I came out of the first Digital Storytelling class this semester with the expectation to have another Gardner Campbell experience. You may recall that I took Campbell's Rock/Soul/Progressive freshman seminar a couple of years ago. I can say I basically did relive that experience just by the Meta nature of this course as well as the hands-on interactive projects we did throughout the semester.
My favorite assignment was the Daily Photo assignment where we had to post four photos based on certain subject/style criteria. It was that assignment that really drove in one of the points of this class for me-that is, you don't have to be some sort of professional to get up on Flickr and play around with a camera. You don't have to be a professional to explore Internet tools in general thanks to Web 2.0. I can say I really did not enjoy all of the reading at the beginning of the semester (and quite honestly did not read the entirety of any of those incredibly long articles), but I see how they were pretty essential before we got to doing the more fun hands-on stuff. They prefaced the significance of the experiences we had in playing with audio and visual tools, as well as blogging and working on our projects. I particularly enjoyed using Audacity. It was funny when we got to class one day and Jim Groom told us to download Audacity, because I had already downloaded it since it was the first online recording tool I found to record my great-grandmother for my project.
The usability of Audacity is what made my project more than a simple digital text copy of my great-grandmother's memoir. The activities we did in class on Audacity helped me get a better grasp on how to edit the recordings I made, which made for a much simpler and less time-consuming project. As for the story itself, I started to realize how much of just being present on the Web at all makes for a story. Within the blog for my great-grandmother's memoir, I told the story of trying to tell her story. I had so much of an issue with figuring out what story I really wanted to tell and found that trying to "spice up" grandma with videos was a much more daunting and unnecessary task than I had originally thought. In the end, I like that there is a sort of introductory video where you can get an idea of the characters, which proceeds to tell more about the characters in the memoir.
I really can't claim that anything I did or didn't do for or in this class is not a part of the story. Even the procrastination is part of the story. When I say "the story" here, I basically mean the Jim Groom experience. It was a good experience really, and I'm pretty sad it's over.