This week we examined the concept of multimodaltity in digital storytelling. Multimodality refers to the plethora of platforms available for digital storytelling. Admittedly, I can become overwhelmed by the sheer amount of new platforms being developed in elearning. About a year ago, I began keeping a list in a notebook of both established and new elearning platforms that I want to at least try, if not learn. Some of these platforms are simple to use, while others, like for example Adobe Captivate, have caused me to subscribe to to be able to learn how to use them to their full potential. I have a lot of fun doing this, and this class in particular has definitely increased the amount of platforms that I have never been exposed to before, but yet I want to learn. My goal in this class is to try as many of them as possible for my assignments.

This week, I used a new tool called Map Stack for my weekly DS106 Daily Create. Map Stack, by Stamen, says their program “makes designing maps free, easy, and fun.” The user can choose a particular city or location, pick from various types of maps, then assemble layers, masks, colors, and labels to create a fully customized map. As a person who studied visual design vigorously in my first master’s degree in technical communication and fell in love with it, and someone who is obsessed with maps (I have a huge collection!), I absolutely love this tool! It is perfect for visual designers to spice up their maps or to show a particular type of information (building density, parks, bodies of water, etc). Shown is the map I created of my city, Corvallis, Oregon, depicting building density in the downtown corridor.

Another tool I used this week was Mountain Rescue by Conducttr for my Weekly Critique. I see so much potential for elearning in a platform like this. My thoughts about my experience with Mountain Rescue can be read in my blog post here.

My favorite task this week was producing a media project from the class assignment bank. I chose to create an “Artifact from the Near Future.” For this task, we are asked to create a media project that shows how a person, place, product, or activity might look in the near-future. My mind immediately went to Mars and the possibility of humans inhabiting the planet in the future. I created a real estate advertisement in Canva. I had a lot of fun creating this and I felt like my project looked really nice. I imagined a new type of currency, and what sort of amenities Mars would have. I researched the geography of Mars to include in the ad as well. I have saved this on my Google Drive as a PDF for viewing here.

This week we also examined several learning theories relating to learning: Piaget’s Constructivism, Papert’s Constructionism, and Siemens and Downes Connectivism. We were asked to decide which of these three theories fits the pedagogy of INTE5340 and/or DS106 best. We dug deeper into Piaget’s and Papert’s theories in particular by reading and annotating Edith Ackermann’s article “Piaget’s Constructivism, Papert’s Constructionism: What’s the Difference?” Our class and DS106 seem to fit all three of these theories. However, the one that does stick out among the others is Papert’s Constructionism. We are asked to create things in class and share them. I appreciated what Ackermann said in her article, in that “integrating both views can enrich our understanding of how people learn and grow.” I think this was the first time I have seen this opinion in an article, in that we can embrace more than one view. I think this fits with learning in that not everyone learns the same way. We must have more than one theory to support how individuals learn.

As Week 2 comes to a close, I felt that my work in class this week is improved from Week 1. I am excited about the new tools that I was able to learn about this week. I enjoyed reading Ackermann’s article as it brought a more theory-based aspect to what we are learning and allows me to understand how others learn. As someone who does not have an academic background in education, I am appreciative of being able to learn about these theories so that I can understand better.