Week 5 – Digital Photography

A lightning bolt strikes behind a combine trying to finish wheat harvest

This week we are going to explore digital photography using whatever digital camera you have available. Hopefully, you at least have a phone equipped with a camera which will do just fine, but if you have something nicer you may also use that. AsK-State students, you have aI also want you to do some reading and reflection on digital photography.

  1. (Just for fun) Experiment with this online DSLR simulator to see what the controls are like on a digital SLR camera.
  2. Reading Assignments:
    • : 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 a post about your approach to digital photography 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? Share your post with others & discuss.
    • Read the Guidelines for Better Photographic Composition.
    • Check out some of National Geographic’s photography tips, especially the tips on iPhone photography if you are planning to use a smartphone.
  3. Look at some great 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. Be sure to embed examples of his work in your blog with commentary. Referring back to the reading on better photographic composition, describe the compositional elements such as color, line, balance, etc. used in Jim’s photographs.  For super-duper, extra-extra credit, I dare you to mosey on down to Lindsborg and visit the Small World Gallery in person. If you’re lucky, you might actually meet Jim.
  4. Make some photographs and reflect
    • Make several photographs using some of the photography tips you have been reading about.
    • 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?
  5. Familiarize yourself with photo editing software such as Photoshop, Pixlr or Gimp.
    • You might have to watch some online videos or read some articles that are beginner tutorials for digital photo editing software. If you don’t have access to Photoshop, you will need another digital photo editor. Two popular ones that are free are Gimp and Pixlr. Gimp is widely used but it has a steep learning curve. Pixlr is like a no-frills Photoshop, but it is free and works in most web browsers so you don’t even have to download anything to use it.
    • There is no requirement to use any particular type of software, only that you begin manipulating digital images outside of the camera.
  6. Read at least two of the below articles that tell stories about using photo editing software for various purposes. You can also do your own searching on this topic.
  7. Watch at least one of these two videos about women’s experience with editing photos of their bodies.
  8. Write a reflective blog post about how the widespread access to photo manipulation tools is impacting our view of the world around us. Share link & discuss.
  9.  Assignment Bank Assignments
    • Do 8 stars worth of visual assignments, and include our Surviving the Pandemic theme in one assignment in some way.
    • At least one of the assignments must involve a photo manipulation with photo editing software.
    • Be sure to write a post for each assignment completed, describing your thinking, your process, and evaluating the results, and be sure to include a link to the assignment being completed.
  10. Complete a minimum of 3 Daily Creates this week.
  11. Comment on the work of other students doing these assignments. Focus both on K-State students and everyone else doing DS106. Tag your tweets with #digme256 and #ds106 as appropriate, 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. Be sure to discuss these interactions with other students in the weekly summary.
  12. Write a weekly summary post of the week’s activities and submit the link to the assignment on Canvas. Be sure to include in it links to the various other posts you have made during the week, your daily creates, and include a discussion of the online conversations you have been having with others online. What work of the others did you see that caught your eye? Did anyone mention any work of yours that they appreciated? How did these interactions proceed? Be sure to make your summary post interesting by including some relevant photos and graphics to supplement what you have written. Submit it to Canvas by next Monday at 11:59pm.

 

Week 4 – Digital Audio

Sound is so very critical to the creative process of making digital media. It plays a role in audio productions, but also an important but often unnoticed part of making videos and films as well. Watch the following short documentary on the art of foley, that is the art of creating sound effects.

Watch: The Magic of Making Sound. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UO3N_PRIgX0

Try it: 

There are numerous ways to make digital audio recordings, but by far the simplest is to find a mobile app for your phone to do the job. My favorite mobile app that I use for audio-only recording is Voice Record Pro but unfortunately, it only works reliably on Apple iOS devices. The Android version is buggy, according to the reviews and should be avoided. Perhaps you could try EZ Voice Recorder or another recommended app.

Using a digital recording application, record several (5-7) sound effects from nature or sounds from your environment that are artificially created by you.

Combine these files into one recording using an audio editor such as Audacity or Adobe Audition. Publish your sound effects work online on Soundcloud. (Create a free account if you do not have one.) Write a blog post on your WordPress website about the audio editing experience. Embed your Soundcloud recording in your post using the embed code for the recording. Share your work on Twitter.

Complete 3 Daily Creates: Complete and correctly tag at least three daily creates this week. Make sure you also include these in your weekly summary.

Assignment Bank – 10 Stars of Audio Assignments: Complete 10 additional Stars of Assignments from the Audio Assignments category. In your work, complete one of these two assignments: The sound effects story (4 stars) or The contest that nobody could win (3 stars) as part of your 10 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 http://freesound.org 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: Soon, we will be creating a radio show to air on the internet radio station. Ideally, this program will incorporate in some way, our theme of Surviving and Thriving in Times of Trouble. Brainstorm some story ideas, then write a blog post discussing these ideas you think would be good for a radio program to be created by our class. Read this Austin Kleon article for some more thoughts on where to find good ideas.

Commenting: Comment, comment, and comment some more. You should all be looking at each others’ work and giving feedback. Share your best work on Twitter, and leave feedback on a few posts of others as well. That’s the main way we do class participation in this course.

Weekly Summary: Write a weekly summary of this week’s activities. The summary should refer to all of the other blog posts created throughout the week, and should discuss any online activities such as tweeting and commenting on other blogs. Be sure to also mention the Daily Creates you completed. Submit your weekly summary to canvas by next Monday evening at 11:59 pm.

