DS 106: Finishing strong!

Reverend : April 28, 2010 2:08 am : announcements, assignments

OK everyone,

First and foremost I want to thank each and everyone of you for a wonderful semester. You all rolled with the punches beautifully, and I really couldn’t have asked for a better group. I appreciate your patience with my experimenting, and know the future class(es) will benefit from your willingness to play—nothing like the very first batch of lab rats from ds106 🙂

As to business, let’s wrap up strong. Here is the list of things I am expecting from you by midnight Thursday, 4/29:

1) Reflection (details can be found here)

2) Archiving your blog. (Details can be found here, and those of you planning on mapping your domain on UMW Blogs or let me know if you need help.)
Also, anyone who is planning on switching web hosting but hasn’t talked to me about it yet, please do by Thursday if you need help.

3) Cancel your web hosting with Cast Iron Coding by Thursday. Send an email requesting to cancel the service to Many of you already have, but please be sure to take care of this so you aren’t charged for the service again in May.

4) The domain you leased through Godaddy is yours for one full year. However, before you forget or lose your login info for Godaddy, please be sure to login there and make sure the renewal of your domain is manual not automatic. if it is automatic it ill be renewed without warning you, potentially costing you money you don’t want to spend.

5) Important!! Once you have archived your blog I need you to add the new URL it is archived at to the Course List on the course blog here.

6) Finally (and also Important!!), I need each of you to change one setting in your newly archived blog. In the Settings—>Reading option in the backend of your blog I need you to change the “Syndication feed show the most recent 10 posts” to the most recent 100 posts. (See the screenshot below.) This is important because it will allow me to re-archive all your work at the new URL back into the course blog seamlessly.

OK, that’s it from me. Have a great Summer, and your grades will be entered as soon as Friday.


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Final Assignment: Reflection due Thursday, 4/29

Reverend : April 22, 2010 11:22 am : assignments

Ok, 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. This reflection should be roughly two pages, and please post it on your blog.

Also, be sure your blog (or blogs) from this course are archived somewhere if you are letting your hosting and domains expire. See the post on archiving your work here for details.

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Archiving Your Site

Reverend : April 15, 2010 4:10 pm : announcements, assignments, Tutorial, tutorials

First and foremost—backup everything.

Here is how.
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.

Once you have created a new site, go to….


(This will be different in Blogger)

After that all your posts, pages, and comments should import cleanly.

You may want to check to see if the images still link to the old site or the new one.


If you want to keep your domain but not keep webhosting you pay for this is possible?

Tutorial for mapping your domain…

****If your domain name has changed you have to check and see whether your images broke, etc. Go through your posts and be sure to see if everything is still working.

2) Moving your work to a new server:
This is a two step process:

a) You need to backup everything on your existing web hosting to your local disk (always the first step).

Then download all of your folders and files to your desktop locally. Also, you will need to manually download your SQL files for your applications.

Also, go to your WordPress blog(s) and export the work. Go to…


b) Then you need to get a new hosting service, some options: Bluehost, Dreamhost, etc.

You can still use your existing domain name if you’d like by pointing it to the new nameservers provided by your new host through the Godaddy interface.

After the new host is setup up, you should use Fantastico or simple scripts to create the a new WordPress blogs in the same space directory space you had them on the original webhosting setup.

For example,

Once you have created a new blog in the same space, login and import your old blog:

Tools –> Import

c) After that, you will need to upload your exitisng theme and plugins to this new blog via the file manager in CPanel or via FTP.

You can find your old theme and plugin in the wp-content/themes and wp-content/plugins folders.

Also, you can simply upload the index.html file you have created to the root of your public html files for that to work (along with any associated files like images).

****Note if you are uploading your work to a new domain on a new server, you will have to check to see if the links and images are still working after the import.

3) Finally add the new location for your blog to the course list on the course blog with your new blog URL. Additionally, it is a good time to add the URL for your flickr accounts, YouTube accounts, etc.

This list will be the last thing I check before I put in your grades, so it must be working and accurate by then if you are getting rid of your domain.

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Data Visualization Assignment, due 4/15

Reverend : April 14, 2010 1:37 am : assignments

As I mentioned last week, for the data visualization assignment, experiment with a visualization tool such as Wordle, Prezi, or Google forms/spreadsheets in order to get a sense of emerging visualization tools work.

Think of this as simply an experiment to play with the tool, and have it on your blog by class on Thursday, 4/15.

