Final Course Reflection

Week 8 – can’t believe it is already here! What a ride this has been. I spent many nights on my final portfolio and sharing my story and journey during this eight week adventure. I have learned a lot about social media, storytelling, and about myself.

Me as a learner in this course: I feel this course taught me so much more than any other class. Each week required me to go out of my comfort zone and I had to learn a new application to complete my assignments. Most of the class was self-directed and allowed me to take baby steps as I entered the world of social media. Of course there was some direction from Remi and Lisa but the coolest thing this class allowed me to pick the assignments. Each week I could pick an assignment and create something to reflect my focal theme of work-life balance. I felt by picking my own assignments I had more accountability to go beyond each week and to let myself fail and then try again. The social learning practices shared by L&K and other authors were all new to me. I had to read the articles a couple of times to fully understand. Each week I took a risk and annotated my thoughts about the readings. Sometimes I didn’t get any responses but it was helpful to be able to read thoughts from peers. I feel that the ability to read other’s thoughts helped me understand the articles and learn. I learned so much about HOW to tell a story and what traits should be included in MY story so that my message is clear. The social learning practices allowed me to see through different lenses and this new “sight” will follow me and guide me to be a better storyteller. My storytelling can be either in-person or via social media. This class introduced me to the world of social media. I learned about Twitter and blogging. The DS106 community was intriguing and I was amazed how people just put themselves out there – a goal for me. I am not sure how much I will continue to blog stories but I might keep my Twitter account 🙂

My co-design of this course: This course was so different than any other in-person or online class. The ability to pick and choose your assignments was something that I truly enjoyed. It allowed me to have time to learn these new applications but yet it pushed me to try new things. The fear of failing wasn’t there and it allowed me to explore. I felt I gave some insights of my thoughts and perspective via my annotations and story critiques. I hope that my peers learned something from the videos I picked to help them create a work-life balance; I know I certainly did. The ability to see other’s creation was fun plus it gave me inspiration to “step it up” for the next week. Each week I became less frustrated and started to relax and enjoy the ride. After the first few weeks I started to have fun with things and allowed myself to take some risks.The course was designed to give students a different learning platform. The connections with Ds106 community and the annotations gave the students a great way to share our own specific stories.

My understanding of pedagogy: I give credit to Remi and Lisa for designing a four-month course into a eight-week class. It was a huge time commitment for both students and instructors. The design of the class seemed to be the instructors gave an address but didn’t tell the student how to get there – because it didn’t matter what route he/she took, as long as you arrived. This allowed the decision-making to be up to the student; how much time and effort he/she wanted to give to the assignment. It was a lot to do each week but it was a great learning opportunity and pushed me. Instructor’s do not need to “tell” their students how to do something but give them a destination and allow them to find their way on their own. I am a type of person that learns better my doing not someone telling me. So this was a perfect for me to do some hands-on learning. The only thing that was a little frustrating for me was the feedback. I understand there wasn’t grades along the way but sometimes I felt I was floating and didn’t know where I was going. I know it was said early on that I would receive feedback if I needed it but sometimes I wasn’t sure how I was doing. I guess it is like the old quote, “No news is good news.”

The first week I wasn’t sure about this class and was intimidated. But I continued the journey and I am so glad I finished it. I have learned so much and I feel like I can incorporate what I learned into my personal and professional life. Thank you for a great ride and for having a safe environment to make mistakes while I learned.


Week 7 Reflective Summary

Hard to believe we are at the end of Week 7.

This was a rough week for me and my sons. My work-life balance was put to a test…. My ex-husband was in an accident and had to have surgery this week, a huge deadline at work, and our dog of 14 years had to be put down (cancer).

I started off the week great and getting things done. But then I had issues with Twitter this week. I would tweet my assignments and then the next day when I went to review things, my tweets were not there. I could see that I had tweeted them but they were somehow off my Tweetdeck under the #DS106 and #ILT5340. So I spent many hours and days re-tweeting and trying to figure out what was the issue. I still haven’t figured it out what I dd wrong or why they would disappear. So frustrating because I completed each assignments by the deadline and in some cases finished earlier than the due date but we not seen on Twitter as part of the assignment.

I tried a different view of work-life balance for my digital story critique. Instead of a video explaining how to achieve work-life balance, I showed this visual image video about rethinking work-life balance. I felt it has some good points and a different way of looking at work-life balance.

