Archive for the ‘Assignments’ Category


Monday, December 6th, 2010

Well I must say this is one of my favorites classes I have taken at UMW. No other class would I be blogging about Sneakers, and looking up sneaker art. It was fascinating to me how professor Groom is so enthusiastic about the subject matter we talked about, I feel like more professor need to be like that when they are teaching the material. From day one, from the first lecture he gave us I was hooked.

The assignment that were assigned challenged one creativity, and this is something I really like. We were able to create what we wanted, without much guidelines. Guidelines is much what we get in any other glass, but we had freedom here. The daily shoots was fun, even though mine didn’t look as interesting or well taken a some others. I still had good time thinking about how to do the prompt of the day. I also enjoyed the mash-up I thought looney tunes and scarface went well together, wish I had a bit more time so I could of smooth some things with that. I also had much work for my other classes so the time I wanted to put into that assignment I couldn’t. I think most of the assignments, we learned how to use a new program or how to use different techniques when developing our work for a particular assignment.

For my digital story, I was able to showcase sneaker art and try to show people that their is a whole community just dealing with sneakers. Sneakers arn’t just things on your feet with no meaning but are able to tarnsform into art, like I showcased. No other class I can think of would of let me express myself like this one did.

Overall the class was fun. I just would of like to have a set schedule of assignment so I could of known when things were due ahead of time. Yet the class I think was well done. Professor Groom carried the class in a fine manner because he was passionate about material and this gave a since that the assignment are one creations. Because they are ones creations and some were very well done I just wished in class we would of showcased more of peoples works. We could have discussed them in class and also made suggestions on different techniques on certain assignments. Yet I can’t complain much because it was one of my favorite class here at UMW by far.

Assignment 13: Reflection

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

And finally, the swan song assignment for this class.

Please write a reflection of your experience in this course over the last 15 weeks. What I am particularly interested in is what assignments, projects, and tools you enjoyed, and which you didn’t—and most importantly why. I am also interested in your self-assessment of your digital story along with the ways in which you did or did not consider what you were doing a story. We will be looking at this in  particular during our final meeting during finals week—so be sure to have it done by then. This reflection should be roughly two pages, and please post it on your blog.

You can see a solid example of an honest and solid reflection here:

And I strongly recommend you be honest about the strengths and shortcomings of your own work in this class as well as mine in its organization and execution.

Tag this assignment “Assignment 13” (no quotes).

Assignment 12: Archiving Your Site(s)

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Before you go any further—backup everything!!!

Here is how.

Option 1) Moving your course blog(s) to a freely hosted solution:
Did I mention backup everything?

In your WordPress Blog export all your work by going to….


After that, Setup new blog on, blogger, umwblogs, etc.

Assignment 11, Part 1: Fan Fiction

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

In preparation for part 2 of assignment 11, I would like each of you to post about a TV show, film, novel, comic, graphic novel, etc., that you are fanatical about. In other words, post about something that you are obsessed with. This is all born from the belief undergirding ds106 that obsession is the most important force propelling creativity on the internet. And this penultimate assignment provides you the opportunity to contextualize your cultural obsession for all of us. Good luck, and here is a little something to get you thinking—I mean Jeremy Messersmith and Eric Powers were obviously obsessed with the original Star Wars trilogy, no? From great obsession comes great art.

Tag this “Assignment 11.1” (no quotes).

Assignment 10: Google Street View Screencast

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

As discussed in class last night, by Tuesday, November 16th you will be creating a Digital Story using Google Street View and Jing, or any other screencasting tool you want and have access to—you ca download a free tial version of Camtasia here or a free version of Screenflow (for the Mac only) here.

For some examples you can see my own neighborhood screencast here about where I grew up in Long Island.

Or Luke Waltzer’s example, upon which mine is based, that narrates a look at his hometown outside of Lansing, Michigan. Great stuff!!!

The assignment is relatively straightforward, use your screencast tool of choice to create a narrative that happened to you in a particular place at a particular time. Be sure to navigate around the space in Google Street View, this should not be a static map view—so consider a story that requires some movement and dynamism. This can be your neighborhood, a trip to a major city, a vacation abroad, an incident at or around UMW, etc. Keep in mind that if you are concerned about privacy about where you live you can password protect your post (just send us the password via email). Or, simply choose a story that focuses on something other than your neighborhood or hometown.

