Teacher Demonstrates ds106 Assignment

NOTE: This blog post was started as an in class demonstration on 1/17, continued after class while a few students stayed behind to observe and give feedback, and finally completed on 1/18 in a computer lab of a different school.

Here is a possible process for doing a ds106 assignment:

  • Begin with either an assignment from the ds106 assignment bank, or an idea
  • Check examples of earlier versions of the assignment
  • Follow necessary tutorials to figure out how to use the tools required to complete the assignment
  • Do the assignment
  • Post the assignment to your blog (details about what and how to make the post will be forthcoming but I will try to use present examples of how I think it should be done on this blog, as was the case with V for Vannever)

Below is an example of how an assignment might look:

Triple Troll Quote

Assignment: I chose to do a Triple Troll Quote because it seems like a nice introduction to using image editing software. It is listed in the Visual Assignment category as #24 in the ds106 assignment bank. It basically involves faking everyone out. You match a falsely attributed quote to a picture of another person – but there should be some thematic connection between all three people. Mikhail Gershovich who originally submitted the assignment phrased it this way:

Find an image of a well known figure, add to it a famous quote by someone related in some way to the figure in the image and then attribute the quote to a third, related figure.

In terms of Triple Troll examples, I think Adam and each Rowan each provide interesting twists on the assignment. Check them both out and consider leaving a comment (comments after all make the ds106 world go round).

Process: The half dozen or so students who stayed after class to watch my demonstration must have quickly realized that I’m not very smooth with image editors. I first wanted to do this in PicNik or Aviary but couldn’t remember my passwords for those free online services. Instead I went with Gimp. This probably seems like a confusing and frightening program at first – in many ways it is. But over the past couple of months that I’ve been using it on a nearly daily basis, I have come be completely grateful for and appreciative of this free program that works on Mac, Windows and Linux computers.

Once you’ve found an image to use, it needs to be opened up in Gimp (this image of Grace Hopper was found through a google image search and I didn’t keep the original link). Here is a list of the steps I went through to create the image above:

  • Extend the height of the “canvas” to make room for the black box with white text at the bottom
  • Add a new layer and place it behind the image
  • Select the layer and paint it black
  • Select the text tool, change the color to white, choose a font and write the wrongly attributed quote
  • Export the image as png or jpg file
  • Begin the blogpost and upload the image
NOTE: I will again attempt to demonstrate this process in class on January 18, 2012. I received some useful feedback from the students who stayed after class yesterday. Based on their advise I will focus on the basics mentioned above.

Story: The story here is a fairly simple one. Because we are currently looking at seven different computing pioneers during this section of the course, the idea behind the Triple Troll Quote seemed a natural one. It seems that it should be easy to grab an image of one pioneer, match with a quote from another, and the name of a third. I only hope that students don’t feel that this is a required assignment.

The reason for choosing Grace Hopper was because her name was fresh in my memory from the just completed lesson. Then I asked the students to choose a quote to use. Somebody said that the first line from As We May Think would work because Grace was at one point an admiral in the U.S. Navy and Bush’s quote refers to the end of the war. The choice of attributing the quote to Alan Turing was suggested by another student. When I asked him why, he said that Turing’s work on breaking enemy codes was an important to defeating the enemy in World War II. I guess the one thing that doesn’t work here is that Admiral Hopper isn’t in uniform. I wonder if anybody knows what the word COBOL on her book refers to (bonus blue points for first correct answer in the comments).

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5 Responses to Teacher Demonstrates ds106 Assignment

  1. Good example of the triple necessity to “curate, narrate, share.” The example was a bit obscure even to me; maybe posting links to a couple of other examples? I appreciate the tutorial, too.

  2. arc432 says:

    COBOL (Common Business-Oriented Language) was the first user-friendly business computer software program.

    Here is a link to more about it! http://www.women-inventors.com/Dr-Grace-Murray-Hopper.asp

  3. Pingback: Blogging vs. ds106 Assignments | CIS 0835 – SP12

  4. Pingback: Wait, where’d that pioneer come from? | At any rate you live.

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