Monday, 25 February 2013

My artefact, "A Little Bird Told Me"

 You have hopefully arrived here to view my artefact. I have chosen to use the StoryBird website. I have explained why I chose this particular tool below. As a tool, I found it does have its limitations, so I opted to make a YouTube video as well as a small introduction. Please view this first, then click on the link to StoryBird which appears beneath the video. NB - unfortunately I could not link this directly from the YouTube video itself.







http://storybird.com/books/a-little-bird-told-me-3/


The text below is not part of my artefact. But I just wanted to jot some thoughts down on why I created it whilst they were fresh in my mind

I chose Storybird because:
  1. I liked the way you can randomly select images & create a story around them. Rather than the other way round
  2. This has been a course on "Digital Cultures". Every culture has stories, this was mine, "Frequently, our only truth is narrative truth, the stories we tell each other, and ourselves—the stories we continually recategorize and refine" Oliver Sacks
  3. The biggest theme for me has been the human side. Of the course itself, and in relation to all the material we have covered. I mean the human side in the way we create things, the way we connect, and the way we use stories to share our experiences. I would say the Google Map, the Google Hangouts, the TweetChats, Facebook and Google Communities have all been great examples of this. In my reading, I have been most inspired by the stories where people have been able to apply technology or online media in a way that has improved their life, or opened up their world in a way they would never have expected.
  4. I liked the natural feel to the pictures on StoryBook. Some of the futuristic images and videos we have seen have been so oppressive I wanted to get a more innocent feel back. I think I have become a complete utopian.
  5. I liked the idea that something from the machine (a Twitter bird in this case) could, or would want to, somehow escape into our human world. I thought it flipped the "Matrix" idea on its head. 
The spark of the idea came from this photo. It’s a visual representation of the metaphorical stoy of a pigeon losing its fear and becoming a bluebird. When I first saw it, I misinterpreted it. I saw it as a Twitter bird who had escaped from the computer (or been released? rejected? outcast?). This was the basis for my story. Technology would be my guide, but I would be the one telling the story. The image of a bird "escaping" from Twitter also brought all kinds of themes to mind.
  • Are we addicted or imprisoned by social media & technology?
  • Have we forgotten the natural world?
  • Instead of fearing the rise of an inhuman, soulless technology, might technology actually be a benevolent guide, or just an extension of our own human spirit?
  • If we reach the singularity, what would a computer feel and think? If it could compute things in an instant, it wouldn’t need the space to think & work out answers. But would it also philosophise? Would it ever feel imprisoned and feel the need to escape? And if it did, where would it escape to?
I I had the idea of "sparks" flying around and illuminating people's education and imagination. For this articulate writer it was a love and passion for "gears", but the central point was similar - to "turn computers into instruments flexible enough so that any children can each create for themselves something like what the gears were for me". Thanks to this excellent artefact for introducing me to this idea http://www.thinglink.com/scene/363179397122883586?buttonSource=userPage This artefact also made the interesting comparison between the noise of birds chirping and our keyboards tapping. It was a lovely idea, and deserves a story all of its own! And how about wiring a keyboard so that it did literally chirp when you pressed the keys?

17 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. oops - sorry I jumped in too early :)You popped up on my RSS feed and I was keen to see. I have also used StoryBird.
    I very much like the video and the guitar playing. It was great to see your thoughts on the MOOC. I like the way you have used the pictures to express our feelings about learning in this way.

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    1. Thanks Claire-Louise. Storybird is enjoyable to use, isn't it?. Have you done your artefact yet? I couldn't find it on your Google profile. The music on the video used the notes "E D C". It seemed appropriate to the title of the course :)

      Cheers,
      Chris

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  3. I really enjoyed working with StoryBird. They wouldn't publish my book as they felt it was more suitable to a class than the public. Posted it on my blog here http://tinyurl.com/aazwxba
    My artefact is here http://tinyurl.com/agptynj
    Thank you for reminding me to attach it to my Google profile.

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    1. Hi Claire-Louise.

      Thanks for the link to your artefact which I read with interest. An excellent summary of the history of distance learning, and very thought provoking to see our current position in that historical context. I was pleased when I scrolled down and say you'd added possible things from the future. Lots to think about there..! I'd not heard of the "When In Time" website before either, but I really like it as a tool.

      I enjoyed seeing your StoryBird too. What good use you made if it to help in language learning. It looks like we used the same artist's pictures too!

