M.A.S.H. Sign
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The fall cohort of ds106 just got a lot bigger this week with the addition of students from Japan in Prof. Scott Lockman’s Cyberspace & Society class. They are now in the ds106 feed, so welcome them by commenting on their work! You can start with this great minimal movie travel posterThe Planet, by Mome. Also it appears that Prof. Lockman’s TA Otto Paertz will be conducting the ds106 portion of the course. I’m not too sure what to think, but it looks like he forcibly asserted control over the class. I guess I’m not the only one dealing with difficult colleagues while co-teaching a class (thankfully Prof. Oliver is still indisposed).

This is going to be the last week of assignments in the visual and design category. We will be moving forward with audio assignments over the next couple of weeks. This is going to include an introduction to the awesomeness of DS106 Radio, a ds106 community internet radio station that you will have the opportunity to broadcast to – you can listen to it here.

For this week, along with doing a couple of assignments, those new to ds106 (and particularly York students) should focus on blog improvements as well as getting into more “conversations.” The ds106 community is strongest when people are focusing as much on engaging others as they are creating work for assignments. So work for the week is as follows:

1. Decorate that locker…

Calaveras High School (1989)
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If you’ve left the “Sample Page” on your blog, get into the dashboard pages and edit it or delete it! You can use the page to create an “about me” page if you’d like, but it’s up to you. Also think about generating your own header images if your still seeing the theme’s default header. You can edit this in the Dashboard > Appearance > Header. Also consider using plugins like Flickr Feed Gallery and Twitter Tools to widgetize your sidebar. I also just found the plugin that let’s you add links in image captions, if you’d like to try it out.

2. Get into conversations…

Conversation - Matisse
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Make sure you moderate your comments, as well as install the plugin Subscribe To Comments to help people follow the discussion with blog post. I think there was an rise in the number comments being posted as people were trying to guess Four Icon Challenges which is awesome. But also stay in touch with the hastag #ds106 on Twitter to follow and contribute to conversation there.

3. Narrate your process…

Construction Tunnel
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In addition to posting Animated GIFs, Messing with MacGuffins, or Four Icon Challenges, do your best to describe how and why you made what you made. And if you’re really ambitious make a screencast tutorial that others could use to describe how you work. Some of the most inspired comments come from people responding to this part of the post, not just the work you created.

4. Inspire people to make something…

Inspiration Board~some of my goodies from other artists! (see notes)
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If you find a cool example of digital storytelling, share it with everyone on Twitter or in a blog post. And better than that, use the DS106 Assignment submission form and turn it into an assignment – then let everyone know. The most satisfying part of ds106 to me is when something catches on and everyone starts making work and posting it like crazy. The people at Dailyshoot.com were able to have over 2700 photographers submit photos across 690 assignments before shutting down (bummer), how amazing is that! But it can also be as simple as doing an assignment because you saw someone else did it and thought it was cool. And let them in your post, that he/she inspired you to make it.

5. Ok here are the assignments…

The first four things are for the most part reminders of things that you can be doing for the remainder of the semester. There are a couple of assignments to do as well.

1. For the past three weeks you’ve been making work and sharing it. Whether this is the kind of work you are used to making, or this is your first time – I want you to consider that you’re making art. And as part of this consideration, please listen to the linked talk, “We Are All Artists,” Tim Owens gave to DS106 students in the Spring of 2011. Please post to your blog your thoughts on his talk and ideas. You’re welcome to make this an audio or video response embedded to post if you’d like, think of it as a jump start to the A/V portion of ds106 to come.

2. Choose one last Visual/Design assignment to do, and make sure it’s one you haven’t done before. Be sure to describe why you’re choosing it as your last one, if you think that it will be your last even though your not expected to do more for the course.

Been enjoying the work so much and will be commenting, commenting, commenting!

– Michael