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Week 15 Presentations Sign-up Sheet

Reverend : April 14, 2010 1:13 am : announcements, assignments

During the final week of classes, each of you will be giving a four minute presentation (and no more than four minutes) on the digital story you created over the course of the last several weeks.

The signup sheet for date and times you can present is here.

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Individual Meetings Outside Class

Reverend : April 14, 2010 1:09 am : announcements, assignments

As I mentioned tonight, I will expect each of you to setup an individual meeting with me outside of class over the next week and a half in order to go over the specifics of the archiing project as well as to discuss the details of your story. A kind of exit interview if you will.

Sign-up here, time slots are first come/first serve.

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Screencast assignment

dds2841 : March 30, 2010 3:18 am : assignments, Student Posts

Here is the link to my screencast assignment:

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Assignment for Tuesday, 3/30

Reverend : March 24, 2010 2:53 pm : assignments

As discussed in class last night, by Tuesday, March 30th you will be creating a Digital Story using Google Street View and Jing, or any other screencasting tool you want and have access to. Follow the previous links to either tool for a run down on how they work and any questions you have about them please bring to class on Thursday, March 25th.

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 Detroit, Michigan. Great stuff!!!

The assignment is relatively straightforward, use Jing to take a screencast of a street view on Google Maps of a story that happened at a particular place. Be sure to navigate around the place, this should not be a static map view—so find a story with some movement and dynamism.This can be your neighborhood, a trip to a major city, a vacation abroad, at UMW, etc. Keep in mind that if you are concerned about privacy about where you live you may not want to choose a story that focuses on 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 is 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 story longer than that you can make more than one video, or let me know and I can hook you up with a computer that has Camtasia installed.


Assignment for Thursday 3/11

Reverend : March 10, 2010 1:15 pm : assignments

As mentioned in class last night, play with the free and open source application Audacity (which you can download here).

There is a tutorial for audacity here, which in turn links out to a number of very useful resources. Also, I hope Samuel will post about his extension for audio recording with Skype.

As for Thursday, we will be work shopping with Audacity to figure out the details, in the meantime be sure you get the MP3 exporting the LameLib codec here (simply follow the directions at the bottom of the page linked to).

By next Tuesday, 3/16, have a audio file that makes an uninteresting told by a friend or family member interesting, look to This American Life, episode 400 for examples.

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Flickr Images

dds2841 : February 23, 2010 3:32 pm : assignments, Pictures, Student Posts

Check out these photos on flickr. I thought these pictures were really cool since the olympic games are going on right now. I also like the fact that they are in black and white.

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Assignments for Tuesday, 2/23

Reverend : February 20, 2010 2:04 am : assignments

In preparation for our discussion about digital photography next week:

  • Set up a Flickr account.
  • Start exploring the images on Flickr, and posting about one’s you find interesting, and be sure  to explain why.
  • Follow DailyShoot on Twitter, and use the daily assignments for the next four days to “inspire and motivate you to practice your photography, and share your results!”
  • Start playing with plugins to integrate your Flickr account into your blog—be sure to write about your progress.

Assignment for Thursday, 2/18

Reverend : February 17, 2010 2:18 pm : assignments
  • If you haven’t fleshed out your project proposal for a digital story, you should be working on this currently and have the beginnings of a solid idea on your blog by class on Thursday. Formal proposals are not due until 2/23.
  • For those of you with a fairly clear idea of what you will be doing, time to start searching and linking to similar examples of stories you can use for ideas as you get started. Also, make a list of the various resources that you will be following over the next nine or ten weeks. For example, if you’re thinking about a movie blog, let me know what other blogs, forums, sites, etc., that you’ll be reading and commenting upon. If you are doing a family narrative, what are some other examples out there? Sports narrative, who else is doing this? What is their approach? Etc.
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Assignment for Tuesday, 2/16

Reverend : February 13, 2010 9:39 pm : assignments

As we talked about on Thursday, come up with a proposal for what you think you want your digital story to be about and why and have it posted by Monday night by midnight so I can have them all read and commented on by Tuesday’s class. Keep in mind this has to be an ongoing narrative that is not limited to one instance—try and consider something you can tell in several parts over the course of nine or ten weeks.  This does not necessarily have to be a fictional narrative or a personal narrative, it can be non-fiction, a series of technical posts, experimentation with a particular medium, criticism, etc. Most importantly, I want you to try and focus in on an idea you would be interested in sustaining for the rest of the semester, which should translate into something you feel passionate about. Lastly, keep in mind this is a proposal.  We will be talking about the details in class, as well as individually, so don;t feel compelled to define the tools you’ll be using and how the story will play out.  Focus right now on the idea and whether or not it is tenable. Take the time this weekend to consider a few options and blog about them, but don’t feel like you’ll be automatically locked in, that time is not here yet 🙂