Week 3 – Life in the Pandemic

Did you know that there once was an organization called the Anti-Mask League of San Francisco? Many of the arguments for not wearing a mask in in the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic are the same ones we are hearing today from people opposed to wearing masks.

It seems that we might be able to learn about our current situation by looking at similar times from the past. Do some research about the 1918 Spanish Flu, other serious outbreaks of disease, or natural and man-made disasters. (Did you know the deadly Spanish Flu of 1918 started in Kansas?) Incorporate some of what you learned into the assignments you are working on this week as we start learning to use different technologies. This week’s assignments include:

  • We have been using the #digme256 tag for our K-State distance learning class, but there is also a broader learning community doing similar work to us at other institutions of higher learning. If you have not already done so, introduce yourself on Twitter to the broader community using the #ds106 hashtag. (Keep using #digme256 as well.) Also, find some other learners to interact with by searching for the #ds106 hashtag. One of the best things about our being connected on the Internet is finding like-minded people who have similar interests and goals. So say hello. Reply to others’ tweets. Don’t be shy!
  • It looks like most of us have added information on the Student Info page on Canvas. If you have not, please double-check the Student Info page to make sure we can see at least your Twitter ID and your blog page address.
  • 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. Be sure to write up new posts for each activity you complete, then write a summary post at the end of the week that references these posts.
  • 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. (Please Note – the e-mail alerts do not synch with the correct Daily Create so you need to visit the website to see what the actual assignment of the day is.)
    • 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 using that day’s tag and tweet them to @ds106dc.
    • You MUST share your Daily Creates either in a single blog post or a 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.
  • Explore the Assignment Bank: Use the DS106 Assignment Bank to do at least 8 stars’ worth of assignments of your choice. Choose assignments from at least 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 our Hard Times theme into one or two of the assignments you complete using real history or works of fiction and pop culture. 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. Share your best work on Twitter using #digme256 and/or #ds106 hashtags.
  • Form connections with the DS106 community. This week, use the various media to connect with others 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 #digme256 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 doing by searching for the Twitter hashtag #ds106 and other people will find you as well if you use it.
  • Summarize the week. Create a summary post of all activities for the week and post it to the Week 3 assignment on Canvas. Please submit your summary by Monday evening at 11:59 pm. The weekly summary needs to be a recap of the week’s work that you completed. Use the weekly summary to refer back (link) to each of the other posts you have written and any assignments you have worked on during the week. It should include descriptions of what assignments you completed, including the Daily Create assignments.

    You don’t need to rewrite what you’ve written elsewhere, but do summarize those other posts and provide a hyperlink back to them as well. There is a link button in the editor to easily make hyperlinks.

Week 2 – Creativity and Copyright

This week we will focus on:

Creativity & Copyright

All work is due by midnight on Monday, 8/31/2020

Below is a list of what’s to be completed this week.

    1. How has the Internet affected society’s views on Copyright? This week, watch one of the two following documentary films Rip! A ReMix Manifesto featured below:

Or, Everything is a Remix.

Both films have a similar theme. Write a reflective blog post on what you learned from these films. What is the basic point of view of the creators of these films regarding copyright? Who might hold the opposite point of view? In what ways do copyright laws impact creativity? What questions did the films raise as you were watching? What ideas in the films contradict what you may have previously known? This class encourages a remix approach to digital storytelling. What considerations should be made when repurposing the work of others? What are some foolproof/safe ways of doing this? What are some more risky approaches? How do you expect to proceed this semester?

Read 3-4 of these articles and resources about Copyright. Discuss these on your blog.

    1. Copyright cases in 2020. Take a look at some of these-they are interesting.
    2. Photographer sues Getty Images for 1 Billion Dollars!
    3. NFL Fumbles in Copyright Takedown
    4. Katy Perry’s Shark
    5. Mickey Mouse & Deadmau5
    6. 2016 Led Zepplin Suit
    7. Video Streaming depresses ownership
    8. NFL Fumbles in Copyright Takedown
    9. Katy Perry’s Shark
    10. Mickey Mouse & Deadmau5
    11. 2016 Led Zepplin Suit
    12. Video Streaming depresses ownership
    13. Judge Rules Happy Birthday Song is in Public Domain

 

  • Read Austin Kleon’s post “10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered: Lessons from my book ‘Show Your Work!’” Also have a quick look at his previous “Steal Like an Artist” book. In a nutshell, these books describe the both the way this course works and a value system that can benefit you throughout your professional career. After looking over these materials, pick one idea that resonated with you and write a blog post in response to that idea. Tell us about the idea and
  • Complete at least three different Daily Create activities. It is important to complete a particular activity on the day it appears, so you will do these on three or more different days. Be sure to respond by posting your work to Twitter with the appropriate hashtag for that day’s assignment.
  • Begin commenting and interacting with online participants in DigMe256. You can find them by searching the #digme256 hashtag on Twitter. Share some of the blog posts you have written and comment on the work of others using the same tag.
  • Summarize the week’s work in a post with links to each of these different blog posts along with a discussion of what was accomplished. Submit the link to the weekly summary post to Canvas/K-State Online.

Due Monday, Aug. 31, 2020 at 11:59 PM.

Week 1 – DigLit Bootcamp

 

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.