Welcome to Bootcamp!

Drill Sergeant Ermey

Do you recognize this drill sergeant from the Full Metal Jacket Bootcamp Scene? (Do not click the link unless you really want to see the scene. It contains adult language. Not safe for work).

Throughout this course, we will use various forms of media to communicate, to entertain, and to learn. The media we use can be that which we create from scratch, borrow from popular culture and/or from current events.

Welcome to Digital Lit Bootcamp!

Yeah, we have a lot to do. That’s why it is called Bootcamp! Without these essential ingredients, we can’t get on with telling our digital stories.

This digital literacy course will be built around the theme of…

How to Succeed in the Pandemic Without Really Trying 

or if you like…

Things Are Tough All Over: A History of Hard Times for the Human Race.

From the syllabus to get us started thinking around our theme …

  • What are some other difficult times through which our ancestors have survived? What about living relatives?
  • What is the most difficult challenge I have personally faced? How did I deal with it?
  • What do I know about the difficult circumstances other people have lived through throughout history?
  • What are people doing right now to cope? Is anyone doing well?

Be thinking about these questions and come up with questions of your own as well. Also, if you think of or encounter any media in the form of images, music, movies, and so forth that speak to these questions, begin collecting examples while thinking and writing about the implications and sharing with the class.

For the first week’s boot camp assignments, complete the following activities then write and submit a weekly summary by the due date.

  1. Converse with me, Dr. Gx via live video chat. This part is mandatory and is a prerequisite to all the other work you will do in this course. You must either complete this one or make arrangements for it during the first week or you may be dropped from the course as a non-participant.
    • To arrange a live conversation via video conference, message me some days/times that will work for you by e-mail or by text message . We can visit by Facetime, Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts, Facebook Messenger, etc. Just let me know what works best for you.
    • Why this requirement? It is because don’t teach subjects, I teach students. I want to meet each and every one of you. If you were in my face to face course, you might be able to hide out in the back row, but you could not remain completely anonymous. It is the same in this course. I require a live video chat so we can connect as real human beings, albeit in a virtual learning environment.
  2. Create a personal website that uses WordPress. You can opt for a free WordPress.com website, create a website complete with your own domain name, or use an existing website you already have.
    • Option 1: sign up for a free WordPress.com website
    •  Option 2: create a personalized website (e.g. www.yourname.com) using 3rd party web hosting that supports WordPress. See PC Magazine’s recommended web hosting, or I’ve had good luck with asmallorange.com. There are many hosting options, and I highly recommend registering your own website domain if you are planning to be a digital professional.
    • Option 3: If you already own your own website, fantastic! You may use that for this class if it supports WordPress.
  3. Submit Your website/blog to K-State Online/Canvas Once your blog is available on the web (it should be almost immediate) put the URL link to your site next to your name on the Student Info page on Canvas.
  4. Choose an Internet handle – A handle is a way to identify yourself online. (My own handle is billgx and I use this nearly everywhere I go online. It is a derivative of my real name, Bill Genereux.) On the various web services and accounts we are using, you may choose to use an anonymous internet handle or you can use your real name, whatever you feel comfortable with. If you use a handle, tell the instructor so he knows who you are for grading purposes. (Note: this is a place to get fun and creative, but you should keep it reasonably professional.)
  5. Get an Avatar You will need to select an “avatar” for yourself. This is an icon or image that can represent you online (it need not be your face). This should preferably be a square image. Create a “gravatar” for yourself at http://gravatar.com using the email address you most likely will use for course work (and keep in mind you can associate your gravatar with several email accounts). Many sites will automatically use this image as your avatar.
  6. Set up Your Social Media
    Create accounts and fill out profiles for yourself (if any of these let you set an avatar, use the same icon as you set up on Gravatar) on:

    • Flickr (photo sharing) http://flickr.com
      If you are new to Flickr or have no images in your account, you MUST post at least 5 images to your flickr account right away (they can be whatever you want); Flickr may not verify and make your account public until there are 5 images there. When you upload your photos, tag them with #DigMe256. Get in the habit of doing this!
    • Soundcloud (audio publishing) http://soundcloud.com/
      Set up an account if you don’t already have one.
    • Google / Youtube (video sharing) http://www.google.com/accounts/
      If you have a Gmail account, you are already set with this. If not create a Google account. This is what will allow you to join any synchronous video discussions we have (in Google Hangouts) and gives you access to YouTube.
    • Vimeo (video sharing) http://vimeo.com
      Alternatively, if you don’t want to (or can’t) get a YouTube account, feel free to use Vimeo for publishing your videos. You don’t need both YouTube & Vimeo, but you can choose either or both.
    • Twitter http://twitter.com
      Twitter will be one of the main channels for communication in DigMe256. If you already have a twitter account for personal purposes, you are welcome to use it or you can create a new account for communication related to this class. Make sure you customize your profile! Don’t tweet with the egg profile picture. Send your first message of greeting to our DigLit team and be sure to include #DigMe256 hashtag in your tweets. Learn how to search on the #digme256 hashtag.
  7. Introduce yourself to the class, and welcome others.
    Now that you have all your accounts, it’s time to use them to introduce yourself to the class, and welcome the others as well. In particular, use Twitter to introduce yourself to the others in the learning community, be creative. Be sure to use the #digme256 hashtag to connect with others in this class. Don’t just broadcast your own messages; be sure to respond to the messages of others.
    Are you exhausted yet? There a lot more still. If you wait until the weekend to do all of your work you will be crushed! Don’t make that mistake!
  8. The Hero’s Journey
    Become familiar with Joseph Campbell’s theory of The Hero’s Journey.
  9. Browse the DS106 Assignment Bank and Getting Started page.
  10. Suggest Some Readings
    After completing the readings/viewings, we’re interested in you suggesting media that you think would be good for us to know about the history of hard times for humans. What were the toughest times ever to be alive? Tell us what you think are some good examples of digital storytelling about these hard times. They might be examples from popular media or even created by grassroots amateurs. Don’t forget, we are interested in all media forms, audio, video, text, images. We hope to build some of your suggestions into the course experience. We encourage you to think broadly about the topic. Share your ideas on Twitter (don’t forget the #digme256).
  11. Tell us your story.
    What is your story of adversity that you have faced? How did handle it? If you don’t actually have or don’t wish to share such a story, you can also borrow one or make one up. That’s what we are doing here; telling stories. Fact or fiction is fine, so long as the stories are compelling. What kind of person have you become because you went through the experience? Write it up or make a video and post to your website blog. Share on Twitter (don’t forget to use #digme256).
  12. Write a Weekly Summary
    You’ll be completing summary posts on your website/blog every week. This week, write a post that shares your reflections on the first week and the “hard times” genre we’re using. These posts are REALLY important. We use them to grade your work every week, so you need to link to any other posts you’ve written, embed media you’ve created, and narrate the process of learning that you went through this week. What did you learn? What was harder than you thought it would be? What was easier? What drove you crazy? Why? What did you really enjoy? Why? Please be sure to include your handle(s) in your weekly summary blog post for the various websites & social media that you’ll be using this semester. When your summary is completed, submit a link to it for this assignment on K-State Online before Monday, August 24th at 11:59 pm. NO LATE WORK ACCEPTED. NO EXCEPTIONS. If you think you might need additional time, it is better to submit a link to a visible, but incomplete page than to submit no link at all. You can always go back and edit the page after it has been submitted, as long as everything is there before it is graded.

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