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ds106 Advice

Ds106 is probably different that most of the other classes you have taken. It’s a class about blogging and besides that it can really be about anything you want it to be. That’s the glory of this class and is what makes it so different from anything else. Different doesn’t mean easy and there are different challenges you may face. Here are a few of the things I encountered….

Don’t Procrastinate: This is something you will hear a lot in this class so, I might as well start here. This class is a lot if fun ,but there is definitely a workload. You should make sure you work on it daily so you can spread your assignments out. If you wait until the last day you will regret it. Certain assignments have to be done earlier like daily creates. If you have three daily creates to do you have to at the latest start on Wednesday. Make sure you stay on top of this class and don’t get behind.

Be Creative: When I first started this class I wasn’t sure how I should act on my blog. I thought it would be best to act seriously since this is a college course. It turns out I was wrong and the best way to approach this class is to be yourself. Part of the class is about using the internet to tell a story. If you want to tell a good story you have to like the story your telling. The assignments are great ways to express yourselves and it makes the class a lot of fun when you do.

Have Fun: This is a very loose class which means you determine how much you enjoy it. I think if you actually invest time into the projects you can have a lot of fun doing them. It’s interesting to look at everyone’s blogs and see how they are reflections of the authors. The class has weekly guidelines, but how you fill in those guidelines is completely up to you so why not have fun while taking classes.

All in all, this is a great class. It doesn’t ever feel like a chore and it involves a lot of thing that young college students are doing anyways. You will definitely enjoy this class, but you will enjoy it more if you put some effort into it and explore the possibilities.

Weekly Summary

This week in ds106 was spent wrapping up everything with my project. I had 3/4 of it done already so I just had to do my last portion and write my post. It was fun doing the project because it encompassed everything that we learned in ds106. I was doing a story of why I wanted to major in physics and what interests me about it. I wanted to use the different forms of media to show the different portions of my story past, present and future. Starting from when I was young to now and into the future. I think I found the right assignments to do this. I made up my own assignment with the video portion. For the other three I picked Wordcloud, Audio Reflection and Hopes, Fears and Dreams. These fit very well with my project and I thought they worked well. I ended up using a lot of different things that we used in class like Audacity, Soundcloud, Youtube and Flickr. To do editing with my project I used the traditional programs like movie maker and MS word. I think that if I had done this project at the beginning of class it wouldn’t have been nearly as good, so I can safely say that I learned a lot in this class. It’s crazy to think that this class is about to be over as I’ve enjoyed it a lot. Blogging is a great way to put your thoughts into words and express yourself via the internet. I’ve learned a lot about the internet and different types of media. I hope everyone enjoyed this class as much as I did and enjoy your breaks!

Final Project!


Final Project!

I finally have the final product for my project and I had a lot of fun making it. My first idea was to make a mockumentary, but that fell through so I had to come up with a different idea. I decided to tell a story about my life as a physics major. For the different media types I went with Audio, Video, Design and Writing assignments. To begin I have an Audio reflection where I talk about what made me want to major in physics starting from when I was young. After that I have a short documentary that discusses life as a physics major. I give a quick tour of the physics department  at UMW and do some interviews with three of my fellow physics majors to get their perspective. I have a word cloud that I made using words from various topics in physics, This helps show some of the content of physics in an artistic fashion. Finally, I wrote a letter to myself ten years in the future discussing what my hopes, fears and dreams are (pertaining to physics). The four different parts show the past, present and future of my life of a physics major and I think they all tie together very well.



Dear Future Matt-page-001

*********If you have trouble reading the letter PDF click below*******

********Soundcloud has been having issues with Firefox lately********

Your Hopes, Dreams and Fears

This was a fun final project and a great way to tie together all of the different things we learned about int his class. It helped me reflect on myself while creating my digital story, which was great. The video portion was the hardest to make. I used my phone to do all of the recording and edited with windows movie maker. The narrations in the beginning and middle were done using audacity and placed in the movie. I found the images on google and got the music with my amazon prime subscription. The audio portion was done using audacity and the background music was gotten from amazon prime. I used the program to do my word cloud with some inspiration from another student who did the assignment. The writing assignment was done with word and the document was saved as a pdf and embedded in WordPress. This has been a fun class and I have already recommended it to others. I hope everyone enjoyed my project and hope you all have a great break!

Your Hopes, Dreams and Fears


For the last portion of my final project I chose to do  a written assignment. I did the Hopes, Dreams and Fears assignment which is to write a letter to yourself ten years in the future. I thought this would be a good way to end my project since it looks towards the future. What I tried to do with this project was to talk about the past present and future of myself pertaining to physics. With my Audio Reflection, I talked about what made me want to major in physics. My documentary and word cloud covered the present and what I am doing in physics. Finally, this talks about what I want to do in the future. I thought that this was a very good assignment and helps you put your emotions into words. This assignment is something we all do without realizing it and I think it will be cool to read in the future.

Dear Future Matt-page-001

********************Just in case you can’t see the PDF*****************

Dear Future Matt,

I hope by the time you read this everything that I am about to tell you is a reality. One day I hope that I will have a good job in the field I want to be in. I hope that I have finished graduate school and have attained a PhD. I hope that I are discovering new things and love what I am doing. I hope that I get to do what I want to do now and have my own startup company that ends up being a success. I hope that what I research will have an impact on the world and helps me make a name for myself in the scientific community. As long as my education and drive takes me where I need to go I will be fine. It has been a long road to get to where I am now and all I can do is look forward to the future. Right now, I am not sure how my life will unfold, I just know how I want it to. Sometimes, it is scary to think about the future because I think of all the things that I just don’t know. It is also exciting to think about the future because of all the great things that can happen. What’s most important is that I am happy I hope that I am successful, but I know that there is more to life than work and money. I hope that I have a family that I love and have fun with. I hope I am still close with all of my friends and we never lose touch. I know if I work hard I will get where I want to go. I just hope that ten years from now when I read this I won’t look back and have a regret.






Audio Reflection

I decided to use the Audio Reflection assignment for the audio portion of my final project. I wanted to try to do something that involved a little more creativity, but I felt that this assignment fit best with my project. It is the story of a big part of my life so I wanted it to be sort of like an audio diary. The original assignment was to talk about what brought us to ds106 and why we stayed. I simply switched ds106 to physics and did the assignment accordingly. I thought it was good assignment because it gave me a chance to reflect on myself. I did have a little issue with the recording though. Piece of the vent for the fan on my laptop broke off and is stuck by my fan so it creates a chattering noise that you can hear in the audio. It’s not too bad since I toned it down with audacity. I also put Ballad No.3 by Chopin in for background music.

Story Progress #2

This week I finished about half of my project. I made my video which is the bigger part of the project, it ended up being over ten minutes which is longer than expected. I used Audacity and windows movie maker to do all the editing, which I forgot to put in my credits, but they will be in the final product. I tried to do a documentary style video so I gave a tour of the physics department and did some interviews with some of my classmates. To make it seem legitimate I put in an intro, a title and credits. Here is the video below if anyone wants to check it out:

I also did a word cloud which is a design assignment. In the word cloud I used words that are important in various physics topics. I did a different topic for each object in the picture. The topics were Mechanics, Electricity & Magnetism, Optics, Thermodynamics and various notable physicists. I still have two forms of media to use in my story, one of which I know will be an audio assignment. I am still undecided on what my last form of digital storytelling will be. I am torn between writing and visual so, if anyone has a good idea please let me know. I think everything is coming together very well and if anyone has any feedback let me know!



Week 13 Update

I am just doing an update on what I’ve been working on for my final project. Unfortunately, my idea fell through for the movie spoof I wanted to d. I decided to follow through with my other idea, the life of a physics major. I wanted to do this as a documentary style, at least for the video. Earlier this week, I took some interviews of other physics majors to see why they decided to take on the major. I want to do another video of myself in the physics department to show a lot of what we do. I have been doing a research project since may so I wanted to give everyone an overview of what I have been doing. Also, I wanted to do a detailed audio essay of my story with physics.

These are the unedited clips of the interviews I did with Nick, Macy and Alex. I have to do some editing and will have everything put together for my final project. You might be able to get an idea of what I am trying to do from these clips.

Preliminary Brainstorming (Weekly Summary)

This is just a post to go over some of the ideas I have been going over for my final project. I have a good idea of what I want to do and I think I know what types of media I will use also.

The story: I wanted to do a spoof of some of the low budget cheesy horror films you see with a lot of satirical elements. Think Parks and recreation meets The Blair Witch Project. My idea was to have a group of friends (play by my friends and I) go out looking for a ghost in Fredericksburg that is a legend in the area. We will be joined by an expert ghost hunter and go on a hunt for the ghost.

The Breakdown: I wanted to do a video first and foremost. I will film it with my phone which will help give it a low budget feel. I want to do half of the story in video and have the plot transition to where we only use audio. This will help me do a video and audio aspect of the story. I also wanted to make a movie poster for the story which I guess would fall under the design category. I am having trouble thinking of what to do for the fourth media type. I was thinking maybe a “hangover” credit roll where they had pictures of the characters with music in the background. This may work as a visual assignment. Of course, the last part is still up in the air (any ideas!?!).

This is just a post to brainstorm I will get some videos tonight and hopefully make a movie poster to share with everyone for this week as well. Let me know if you have any ideas to help with this assignment!

UPDATE: I’ve been trying to start recording my video and so far I have two clips that I’d like to use. Unfortunately, I am not sure if I will be able to get all of my friends together at once to finish since I have a lot left. If this is the case my back up plan will be to do the life of a physics major. A lot of people are turned off by the idea of studying physics so I think it would be cool to do my project on why it’s actually a great major. I would probably do a video, audio and design assignment. I could interview other majors to get their perspective also. I am not sure what I could do for the last part of the assignment. Hopefully, I will be able to follow through with my first idea since it was a lot of fun! I made a draft of a movie poster for my project. It’s not complete, but it’s a general idea of what I want to do.



Weekly Summary 11

This week was a lot of fun in ds106. I was excited to do mashups because I’ve always enjoyed mashup music. Doing the assignments was kind of like doing a hybrid of all the other assignment types. We also did a tutorial, which is something I’ve always wondered about. So, without further ado:

Highlight Reels tutorial

For my tutorial, I made one of the highlight reels assignment I made last week. I did this via a blog post where I broke down my process of making the video one by one. I snipped a picture of windows movie make with one of my projects open so I could go over all of the functions that you need to know to make a compilation. The two big aspects that are important are editing and picking the right song. The song is critical to making a good mashup.

This does not belong here (4 stars)

One of the assignments I did was to mashup two movies that don’t make sense together. I chose to make a picture of the batman symbol shining on the moon that E.T. is flying across. It kind of makes sense, but doesn’t make sense at all so I went with it.

Ron Swanson Compilation

I also did the character compilation assignment. My favorite character is Ron Swanson so I made a compilation of him. I love watching these on YouTube so I can get a crash course on all of the different funny moments in a short period of time. It was easy to make I just found about fifteen minutes of clips and cut it down to about five minutes with movie maker.

Arnie in Space (4 star)

The first assignment i did was the I’m ready for my close up assignment. We had to close in on somebodies face and put in a random place then write a story about it. I put a picture of yelling Arnold Schwarzenegger in outer space and wrote a story of him escaping from peoples bad Arnie impressions.

I’m ready for my close up Dr. Seuss remix

We had to remix two assignments this week so I remixed the I’m ready for my close up assignment. I had to “Dr. Seuss” the assignment. Instead of using Arnold Schwarzenegger I used the Cat in the Hat.

Not so minimalist poster remix

For my other remix I went back to an assignment I did a while ago where I had to make a minimalist movie poster. For the remix I had to “change the mood”. I took that as make this not minimalist which is what I did. I added a lot of detail and some pictures of the stars to take away from the minimalist feel.

I did the daily creates for today and yesterday. For the TDC yesterday they had a picture of some random things like seashells and some other things that I didn’t know what they were. The daily create on 11/11 we had to use words to show beauty. A lot of people wrote about what beauty is and some tried to make shapes with the word beauty. I chose the latter and tried to make a shape with the word beauty. It may not be beautiful to some, but it was worth a shot.

I’m ready for my close up Dr. Seuss remix


One day, Dr. Seuss decided that everyone on Earth had heard his story and he wanted to share them with others.  He sent the Cat in the Hat out in search of alien life to share his stories with. The search continues…….

For my second remix I remixed one of the assignments I did this week. For I’m ready for my close up we had to close in on somebody’s face and put it in a random place where they shouldn’t be. For the original assignment I put Arnold Schwarzenegger in space. For the remix  I had to “Dr. Seuss” it. I found a close up of the cat in the hat and put him space. I did the assignment the same way as the original. I used MS paint to crop the cat out of its original picture and placed it in the outer space picture.