Archive for the ‘magicmacguffin’ Category


The Value of My Experience at DS106

Monday, July 30th, 2012

As I write my final “letter home” or weekly reflection, I will share advice with future ds106 participants, especially students. Understand that I write this from the perspective of an adult student, in my mid-30′s, in the midst of a successful, demanding career, with a family and home to manage…all while balancing a school agenda, pursing my Bachelor’s of Professional studies degree in Leadership & Management. Obviously, I am an extremely busy woman, whose time is a precious commodity.

I will also share that I dropped another class off my summer schedule because the amount of work required was so intimidating and overwhelming that I was afraid that I could not get it all done successfully to maintain my 3.8 GPA. After dropping that class, I quickly looked for something to take it’s place. Seeing as I am short on general electives, I found this class that thought it would be a fun, creative, even easy way to accumulate credits over the summer. I was a few days late enrolling in this course and felt like I was constantly playing “catch up” right out of the gate. But Martha and Alan were welcoming and the other participants and students were great in helping me along the way and encouraging me with accolades and constructive criticism. My think that ds106 would be fun and creative part was accurate, but easy? Well, not exactly easy for ME, but I certainly learned a lot and I’m sure this ds106 experience is one that I will never forget.

So my advice and experience comes in the form of a David Letterman-style Top Ten List.

10.   Come prepared.

Be ready to hit the ground running. Review the list of materials or potential tools you will need to use throughout ds106, including image editors, video editors, audio editors, etc. Familiarize yourself with unfamiliar programs, if necessary. This will save you time later. I started a bit behind the curve and used a lot of time trying to find the right tool to do what I envisioned in my head.

9.   Pay attention.

Bookmark, and check daily, the activity at ds106. As this is an online environment, use Google Reader, Twitter, the ds106 website and other pertinent tools at your disposal to get announcements and tutorials and follow what’s going on with other ds106ers through blogs, tweets, etc.

8.   Get involved and interact.

You should make a few minutes each day for ds106, including getting involve and interacting with others. It really is a lot of fun to browse blogs and see what other ds106ers are working on. Leave substantive comments whenever possible to not only let everyone, including the professors, that you are participating, but to enjoy the creativity that takes place here. Don’t forget to tweet your new blog posts and daily creates! Again this shows participation and alerts others to review and comment on your work too.

7.   Be consistent.

Daily participation in ds106 is critical.  Be consistent in your activities…planning, interacting, doing assignments, blogging, tweeting, etc. Some tasks and some days will require more time and investment than others. Just keep making progress and you’ll do fine.

6.  Plan ahead.

This is KEY! One of my strategies to plan my week was to browse through the ds106 Assignment Repository at the beginning of each week or segment and start thinking about which assignments I wanted to create and how I would go about doing them. I took myself on field trips often, both around town and online, looking for ideas and inspiration. Also, I recommend looking at the daily create as soon as it’s published each day, to give yourself time to think and do, depending on your schedule for the day.

5.   Do NOT procrastinate!

Putting off until tomorrow what you can or should do today can be a fatal error in ds106. Falling behind will likely create a snowball effect that will leave you overwhelmed. Plan accordingly. If you know you will have schedule conflicts or issues, communicate them to your professor and plan ahead to mitigate these demands. Trust me, I fell behind once or twice and it was so much harder to get back on top of things. There’s a lot of work to do here and you should be ready to commit time every day to ds106.

4.   Open your mind…and your eyes.

This was  one of my favorite things about ds106! If you open your eyes and your mind, you will begin to look at every day things different. As you move through the course, you start to see the concepts all around you. The daily creates really help to stimulate this as well.

3.   Challenge yourself.

DS106 is likely to push each participant out of his or her comfort zone at some point. But I challenge you to push yourself. Don’t always pick the easy assignment or use the same tool every time. Stretch your imagination and reach for the stars. The support system here is fabulous, if you get stuck or have trouble, say so! Others will jump in to help or offer advice.

