Week Two Newsletter from Camp Magic MacGuffin

Good Morning Campers!!

Welcome to the second week of Camp Magic MacGuffin. Congratulations to all of you who survived the first week.

As usual, all weekly work is due by midnight on Sunday (6/3/12). This week, everyone needs to make sure their sites are up and running. In addition, we’ll be diving into storytelling a bit more. Below, you’ll find all the details for week two.

Blog Setup

UMW Students

This week, you need to get WordPress up and running on your sites. If you haven’t set up your Hippie Hosting account yet and installed WordPress, you need to do that NOW. The longer you wait, the more you will fall behind in the course. Here are some resources you will find useful as you work through this:

As soon as you get your site up, make sure you post your first letter home and your reaction to Michael Wesch’s video!

Additionally, this week we’ll be asking you to do a few other setup activities in WordPress. Alan and I will be putting together short tutorials on the following topics over the course of the week (check back for links to these videos as the week progresses):

  • How to Earn Your Blogging Badge (tips for embedding media in your posts)
  • Installing a Theme in your WordPress Blog
  • Installing Plugins in your WordPress Blog
  • Tips and Tricks for your WordPress Blog (tags, categories, permalinks, and more!)

Also, UMW students can use this series of how to wordpress videos provided for UMW Blogs users (login required)

Open, Online Students

As you know, you can blog wherever you like, as long as you can provide us with an RSS feed of your posts for the course. This week, make sure that when you write a post, it’s showing up properly on the home page of the Camp Web site. If there’s a problem, contact us on Twitter (@cogdog and @mburtis).

Daily Creates

We’ll be ramping up our Daily Create activity this week. Everyone should complete at least three of them (you can choose which ones you want to do over the course of the week). There have been some questions about whether you need to blog each of your TDC contributions. Check out Alan’s response to this issue over in our FAQ.

Storytelling Investigations

Vonnegut and The Shape of Stories

We’re going to be diving into storytelling a bit more this week. First, we’d like you to look at this video from Kurt Vonnegut about the structure of stories. It’s a great overview about the shape of stories, and we want you to apply those ideas to a story you know. So, after watching it, please write a post in which you explain a story that you’re familiar with. You can pick a movie, TV show, book, song, etc. The idea is you want to describe the shape of that story (based on Vonnegut’s video) in the post. We’d like you to use some kind of media to do this, be it a drawing or video or whatever you like. Be creative!

Here’s a bonus infographic where someone graphic designer Maya Eilam has applied Vonnegut’s ideas to a number of familiar stories.

Tag this post: VonnegutStory

Introduction to Digital Storytelling from Bryan Alexander (aka Dr. Nemo)

We’re lucky enough to have the guy who wrote the book about digital storytelling at Camp this summer! That’s right Bryan Alexander (aka Dr. Nemo) is a counselor in Bunk House Three. In honor of his presence, we’ll be reading the introduction to his book.

Afterward, we’d like you spend some time on Bryan’s Web site browsing the huge collection of digital stories that he’s creating. Then take some time and write a post about one of those stories and discuss how it reflects both Bryan’s ideas and the ideas introduced in Vonnegut’s video.

Tag this post: AlexanderStory

Taking Camp to Minecraft

This week is going to be a “soft” launch of Minecraft at camp. For those who are interested, go head and buy/download Minecraft and install it. Then you want to launch Minecraft and login to the ds106 Minecraft server (minecraft.ds106.us). You’ll do this by going into Multiplayer mode in Minecraft and entering that server address. That’s it. Go start investigating the camp and see what you can find and build!

Next week, we’re hoping to have the campfire meeting in Minecraft around the . . . campfire!

Bunkhouse Assignments

Alan and I spent this weekend assigning people to their new bunkhouse. You can find your assignment here. Your bunkhouse mates are a great place to focus your commenting and feedback efforts for the course, particularly if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed in the first few weeks. In addition, each bunk house has a couple of counselors assigned to it. These are people who can reach out to for a bit of guidance — of course your fearless camp co-directors are always available, too!

This week, as a bunkhouse you need to settle on a name for your group and a logo. Camp counselors, if you can help organize this effort, that would be great!

Campers of the Week!!

As an added bit of incentive to bring your A-Game to camp, we decided to institute a Camper of the Week feature. Each week, we’ll be highlight a couple of exceptionally productive members of camp. This week, we present:

UMW Student Kerry Girard -- @kag0715

UMW Student Kavon Johnson -- @kavonlechae

Open, Online Student jslezak (aka "Bug Juice") -- @jslezak

Kerry and Kavon both managed to get WordPress up and running on their hosting accounts, despite the technical set backs! Jerry’s been doing a bangup job keeping up with all those Daily Creates. Congrats to our first Campers of the Week for diving into Lake MacGuffin with both feet! To the rest of you: come on in! The waters nice!

Miscellaneous Camp Housekeeping

  • A note to all UMW students: When contacting Alan or Martha by email, please be sure to copy both of us on your message. That way we can make sure that we’re both fully in the loop.
  • Campfire this week is on Wednesday (5/29) at 11:00 EST. We’ll be in Google Hangout again, so watch Twitter for the link!
  • Don’t forget your letter home at the end of the week — use this to reflect upon your week’s work and, if you like, share your Daily Creates. (Tag this: weeklyletter)

7 Responses to “Week Two Newsletter from Camp Magic MacGuffin”

  1. Maya Eilam says:

    I’m glad my infographic on Kurt Vonnegut’s Shapes of Stories can be helpful to you and your students across the web as a resource on storytelling!

    • Martha says:

      Maya — thanks so much for the comment. And for creating and sharing such a great infographic.
      I was throwing that post together so quickly today for this week’s activities that I didn’t do due diligence to hunt down the name of the creator. I’m going to go credit you right now. 🙂

  2. Reverend says:

    What are Kerry and Kavon’s URLs? I would love to give them mad props.

  3. […] @chadsansing';tweetcount_background='000000';tweetcount_border='333333';tweetcount_text='FFFFFF';This week at Camp Magic MacGuffin we took a look at Kurt Vonnegut explaining the shapes of popular […]

  4. […] handed out some camp badges, yes BADGES, BADGES, we got bad ass badges! See the bottom of the week 2 newsletter for our campers of the week, and Martha has even gone and made a flickr group so anyone can make and give out badges. We know […]