Almost There!

Good afternoon storytellers!

Well you did it, you’re in the home stretch! One more week to go. This week is much different than what you’ve experienced in the last 7 weeks. In the coming days you will be putting together your final portfolio projects. That means no more ds106 assignments, no more critiques, no more daily creates (although you are always welcome to create if you like). Remi has posted details of what your portfolio should include on Canvas. Make sure to read it, maybe a few times.

There are many different tools available to create your final project. One popular one last year was Storify. Myself, I created a video (you can view it here), because I enjoy video editing so much. A simple Google search should net you some great tools you can use if Storify doesn’t interest you. A simple tip for your hypothesis annotations. When you log into hypothesis through their website, click on your name in the top right corner and you will be taken to your “stream”. This is an easier way to search for your annotations instead of having to comb through all the readings and trying to remember who’s reading response you commented on.

As you’re putting together your portfolios it might be tempting to only include the cream of the crop. Although, we’re happy to see all of your best projects, we are also looking for improvement and growth. Don’t be afraid to include some of the parts of the course where you were challenged. I’m looking forward to seeing what you produce!

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out!


Reflecting on 4 weeks as a TA

This semester is the first time I’ve ever been a Teaching Assistant. The only experience I’ve had with a TA before was in my first year statistics course for my undergrad. The TA for that class was available for questions and held a tutorial lab every Friday for those that were struggling. Statistics was my least favorite course during my studies for my bachelor’s degree. That might tell you something about how effective this TA was with his students. Because of this experience, I’m working to be the best Teaching Assistant that I can.

Being a TA has been an adventure. Before the course even started I was working with Remi to design aspects of the course, and come up with ideas on using Hypothesis in this unique class. The first week of class was filled with questions, uncertainties, and overwhelmingness from students. Since then, students have fallen into a groove, and are producing some pretty amazing work.

It hasn’t been easy being a TA. I’m taking a course myself, work full time and have a toddler at home. I’ve figured out how to manage my time pretty well. I still make room in my life for fun hobbies like Tuesday night trivia, and teaching my dog nose work. Somehow, with all this, I still find that I have more spare time than I did last summer while taking this digital storytelling course. I’ve come to realize just how intense this course can be.

Learning with Digital Stories was my first graduate course. I think the pace and intensity set a good example for me on how to be a good graduate student. I often find myself bored with slower paced classes (but the break is nice!). I hope that the experiences that I shared with this class have helped some of the students currently enrolled with the course achieve their academic goals.

Working with Remi has been a fantastic experience. He’s an amazing professor and an even better boss. I would say he’s like a role model to me. I will be teaching my own graduate course in the spring (at the college I work for), and I’m excited to implement some of his teaching strategies and methods into the class.

Although it’s sometimes been a struggle managing my time with all of my responsibilities, I am really enjoying this job. I think a lot of it has to do with the students. These students are great! They do their work in creative and fun ways. I can relate to everyone’s focal theme in one way or another(which makes this job even more fun!). They are really making my job easy and I appreciate it.

The course is half over, and for me the time has flown by. I can’t wait to see what the second half of the course has in store!


Another Fantastic Week!

Good Day Storytellers!

Looks like everyone is falling into a groove. I’ve noticed that your assignments and daily creates seem to be coming easier for you and you’re cranking them out like pros!

We had a little snag with hypothesis this week. It seems as though the groups feature malfunctioned but the good people at hypothesis fixed the issue in no time at all. Just a reminder that if you are still having trouble using the program that you might need to update your Chrome extension.

I’m happy to see some of you starting to experiment with your learning. I had a question this week regarding using hypothesis on an iPad. Since I don’t own any Apple devices myself, I tapped into the knowledge of my classmate from the spring who managed to get it working on his iPad.

This week you jumped into the world of video production. I love producing video, it’s probably the part of my job that I enjoy the most. Like many of you, I often run into issues and get frustrated. The finished product is so worth it, when I complete a challenging video I get a huge sense of accomplishment and pride. I’m also waist deep in video myself this week. My assignment for the class that I’m taking is a video assignment, and I’m working on two videos at work, so I feel you! Over the next few days I’ll be watching your assignments and commenting via hypothesis. I’m really looking forward to it!