2.  Tell the your story.

The blog write-up are important. Don’t just post the final product. Explain the story behind why and how you did the assignment. Make it personal. This is not an English class, so informal writing is preferred. EMBED your work, not just link to it. A reader should be able to see or view the media directly on your site and not be re-routed elsewhere. The website is yours…make it yours. Personalize it, own it, enjoy it!

and the number one advice and informal motto of ds106…

1.  “Make Art, Damn It!”

I think this is pretty self-explanatory. You are assessed on your participation and effort, not the perfection of your product. Have fun and be creative!


My personally favorite segment of ds106 was the visual (photography). I bought a new camera at the beginning of the summer, and really enjoyed playing with it and learning to use it in new and exciting ways. This is definitely an area where I didn’t have the time toi do ALL I wanted to in the assignment repository, but watch out…I do plan to keep working ds106 as an open online participant as time allows me. I can’t wait to do some new assignments and maybe even refine some of the ones I already did.

I have truly enjoy my ds106 experience and learned so much, it’s hard to recap it all. I will say I plan on using the skills I learned here to help my boyfriend re-design the website for his business and link it up social media using the media I learn to manipulate here – images, video, audio, etc. The tools will be a great help in marketing his business and increasing traffic and exposure to his work.

Good luck and enjoy ds106…it’s a great place to be creative and play with others! :)

ds106 Assignments: Designing for Engagement in Online Learning

Monday, July 30th, 2012

ds106 Assignments: Effective Engagement in Online Classes from Jim Groom on Vimeo.

Alexandra Pickett, who’s having students create an engaging online course space, asked if I would share some quick advice for thinking about how one might approach designing engagement into an online course experience. I can only steal from the best, and Martha Burtis‘ design of the ds106 assignments is probably the coolest thing I’ve seen in this regard. What’s more, it changed the very notion of engagement for the high school ds106ers I taught two weeks ago. As a technical framework it fundamentally changed the way I teach the class. It allows me to personalize instruction, abstract the tools, and let the students choose and create what they want. That’s amazing in my mind. I would write more, but I have a post I am writing hailing Martha Burtis for the genius she is when it comes to ds106.

My Last 3 Daily Creates for Camp

Monday, July 30th, 2012

These will most definitely not be my last daily creates, but just for camp they will be.

This first one was to draw a flower with my eyes closed…

my masterpiece

I think it looks pretty good, kinda abstract. I’m an artist what can I say lol

For the second one we had to record a short audio clip of water. I blasted on the good old kitchen sink and just recorded the water running. It has a very unique sound I think, really. Its not like the bathroom sink, or you pouring out water into a cup- its water hitting the steel of the sink… in the kitchen. Just take a listen for yourself…

For the last one it was “you are what you eat”, we had to draw a figure of ourselves with food somehow. I was eating some Jalepeno Cheddar Cheetos and sour watermelon rings (I know I’m such a health freak… but thats how I keep my body looking so fit). It was the PERFECT choice too.

You are what you eat!

The body is spicy, and up top he’s sweet… ;)

And those were my daily creates for week 10!

Week 10: Letter Home

Monday, July 30th, 2012

Hard to believe, but this is my final letter home. I made a video, so that I can remember this moment exactly. This week was really fun, and bittersweet.

For my final digital story I decided to do like a hybrid format. At first I was thinking a video, but I realized that recently I had been doing TONS of videos and audio creations. Writing has and will always be a strong storytelling tool, so I wrote it out. Of course with embedding links, videos, and tweets in it lol. The evolution of storytelling is shown through it I feel. How its no longer sentences, but videos, tweets, pictures on flickr, material from different blogs. It is so lively. I really went crazy with my story though, but hey- isn’t that what DS106 is all about? …

There you have it. My final video home. It was really tough shutting that camera off. I’ve come to realize that I’m a DS106er #4life as Martha so puts it. I plan to continue to be active when I can. Even if its something as simple as a daily create here and there. I also plan to do something else for DS106, BUT I won’t give that away. If it falls through though I’ll blog it, and hopefully ALL DS106ers will know about it :)

This course has been a real game changer for me. I feel like despite set backs throughout it- from work to family issues- my directors really helped me get through everything. They were understanding and showed me that it all really was about MY journey. And I’m proud to say I got through it to the end. All my work on here is a representation of who I am; they are all pieces of my views, experiences, and personality.

My advice for future DS106ers….

Until next time campers.


Monday, July 30th, 2012

I created this assignment, for the Mash Up section. I would say this assignment is worth 3-4 stars. Go through all your DS106 videos and create a blooper reel!

I went through the old unedited videos I had, and I had tons of mishaps and taken out parts. I put them all together and got this awesome final product…


  • 1. Open all old video files that might or could have some mess-ups in them. For camp or otherwise.
  • 2. Upload them into a video editor ( I used VideoPad)
  • 3. snip through the ‘good’ stuff, and keep all the funny moments, mess-ups, and behind the scenes material.
  • 4. Mix them up all together in random order. Slow scenes down, speed them up, give them special affects as you please.
  • 5. Add an introductory title to your reel
  • 6. Post and enjoy!!

This Assignment really ment a lot to me. It was a reminder of all the fun I had during DS106, and was very funny to watch. I love bloopers from films that I watch, so I figured why wouldn’t I have bloopers myself?!

My Fair-ly Analyzed Post

Monday, July 30th, 2012

The movie that I decided to critiqued is My Fair Lady, it is a film made in 1964 staring Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle (one of my favorite actresses), and Rex Harrison as Professor Henry Higgins. My Fair Lady is a drama, family and musical.  After reading  Roger Ebert’s article “How to Read a Movie”  I’ve concluded that he was right in his analysis of films. In the this scene you will notice that the camera starts off on the main females character, who is an absolutely lovely person, then it begans to rotates left to a least favoribe person. Which Ebert says “in simplistic terms: Right is more positive, left more negative. Movement to the right seems more favorable; to the left, less so.”

In this scene you will see what Ebert was talking about when he said, “Movement is dominant over things that are still.”

Over all in my opinion this movie was very well made. I am not a fan of musicals, but after seeing this movie when I was a child, I would watch it anytime, anywhere. The relation between the two characters is very funny, which gives the movie a comic edge, but we all know there can not be a movie involving a male and female role without a touch of drama. Also, it is a very family friendly movie, because it was made in the time where family friendly meant family friendly.

My Camp Story

Monday, July 30th, 2012

What you are about to see is based on a true story.
It was Jasmine’s first time at camp, so she really didn’t know what to expect. Arriving at camp seemed normal enough, but she noticed a few of the counselors were acting a bit strange, but her counselor seemed to be the only normal one, with a welcoming message (I guess she knew what her occupation was).

So she thought to herself about the rest of them, “Oh well they are probably as unwilling as I am to be here.” Jasmine’s first few weeks at camp were fun. She even started her camping duties early. 

Which made camp a little bit better. However Jasmine started noticing things disappearing from her suitcase.

Jasmine was thinking to herself that these are weird things to steal, but to each their own. Camp seemed pretty fun. It was still a lot for a city girl to take in, and on top of that she and nature have not been the best of friends, with that being said she stilled tried to embrace it. With her tooth brush, hair brush and socks missing, she decided to just embrace the wild look while at camp.

Which proved to be very cost efficient. It was week 5 at camp when Jasmine noticed Alan’s inability to remember somethings. So she decided to retrace his steps. After a few days of playing super sleuth, she realized that he had been spending time near shed 4, which Jasmine was told not go near. The curiosity became to much to handle where Jasmine found herself spying on Shed 4. Where she noticed Marco the grounds keeper, keeping tabs on her. She then confronted him, asking him why he was following her around. And he replied, “This land is rightfully my family’s, be careful where you poke your nose, you know what they say about curiosity and the cat.

