Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Participation in ENGSSCHAT
It was a bit of a maelstrom to get into a twitter conversation. The technical hassle and difficulties establishing a hashtag made me not even want to bother with the assignment. Once I got a groove of what was going on and what I was supposed to do I finally was able to enjoy this unique way of using message boards.
The conversation that I participated in was regarding collective intelligence and how it affects the classroom and others. I chimed in that we must harness the power of the group instead of just being individuals.
  I was shocked to realize that what I said managed to get retweeted and sparked discussion among my peers. At first I was just trying to reference Rheingold for the sake of getting my participation points, but hearing people who are also in my field agree made my thought feel much more relevant in the scope of education,
Twitter is not something I am particularly fond of, but the quick and dirty format helped make this conversation much more efficient and allow everyone to give their two cents. The approach to how it manages a message board lets everyone drop in or out, making it much more accessible and welcoming than your average page.

Space time project

I have had quite the difficult time with this project.
It is not so much about the writing aspects than it is the technical ones with google earth
doesn't matter now
here it is

Standards Narrative reflection (Also available on chalk and wire)

Oscar Alvarez
Dr. Ryan Rish
English 3241
December 12, 2012
Standards Narrative Reflection
1.      Students Articulate and analyze how the combination of language and image influences thinking and composing for all students.
Ø  The majority of the projects revolved around this concept. We explored our own interests in order to educate others of the intricacies of them eloquently and creatively. Sharing our own ongoing process in discussions should have been more encouraged in my opinion, since it would create a better system of creative exchange than simple blog posts of the final product could ever do. The relaxed deadline system worked well for the most part. The only time I did not feel so motivated to do anything was during the time space project, since it feels like a wasted opportunity when I do not have the chance to share it with everyone else.
2.      Compose and respond to film, video, graphic, photographic, audio, and multimedia
Ø  Composing products across different mediums allowed for everyone to tap into their particular skills. Matt made music, Samantha did photography, and I tapped into trading cards. The DS106 assignments I think were when the class reached its true potential on this course objective. Perhaps if you made these a higher priority and remixed the assignment to have us explain the educational purpose to others, it would make them feel much more relevant.
      3.   Interpret (i.e., “read”) and critique a variety of non-print and multimodal texts.
Ø  The articles we read tended to be relatively good reads, but the chapters in the Rheingold book devolved into trite redundancy. The jarring change between sharing our videos and creative projects to writing about the book probably alienated too many, it certainly made me lose interest. It was not until I stopped to read the book on my own accord without the ties of the blog post that I was able to stop and interpret what Rheingold was really trying to relay.
       4. Create lessons that require students to construct, analyze, and evaluate meaning from media, digital, and non-print texts.
Ø  The This I believe and affinity space videos achieved this the most. The crap detection did accomplish this as well, but the lack of focus across the groups made it get lost in the shuffle. The comment system for our blogs perhaps should have been done as an in-class activity. Similarly to the where I am from poem, this might have made the groups evaluate each other with more urgency and care.
5.      Identify and explain the range and influence of print and non-print media and technology in contemporary culture, across social networks and on local and global levels.
Ø  The affinity space and transmedia activities highlighted this concept the most when I was in this class. It angered me I did not get to talk at all about my transmedia analysis about James Bond (Damn you Whovians!) but it was great to hear how these different pieces of pop culture have affected us all. The social networking is a particularly great aspect to look at, since communities and fandoms on the scale that they are now is a relatively recent development. The internet is rife with websites and boards solely dedicated to people with passions for one subject matter, allowing everyone to jump onboard and be informed on all the aspects about said matter.
6.      Use current technology to enhance learning and demonstrate confidence in exploring and critiquing emerging and historical technological applications.
Ø  I do not think this course objective was emphasized that much during my time in this class. As previously mentioned, I think the DS106 assignments could easily be given more emphasis to achieve an educational goal. The variety of ways the student can explore a particular concept will allow everyone to experience the power of technology in the classroom more than just a simple blog post about a book. I would certainly use them for when I teach English one day…