This story will be posted to your blog prior to class on Tuesday, and we will look at the results then. Keep in mind you will have to get access to a computer with a microphone before Tuesday if you do not have one now—I can help with this if you need it. Additionally, I will not impose a time limit on the project—although if it’s 30 seconds long we will have issues—but keep in mind your screencasts through Jing can not be longer than 5 minutes. So if you need to do a longer story than that you can make more than one video, or use on of the other free, trial version tools listed above.

Assignment 9: El Mashup

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

Some background reading
OK, over the next week we will be talking about and experimenting with mashups. Read Brian Lamb‘s article  Dr. Mashup; or, Why Educators Should Learn to Stop Worrying and Love the Remix for an excellent framing of the cultural relevance of mashups in our moment. And I also recommend following it up with a reading of Walter Benjamin‘s “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,” a seminal theoretical text that frames the impact of technology upon our idea of art in the second half of the 20th century.

Also, the video below, “Video explains the world’s most important 6-sec drum loop,” is one of the most intelligent and artful explanations on the web about the “ownership of culture” and “the nature of art and creativity” all by focusing on a six-second drum beat.

Sharing some examples
Now share out some examples of your own. Be sure to explain why your example can be considered a mashup, wrestle with that definition a bit.

Roll your own
By Tuesday, November 8th, a mashup of your very own is due. Publish it on your blog, and tag it “Assignment 9” (no quotes).

Assignment 8: Video Commentary

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

For this assignment I am going to ask each of you to select several scenes from your favorite films (or one of your favorites), and edit them together and comment on some of the filmic elements of the scenes? Why do you like these scenes? What strikes you about them? What makes them good cinema? Is there a subtext at work in this film? In short, I want you to comment on the scenes as a narrator explaining to your audience explaining what you find important about the scene, and why.

If you want more specific example of what I m talking about, here is a commentary of the 1978 zombie films Dawn of the Dead I did a couple of years ago.

I’ll also be working on a new version for the The Shining over the next few days as well.

And now, how do you do this? Take the jump for some recommendations. (more…)

Assignment 7: An Uninteresting Story

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

In preparation for assignment seven, Thursday in class we will be discussing Ira Glass’s video about storytelling (please watch them before class Thursday, you can find them here) as well as the This American Life show on the sub-prime housing crisis (which you can listen to here).

Also, be sure to listen to a few of the uninteresting stories from the “Stories pitched by our parents” episode of This American Life. We’ll talk about this example as well this coming Thursday, and it will provide the basis for assignment seven which is as follows:

Over Fall Break you will be tasked with soliciting an uninteresting story from a family member or friend. It is your task to try and make the anecdote interesting for your listener (how we do this will be part of the discussion Thursday). And you must also come up with some kind of reflection on why the story is interesting and worth retelling here.

In other words, you are to record an uninteresting story and do everything in your power to make it interesting. We’ll be using the idea of Ira Glass, as well as the examples from the shows to do this. This will be due no later than Wednesday, October 13th by noon. And you are to tag this post “assignment 7” (no quotes). If you have any questions, please let me know.

For those of you who will be trying to get this uninteresting story via phone, you may want experiment with Skype. More specifically, to record your conversations you might want to play with the free version of Pamela if you have a PC, and Audio Hijack Pro if you have a Mac (use the free trial version which gives you a couple of weeks access).

Assignment #6: The Daily Shoot

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Starting tomorrow (Friday, 9/17), and through next Friday (9/24), you will all be expected to follow the daily assignments on the Daily Shoot site. What this site does, on a daily basis, is provide you a frame for taking a pictures. Like, for example, the following:

Image of #ds302 2010/09/13 • #ds302 (115 photos)
Make a photograph of a path, sidewalk, trail, or road today and post it. Lead our eye through the scene.

based on this prompt, you are to take a picture and then upload it to your Flickr account. Also, you will need to tweet the image you once it is up on flickr with the proper hashtag (i.e., #ds305 or #ds306). And, finally, you will need to post each of your daily shoot images to your blog and tag them dailyshoot1, dailyshoot2, etc. according to the day you take it, the first image you take being dailyshoot1, the second being dailyshoot2, etc.).

Assignment #5: Film in Six Frames

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

Use six images to create “A Film in Six Frames.” Tell the story of your favorite film in six frames using images you scavenge online, screen shots you grab, or images you take yourself. Once again, no text. I played with this exercise last semester (and will be doing another one sometime before class this Thursday), and you can see my “The Shining in 6 Frames” below to get an idea of what this might look like. I actually played with two different versions for some experimentation on an idea, and feel free to experiment as well. Have fun, and have them posted by noon of this coming Thursday, 9/16.

So, which transitions don’t work? I was also thinking about this version: