Obviously, the first best class is Digital Literacy with Dr. Ellington. However, the class Digital Storytelling 106 is a class that seems as though it was custom tailored for me. It’s glorious, let me tell you. If you haven’t heard of it before, check it out here. But wait, college classes are expensive aren’t they? Not this one, actually. It’s free for the general public. Granted, it does not count towards credits if you do not go through the school that offers it, but the skills learned through doing the assignments offered are invaluable.
But what kind things does it teach you exactly?
Well, the site defines Digital Storytelling as:
Digital Storytelling is an emerging term, one that arises from a grassroots movement that uses new digital tools to help ordinary people tell their own “true stories” in a compelling and emotionally engaging form. These stories usually take the form of a relatively short story (less than 8 minutes) and can involve interactivity.
The term can also be a broader journalistic reference to the variety of emergent new forms of digital narratives (web-based stories, interactive stories, hypertexts, fan art/fiction, and narrative computer games).
As an emerging area of creative work, the definition of digital storytelling is still the subject of much debate.
The class itself takes literature and blows it up to actually mean something in the modern age. There are different topics covered, all of it involving a hands-on approach to learning. It has video, audio, writing, fan fiction, gifs, almost everything you can think of pertaining to taking learning to an Interwebsy format. If we thought our PLNs were big by following a hundred or so Tweeters, imagine a world where your PLN extended to YouTube, Google, and SoundCloud. The possibilities are endless.
As for me, it seems as though I’ve got a few of the components of the class almost mastered. One section of the assignments (link sent via Twitter from the incredibly handsome Jeff McFarland) actually involves roleplaying. Now, to most of you, this probably sounds dweeby and lame (probably because it is), but as long as I can find someone to roleplay with, I do it. It works differently in the course, but the way they describe it is essentially how it worked with me and my old gang. Life happened, however, and we stopped.
The rules were simple(ish). Pretty much cooperative story-telling (sound familiar?), every person would make up a character (or in our case several), we’d decided on a setting and roughly what’s going on, and then play it. How our particular group worked was easy enough as well. We formed a Facebook group. In the Photos section we would post pictures, usually fan art or something we found on the Interwebs, for each of our characters and the caption would be the “about me” dealio. Our posts would be a paragraph or so long pertaining to only our characters and having them interact with the other PCs (player characters) via these paragraphs. The posts work on Facebook essentially like one would post a status, but only the members of the secret group would ever see it. This is handy because if someone posts something that another player is not comfortable with or there are questions as to what exactly happened, you could post comments and not have it be confused for actual playing. Confusing? Not in practice. I suppose you’d just have to see for yourself.
Fan-fiction is another of the aspects that I seem to have no problem doing, but that probably runs in the family. My older brother wrote an entire book or three about his character in World of Warcraft (he even included my character in on it), and now I am writing my own about my character in Final Fantasy XIV, if you weren’t able to tell from my last post, which essentially consisted of the two writing exercises I was most proud of, one of which was a fanfic.
The writing aspect Im working on and I think I could benefit from it. The rest, I feel could use a little work, but all in all, I think I may actually start doing this if I get any free time.