A Story Told by Many Using Song, Images, and Interaction

10 Jan

This is not exactly fitting into any of the #ds106 categories so I’ll keep it uncategorized and off the ds106 blog. I think? I was inspired and so here it is.

I am sure we all have our own examples of these sorts of things. Here is mine.

My just 13 year old daughter has been involved in Anime and “fan dubs” for a year or so. She has a well-developed group she works with in creating and sharing anime video. My job, the one I get paid for, asks me to assist teachers in developing the best online courses we can and I feel pretty good about understanding the general placement of teachers at this institution and others in terms of knowing “about where their technical skill levels are and what they are able to envision” in the online world. The reason I write about this today is as Gardner Campbell in his article A Personal Cyberinfrastructure put it, “Yet higher education largely failed to empower the strong and effective imaginations that students need for creative citizenship in this new medium.” I can sort of see it through my own experiences in teaching and by the vision of “schooling” I have been able to create listening to, and paying attention to, many of the talented people in this class. And my daughter.

So for this assignment I figured I would try to combine what I know my kid does with what teachers are doing and what we can or could be doing. Now and in the future.

Brief rundown of what my daughter does. Without being critical of each thing, these are the activities she does. Usually, there are about 10 to 15 people involved. Sometimes more, sometimes less. One or two make the movies, graphics. The rest sing. To start with, in Skype chats or using PM in YouTube they nominate and select a song. Some videos are in English and some in Japanese. They sometimes have to translate words from the lyrics using Google Translate. Someone scripts them, takes lyrics into equal parts. Scripts are done using WordPad or word and then shared to all members via Skype file transfer. Some members have solos, and others are in multiple chorus. They record lines in Audacity and send them to mixer, using Skype file transfer or MediaFire. Sometimes there are as many as 40 or 50 individual mp3s involved and they are all combined into one mp3 by “the mixer.” This person uses either Audacity or Audition. The video maker uses Sony Vegas to create to movie. Images used are from the web and often customized using some photo editing software. I got my daughter PS Elements last year. So once the video is created it is shared on either the group (fan cast) channel or an individual’s channel. They seem to really like using the comments in YouTube for conversation, which makes sense as it is a place to discuss. Here are THE RULES.

No email in the whole process.

Here is one of the group channels.

Here is an example of video.

This is pretty inspiring to me and really makes me want to develop a clearer vision of how we can do learning/teaching. Out of 10, how many teachers are using Google docs for collaborative purposes, or how many are actively involved in sharing ideas or creation on Twitter or a Blog? It is a pretty low number I imagine and that is a great and wonderful challenge for me. In the video with Gardner, he wonders, “What do we believe?” And I wonder where is my daughter going to be in this space when she is in college? Gardner continues, “We are entering a new age of education that is programmed for discovery rather than instruction.” My daughter rarely asks for help. She discovers it with her friends.

What interests me is the community they have and the creation of the video and the many parts to the process. Old folks like me see the tools and she just sees communication and creation. Her group thrives in multiple spaces and they understand that they do not need a one stop location for these activities. They use what works, regardless of the brand or location. Gardner, “Students would have the convenience of one-stop, single-sign-on activities, from registering for classes to participating in online discussion to seeing grades mere seconds after they were posted.” This is what is happening with her and her group, but they have gone beyond the One Stop mentality and moved into the wider “server” space as Gardner later mentions. It is pretty remarkable and inspiring to me.


9 Responses to “A Story Told by Many Using Song, Images, and Interaction”

  1. toddconaway January 10, 2011 at 6:04 pm #

    Ah, well, not exactly an animated gif or whatever, but I guess it fits with the content. Sorry to take up so much real estate on the 3ds106 page. I thought I had it posted as non ds106….

  2. Jim January 10, 2011 at 6:07 pm #


    This is all about ds106. The way you use Gardner’s ideas to frame what it means to see the transformation of education as a father first and foremost is amazing. I can’t think of a better post to kick the whole thing off with, insightful, heartfelt and real. That is what it all should be about!

    • toddconaway January 10, 2011 at 6:08 pm #

      Thank goodness. Very nervous about all this…

  3. Jim January 10, 2011 at 6:23 pm #

    And if you havent figured it out yet through my terrible example, “you can’t live a wrong life rightly.” So don;t stress it at all, let’s get this thing going 🙂

  4. Jim Stauffer January 10, 2011 at 8:53 pm #

    Beautiful! I know nothing about art, but I know when something strikes me with its beauty. Your daughter and her friends’ work is beautiful. The way they collaborate is beyond beauty. Thanks for sharing their work and their story with us.

  5. Alan January 11, 2011 at 5:27 am #

    This is utterly the right path- think about the utter breadth and depth of collaboration, skill using and building, role defining all done likely without needing a users guide or recipe. This is learning in action,

  6. MewMewRith January 12, 2011 at 3:51 am #

    Speaking as one of the older members of our group (HoshizoraMelodia) and one of the co-leaders alongside your daughter, this article really is quite touching and true. As one of the oldest, I try my best to make sure everything runs smoothly, in a big sister type guise. Working together in groups like this is actually a lot more difficult than many parents seem to believe. We all have to collaborate over many areas and timezones, meet deadlines, and work together as a type of family. Similar to a work office, fandubbing and working with skype and youtube is actually a way to prepare oneself for the future. Though it doesn’t quite make sense to many, learning from a young age how to cooperate with deadlines and other people and get things done really is the ideal way to start planning ahead. I’ve been doing this as a side hobby and now almost a paying job since 2004. And meeting your daughter and many others has made this a wonderful experience. Thank you sir, for taking the time to actually inquire as to what we do.


  7. toddconaway January 12, 2011 at 3:28 pm #

    Thanks for sharing and I agree that cooperation, and using the many vehicles wee have these days to make that happen is important. Certainly developing the skills needed to meet deadlines is important too!

    Your comment is posted in a space that has lots of older folks who agree and understand the value of the skills you have and utilize in a wonderfully creative way. Art is good! I think they do and will continue to serve you well in many ways!

    All of this is for a class on digital storytelling and you can read more/do more about it here: http://ds106.us/


  1. Media is Your Only Friend, Until the End - The Whole Classroom - February 24, 2012

    […] big sister, 14 years old, has been making anime movies and I have written about that in the past. Pretty amazing. We have a video camera and the girls have long pointed it at themselves and made […]

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