For me, Digital Storytelling turned out to be a wild ride. I remember that in the first week or so of the semester, I had to Skype Mr. Groom when he was in Puerto Rico in order to receive help with getting my website started. At that moment, I knew this class would be different. Just think about it: how many times have you Skyped your other professors when they were on a tropical island? Since I am on the subject, I will give my assessment of our beloved instructor, Mr. Groom. I found Mr. Groom to be unbelievably accessible; I could always get a hold of him. And from my experience, he was able to help me solve my problems 99% of the time. Those things being said, Mr. Groom is a human-being and like all of us, he has certain shortcomings. His lack of organization proved to be my main complaint. A reoccurring example of this was that it usually took him a few days to post the directions for the assignments we were given in class. Another thing that perplexed me a little was the whole scenario about the “Social Network” movie. Mr. Groom wanted us all to see the movie so that we could have a class discussion about it, but that discussion failed to materialize. And, for the record, I am not trying to smack talk Mr. Groom here; I think he is a great guy and I just want to give an honest interpretation as to how things played out in the class.
My favorite assignment of the class was, incontestably, the daily shoot series. Although the shoots required a fairly large time commitment each day, they were so much fun to do! During the shoot every day, I thought of what would make both a good photo and fulfill the demands of the prompt. Overall, I think my photos turned out fairly well and if I could reselect my semester project, I probably would have chosen to do the daily shoot every day.
Another assignment I really enjoyed was the two-part fan fiction segments. Before working on my own tribute, I did not realize that fans were paying homage literally everywhere on the web! And paying homage is relatively easy to do; you simply need an idea and you are off rolling with it.
The video projects were my least favorite part of the class. Making the videos was interesting, but it was also so incredibly frustrating at times! In addition, video production requires significant amounts of time to complete. My mashup of the Office turned out to be a little off the mark from what I initially imagined. I had found a sound board that had audio clips from different movies, but I realized too late that they were of pretty low quality. Sometimes you just have to go with what you’ve got and that was what happened with the mashup.
My semester image story started off a little slow. At our mid-way meeting, Mr. Groom kicked my butt and told me to step up my project. I failed to explain something at the meeting though and I will give the details now. I call my mom pretty much every day without fail. For the few weeks before our meeting, it seemed like every time I talked to my mom I wound up saying, “yea, I just finished working on some Digital Storytelling.” It got to the point where my mom eventually asked me multiple times, “do you ever work on anything besides Digital Storytelling? Why don’t you put some time into your other classes?” This background story explains some of the reason why I didn’t post for my image story for two weeks towards the beginning of the project. After my meeting with Mr. Groom, however, I definitely recommitted myself to the project. As soon as I left our meeting, I sat down and spent a few hours writing a new post for my semester project. And since the meeting I have stayed on track as to what I put forth in my proposal; I have published a post every week and, for a single week, created two posts. I realize that the topic of my semester project appeals to a select audience. That said, I found my research to be extremely interesting and I definitely connected with the material. For those who were less inclined to read, I made sure to include visual images in all my posts and I even have a video of Trafalgar! I tried to cover Trafalgar from multiple angles and get into the depth of the subject that would not be present in a history lecture or school textbook.
Overall, Digital Storytelling was a class that both interested and challenged me. For some of the things we talked about in class, I had no idea they even existed, so I was sometimes greatly surprised. Through the class, I learned things about myself, my fellow internauts, and the world; it doesn’t get much better than that!


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