Final Reflections on Storytelling

I can't believe summer is almost over already. I'm simultaneously excited about starting my final semester with CU Denver and also a little sad that it seems to be going by so quickly. This summer, digital storytelling made a huge impact on me as a learner, as an instructor, and in built a greater understanding of my own philosophy of education and pedagogy.

As a learner in digital storytelling, I learned through the development of my social and writing practices. I've never managed a blog before, and previously felt that when I did write a blog post it was forced and a bit uncomfortable. Throughout this summer course, I found myself excited to write blog posts and share my ideas and reflections with others. I was able to move away from the academic kind of writing that I am more comfortable with and develop a clearer voice that wasn't terribly boring to read. My learning in this course has shown me that meaning comes from passion. When I am passionate about what I am reading and writing, I am much more enthusiastic and engaged. My learning was also dependent on the interaction with others; not only did I rely on the stories of others to write critiques, but also I relied on the feedback from my peers to help me understand why I was writing in the first place.

As a co-designer in digital storytelling, I contributed a unique perspective that broadened the collective discussions we had. My interest and experiences in art and museum education led to me seeking out stories that were related to these fields, exposing my peers to more non-traditional educational environments. By supporting others on social media and taking the time to give feedback to peers, we all grew our collective social mind. On a final note, I also impacted my peer's learning through a collaborative project in our last week of the course. It was my first collaborative story, and several of the participants said they also had never done anything similar. Hooray for new things! Oh, and the story is pretty cool if you haven't read it already.

This course was quite different from prior courses I've taken, both in the approach to 'instruction' and in the flexibility provided by our course instructor Remi. Through my experiences in Remi's courses, I understand his course design and ongoing decision making to be open and collaborative. Remi was omni-present on social media, favoriting and sharing each post we shared on Twitter. He also found ways to expand our learning beyond digital storytelling by exposing us to some of the conferences and projects that he is currently working on. Gaining an understanding of the contemporary issues that education faces is critical to developing our understanding of pedagogy, and I see Remi's performance as an 'instructor' move toward being a learning facilitator and mentor to our self-guided learning. In the future, I hope that this course continues to allow for the flexibility and exposure to current issues that Remi has allowed for. Digital storytelling and DS106 has made a huge impact for my own learning and I hope others to have the same opportunities.

A huge thank you to Remi, all of my peers, and really everyone out there creating and remixing stories. Together, our collective mind grows, and I am proud to be a part of it!

You can view my final learning portfolio over on Storify (thanks to my peers for introducing me to this platform, so rad!)

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