Design – Week 6


Week 5 will be focused on design. This week we will (re)consider elements of design and what goes into making a good visual design.

Read: Complexity and the Ten Thousand Hour Rule

Read: Stranger Things: meet the design genius behind TV’s most talked about title font

Read: The Vignelli Canon. It’s a short booklet by Massimo Vignelli, who was a superstar in the world of graphic design.

Reflect: Take a look at these assigned readings and let us know what you think. Be sure to tag all posts with #ds106.
Complete a DesignBlitz: To reinforce your understanding of design principles, you need to undertake a “Design Blitz.” Carry your camera with you this week and take photos of objects, ads, signs, etc. that illustrate at least five of the design elements listed below (one photo per concept). Find two more that fail to use a design concept well.

Elements of Design: space, shape, line, texture, color, form, value, type, symbols & metaphors, balance, rhythm, unity

Share all your photos on Flickr and tag them designblitz. When you have completed your Blitz, write a blog post that includes (THAT MEANS EMBED!) the photos and your analysis of the design elements and what makes them effective or not. (You should do this in one single post.) Tag the post with tags: designblitz and ds106
Do your DailyCreates: We are doing 3 TDCs again this week.
Complete at least 10 stars of design assignments from the assignment bank:
 Complete at least 10 stars of Design assignments from the Design category of the Assignment Bank. Each design assignment must be blogged and narrated with your process and thinking! Be sure to do a separate post for each assignment completed (Except Daily Creates which can be lumped together in a single post). You must include a link back to the assignment completed, giving the reader context for what you are writing about. Also, be sure to include the appropriate tags so your work will appear on the appropriate assignment pages.

Nice work last week on the social networking side of things. Keep it up with the tweets and blog comments! It is good practice for building professional networks of similar minded people.


Digital Audio – Week 5

Our class has had a head start on this week’s topic – digital audio – as we have already made a recording during the first week of class. Now is our chance to dig into the topic a little deeper.

Listen: DS106 has an internet radio station – DS106 Radio – and each night this week at 8pm CST, special storytelling programs well be airing. Pick a night and tune in to the channel, if even for only a few minutes. Whatever your schedule allows. Follow the #ds106radio tweets, and join in the conversation. At a minimum, announce that you are also listening in a tweet with the #ds106radio hashtag. You must tweet to get credit for this. Ideally, you should also comment on the storytelling you are hearing. If this seems odd to you, look up live-tweeting. It is a real thing if it is in the dictionary, right? I want you to have the experience of live-tweeting to a radio show with others outside of our classroom.

Listen: “ Moon Graffiti” This is an excellent example of audio storytelling. Think about how the sounds, both the sound effects and the changes in sound, tell you what is going on, how they create a sense of place, a sense of space and a sense of atmosphere.

Think: Examine the Audio Resources page and think about what role audio plays in telling a good story. It might be for the radio, it might be in film. Sound makes a big difference. Discuss in a blog post with the topic of telling stories with sound.

Experiment: Using either Audacity or Adobe Audition, create a radio bumper for “DS106 Radio.” What is a bumper, you ask? Head on over to Wikipedia and read about radio bumpers. The radio bumper is an assignment in the Assignment Bank (so you should tag your blog post correctly when you’re done), but it won’t count to your star total this week. Sorry!

Complete 3 Daily Creates: You must complete and correctly tag at least three daily creates this week. Make sure you also blog your TDCs.

Assignment Bank – 12 Stars of Audio Assignments: Complete 12 Stars of Assignments from the Audio Assignments category. In your work, include one of these two assignments: The sound effects story (3 ½ stars) or The contest that nobody could win (2 ½ stars) as part of your 12 stars this week. For the sound effects assignment, it can be a lot of fun creating your own sound effects, but you may also use to find free sound effects for this project.

Please be sure to create a separate blog post for each of the Assignment Bank assignments you complete. Make sure all your completed assignments are uploaded to SoundCloud, and write up a post for each assignment in which you embed that audio from SoundCloud. You need to tag each assignment separately and correctly, so it refers back to the assignment page as a past example.

Radio Show Ideas: In a few weeks, we will be creating a radio show to air on the internet radio station. Write one blog post discussing ideas you think would be good for a radio program to be created by our class.

Commenting: Comment, comment, and comment some more. You should all be looking at each others’ work and leaving feedback. We recommend going to the course site every day and leaving feedback on a few posts. That’s the main way we do class participation in this course.

Weekly Summary: Write a weekly summary of your week’s activities. This should refer to other blog posts created throughout the week, discuss online activities such as tweeting and commenting on other blogs, and also mention the Daily Creates you completed.

Digital Photography – Week 4

This week we are going to explore digital photography. K-State Polytechnic owns several DSLR cameras that are available for student use. If you have never used a digital SLR before, this is your week to learn something new. Also, as K-State students, you have access to a top-tier research library. I want you to do some reading and reflection on digital photography. (Here is a good DSLR simulator to try, to help you understand the basic controls.)