Jasmine gave up the hunt for  few days, and decided to try to focus back on camp, but all these questions kept circling her mind….. “Why would they have camp if areas where off limits? Why are camp leaders suffering from memory loss and why are counselors acting strange. No matter who she followed, everything she seemed to uncover lead back to shed #4. So on Friday the 13th of July, she decided to take matters into her own hands and solve the mysterious occurances happening all around camp herself.

Upon entering  the shed, Jasmine had to fight off every attack from her conscious telling her to flea, but she ignored it. Jasmine entered into the shed, just to have the door slam being her. All of a sudden this noise filled the air, and made the hairs on the back of her neck stand on edge.

Jasmine then ran towards the door, bursting threw it, in a panic trying to get back to the safety of her bunk house.

After getting back to her Bunk House Jasmine spoke of what occurred to no one. Hoping that nobody was aware of what she did, anxiously awaiting for camp to be over, and praying that her secret remained just that, a secret.


Camp Magic Macguffin…the unexpected

Monday, July 30th, 2012

This was the first online class that I had ever taken, so I was really nervous and quite honestly I had no idea what to expect. I had friends take other online classes before and they told me how they had to meet in an online chat room x-amount of times a week, and that it was not really that much different then a regular class except it is harder to remember to do your work. So basically my initial expectations for this class were that it was going to be like any other college-lecture type class, but online. But boy oh boy was I wrong, and I am glad!

This class ended up really being about getting comfortable with all sorts of different media outlets. I was able to create and upkeep my own domain, get active on flickr and twitter, and learn a lot about the free resources that are available on the internet (and even already on my computer) that I did not even know existed! It was a lot more laid back then I expected to be as well. I mean it was a LOT of work, but it was not like your standard read a textbook and take a test kind of class. I was able to learn so much more through actually working hands-on with what I was learning. I also become aware of copyright and creative commons issues that I did not even know existed. I was able to create my own opinions and be enlightened about how I think ideas should be shared, and was able to take part by allowing my published worked to be used by others as well.

It is actually kind of ironic because about a month before this class I was trying to edit a video for a different class project and had NO idea how to do it. Now I can edit photos, videos, and sound clips no problem. I mean I am not an expert, but I can don it. I have really learned a lot in this class and I know it is going to come in handy in the future for me.

If I could pick my absolute favorite assignment it would have to be the Silent Video Assignment. I mean it was a lot of fun and I spent a lot of time working on it, not to mention I think that it is one of my best pieces of work in this class. I had to incorporate massive video editing along with audio. Here it is if anyone wants to take a look:

I think if I had to choose one thing in this class to go back and do over…it would be all of the design section. I don’t think I fully grasped the concept of the design projects, I mean I get the basics, but I think there was a lot of information about it and I wished I (and we as the class) had spent more time on it.

Well this class was definitely more then I had expected (in a good way of course) and below are my top tips for future DS106ers:



Ongoing Dream: Camp Magic Macguffin

Monday, July 30th, 2012

There are two main types of dreams. The kind where you are almost watching a movie unfold before you, kind of hoovering over everything that is going on, but no one knows you are there. Then there is the type where you are active in the dream and interacting with what is going on. Every Sunday night for the past ten weeks I have had the same ongoing dream, that hoovering kind of dream. You know the kind that unravels like a story, you wake up one morning and realize your dream is sort of deja vu, like you have been in that dream place before?

My dream place was called Camp Magic MacGuffin. It was filled with great mysteries, it seemed like in almost every dream either a new mystery was developing or more facts would surface about an old one. The dream started fairly nice though, with two camp directors, Martha and Alan. They seemed to get along fairly well at first, and they were the main characters in my dream.

Some things were kind of random though, almost like a crazy Alice and Wonderland type dream. Early on there were just these random images that would pop up in a few dreams of this slide guy. This is what he looked like:

SlideGuy at CMM BavaLava

But slide guy just vanished suddenly. This guy Joe Beets tried to uncover the mystery of what happened to slide guy, he found him at a local Chiptole, but slide guy wouldn’t go too much into his story.

