Daily Create: Interstellar Octopus Selfies
TDC 1633: Octopus Encounter. Selfies are funny. Why do we take them? I don’t know, but apparently people will go to great lengths for one!
TDC 1634: Print Out a YouTube Video. Using the YouTube printout bookmarklet, I printed out the trailer for my favorite movie, Interstellar. Funny thing, I’ve seen the movie five times, but I’ve never actually seen the trailer, so I guess I got to watch that for the first time!
DS106 Design: Boxception
“Create a design assignment that includes a least three things in the picture, and at least one of those things has to be inside another.”
Not a whole lot to write this week! Took some boxes, put one box inside of the other, took a picture, made it look all pretty. It’s a box inside a box inside a box inside another box! Boxception! Finally I get to bring all my Inception references to life! Yesssssss!
The picture you’re seeing is more than just a box inside a box. It’s actually a big part of my life! Okay, I don’t live in a box. (Or do I? Aren’t houses technically just really big boxes?) But I am a cardboard box hoarder. If you saw the bookshelf in my room, you’d wonder why it isn’t called a boxshelf, because it’s packed with cardboard boxes, all Tetris-style. Old packaging for various items, shoeboxes, Amazon prime boxes, you name it. When they’re all together on a shelf, it actually looks kind of cool.
Why do I love cardboard boxes so much? Well, because they’re awesome. They can store small objects, and as someone who hates clutter, there’s nothing I find more attractive than the thought of throwing all my little gadgets and knick knacks into cardboard boxes in a feeble attempt to organize them. Also, cardboard boxes are great for transporting items. As someone who moves around a lot, I find boxes handy to pack up all those loose ends whenever I move! Also, cardboard boxes are extremely useful for care packages, especially when the box came from another package that I got! Usually it’s from Amazon, because I’m too lazy to shop anywhere else. Between a boyfriend who’s long distance and a lot of friends who live in other states, I send a lot of care packages. I’m terrible at baking, so it’s usually a lot of lotion and face masks and stuff. Yes, even for him. (Haha, just kidding). Basically, cardboard boxes are the shit. There’s a lot of boxception in my life.
Reading Response: The World, Published
From a survey of new literacies, to remixing, to DIY media, the topics we’ve covered week by week are pretty distinct, and yet come together nicely. This week, we explored blogging, which is a complex but critical piece in the world of new literacies. It allows people to publish a digital identity for themselves through hypertext and other design aspects, using platforms that are both widely available and easy to use. Blogging also encourages people to publish with design in mind, providing templates that are both intuitive and attractive. With so many templates out there, bloggers are bound to find designs that reflect their individual personalities.
As an entry-level photographer, I keep design at the top of my priority list, because I essentially want to make pretty things so people will look at them. For my interest-driven scholarship, I chose to look at The Strobist, a blog that teaches entry-level photographers about lighting. If you take a look at the blog itself, it’s a matte dark grey in the background with some pastel green headings and some Trebuchet MS early 2000’s sort of font. It’s oddly set up, and you can’t tell what’s an ad and what’s not. Even the article that recommends this blog cautions that the design is something you’ll need to get past if you want the information, which is still valuable. Did they do this on purpose? Did they deliberately design a blog centered on lighting that doesn’t encapsulate the concept of good lighting at all? Or did they just not bother to redesign their blog since it began in 2006? Either way, blog design plays a huge part when it comes to presenting information. It’s hard enough for me to read things as it is, and it’s even more difficult when they aren’t as easy on the eyes, so I think I’ll save reading The Strobist for a little later.
Blogging also goes beyond just the individual, promoting social interaction and creating affinity spaces in what is now known as the blogosphere (Davies & Merchant, 2007). Speaking of the blogosphere, what exactly is it? I found it to be a buzzword throughout the chapter and wondered why they would create a whole new word for it. It turns out that the act of blogging has become so deeply engrained into our generation that they use a single collective term to represent all the blogs of the world, along with their connections. Why shouldn’t they use one? Blogging has changed the way we see ourselves and interact with the world because they bridge the gap between private life and public reputation. It’s just another way in which new literacies propagate, where users can publish their identities for their world to see, contribute generously to the world’s information flow, and interact socially to build networks and affinity spaces.
