Once upon a time…

This website is part of a lifelong learning project. A retired scientific glassblower with twenty years in Silicon Valley, in earlier decades I traveled North America and worked part time as a bookseller to continue learning. Now I’m traveling to Digital Humanities, Sociological, and Educational Technology conferences to keep learning about our new digital world. I’m currently working with a favorite social science teacher doing a comparison study of commercial Learning Management Systems (LMS) as he answers the question; Is learning possible through digital technology? By participating in #ds106, #western106, #netnarr (Networked Narratives) and #openlearning17 I’m learning the new skills needed to create a Digital Portfolio to document my lifetime of learning experiences and prepare for what I heard former Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Dr. Margaret Hamburg, describe as my “Portfolio Life.”

Returning to college to complete a Sociology degree at Berkeley City College, I find the course work disjointed and outdated. I’m also studying Multi-Media Arts and trained to be a digital storytelling facilitator at StoryCenter in Berkeley, California. In 2017 I intend to improve both my digital technology and storytelling skills while creating artifacts with other Digital Alchemists.

  • The learning portfolio is a flexible, evidence-based process that combines reflection and documentation. It engages students in ongoing, reflective, and collaborative analysis of learning. It focuses on purposeful, selective outcomes for both improving and assessing learning. – John Zubizaretta
  • StoryCenter (formerly the Center for Digital Storytelling), founder of the global Digital Storytelling movement, is a nonprofit organization that uses a combination of Storywork and innovative, participatory media methods to support people in sharing personal narratives rooted in their own life experiences. – Joe Lambert
  • Storytelling can empower students while boosting their learning. It’s a way for students to explore their voice and sense of self. It’s a way to reflect on and synthesize subject materials. – Bryan Alexander
  • Integrative learning has two different styles, which correspond with two different types of self, the network and symphonic. The network self suggests ways for e-portfolios to promote employability, while representing the symphonic in e-portfolios creates space for a broader conception of what is important in life that pushes back against an entirely economic conception of citizenship. e-portfolio projects have made progress cultivating both kinds of selves… These selves need to be woven together, layering the networked and symphonic, to create e-portfolios that promote employability while asserting the value of their authors as whole human beings. – Darren Cambridge

Networked Narratives objectives

  • What might the ancient practice of alchemy mean in a digital era, when we are trying to combine different elements of digital media, genres and narrative?
  • Study how familiar kinds of stories – the linear form, e.g. spoken word, books, film, can be extended or take new forms in the non-linear networked space.
  • Develop a deeper understanding of the concept of storytelling and the power of narrative
  • Critically examine the digital landscape of communication technologies as emergent narrative forms and genres
  • Develop skill in using technology as a tool in communication of stories
  • Participate in an ongoing and meaningful conversation with classmates about ideas, theories, and technologies
  • Publish online your own exploration of digital storytelling techniques and approaches. – Alan Levine (includes objectives from western106)

Image from Museum of Victorian Science
Glaisdale, Whitby, North Yorkshire UK

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