I chose the following assignments because they were fun, creative and represented an engagement on my part that I am particularly proud of. The purpose of these assignments was to employ a variety of digital tools and design choices in order to convey a message or tell a mini-story. Most of my assignment choices had to do with music. Completing these assignments allowed me to experiment with video, audio, and visual design in ways that were new to me. The assignment bank component of the DS106 course was unique in that all of the tasks were conceptualized by DS106 participants. Anyone involved in the course could develop an idea and publish it to the site for public use. This is a great example of students co-designing alongside of facilitators.
The Metal Bunch visual assignment was supposed to imitate the famous collage portraying TV's favorite mixed family, The Brady Bunch. I chose eight of my friends and dubbed our crew The Metal Bunch for our mutual love of heavy metal music.
The web-based assignment that I chose was created through an online tool called Kumu that maps organizational relationships in a visually appealing manner. I work at a very large organization and I think about the organizational structure of our departments a lot, since our offices interact with our "customers" in various ways that are interrelated. We depend on each other, but we don't always work together. I wanted to show visually the interactions that I already knew existed. After creating a PDF of the photo, however, I noticed a connection that I missed! Can you find it? Here's a hint: once a student is enrolled, they have to start paying their tuition bill:
The Kiss this guy audio assignment was probably the most fun of all. My focal theme is hip hop music, so I tried to find a hip hop lyric that I've always misunderstood or not been able to decipher. I googled the question and found several lists which I then perused to find one that I was already familiar with and had been confused by. It didn't take long at all to find a lyric that I've never understood, but that I'd almost forgotten about because the song it comes from is almost 30 years old. Executing this assignment forced me to reflect on how media was presented a generation ago compared to today. The entire reason that I and many others misunderstood this lyric in the first place is because there wasn't an effective way to transmit them. Today, however, annotation websites like Rap Genius make it possible for everyone to easily find hip hop lyrics. It was really fun to record myself rapping the wrong lyric over the actual recording. I love playing this sound clip for people because I think it's pretty funny. Click on the screenshot below to listen:
Finally, Endless cycle of waffles is a humorous creation that represented a fleeting thought that I had randomly. I was making waffles one day - bear with me - and listening to a song by a band called Cephalic Carnage. While I was mixing the waffle batter with an electric beater and listening to a soundtrack of thrashing guitars and a screaming vocalist in the background, I wondering if there was an Assignment Bank task that could be applied to this situation. The song I was listening to was called Endless Cycle of Violence. Right then and there I decided to make a music video for a new song called Endless Cycle of Waffles. I turned on my camera's video recorder and started filming.
All in all, the assignment bank portion of our creative requirements was a fun way to think out of the box, spark our imaginations, and experiment with a variety of ways to present information and tell short stories. They were not time-consuming, so they also represented a way to work in quick bursts of ideas and creative thought.