      Chris

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  4. Hey! I posted a comment some time back and it disappeared :(

    Loved your story. "greater the progress, greater the inequality is whats buzzing in my mind since I read through the story. It has definitely ignited many thoughts.

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    1. Thanks Maddie. I also noticed that your previous comment disappeared - no idea where it went, but thanks for re-posting!

      Chris

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  5. Chris,
    I totally agree with this part of your story."Technology is a vast subject, but I kept noticing that it was the human connections and reactions that were the ones that made it flicker" I love the innocence and wonder of your story characters. I love the Utopian feel of the entire piece. I'm grateful that our paths have crossed on this EDCMOOC journey. Your artefact is truly remarkable!

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    1. Hi Willa, thanks for your very generous comment! The whole MOOC has been a pleasure, and I've enjoyed being on the journey with you. Whither next....?

      Chris

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  6. Chris,
    I loved your artefact! Like Willa, I too am grateful our paths crossed. I learned so much from you and your enthusiasm and creativity made this entire experience all the better. Your choice of images, and your story are delightful to look at, read and think about our edc journey. I especially love how you made a home made video to transport us into your story...I do hope to continue to see you often in the Twitterverse and many other spaces. Thanks for everything Chris!
    Ary :)

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    1. Hi Ary, thanks very much for your comment. I have exactly the same sentiments about your work - your creativity and ideas have been equally inspiring to me.

      The home made video by the way was a little test I made way back in November having been inspired by Kyle Bettley's brilliant video here http://vimeo.com/53699339
      I'd completely forgotten about it, and then found it on my video camera when making my artefact. It felt like a nice coda to include it on my final artefact.

      Seeyou online soon fellow frainger :-)

      Chris

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  7. Chris. I loved your artefact! I loved the idea that the image of the bluebird is related to our higher consciousness. The idea of fear or love....It was echoed in the image of the person in the boat in front of the huge whale. That is something I have experienced, and once the fear is replaced by awe -- that special spark -- that makes us human. Thank you for your Utopian view. I am a "PollyAnna" at heart and believe that we can use technology to improve our human condition. I enjoyed working with you and expect to see you in the Twitterverse very soon!

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    1. Hi Cathleen,

      Thanks for your comment. I like that word "pollyanna". I surprised myself with how utopian this artefact turned out - I didn't think I was that optimistic, but each time I thought about what I'd tell people if they asked me about this MOOC, this is the story that kept coming up. I consider that a testament to all the positive, forward thinking, thoughtful & creative people I've met along the way.

      Seeyou online soon I'm sure!

      Cheers,
      Chris

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  8. Great contribution to the EDCMOOC artefacts Chris! The comments here are testament, I think, to the fantastic sense of community that yourself and others have fostered – it has been great to witness that happening, from our first introductory email right through to the final artefact. I enjoyed reading your thoughts about the artefact too. The ‘innocence’ of Storybird is interesting for me, and I notice a number of people have made use of it for their artefact. Perhaps after so much chaos, people need something comforting! Love the idea of a chirping keyboard (seems somehow especially interesting in this context given Courseras plans for a ‘signature track’, which includes measuring your ‘unique typing pattern’: http://blog.coursera.org/post/40080531667/signaturetrack)...
    Thanks for all your contributions.

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    1. Hi Jeremy,

      Thanks for your comment. I think I could have made 10 artefacts the course content has been so rich! I shall continue to read up on some more of the course content this month. There was a lot I didn't have time to delve into, but would like to study more. I think if I could do StoryBird again I would just go out on a limb and do it as a full on story. Mine ended up turning out more like a traditional essay, and I think I fell between two stools a bit. But hey ho, it's all a learning process. The opportunity to view other people's artefacts has been tremendous by the way. So many great ideas.

      Thanks to you, Jen, Sian, Christine, and Hamish for providing such an interesting, structured, and well thought out course. It was a pleasure to be a part of, and as tutors I thought you did an excellent job.

      Chris

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  9. Hi Chris,

    Thank you for your amazing story! I admire the way you managed to narrate about such essential issues.
    It's great that I don't have to get a visa to get connected with such wonderful people around the world (that's another good point about technology!).
    You've become a marvelous sparkle of our course!

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    1. Thank you Elena. It is a great thing to have connected with so many people and ideas on the course. I remember one of your blog posts on language & trying to define for new words like "Mooc" "Moocing" etc was one of those sparks that got me thinking. http://learn-teach-learn.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/words-words.html

      Honestly, there have been so many ideas I could keep going for 5 years, never mind 5 weeks!

      Chris

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