Overall I felt I “meet expectations” and submitted quality work. I don’t think I went above and beyond. I am just not good at social media. I do read people’s Tweets everyday but I am not good at responding to them. I enjoyed the readings this week.

I am nervous about the final portfolio due next week. I am glad there are examples to help me not be so anxious.

ReThinking Work-Life Balance

For this week’s Digital Storytelling critique I chose a different type of video that could relate to my chosen storytelling theme about work-life balance. Similarly to last week I wanted to do something different with my video storytelling. This video is actually a video directed at lawyers but I think it still has the main ideas for everyone around work-life balance. This is a quaint visual imaging video about work-life balance.

Watch the video: Rethinking Work-Life Balance

The type of involvement I saw in this video was being directed to social culture. The social acceptance of what the general definition of work -life balance in today’s society. Current society assumes that work & life are separate and work/life balance means 50/50. Sometimes creating this illusion can cause more harm than good. As noted in the video, work is a part of life and work is a component of life. The one thing I enjoyed was how he pointed out that sometimes this work-life balance makes assumptions that work is bad and life is good. But we need to find some type of joy at work or we will become resentful and burn out. If a person is unhappy at work, this will cause your work-life balance to suffer.

I think the literacy dimension identified in this video was the message that appeals to anyone watching this video. The audience can relate to the presenter and what he is trying to explain.Sometimes you can’t balance work and life equally. But that is okay – because each person needs to figure out what makes their work-life balanced. If someone wants to spend more time around work than life, than he/she isn’t wrong. Sometimes I think society puts this additional pressure that we need to make work-life 50/50, and if we decide to put more efforts into one over the other society seems to shame us.

I found this video on the YouTube. This story can be heard/seen from anyone who is looking for work-life balance videos. The idea that 50% is work and 50% is everything else in life is a hard idea to conceptualize. I liked how the video notes that sometimes trying to obtain that 50/50 balance could cause you to be neglecting some other stuff. One of the messages I am going to apply to my life is, “The trick is to find balance among ALL the important stuff in my life,”

My assessment of the video doesn’t have many modifications or changes. I would have liked it not to been so focused on the career lawyer, but I think the message can still be applied to any chosen career. The video kept me engaged throughout. I enjoyed listening to the message and seeing what would be drawn to help coordinate the two. I thought the video was interesting and different. The takeaway message for me is to apply the right amount of work-life balance that works for me and all the important things in my life.

I hope you enjoy the video…


Work-Life Balance Wordle – Week 7

For this week’s DS106 Assignment Bank I chose a visual assignment I could relate to my chosen storytelling theme, work-life balance. The visual assignment was titled: Word Cloud.

Use a site like or similar to create a word cloud. Make your chosen text meaningful to you. Choose a font and color scheme that reflects the emotion behind your choice of words. Take a screenshot, and upload it to your blog.

This was a chance for me to do something different. It was difficult for me to pick an assignment that I felt would work with my theme. So when I saw this assignment, it just clicked with me and I stopped looking.

I chose words that I associated with work-life balance. I included words about my family and my work life. I asked my son, Ryan, what words I was missing and he suggested some words for me. I wanted to include his words because I valued his opinion about what work-life balance means to him. I have worked full-time and gone to school at night, so he has observed me trying to achieve work-life balance for many years.


In order to create the word cloud I first went to I am not sure if it was my computer or what, but it wouldn’t work. So I went to WordCloud for Kids. I think it is a children’s site but it worked. I just typed the words that I thought applied into the box. After hitting the arrow it produced a randomly generated word cloud of the words I listed.So then I played with the font and color scheme to find the right balance.

Overall, I really enjoyed this assignment partly because it gave me the chance to pick words I felt is important about work-life balance.



Week 6 Reflection

Week 6 was another good week for me. During the week I learned new things and I enjoyed the readings.

I feel like I am getting in my groove with the Daily Creates and the Assignment Bank assignments.. I completed each assignments by the deadline and in some cases finished earlier than the due date. I try to pick and complete assignments outside my comfort zone. As Lisa noted in her Narrate Annotate story about finding your voice in your blogs. I am starting to feel more comfortable about my blogs. For a few weeks I was nervous about my blogs because I didn’t know if people wouldn’t like my blogs or think that were stupid. I am feeling better about my blogs and just writing what I think and my thoughts.

I  continue to learn new concepts during the class but have no specific questions this week. I don’t think I would do anything differently. I have found my grove about planning ahead and able to make responses to the readings throughout the week.