In the meantime I’ll working on your five week evaluations, so there will be some radio silence from me. Please finish those three tools to tell a story exercises that were due on Thursday if you haven’t yet (and many of you haven’t). Also, now would be a good time to catch up on any other work you missed thus far this semester because the withdrawal period has ended and you are just about stuck with me.

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Assignments for Tuesday, 2/9 and Thursday, 2/11

Reverend : February 7, 2010 11:55 am : assignments

For Tuesday, 2/9 (Note: In the event classes are canceled Tuesday due to weather, I still expect you’ll have your assignment posted to the course blog by 4 pm on Tuesday.)

  • Read these selections from Chapter 3 of Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics. McCloud’s work on Understanding Comics is an amazing primer not only for the art and craft of comics, but also for visual iconography and the grammar and syntax of visual narrative which is germane to digital storytelling. Read the ten pages from his book, and experiment with the list of six transitions in comics he discusses on pages 70-72.
  • In order to focus your experimentation with the list of six visual transitions from McCloud’s example, use six images to create “A Film in 6 Frames.” Basically, tell the story of your favorite film in six frames using images you scavenge online or images you draw. Once again, no text. You don;t have to use all of McCloud’s transitions, but try to incorporate at least two. I have been playing with this exercise as well, and you can see my “The Shining in 6 Frames” post to get an idea of what this might look like. Have fun.

For Thursday, 2/11



dds2841 : February 3, 2010 5:56 pm : assignments, Pictures, Student Posts

















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Assignment for Thursday, 2/4

Reverend : February 3, 2010 1:16 pm : assignments

As a means to start experimenting with storytelling, I want each of you to post at most five images to your blog, the sequence of which tells a story. The images can come from anywhere, you can take them with your own camera and upload them or find them on the web via Flickr, Photbucket, Facebook, Google image search, Shorpy, etc.

Follow the guidelines setup by the “Tell a story in five frames” group on Flickr, and check out some examples they provide. Keep in mind you can use fewer than five images, but no more than five. Post it on your own blog, and be sure to title the post the title of your story. For another example of a site that does this, check out Comixed—it can tend to be a bit more vulgar, but there are some hysterical examples of visual storytelling there. Keep in mind that you should not be photoshopping text on your images.

Have fun, and be sure to have them posted by beginning of class Thursday so we can take a look at them by the end of class.

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Web 2.0

dds2841 : February 1, 2010 5:21 pm : assignments, Responses to articles, Student Posts

I have to start out by admitting that I have never even heard the phrase web 2.0 until I read this article. So my first question is, since there has been web 1.0 and web 2.0, will there be a web 3.0? I guess only time can really tell us the answer to that question.

The big thing that stuck out to me was that web 1.0 included Britanicca Online and web 2.0 has wikipidea. I use wikipidea all the time and think that it is probably one of the best and easiest sources there is on the web right now. Web 1.0 was about having a personal website while web 2.0 has the ever so popular blogging. I am just now getting familiar with blogging and the idea of it just seems so much easier than maintaing a personal website. But considering that I am not much of a computer person, I am probably not the best person to ask. I think that it is interesting that there are companies out there that use the phrase web 2.0 and they don’t even have a complete understanding of what it is. I guess some people are really out there on the internet just to make some money.

The one thing that I really got out of this article was that web 2.0 puts you, the person in front of the computer, in control. You get to participate in this online world and have your work published with just a click of a button. You can be a self-proclaimed author or artist if you want to be. One of the biggest differences that I have personally experienced is using Netscape versus Google. I think that Netscape had a goal really just to make money. Google however, is really giving a great service to the people out there that use it. They understand what the people want and they in turn give what the people want. Websites such as eBay and Amazon continue to grow the more that people use it. The customers are what really keep up these kinds of websites in the long run. Blogging is also such an important aspect of web 2.0 and a blog is basically a space that you can write your own thoughts in and people can comment back. One of the technologies that has made blogging so popular today is RSS. The is an incredible tool because everytime my teacher makes a change to his page, I know about it!

