Finale- This is not goodbye

Final Portfolio created on Storify

Can I say I have thoroughly enjoyed this course! As terrified as I was the first 6 times I read the syllabus, this course has expanded my thinking in way I never thought possible. When I signed up for this course I thought I would be making some videos about events in my life, I am so glad that I was wrong! I will not lie, that first week was scary and a lot all at once but as you can see I stuck with it and survived.

As a Learner

As a learner in this course I think I can say I learned in ways that I never thought were possible. This course takes to heart its teachings, meaning it does what it tells you to do and does not fall into that old adage of “Do as I say, not as I do.” It has been a very different course as far as structure goes but that it what made it so enjoyable and left an impact. It is hard to be a learner in this course without doing something. You can just watch others do and and discuss what they do but you actually had to participate. Even the course reading reiterate this same notion that being engaged and active in a community of learners is the best way to learn. As far as what this course has taught me for future learning experiences, I would say I will approach everything head on and ask questions and try things that scare me. I have learned that in order to learn you have to not be afraid and take part in the world around you. I thought I was a connected learner before this course but I don’t think I truly knew what that meant and how to utilize that connection. Now as a connected learner I reach out to people in the class or even just to anyone who follows me for help and support and share the things that I find. I want to take DS106 back to my students to be part of this community. I want to find was for my students to become connected learners to others outside our school and I have started researching was that people have done this with things like Google Hangouts. I want to keep growing and help my students grow in the same way.

Co-design of this course

Because we are a community of learners it is hard not to be a part of the design. If I didn’t ask critical questions on a reading would the discussion have happened? If I didn’t do each of my assignments would my group mates suffer? I can’t say for sure but I know that I look forward to reading Haley’s work because it related back to my focal theme and she often questioned some of my posts that made me a deeper thinker and helped me to consider what was important. I looked forward to her annotations on my blog because I knew she had a similar viewpoint based on her focal theme. I love the structure of this course even though it scared my the first week. I think each and everyone of us learned things we would have never considered by sharing our own themes and then taking part in reading or viewing other’s themes. I often catch myself saying something to someone at work or home that came from what I had learned in this course. Each and everyone of us has a voice that should be heard, we don’t have to agree with it but we need to listen or it will diminish the value of the stories we have to tell.

In terms of designing this course differently I would have liked there to be more interaction with the Assignment bank creations because I feel like they were created but not really payed attention to after. I think a possible integration with digital critiquing would be nice. Even if it were up to 3 a semester that you critique a peers creation because then there is authentic feedback. Other than that I enjoyed the structure of the course and feeling a part of something greater even though I never met anyone of my peers face-to-face. I think that is a huge accomplishment because I often feel disconnected in an online course and that was definitely not the case with this course.

Understanding of Pedagogy

PULL- When I think about the meaning of the word instructor, I want to immediately change it to facilitator or co-learner. I feel that an instructor is now someone that gives a starting point but then becomes part of the learning. I think seeing your students as instructors is important because there are many things that we can learn from them. I know that I still have to “be in charge” because I teach elementary but I want my students to teach me new things each day. Pedagogy is open for interpretation, meaning it needs to have the purpose of community building and participation. I think we often get sucked into the policies that have to be done to be considered an effective teacher. I want students to explore the world around them and drive their passions to share. The design of the course allows for freedom and the “pull” that L&K discussed in their chapter. I don’t want push information at students I want there to be discussion and buy-in.  I hope that my students feel as welcome as I have felt in this course.


Change is among us-reflect 7

This has been a great week. This week’s reading was eye-opening and inspiring the motion of change.

This week I have created daily creates and a visual assignment that add to my abilities to be creative and use new tools in a different way. I analyzed a digital story about factory farms and learned how horrible some aspects slaughter houses can be. I also had the fortune to read an article about animal abuse laws and neglect.