I tried to do a different view of work-life balance for my digital story critique. Instead of a video explaining how to achieve work-life balance, I showed how a personal relationship can also affect your work-life balance. My hope was to have people see how many moving parts can effect a work-life balance.

Overall I feel I continue to “meet expectations” and submit quality work. I think it is so great that I each week I learn some new software/program and the readings continue to expose me to new views.

Excited about what Week 7 has in store.

How a Relationship impacts your Work-Life Balance

My digital story is about Zeek Taylor and Dick Titus. My theme is work-life balance and I wanted to do something a little different this week. The story is about two gay men who had to hide their relationship for 13 years. They even went to the extreme of having two houses. I can’t imagine how this charade impacted their work-life balance.

Watch the video: Zeek and Dick

The type of involvement I saw in this video was being directed to social culture. The social acceptance of gay relationships in the work place and in society. Dick used a pseudo name at work, “Oscar,” so when they heard that name, Zeek knew to act like he didn’t know Dick. They owned two houses, one for both of them and one for “show” when people from Dick’s work wanted to come over. I can’t imagine how much stress this put on both Dick and Zeek, their relationship, and their lives at work. I think this story speaks to many people in the audience. How can a person have a work-life balance when you are always on edge and pretending. You can’t slip during a work conversation about your personal life and then try to find balance at home with the over the shoulder glances. They both accepted their reality and loved each other to carry this secret relationship until they could be free.

I think the literacy dimension identified in this video was the message that appeals to many others.There were and probably still are many couples who went through the same stress over their relationships. The audience can relate to the presenter and his story. The hardships, lies, and shame that many gay couples have to endure. This story resonated with me because I had to keep my relationship with my current boyfriend a secret because at the time we worked at the same organization. It causes so much stress and you don’t have a work-life balance when you are always worried someone will “find out.” Even though this video is only three minutes, I think the literacy dimension of their message is heard. In the short amount of time, I feel I could hear the heartache and struggles they had to endure for 13 years. Plus I heard the sincerity of respect and devotion for each other. Dick having Zeek’s support helped him through the years to try to have a work-life balance. Zeek understood and accepted the life because that what it took for them to be together.

I found this video on the website. This story has can be heard/seen from that site and others looking for stories about LGBT couples. These spaces and sites matter because it is the interest of others that gives impact to this story. This story can resonate with LGBT and straight couples. The idea of having to keep your relationship a secret and the efforts to keep that secret hidden is not an usual idea. There are many couples who go through this agony everyday. The work-life balance suffers because of having to live two lives.

My assessment of the video doesn’t have many modifications or changes. One change I would make is the ability to see the two of them as you hear their story. The ability to see both of them while they were talking would enhance the story and the emotional part of the story. I feel I was still engaged even though I didn’t see them live but it would have improved the aspect of the narration.


Meet My Work-Life Family

Check out my latest blog – the DS106 Assignment Bank creation for Week 6.

So Week 6 DS106 Assignment Bank creation assignment was to select any assignment from any category on the DS106 Assignment Bank website that explores my chosen storytelling theme.

So what was my chosen storytelling theme….. it is about work-life balance and the assignment I selected was titled, “We’re the Real Life Brady Bunch!”

Most everyone has seen the infamous picture of The Brady Bunch where everyone in the family is showcased in their own personal box. Now it’s your turn!! Whether your actual family or your close group of friends, make a collage mimicking the picture shown below. Be creative with the title. Make the title alliteration either with your last name or some-sort of name you wish to call your group. In your post, explain why you chose the people you did in your collage.


I am working on a better work-life balance and this could not have been obtained without support from my work-life family. My family is important to me and I couldn’t survive with the support from each and everyone shown on my picture frame. They each have a different role to help me sustain my work-life balance. The first row starts from the left is my youngest son (Devin), next is me, and then my oldest son (Ryan). The next row is Russell (work), my album name, and Carmen (work). The third row is Lydia (work), my boyfriend (Kerry), and my best friend (Lori). I couldn’t make my work-life balance work without each of their support and advice. Once you have people in your corner, the task is easier to accomplish than doing it all on your own.

To complete this assignment, I utilized a new software, PicMonkey. I choose what type of collage I wanted and then loaded my pictures. Once I had my pictures uploaded, I then placed them in the correct box. I saved the finished product onto my computer. I then utilized  Fotoflexer to add the album name to the middle box. I played around with the different functions to learn how to place a border around the whole creation and inserted a background for the album name box. It was exciting to learn a new software and to expand on a software I had used previously.