Next Martha and Alan (the two main characters in my ongoing dream) had some issues, Alan was constantly missing and then meeting with this guy Marco in Shed 4? Poor Martha was left to direct camp by herself. She really wanted to know what was going on in Shed 4 and Alan planned to show her but then he came up with the following excuse:

Between spending time in Shed 4, falling down holes, and then going to out of state camp meetings, none of which poor Martha was invited too, Alan became a questionably devious character in my dream. Well that was until Martha actually got to see Shed 4!

The curious thing about my dream was that I really could not see into Shed 4, and I did not believe that it was really just a “electrical control panel” for the camp like I once heard Alan say. I was starting to think that maybe it was a spy shed….like in it housed equipment that kept tabs on all of camp…like a Big Brother type deal? I wasn’t sure, but now I was starting to question Martha as well.

In my dreams rumors started buzzing about camp. Joe Beets seemed to be spreading most of them, that camp was not real and all sorts of things. Maybe it was Joe beets who was the bad guy? Maybe I was wrong about Alan…maybe Beets caused Alan to fall down the hole? My dream never really explained it all clearly to me. I could only make inferences and assume things. All I know is that in my dream no one knew that I was watching, I was always there watching and waiting to find answers to my many mysteries.


Camp Magic Macguffin: Creativity Camp or Creativity Vamp.??!!

Monday, July 30th, 2012

On May 21, 2012 I started on what would be one of my most interesting college experiences. I was a little nervous, but also excited. Little did I know what I was getting into though.

Week 1 of camp went by pretty smooth, everyone was really nice and welcoming. We got introduced to all this new technology and sites. SoundCloud, flickr, twitter, the works. It was all cool.

Week 2 we had to setup our sites and WordPress. We got introduced and more acquainted with very interesting characters. Our counselors were a very diverse and interesting crowd. Some of them seemed weird to me, but who was I to judge. And some of the people at camp had odd names like “Hatchet jack” , “Joe Beets” , and “Slide Guy!”. I began to question if all of them were even real people. Oddly enough though, Alan had dissapeared from camp and Martha seemed really worried. Things were starting to get weird, he was being dodgy. But don’t take my word for it see for yourself…

All of this was very unsettling. And I remember even earlier Alan mentioning something about an ELECTRIC FENCE?!! Why would we need an electric fence… at camp? Despite All these weird going-ons, I overlooked them. I was enjoying myself at camp, was very bogged down with my UMW course as well as my camp assignments.

Week 3 focused on visual assignments, which was awesome. I think I discovered a new passion for photography, but also discovered that there really was more going on at camp than meets the eye. In the councelor video for that week, Martha (this was when they THOUGHT they were off air) was clearly frustrated and thrown off. She still hadn’t seen Alan. And he was so indifferent to it, he could see her upset, and just threw her off. There video kept going through all this weird electric interference as if there session was being tapped or something. It was then I decided to keep an eye/ear/monitor open to stuff, thinking I could figure out what was going on. What was in that sachel that Alan had anyway??

I also noticed tension between members. “Jim Groom” who I’ve heard through rumors was some kind of DS106 Guru, maybe even the creator was being a bit of a jerk as well. One of the councelors seemed to be very outspoken though, towards him and anyone who was  acting up.


I think it wasn’t in her best interest to do so though now that I look back on it…

Week 4 we started on our Design stuff. These assignments were getting tougher, but I enjoyed them. My creative juices were really flowing. But things were still off, I noticed Martha was still complaining that she hadn’t seen Alan in 2 weeks. What kind of directors don’t see each other in 2 weeks?! Alan kept making these claims of working in shed #4 w/ “Marco”. What was in shed #4 anyways? and why did it seem so off limits to Martha? Alan kept acting really goofy too, like he was high or something. He kept making a joke out of everything and just brushed Martha’s inquiries aside.