Annotating others blogs and sharing in the discussion on readings is always fun to experience. I feel part of a community that 7 weeks ago I didn’t even know existed. The thing that gave me trouble this week is that this class is almost over and I want to keep up the creations and continue learning. I enjoyed the opportunity to read the blogs of peers that I hadn’t read in a while. I have learned to be aware of how things can be perceived.

My focal issue is has proven to be very educational for me, and has opened my view point on animal rights/welfare.

The quality of my work has met the expectations of this course. I have taken the time to careful with my creations and consider all aspects. I have also learned a lot about who I am and I want to leave an impression as a digital storyteller. None of this was easy to start but I have taken the time to learn new skills and consider how I will take them back to the work place.

Factory Farming-wk 7 Critique

WARNING! The images in this video are disturbing and graphic.


Though this video is graphic it is intended to serve as a way to educate the general population. I know that this video does not represent all Factory Farms but I think it is important to be aware that many do operate in this way. We need to be educated consumers.

Involvement: The creator of this video had to do some research on factory farming terms to have a full awareness of the issue. She also needed find these clips and photos to help portray her message. She had to be aware of how people would react to these images. Her goal was to educate and to make people aware of what happens at a factory farm. She is in no way trying to convince you not to each meat but to be aware of where it came from and how harsh some of those environments can be to animals. As an audience member I am moved to make sure that my meat does not come from a factory farm and not be an accidental support by being a consumer.

Literacy Dimensions: The flow of this video shows the advanced skills of merging media together seamlessly. The author of the video is aware of how images affect emotions and people. She is using the video as an outlet to express her opinions on a social issue. 

Affinity Spaces: This video was found on YouTube with over 176,000 views. I could see it getting popularity on a pro-organic foods site or even an animal welfare site. I am putting it here on my blog in hopes that awareness spreads. It is important that it be placed in a location that shows its purpose as educational and not just a visual representation of how bad things can be.

Improvements: I would say this could be improved by a better location. I searched to see if it was on other sites but I was unable to find anything connected. The music that is used was appropriate and went with the story being told.  Some of the negative comments on the page said thing about family farms not being any better and I think she could add to it explain that not all family farms are better but that her goal was to inform that there are other option besides factory farms.

Privilege -reading week 7

Wow! When I think about all that is going on in our country right now, I am in awe of the issues.  The article “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” was eye-opening. I would say that it was not new but a realization about how white people have an advantage just by the color of their skin. When we are taught about racism it is always been about people of other colors than white and I think that has help to create the white advantage. We are unaware/unwilling to admit to the ways in which we have advantages based on our skin color. The list that was written within the article were things that I had just never considered-such as the  color of band-aids. I am appalled at the way our society has created this disadvantage but even more upset that I am inadvertently part of the problem. I am not blatantly racist but I am white and I take comfort in the things that give me an advantage over someone of color. I want to be part of the solution and not the problem. Where to begin is the question?


I found this video on facebook and thought it was fitting for this article.

I also read an article about animal cruelty called, “Animal Cruelty and Neglect Exposed.” The term cruelty appears to be the catch all term that encompasses all animal abuse, neglect, fighting, abandonment and veterinary practice without a license. The only Federal regulation that governs animals rights is the Animal Welfare Act. Each state has their own laws that vary in extent and consequences. The ASPCA launched a program called Cruelty Intervention Advocacy, this was meant to be used to help investigate cases that were just short of legally being animal cruelty. Their goal was to help educate people from being unintentional animal abusers by ways of neglect. This article also reiterated an earlier article I read about the connection between animal abuse and domestic violence. The article then goes on to say that law enforcement officers need to be trained to look for the signs of animal/child abuse when investigating a domestic violence case in an effort to reduce animal cruelty.

Paws for Support

wordcloud (1)

This week’s Assignment bank goes to Word Cloud. Here are the directions from the DS106 Assignment:

Use a site like or similar to create a word cloud. Make your chosen text meaningful to you. Choose a font and color scheme that reflects the emotion behind your choice of words. Take a screenshot, and upload it to your blog.