Blog Post 7

I decided to focus away from my professional learning network for the sake of variety. In many ways it is diminutive at the moment so that would be wasting my time. 
I instead focused on the learning network I have regarding my personal life, the club I lead at the University with my friend, and the collective that I seem to have conjured upon this campus. 
At first I thought the Rheingold chapter on social networking was a bit redundant to the one on collaboration. It was not until I looked at the way he demonstrates the graphs that I got an idea of the message he was trying to relay. The ways groups connect so much easier thanks to digital networking is truly astounding, The centrality, degrees, and bridges example is essentially how the hierarchy of the group my friend and me  control has become. We have individuals who are established in other groups and have joined us via the horror club, they introduce us to their friends, and quickly we end up becoming popular individuals with considerable influence. The section Rheingold speaks about regarding contexts in networking individualism really resonates. I have been able to blend in with very different groups and adjust my vocabulary and norms accordingly: from metalheads to Otaku, our club brings in very different people who have given us much social capital.

Blog Post 6: Affinity Space

I must say, the script I made for this video essentially answers all the questions and concerns about this project.
I chose a piece of pop culture as eclectic as the Wu-Tang Clan because it has always bothered me how people refuse to think that a group of musicians cannot expand beyond their medium into other creative endeavors properly. The Wu-Tang Clan is a rap collective of not just a bunch of cool rappers, but martial arts connoisseurs, filmmakers, and visual designers. Their presence is a subtle, but powerful one. Composing the scores of the films by Auteurs like Jim Jarmusch (Ghost Dog, Dead Man, Broken Flowers) and Quentin Tarantino (Kill Bill, Pulp Fiction) to restoring lost films from the golden era of Hong Kong Kung Fu. Their best-selling rap albums are just a footnote to their influence on American pop culture.
   The rappers of the Clan are all well versed in Eastern philosophy and culture, most notably the world renowned RZA, who has even published philosophy books like the Tao of Wu. RZA has so much clout in Hollywood due to his famous connections that he even managed to get his own martial arts film made, The Man with the Iron Fists, a love letter to the '70s Kung Fu films the members of the Clan all grew up with.
Getting into their groove is not hard at all. The discographies of the main group along with all of the affiliates are easily available for purchase digitally and via retail, the books are still in print, and the RZA's film is still showing in theaters.
People tend to interpret Hip-Hop as a single minded genre of music incapable of expanding beyond what is playing on the radio, by introducing others into the Wu-Tang, I hope to enlighten people with the myriad of ways that a great musical act can achieve.

Similarly to my this is believe video. I used Adobe Premiere to mix all of the video footage together. I downloaded the instrumental to one of their songs to frame the entire video, which I then adjusted in volume to allow my voice to be heard. Nothing too hard like my previous video, especially since I did not have to deal with stuff like editing myself into a chroma keyed background.


Blog Post 4


    I actually sat down and read the bloody chapter! I am shocked at how entertaining it was to read about the author's experiences with networking and collaboration over the web. We live in an era in which we are lucky to forge true friendships and fellowships with others across the globe with ease. Problems are not isolated, we can share our obstacles and eventually have someone give us the boost to hurdle over it. Modern networking is about more than just sharing pictures of your food and drunken stupors, it is about exploring and curating our interests with different kinds of people, and always discovering something new in the process.
    The whole talk about collective intelligence was very fascinating, since it is a concept that has not truly existed until recently. The internet has allowed everyone to chime in on any form of conversation across the world. High concept communications are not isolated to clubs and institutions, everyone can establish whatever group they so desire and address whatever concerns they might have. As it is expected from, we tend to focus on the negative; many individuals instantly associate internet groups with trolls and 4chan forum boards. Internet communities are not just that, as a group we can explore horizons that one person's narrow scope could never find.
    Crowd-sourcing was something that I never took that seriously, it was not until I saw Kickstarter single-handedly save PC videogame developers. Anyone with a developed vision can get help from others through the internet resonate with the idea. The DS106 site is a perfect example, this guy needed a server, he pitched it to others, he got funding way before he met the deadline.
    The one website that encompasses everything about internet collaboration is Wikipedia to me. It is a fountain of general knowledge about almost anything the average person can think of. It is funded solely through donations. The information is reviewed and revised constantly. It is truly remarkable to have resources like that available to us.