I enjoyed created this collage about my work-life family. It helped me realize I have lots of support from all aspects of my life. I couldn’t achieve what I have accomplished these last few years without the help of everyone pictured.

Enjoy –

Assignment Bank

Two Best Friends

Happy Monday –

My Daily Create for Week 6 is about two best friends. The daily create assignment – Daily Create .

These two best friends were hanging out on the beach having fun playing in the sand. The orangutan thought it would be fun to call his friend a “lap dog” because he thought it was a friendly term. But his friend didn’t like being called that name. There are time we tease our friends but we don’t realize our words can be hurtful. This orangutan found that out the hard way. I think he learned his lesson.

Enjoy the creative picture.

Daily Create Week 6


Week 5 Reflection

Hard to believe Week 5 is done. This was another good week for me. I continue to learn new things and the readings have been very informative.

I didn’t have any trouble this week. I completed the assignments by the deadline and in some cases finished earlier than the due date. I felt that I was engaged and submitting work that shows my learnings. I continue to try to do assignments outside my comfort zone. I am enjoying the Daily Creates more because I am not getting so frustrated. I am using these assignments as not something to dread but as an opportunity to learn something new.

I am learning new ideas during the class but have no questions this week. I wouldn’t do anything differently. I planned ahead this past week and had some discussion with the reading responses. I am feeling more comfortable with the assignments. I hope to keep planning ahead in regards to the assignments.

I continue not to have any issues surround my focal theme. I enjoy listening to different work-life balance videos to critique. Each video I watch I learn something new that I can embrace and use in my life. Not only does it help me but I hope the videos are helping others in the class.

I think overall I am “meeting expectations” and continue to submit quality work. I feel staying ahead of the assignment continue to eliminate any frustrations. My frustrations are becoming less as I start to feel more comfortable each week. I continue to learn something new every week. Plus the readings have been so informative and exposing me to new areas that I haven’t heard before now.

Looking forward to see what Week 5 is all about.

Tips for acquiring Work-Life Balance Utilizing Time Management

Welcome to Week 5 of our Video Storytelling adventure. My chosen theme is work-life balance so I try to find a video that will help myself  & others interested in work-life balance. This week I choose a video from Brian Tracy about 4 Time Management Tips for Work-Life Balance.

As you have read in my other blogs, I am working on a better work-life balance. I have switched jobs and am really enjoying my new position. This team values work-life balance and after two months I am still keeping my boundaries solid. I feel that achieving work-life balance is a continuous learning. Everyone’s definition of work-life balance is different but as long you feel YOU are achieving work-life balance then that’s all that matters.

I found the video story at YouTube and here is the link; 4 Time Management Tips for Work Life Balance.

The assignment was to critique a digital story by selecting three traits from Jason Ohler’s assessment traits:Digital Critique. The three traits that I selected were: 1) Story, 2) Media application and 3)Sense of audience. I decided to select these traits because I felt these were traits that invokes feelings for me.

Story: This video is from one of Brian Tracy’s collection.Brian Tracy is a Canadian entrepreneur, public speaker, author and personal and professional development trainer.  Tracy is Chairman and CEO of Brian Tracy International, a company specializing in the training and development of individuals and organizations.In this particular video Tracy is detailing 4 time management tips that can help you obtain your work-life balance. It isn’t anything new but just told in a different format. It is mostly about positive thinking and repetition. I think he gives some valuable tips and some things that I will start to incorporate into my work life.

Media Application: I thought this video was informative. I think he used his hands too much and sometimes it distracted me. It might have been more engaging if he had some slides or some type of visuals. Sometimes visuals help the audience associate what is being said with the words themselves. But he spoke very well and his face expressions was appropriate. The appearance was more like a TED Talk  – a presentation/lecture.

Sense of Audience: Tracy had a good sense of his audience. He knew what people would be viewing the video and spoke directly to the topic. Tracy gave informative and easy tips that the audience could start utilizing right away. The tips were manageable and didn’t leave the audience feeling overwhelmed.

Overall the video was information and an easy watch. The feedback I have is perhaps to include some slides or visuals to help the audience associate the tips. Also don’t use the hands so much. I gained some new tips to help me continue my work-life balance. As noted earlier, these tips are easy and something you can start right away. I value any video that can help me maintain the work-life balance with suggestions that I have control over. You can’t expect your organization or manager to help you with work-life balance so any self-help tips are more manageable.

I hope you learn something new …