions of this story seemed to be subscribed by the use of the PowToon template. The template provided the slide show and music. Within the template, this story is organized in a list of suggested actions. The introduction gives purpose to the list. The music brings in an element of suspense or intrigue having come from an action movie. The creator used scrolling written word instead of a voiceover for easier comprehension.

What are the online spaces and sites that bring this story to life? Why do these spaces and sites matter to the impact of the given story? I am not aware of specific reasons this video was created. I assume by the name of the organization, Positive Mental Health, that this video is used in an educational capacity. I found this video by googling “life-work balance teens” in Google Video. This video is hosted publically on youTube.com. The video was tagged well and was easy to find in a quick search, making it accessible to many people. This accessibility may be vital in the impact of the story.

Based upon your assessment of involvement and literacy dimensions, what modifications and changes to this digital story might improve aspects of narrative, production, media usage, and/or audience engagement? This story communicated its purpose very well. Having used PowToon many times I quickly recognized the template and format. Since I am unsure of the exact purpose or circumstances this video was created I cannot say whether I would prefer to have used a different software that I was not as familiar.


Daily Create 1642: National Goadeling Day

#tdc1642 Today is a national day of … invent a holiday!

Every day has a memorable theme- make yours into a new international holiday and make some art about that theme.


Reading Response Week #5

Reading Response Week #5

Students Needing and Making Change


  1. Jenkins (2008) Afterword: Communities of Readers, Clusters of Practices
  2. Jeremy Dean: Letters to the Next President 2.0
  3. Jeremy Dean: Social Reading in the Writing Classroom: A Webinar and 5 Ways to Use Hypothes.is for Rhet/Comp
  4. Mia Zamora: Dear Future President
  5. Remi Holden: Playful Annotation in the Open: Part 3
  6. The Effects of Over-Scheduled Children: Perspectives of Childcare Workers


This week’s required reading, Jenkins (2008) Afterword: Communities of Readers, Clusters of Practices, revealed to me that participatory online tools in the classroom are not a distraction or entertainment but a way to construct identity and navigate social environments. I do think it will take the generations of people who have not grown up with online participatory culture or even the internet itself time to understand and accept this concept, though. It is still revolutionary enough to be divisive. On another topic, having taught in many low-income schools I have been well aware of the digital divide and the struggles to get equitable hardware and software to the disadvantaged. Though I have felt this was a tremendous hurdle, I don’t feel it even compares to “the participation gap” mentioned in this chapter. The participation gap not only requires the digital divide to close but needs a completely new pedagogy to emerge and be accepted from the top of the system to the bottom of the schools. This is an enormous undertaking, and will take work considering the generation gap mentioned above. I am sure these changes with eventually take place, though, because of the need for advancement in education.

For these changes to take place teachers are asked to become participants themselves in the participatory culture. This seems to be a reoccurring them in this course, I am guessing not by accident. Once again I am reminded that you can’t understand from looking from the outside in but need to be immersed in order for true comprehension. Plus belonging in this way allows a person to set their own goals, have a sense of responsibility, and care about being a part of something larger.

Before this chapter, I was unaware there could be a distinction between participatory culture and web 2.0. According to this work, web 2.0 is a business model where participants can be exploited as consumers that contribute to the free labor of attention. Participatory culture, on the other hand, has a long history of people coming together to create and connect without a systematic organization. This is important to know so that the 2.0 business model does not inadvertently wind up in the education system. The last thing we need is for amazing online tools to become systemized, bureaucratic and used in a traditional education style.

What students need is a participatory culture with real world consequences like what can be found in Letters to the Next President 2.0 and Dear Future President. Hypothes.is, the online annotation tool, has created a project to involve youth in annotating activities for the 2016 election. Students can fact-check candidate statements, comment on speeches, annotate campaign websites, etc. This is exactly the type of authentic learning students should be doing in school. It’s interesting, applicable, community oriented, participatory and real. Students will be invested in their own learning and the events in the world around them.

The Letters to the Next President project got me thinking about how young people today were going to navigate their own work-life balance (my focal theme) in the future. Were they going to have the same situations we have today or would life become even more complex as it has for us compared to the olden days of past? Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find many studies about how the youth of today felt about work-life balance in the future. But I did think about what life is like for children today in terms of time and schedules. I found many reviewed studies like The Effects of Over-Scheduled Children: Perspectives of Childcare Workers , about the ways kids today are overscheduled and stressed out. This study claims that being over scheduled as a child may lead to being overscheduled as an adult, which can lead to poor work-life balance. Also, many overscheduled children are tired and emotionally exhausted, which can lead to illness. Sick children make the work-life balance of their parents even harder as schedules become disrupted, childcare becomes an issue and work does not get done. Maybe all of us, not just kids, are overscheduled and need to reevaluate the hectic nature of our lives. Maybe as technology advances and education improves the children of the future will teach us how to live balanced lives.