Next week you’ll be doing a Design assignment from ds106. Some programs that you might find useful when completing your design projects:

  • Gimp – Free image manipulation / editing tool
  • Pixabay – Royalty free / copyright free images
  • Creative Commons – Royalty free / copyright free images (attribution sometimes required)
  • PowerPoint – You wouldn’t believe how much design work you can do with this program (You have access to this through office 365 with CU Denver).

We’ll also be stepping away from Lankshear and Knobel this coming week. I have not read this particular article by Davies and Merchant, and I’m excited to read it and annotate it along with you!

That’s it! If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me.


Ending Week 2

Hi Digital Storytellers!

This week I decided to read and listen to everyone’s audio assignments. Overall, everyone did a fantastic job! Some great stories were shared, and I commented on everyone’s assignments using hypothesis (If I missed anyone, let me know!).

I saw that a lot of you struggled with this week’s audio assignment, specifically the technical aspects. Audio is a difficult medium to work with, I also struggled last year with this assignment. My produced audio assignment is probably my least favorite of all my ds106 assignments completed last year. All this to say that you’re not alone, I understand your struggle! I still struggle with audio projects.



Moving into week three you will be doing a video assignment. Video can also be very frustrating. You have access to some free tools to help you with your projects. On Windows you have Movie Maker (should be installed already, if not you can download from the link), and on Apple you have iMovie. On top of that YouTube has some editing features available after you upload your video. Other tools you can look into using include Camtasia (30 day free trial, then around $200 after if you decide to purchase), Adobe Premiere (very expensive, but great if you already have it) and Screencast-o-matic (if your chosen assignment requires a screencast).

This week you got the chance to read my favorite chapter from Lankshear and Knobel. Here is my reading response from last year about it. Notice that Remi and I disagree on one particular subject (the conversation is in my reflection for that week), and we still don’t agree to this day, and that’s ok. As graduate students, we’re allowed to disagree with our professors or readings, as long as we do it in a respectful way.

I also wanted to offer to anyone in the course that might be struggling the opportunity have a phone call with me via Google Hangouts. If you’re interested, please send me an email and we can set something up. Keep in mind that I’m in the Eastern time zone.
Keep telling those stories! Until next time!

Great Start to the Course!

Hello Digital Storytellers!

On this hot and sunny Sunday afternoon (I live in PA, if you’re wondering why I’m somewhere hot and sunny, and you might be in the rain!) I’m busy reading the great stuff you all posted this week and working on your groups for next week. On that note, don’t forget to submit your theme proposal to the online form by the end of today (Sunday)!

I just have to say how impressed I am with all of you. The first week of this class is challenging, and you all took it in stride, and produced some really great media, critiques and “visual” stories. I feel like I’m learning bits and pieces about you personally though these stories. For those of you that may have felt like this was a huge struggle, or anyone that wants some inspiration here are some links to the work I did last year:

I left out the chapter critiques because my readings were slightly different last year. On that note I wanted to talk a bit about your interest-driven scholarship. These pieces of writing do not have to be a separate blog post from your required reading response (but if you want to keep it that way, that’s cool too). What happened with me last year is something in my readings would prompt me to do some research on another topic. For example, this post from my week one reading response last year. A section of the chapter really made me think about another topic, so I went and found some research and incorporated it into my response.

Now that I’m done with required business, I’m going to tell you a story… Something really cool happened to me this week!

As you all know, I took this class last year, and if you remember my focal theme was “The experiences of a new mother”. This class was just as public last year in terms of blogging and assignment submission as it is this year. So, all of my assignments, critiques, daily creates, etc. are all still available on my blog. A mommy blogger, or at least as far as I can tell, a digital media journalist (I don’t speak Spanish) somehow stumbled upon one of the critiques that I did, and tweeted out a link to all of her followers (over 4000 of them).

This resulted in that particular blog post getting over 1500 views! How cool is that?

Digital Babies Lisa


I find it fitting that this happened the first week of this course. It just goes to show that your work is out there, and someday maybe you’ll reach a larger audience!

Digital Storytelling Students: Start your Engines!

Get your seat belts buckled and queue up some awesome music because we’re going on an interesting ride this summer. Welcome to INTE 5340 – Digital Storytelling! My name is Lisa Dise and I am your TA for this course (read more about me on my website). I’ve traveled down this road before, experienced some bumps and potholes first hand and held tightly onto the steering wheel, bracing myself the whole time. This time I’m here to serve as a guide for this course; I’m sitting in the backseat, looking at the beautiful scenery as you drive, with a map in hand, ready in-case you need help with directions.