Blogging, and technological advancements in general, have even made their way into academics, where learners and educators can engage in “human communication astride a new medium” (Morris, 2016). In his blog post on Digital Pedagogy Lab, author Sean Michael Morris encourages us to use technology to break down the walls of traditional education and pave the way forward for a digital learning experience, founded upon imagination and fueled by technology.
Digital Story Critique: Come With Me if You Want to Take a Selfie
This week, I’m double-tapping on PetaPixel and writing about Photoshopped Movie Stills with Guns Replaced with Selfie Sticks, since I’m apparently on this whole selfie theme this week. I’m pretty sure I was trying not to laugh the entire time I scrolled through this. Actually, the original blog lives on Tumblr, in the post Guns Replaced With Selfie Sticks. I think they brought it over to PetaPixel to refer the photography crowd!
Without a doubt, this would fall under the realm of Photoshopping as remixing, and it seems that author Michael Zhang is engaging in involvement for “Humorous purposes—to make others laugh, or simply to entertain oneself or close friends” (Lankshear & Knobel, 2011). I think what’s so funny about it is that it actually works! It seems that audience members are participating as well, and Zhang includes some works from fans in his blog article. It’s become somewhat of a meme, which is the kind of involvement that the audience participates in.
As far as literacy dimensions go, users have to be pretty experienced with Photoshop to pull off a move like this. Knowing how to import an image into an image editor, blending, cropping, and overlay are all important techniques to know to replace a firearm with a selfie stick. Clearly, the people participating in this meme know what they’re doing!
Overall, I had a lot of fun scrolling through this blog post and thought it was a lot of fun. Something that Zhang could do to expand upon it is include some tips and tricks on how to make your own. Seeing that PetaPixel is a blog meant for entry-level photographers, I think it could be beneficial. And a lot of fun! Who wouldn’t want to make Harry Potter take a selfie instead of casting a Patronus?
Week Four Reflection: Serious or Sarcastic
Four weeks down, four to go! Whaaaaaaaaat? We’re halfway through the course already? But I’m only just getting started!
Now, on to the assignments. From making fun of selfies, to boxception, I felt like I was really sarcastic this week! I think lately I’ve just been working way too hard, and it feels great to just sit back and relax for a second. I feel like it’s more the real me too, so it seems like my identity is getting more and more into my assignments. Not a bad thing!
The good, the bad, and the ugly. I liked pretty much everything this week. The assignments were easy and fun, and I got a lot out of them. If I could go back and do it all over again, though, I’d make my digital story critique a little more organized. When I was annotating my peers’ critiques, I noticed that they’d included the prompts, which made it a lot easier to follow! I think I’ll do that next time.
The larger issues surrounding my work. This week, we talked about blogging as academic and social practice and I read a lot about bringing technology into the classroom. In theory, it’s supposed to make for a better educational experience because it fosters both creativity and efficiency. But in practice, there are a lot of barriers to bringing technology into the classroom, especially when it comes to low-income communities. A lot of educational resources, for example, require smartphones and other expensive devices. This isn’t a problem in a wealthy community where pretty much every student has one, but what about everyone else? When it comes to bringing technology into the classroom, who gets it first? Who gets the fancy stuff? I think we all know the answer to this question.
The self assessment. I think I met all the expectations this week, but I think I can keep going. Four weeks into the course, I’m so settled into my groove that I can pretty much complete all of my assignments without really thinking about or keeping track of them, so it’s time to take my course experience further and jump into the conversation more, engage more on Twitter, and participate more in platforms both inside the class and out. I’ve taken some time away from social media to focus on myself for a while, so I think I’m ready to get out there again and interact with the world!
© Emily Joan Wu
Teacher Candidate | Math
University of Colorado Denver
INTE 5340 | Summer 2016