  1. Reading Assignment: The Death of Photography via The Guardian
    • Have you ever been busy photographing or video recording an event and then later don’t remember the experience of being there? Do you stop and really think about what will make a good photograph before you make a photograph, or do you just take a bunch and pick through to find a good one? Reflect on the Guardian article, and write about your approach as well as where you think the art of photography is heading. Are we better or worse off, with the changes to the process that digital photography brings? Is the career of photography coming to an end, or is it just being reinvented? Why?
  2. Look at some good photographs: Spotlight on Jim Richardson
    • Jim Richardson is a photographer for National Geographic who lives in Lindsborg, Kansas. Use your internet skills to search for more examples of Jim’s work (hint: he has a business called Small World Gallery, and he posts work on Instagram & Flickr). Write about what you saw of Jim’s work in a blog post with regard to the elements of design we learned about last year in Visual Literacy class. (By the way, what are those elements of design?) For full credit, embed examples of his work in your blog with commentary. For super-duper, extra-extra credit, mosey on down to Lindsborg and visit the Small World Gallery in person. If you’re lucky, you might actually meet Jim.
  3. Make some photographs
    • Read through Jim Richardson’s photography tips. See the DS106 handbook section on photography. Also, check out Scott Kelby’s eBook Digital Photography Book: Photo Recipes (this link requires your K-State login), as well as one of the print Kelby photography books (available in library or from me). Take a look at the eBook’s first chapter on using natural light. Pay attention to the techniques that can be done without diffusing/reflecting equipment, e.g. shade or through windows. Also don’t miss the last chapter on post production tricks. There’s bound to be something in there you can try out using Photoshop. While you are on the Safari website reading the Kelby eBook, take a few minutes to do a search for other photography eBooks that might be useful. Explore those resources for more photography tips as well.
    • Find a willing subject and shoot a beautiful portrait using natural light. No selfies!
    • Do two or three other photography recipes or techniques you learned from the readings. Personally, I enjoy shooting flowers the Kelby way.
    • After spending time reading about photography and experimenting with some of the techniques you have learned about, write a blog post that summarizes the experience. What techniques did you do? Did it work out well or not? Why or why not?
  4. Explore the Photoshop Phenomenon


  5. Assignments
    • 8 stars worth of visual assignments, and involve our Internet theme in one assignment in some way. Use some of the questions from our co-class at UMW: Questions about the Internet or think of a question of your own to inform your visual assignment work. Some of these are:
      • How would historical figures react to the Internet?
      • How has the internet come to consume our daily lives?
      • Are there any limits on what is possible?
      • Are we really free on the internet?
    • At least one assignment must involve photo manipulation using Photoshop.
    • Be sure to write a post for each assignment describing your thinking, your process, and evaluating the results, and be sure to tag it with the assignment tags.
  6. Complete a minimum of 3 Daily Creates this week.
  7. Comment on blogs of other students doing these assignments. Focus on K-State students and everyone else doing DS106. Don’t forget about the conversation on Twitter either. Tag your tweets with #ds106 and reply to tweets you see with these tags. This online conversation is part of online community citizenship, and is required for the course. Don’t be shy about this, it feels good to get feedback from others and to give feedback as well.
  8. Write a summary post of the week’s activities and submit the link to the assignment on K-State Online. Be sure to include links to the various posts you have made during the week, your daily creates, and include a discussion of the online conversations you have been having with others in DS106. Make this summary post interesting by including example pictures and graphics you have made.


Internet In 1946 – Week 3


Today, 1946 seems like an eternity ago. In 1946, everyone either knew someone or were themselves someone who had served in the armed forces in World War 2. Today, most people haven’t been in the service or even know anyone with that experience. My Grandpa Jo, pictured above left, circa 1946, told me many stories about his time in the army in the Pacific. I’m sure my impressions of my veteran grandfather’s patriotism played no small role in me joining the service as well (I’m the one on the right around 1986).

In 1946 there was hope for peace and prosperity. People dreamed of the future. The world had entered the the atomic age and while things were still uncertain, there was reason to hope for a better future, with all of the technological advances that were being made. People like Vannevar Bush were thinking about ways in which we could redirect technology that had been used for war-making into new and peaceful uses that would improve our lives.

Assignments for Week 3:

  1. Required readings: Read one of the following As We May Think  or A Logic Named Joe – How well did the authors of these predict the internet of today? Either write a blog post, or make and publish an audio or video recording as a response to the reading.
    1. Bonus learning: Research and write a post about the ENIAC computer, which was unveiled in 1946. Be sure to look into who were the computer programmers.
  2. Learn How to Write Assignment Posts: Read How to write up assignments like a blogging champ. I would like to see some excellent posts this week. It is important not only to tell us what you did, but how you did it and what you learned from it. Don’t forget to tag your assignment posts properly!!
  3. Daily Creates: You must complete at least 3 daily creates this week. Here are the rules:
    • You MUST do the Daily Create on the day it comes out. If not done on the day it is released, it does not count.
    • You MUST publish the Daily Creates according to directions. If it calls for using Flickr, Twitter, etc. it must be published in that manner.
    • You MUST tag your Daily Creates correctly and tweet them to @ds106dc.
    • You MUST share your Daily Creates in a blog post or series of posts. Your weekly summary should reference all of your Daily Create activities.
    • Daily Creates shouldn’t take more than 15-20 minutes to complete. If you spend more than that, you’re doing it wrong. Don’t worry about perfection. Aim for getting creative. We are looking for getting practice at making and sharing something on a regular basis.
  4. Explore the Assignment Bank: Using the Assignment Bank. do at least 8 stars’ worth of assignments of your choice. Be sure to choose assignments from 3 different categories (visual, audio, etc). 8 stars could be 8 1-star assignments, or a 4-star and two 2-stars, or any other combination. Try to incorporate both the year 1946 and the Internet into one or two of the assignments you complete. There is no right way to complete these, just use this opportunity to express yourself creatively through digital media. Be sure to document your work using the recommendations described in item #2 above.
  5. Form connections with the DS106 community. This week, use the various media to connect with other students learning about digital media through DS106. You may use Twitter, comments on other blogs, or even dedicated blog posts on your own blog in response to something someone else has posted. By all means you can interact with members of the K-State class, but do try to interact with one or two others outside of our institution. You can find people doing the same work we are by monitoring the twitter hashtag #ds106 (people will find you as well if you use it) or by looking at the DS106 Flow page of most recent posts.
  6. Summarize the week. Create a summary post of all activities for the week and post it to K-State Online Week 3.