That week Zazzy the cooky councelor completely dissapeared off the blogging map. Her last blog post was June 14 – a Thursday. Last she was talking about some bad sloppy joes she had eaten and was just all kinds of off. I then noticed that others were beginning to dissapear too. Councelors, campers… it was all weird. Even Hatchet Jack, who I thought was in on some weird consipiracy dissapeared the same day as Zazzy. His last tweet:

At this point I was nervous, and slightly scared. I decided to continue to stay low key and just blog along like I was unaware of anything. Better to play it safe, and assume the role of the dummy. 

Week 5 we started on audio assignments. Which was really outside my comfort zone, but I went with it. I was being challenged day in and day out to be more and more creative in different ways. Alan also claimed to have fell down some hole, and went missing for 4 days. He tried convincing Martha that he didn’t have cell phone reception so couldn’t call her, yet he had his laptop with him! He even used the internet to blog… if he did that, why didn’t he use the internet to tweet for help? I wasn’t buying it, and neither was Martha. She was furious at this point. I was a bit afraid that she would dissapear too.

Week 6 was a continuation of our audio unit. Campers were cranking out creations every day. It was awesome, we got hit by a crazy storm and lost power for days. Some, but not all of us apparently. After I got my electricity back (after 5 days of torture!) I dug up some videos. Peep this ….

Martha got Alan to take her to Shed #4!! How did she go from not seeing any wiring or electricity or ANYTHING but dirt and mold… to just going along with everything?! What was it that Alan showed her? I was getting frustrated at this point, while we were jollily making radio shows…. crazy stuff was going on at camp. I wasn’t going to be a sitting duck, I made it a point to get to the buttom of everything. But all in due time…

Week 7 and 8 we did video assignments at camp. Those 2 weeks were the most time comsuming and busy. We really were creatively challenged. And I feel like all the campers really went all out with there work. Funny thing was it was during those 2 weeks that I uncovered the strangest stuff. I noticed Martha itching her neck, it looked as if something had punctured it. She was no longer herself either, going along with everything. Almost coming off as robotic, she was also very very paranoid it seemed. Always looking around, what had those CVI guys done to her? The beloved, opinionated, fiery Martha was gone. I knew it for sure. The lake was sometimes glowing, a weird orangish color. I saw a video I think i wasn’t supose to of Martha telling Alan that she got “orange glow” on her, but washed it off. Alan just reassured her that they said there were no side effects. Who was they? – the CVI guys?

At this point I found out that Martha was going to Shed #4 a lot, almost like she was obsessed with it. I remembered though Alan telling her weeks ago that it was only recommended to be in there once a day for a short period of time. Rumors of a spaceship sighting in the lake were also circulating, as well as sightings of Alan at Arizona and up north. What CVI some government thing? Dealing with Aliens or something? Why is such a huge company investing so heavily into little old Camp Magic Macguffin and our directors?

Week 9 was remix week. My creative paradigm was completely restructured. It was an amazing week for camp, our creativity was at unimaginable levels. I noticed a lot of feedback and praise from Alan too. I noticed that he paid particular attention to my camp activities, much more so that Martha. Was Martha mad at me? or did she not like my work? I was questioning the situation. Soon enough though I would find out the truth.

This is the end of week 10. I don’t really know what will happen to me after this post. I think that they might be on to me at this point, and if they aren’t… well they sure as hell are going to be after seeing this. Alan has been commenting on my stuff like crazy, NOT because he likes it. But because it is fueling camp. Even “Martha” did so too. Not in a metaphorical way, in a literal one. I lost my glasses going down the tunnel, and almost got caught doing this. But it was well worth it, the WORLD needs to know the TRUTH!!

I may not have all the answers, but I know enough now. And this should be enough for you too, don’t get too deep. These things never end well my friends.

My only wish: If they manage to do me in, may I go to Thug Mansion Blog Mansion.