I ended up using the site WordClouds to create this little gem. I chose to use words that relate to animal abuse and welfare. There is a combination of animals and labels that are associated with animal rights. I was able to choose from a variety of shapes and I felt that the paw print was the most applicable to my purpose of spreading awareness of animal rights and welfare. House pets and zoo animals are not the only that are victims of abuse and neglect. Sometimes animals that can be considered nuisance animals are also wrongfully abused or killed. As was the case for some porcupines that were clubbed to death by teenagers out of sport, these animals were not bothering anyone or anything. I think it is important for people to know what can happen if they abuse or see someone abuse an animal.

Respect the animals around you, if they are not bothering you than leave them alone!

Reflection to my first digital story

Well this week has been eventful! I caught a Pikachu and I hatched a Charmander… Oh wait that doesn’t pertain to this class, sorry Pokemon Go has taken over some brain cells!

Anyway this week I was trolling through my YouTube channel and came across my first digital story that I created alongside a second grader during my undergrad. We helped the students create a digital story from their writing about a favorite memory. Their videos were posted on VoiceThread and then the local movie theater let us use their space to showcase the student’s work on the big screen! So the one I created was about my mom. I know this is not really about this course but is in a way, so I thought I would share. This took a lot for me to share with my peers as a 19 year old, mostly because I am so self-conscious of my voice in recordings. Sorry if it makes you cry.

 This week I have completed the tasks necessary for learning. I enjoyed the reading this week and found many way that I want make my teaching more student centered and pull from their knowledge and interests. I want to help my students find an affinity space for their passion and become an active member within it.

This week I struggled with sharing and being open about short-comings. I know we all feel that we have them but pushing outside a comfort zone and accepting that I might fail and that it would be okay is hard. I stayed in the confines of what I know and what is comfortable with my assignment bank this week, so I want to challenge myself for the last one to really work outside my knowledge base and try something I have little to no understanding of.

This week I have met expectations!! I have been present in my own learning and the learning of others. I have participated and shred my thoughts. I hope my video is not out of place or mistaken… On to the next week of creating! See ya on the inter-webs!

Blog post Critique

porcupine_berlin_zooThis week I looked at a blog post about a “Porcupine’s right to live.” When I rad the title I sort of chuckled to myself and thought, “Oh no, what on Earth did a porcupine do to someone?”  But as it turns out some teenagers thought it would be fun to just club a dozen or so to death for no reason. The author of the blog wants to seek justice for the porcupines but local law enforcement said they were nuisance animals and there is no law against killing them. Displeased with that response she found a retired local animal control officer to help.

What types of “involvement” – and by the author/creator(s), participant(s), and/or audience – are apparent in this story?

The creator took a report that she linked to in the blog and gave a recount and then did her own digging to find out why nothing was being done to these teenagers that cause such harm to innocent creatures. She also found other sources such as the officer and the animal control person to help her better understand the issue. she may have record the response or it could have been an email interaction with these two people but she included direct quotes to give power to her point. As an audience, we are to be appalled and want to help her find a way to get justice for the porcupine.

How would you characterize the “literacy dimensions” present in this story?

The author of the blog had to be aware of the local animal abuse cases and also needed to know who and where to turn to get the support she was looking for. Utilizing a blog and knowing how to get it  associated with this particular affinity space is a big achievement for this creator.

What are the online spaces and sites that bring this story to life? Why do these spaces and sites matter to the impact of the given story?

This blog was located on another site under the umbrella of animal rights and there are 9 comments in response to the blog all in support of the authors opinion. This space is important because it is an affinity space for people who care about animal rights. This also helps the author get support for her cause and encourages her to do more to protect these animals.

Based upon your assessment of involvement and literacy dimensions, what modifications and changes to this digital story might improve aspects of narrative, production, media usage, and/or audience engagement?

This blog was well thought and I feel that the author was concise and to the point and din’t overwhelm with too many details but still linked to the original report if you wanted to know more.