Image of windy road
This is what it felt like last year at times!

Hopefully you have all read the syllabus by now (maybe even a couple of times!). As you can probably tell, this class is intense. Will this course be challenging? Yes. Will it be rewarding? Most definitely. Will you learn something? Absolutely. Will you have fun in the process? I hope so! This class is HARD, I’m not going to hide it. It was the first class I took as a graduate student, and I learned a lot, about digital storytelling, and about myself as a student. One thing it forced me to do, was to learn how to manage my time. What worked for me was to create a schedule of what days I aimed to have course tasks accomplished. Here’s an example of my weekly schedule from last summer:

*Note that the course I took last summer had a slightly different form than the one you’re taking now.

Monday – Read course announcements, First Daily Create, Finish reading if necessary, Pick DS106 Assignment Bank

Tuesday – DS106 Assignment Bank

Wednesday – Digital Story Critiques

Thursday – Reading Response

Friday – Flex day

Saturday – Respond to Peers, Second Daily Create

Sunday – Weekly Reflection, Read for next week

Lather, Rise, Repeat. I tried to stick to this schedule as best I could. There were times where I needed to be flexible and moved some of the assignments around. The key to success in this course is to be organized!


Now, a few notes regarding course specifics…

Learning with Remi

I’ve learned with Remi twice now. Remi expects a lot from his students, but in return you will get a present, engaging and caring professor. Here’s a few tips I can share about learning with Remi:

  • Watch every screencast and read every announcement: Remi won’t share anything superficial or unimportant.
  • Ask questions if you have them: Remi wants to see you succeed, not fail.
  • Be honest. Did you struggle this week? It’s ok. Challenges are expected and experimentation is encouraged. Keep trying until you get it!


Choose something you like, something you’re passionate about, something that’s important to you. You’ll be working with this theme all summer, the last thing you want is to get bored with it! My theme from last year was “Becoming a new mother”, I enjoyed creating media around my experiences as a new mother, and my son. Remember, at least four of your ds106 assignments must be related to your theme.


ds106 is an open digital storytelling course offered by the University of Mary Washington. We will be interacting with the ds106 community A LOT. I suggest taking some time to get acquainted to the site, and watch some videos on YouTube about other’s experiences. Also, get creative! Find an assignment you want to complete, or really like today’s daily create but want to change it up a bit? Go for it! One more tip about ds106, read the how to blog like a champ rubric and use it when writing your blog post submissions.

About those blogs…

You will be blogging, multiple times a week. The first thing you need to do for this course (after you’ve read the syllabus) is set up a blog if you don’t have one already. If you’re an ILT student, then use your base camp blog. If you need to set up a blog I recommend WordPress or Blogspot, they’re free and easy to use.

You will also be reading and comment on your peers blogs, because of the amount of people in this class I recommend using a service like feedly to help keep everything organized.


Twitter is a fantastic tool to help you connect and network with your peers and others in the digital storytelling community. You will be required to promote your blog posts through Twitter. Get used to using the hashtag #ILT5340 for all your coursework, and #ds106 for any ds106 related assignments. On top of following everyone in the course, you should consider following these Twitter accounts: @ds106 – The official ds106 Twitter handle, @ds106dc – The ds106 daily create account, @jimgroom – Creator and professor of ds106, and @cogdog – Creator and professor of ds106.

Once you become active on Twitter you will notice that the actual Twitter website won’t be able to track everything as well as you want it to. I like to use TweetDeck (Chrome app) to keep myself organized. There are many tutorials available to teach you how to use TweetDeck effectively.

Speaking of Chrome apps… Hypothesis!

We will be conducting the majority of our class discussions through an app called Hypothesis. Get yourself set up with an account on the hypothesis website. Once you have created your account, download and install the Chrome extension. This application is only available through Google Chrome, please install the browser on your computer if you don’t already have it. Once you have your hypothesis account and extension already set up, please join our course group by clicking on this link. That’s it! You’re ready to start annotating and discussing. Watch the video below to get an idea on how to get started.

You can find multiple resources for using hypothesis as a student here.

Note that starting in week two you will be annotating and discussing in your groups. More information on that will be coming shortly.


Congratulations! You’ve now completed your initial Digital Storytelling driver training. You’re now ready to take the wheel. Watch out for those speed bumps and remember to holler if you have any questions!