I wonder from time to time if people are getting too obsessed with the internet. Sure, this technology is great and it has some amazing advantages, but will we all be zoned out in front of a screen someday?

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Example of Digital Storytelling

dds2841 : January 31, 2010 1:36 pm : assignments, Student Posts

So considering that I am not on the computer too much, it was kind of hard for me to find something that was considered digital storytelling. I actually looked on youtube and found some pretty interesting stuff. Here is a random video that I found on light savers. I thought it was pretty cool because it tells a story about two teens that fantasize about what they can do with their light savers. I know it may sound corny or boring at first, but have you ever day dreamed about using an object other than what it’s intended use was originally for? Or have you thought about inventing something on your own? I think that digital storytelling is a way to tell a story with the use of technology. This video is a perfect example of it because it tells a story from start to finish. I love the idea of digital storytelling because anyone on the internet can have access to it and it doesn’t have to be a four-hundred page book. It can be a three minute clip! So check this out and tell me what you think.

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Assignments for Tuesday 2/2

Reverend : January 30, 2010 12:41 am : assignments

Below are the assignments for Tuesdays class:

  • Blog about an example of Digital Storytelling.  Explain why you choose this sepcific example, and what elements define it specifically as “digital” storytelling.
  • Create a basic index.html and upload it to your web server root (public_html). If you are familiar with basic HTML and CSS don’t reinvent the wheel, rather share resources, basic code, tips and ideas with the rest of the class. Consider and discuss what are some of the basics everyone should know about HTML and CSS if they are working in the online space. See Samantha’s quick HTML and CSS primer post here for a quick introduction. [The idea here is that we don’t necessarily need to be fluent in HTML and CSS, but it is very useful to have some basic literacy when publishing content online.]
  • Read and blog your questions, ideas, and thoughts about Tim O’Reilly’s essay “What is Web 2.0?” Please blog at some length about the ideas here, claiming not to understand and limiting your post to one or two sentences saying as much does not constitute a thoughtful response.  You need to both list and struggle with the questions you have, while at the same time outlining and relating some of the salient points in the reading.
  • Comment, comment, comment.


dds2841 : January 26, 2010 6:01 pm : assignments, Student Posts

I activated the Akismet plugin today, which lets me know if there is any spam. I looked through many different themes and the one that jumped out to me was the Cupcake one. However, I feel as though I need to do more with my page and make it more personal.

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Assignments for 1/26

Reverend : January 21, 2010 5:19 pm : assignments
  • Add everyone’s blog in this class to your Feed Reader
  • Start commenting on one each others posts (best get into the habit now!)
  • Explore themes and plugins for your blog, be sure to write about your choices and process.
  • Read and post about Doug Engelbart’s AUGMENTING HUMAN INTELLECT:
    A Conceptual Framework”

Assignments for 1/19 (part 2)

Reverend : January 16, 2010 10:33 pm : assignments

1) If you haven’t seen part 1 of the assignments for 1/19, go here.

2) I have created a tutorial for pointing your domain to your web hosting space here. Please do this as soon as possible, because it could take up to 24-48 hours for the domain to propagate on your web host.

3) I have also created a tutorial for installing a blog on your web host here.

4) Once you have done all this, be sure to post your first blog assignment which is a reflection on the readings for Thursday (I’ve posted Gardner Campbell’s discussion with our class via Skype here for anyone who missed it or wants to listen again).

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Assignments for 1/19 (Tech Forum and Class List)

Reverend : January 15, 2010 12:48 pm : assignments

So, to clarify anything we may have missed in the rush at the end of class last night, here is partial list of what I need from and when I need it.

First things first…
Using the class Tech Forum and adding your personal info to the Class List page:

I have created a forum on UMW Blogs so that we can share support as we get our domains up and running. I also created a Course List page on the UMW Wiki so that you can all add your personal information in one place—what I need here is your name, domain address, twitter account, and email preference (you do not need to use your UMW email).
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Assignments for 1/14: A Domain of One’s Own

Reverend : January 12, 2010 4:58 pm : assignments

Note: Be sure to track your notes and thoughts about these readings, for they will be the fodder for your first blog post.



  • Purchase your own web hosting account from Cast Iron Coding. Instructions and details here. Sign-up page at Cast Iron Coding here.
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