Push or Pull- You choose!

Well I choose Pull! In our reading this week about social learning it describes how the traditional education system is considered the “push” and the “pull” refers to informal, participatory learning that has the learning pulling up their own learning material and sources. I don’t want to be part of the “push” aspect of teaching because that is boring for a learner and they only hold onto information that you give them to pass the test. Whereas in the “pull” model learners are seeking information to enact a change or to build on a passion. This is applicable learning that the learner will take on with them for an extended time and will share it with others who may have this passion or curiosity.  This is a difficult shift to consider but I think it is one that needs to be taken more seriously if we are expected to prepare students for future careers.

When you work in a place that now has three scripted content programs it becomes difficult to be innovative and creative.  I can only hope that are newest program has some freedom to allow for students to “pull” in terms of content and desire. I love what I do as a teacher but there are so many things that make it difficult and less fun. Hopefully I can build in this aspect through passion projects and independent studies.

The other article I read this week was Animal Cruelty and Domestic Violence. The article states that those who abuse an animal are 5 times more likely to abuse a human. It also states that children who abuse animals. It is really crazy to read the correlations between animal abuse and domestic violence. I mean I have watched enough Criminal Minds to see this connection but didn’t realize that there were actual statistics around animal abuse and domestic violence. Some states are making it where animal control must report suspected child abuse and child protective services must report animal abuse. Because often times they are connected. Some states have also made animal abuse, if committed in front of a child, a felony charge as well. If you know of someone who is abusive to an animal please report it, because you could be saving more lives than the animal!

The Animal of My Eye

To say that I am obsessed with my dog is probably an understatement. I would take him with me everywhere I went if I could. His first trip was at three months old. He had broken his leg two days before but made the drive to Texas with me. The photo with him sleeping on my face was from that trip. Beans all

This week I got to choose any assignment from the DS106 Assignment bank so I chose this assignment. Not only do I get to show off my adorable Jack Russell, Beans, but I get to talk about my passion for all animals. I thought about doing a collage of giraffes but I felt that this was more true to me and a fun way to explore my passion. I love all animals and I spent months convincing my husband that I needed a puppy. He fought me for a long time until I got his mom on my side and she sent him this picture of me with a tiny puppy on my shoulder. Anyways I brought home this dog with no name and we were all in love with it. I’m not really sure why we named him Beans but it stuck. He has become my hiking buddy even if that means he has to go in a backpack because he doesn’t really know what to do with a leash. By the looks of this collage he really likes to sleep!

All animals deserve to be loved and cared for. As you can see some are spoiled. It doesn’t take much to take care of an animal and treat it humanely. This is what makes me question why people feel the need to do animal testing or neglect a pet outside in the elements. Animals can fend for themselves to some extent but can not if a human has disabled them in some way.  Take the time to think about animals and whether you would want to be treated that way or not.

To create this collage I used Be Funky and added my photos so that it could create a collage of my images. These are photos from my phone mostly and they were taken over the years. Some of the photos I had to rotate after they were placed in the template.

Week 5 Reflection

Well I decided to take 3 days off from school this week since we had family in town. I got to take a trip to Wyoming, and hike up a waterfall, but it made for a cramped week of work.

Overall I enjoyed this week of work. Learning about participatory education got me thinking about how I use it in my classroom. I think students share ideas in my classroom but don’t always contribute to the project or assignment as a whole. I completed all of this weeks assignments and enjoyed creating a Mashup with my husband. I struggled a bit with the digital story critique, I don’t feel comfortable with the questions associated with remix and am struggle to find the words to describe the responses. I have gone back to the reading many times but still question if I have done this correctly.

Digital storytelling is not something that is meant to be done individually but can be done as a collaboration with others. It is all about doing instead of just watching. I am excited to continue this journey and learn new things that I can add to my classroom.

This week I have met the expectations of the course and hope to continue to grow as a digital storyteller.