For every college degree I have worked on (bachelors, first MA, current MA), I have never taken a summer semester off. Most of these summer semesters I have some feeling of dread, as I would rather be camping, fishing, biking, or working on personal projects that need to get done. However, this summer is definitely different. I am taking two classes, both of which are very hands-on and creative in nature.  One of these classes is Learning with Digital Stories (INTE5340). This blog entry is my personal reflection for week one in this course.

As this was the first week, we were allowed to ease into class and learn the ropes of what is expected. This class seems to be different than any other class I have ever taken, as we are working closely with DS106. I had never heard of it until this week, but I am honestly blown away at how cool it looks. I was telling someone about it and they exclaimed “You’re using DS106!?!?! It is awesome!” I knew then that I was in for a treat.

We were required to complete one DS106 Daily Create projects this week, choosing one that was posted this week. I made the mistake of choosing one that was done a few months ago.  After I had created and posted it, I reread the instructions and found that we were to choose a Daily Create from this week. Oops. I deleted the first one I made – the requirement was to turn a photo into one that looks old – and instead chose one from this week. I am not happy with myself, however, as I did not do anything creative – I just took a photo from Google. I will not be making that mistake again for the rest of this course.  I want to learn as much as possible about all kinds of tools and learn how to be a better user of the tools I am already proficient with. Although I later took down my first attempt at making a Daily Create, I think I am going to post it again just for fun. I had a great time learning something about Photoshop that I never knew about before, and it was very interesting to go through the process of applying different filters and learning how to manipulate a photo.

As we are moving into Week 2, I am very excited about getting into the “meat” of this class and beginning some of the more involved projects. Since we are condensing a full semester into just 7 weeks, we are definitely going to be keeping busy.  I think one of the best things about this class is that we have a choice of what projects we take on and what type of media we use. I think variety and choice is such a good things for multiple reasons, so I am pretty happy to be in this course this semester. If I were an educator, this is a style that I would like to incorporate into my own teaching.