Sunday, April 10, 2011


Ah, reflections on the course.

As always, I love this course. Likewise I have my frustrations and attitudes (see Passwords, below). It all just moves soooo fast. Just as we become accustomed to all of this, it will be bypassing iPad and moving to our iPhones. And I still can't embed a Picassa image in my blog (illegal URL error message).

But its wonderful stuff. The implicatins for teaching are enormous. I am still blown away by how wikis can provided collaborative note-taking. And our adventures with the 100 most popular webtools is great fun and a great time-killer. I spend an entire day playing with my delicious links and I don't even like the thing.

And of course, my agenda is split. I am using the tools for education, yes. But not teaching an academic course. Thus certain things are more valuable than others. Ning promised great things, but didn't pan out well. So I am still looking for a portfolio opportunity. Jing is the best, allowing me to make instant screen tutorials.

But my greatest agenda these days is the Nation and how the tools can work in teaching traditional values... is this a dislocate in terms and theory? I don't think so. After all... my department if called "Preservation & Technology." In the end, sometimes it works, sometimes not.

Using technology to record oral histories and to create language learning tools has worked well. Using digital graphics to create calendars, coloring books, etc. is popular. Digital Storytelling has held its own, collecting 5-10 stories every month or so. On the other hand, Second Life didn't work for me (my own limitations, plus limited access for tribal members). Moodle, and the loss of my materials was my largest failure. Still trying to get it back. Will probably have to start over. Facebook is working for a few people. Access is limited to stories and other archival materials. But we work at it.

OK... my projects for the semester.

#1. Social Networking for "Basket Full of Stories"
This is going well except for Facebook. I have the Blog set up for it that describes the project, the timeline, team members, and participating tribes. There are links to related sites. As soon as there are good samples of youth/elder combined stories I will post them there. So far I am the only one using it, but will encourage others soon. It does fulfil our goals so far.

Facebook not so good. First I made a new gmail account, but used a false name. Now Facebook shows that and I cannot change it. So I deactivated it. I will try making a new page under my name now, something I resisted. But couldn't remember how. In general I find Facebook a frustrating unwieldy system. Obviously I am a minority... or an antique.

I am continually re-working my wiki to reflect an emphasis and links to pertinent DS sites and resources. Maybe better there than my delicious.

#2. Skyping for Tribal Collaboration
Spent the semester investigating the idea. It turned out there were several decisions to make. And four choices to get started: Update an iMac and project the results, buy a Windows laptop and project the results, invest in a large screen TV and laptop, invest in a "Smart TV" to Skype directly (this technology not quite available yet). These are not all my decisions to make, as some of the investment would be from my department, and some from other departments. We will still need to collaborate on a decision. Also the other nations we are Skyping to would need to be outfited as well. Its still a viable plan and will be implemented in the future.

Along the way, I have tried to contribute to the discussions (when not traveling). I have tried out new things as they appear, and have re-worked my older projects, adding and revising. And I am an avid attendee at Verde CyberSalon.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

New stuff for the class to see...

Well, here we are at the end, again. I never seem to have enough done. I do want to post some new and fun things here, though.

I find the only problem with all of this technology (for me, personally) is the multiple accounts and passwords that get generated. Even today I am struggling with Facebook issues... pages.... accounts. Just doesn't work the way I want. So I made this little movie about my frustrations. Enjoy.

In California, we worked on a documentary on Wildcrafting... which will illustrate several varieties of seaweed being harvested and processed. While we were at it, we began with a digital story of my friend's passions for it.

Moving on... a few of my other projects at work. Just for fun. No visual progress yet on a field guide of animals in English and 9 Apache dialects. If I get done with class stuff tomorrow, I will be starting it.

Just to try it out, made a Slideshare presentation of a new calendar I am making. We will be selling it to help fund a monument at the Cultural Center where I work. The monument is a testiment to the courage and persistance of a People who were able to survive and return to their homelands. Here is a preview of a work in progress. Still proofreading and addition of lots more dates to come.

Want to try one more thing... I think. Nope. Made a slideshow on Picassa, but don't know hw to get it in here....??? Ahhh.... hours later. I think I've got it.
Another view of our seaweed harvest in California.

Guess that's enough show and tell for today....

Seattle-- Society for Applied Anthropology

Welcome to Seattle, clean, rainy, cosmopolitan, beautiful.

I arrived in Seattle to attend the annual conference for the Society for Applied Anthropology. If anyone doesn't know, "applied" means anyone doing anthropology in contemporary situations, like myself working for the Yavapai-Apache Nation. More than that, the first two days were a Traditional Food Summit, focusing on native foods of the Northwest and other places. Right up my alley.

Yet, it wasn't all just fun and entertainment. I went with some members of the leadership Council for our Indigenous storytelling project. They were presenting on the previous years' work with the Humanities grant. We were also to meet and discuss the current and future project. I traveled with the Project Director, George (Wolf) Gumerman; E.J. Satalla, a Hopi elder; Ruby, a Hopi Elder; and Jessica Lum, Project Coordinator. There we discussed ramification of the overall project and next steps, outlined on the project blog (project for this course, link at right).

Other than the traditional food summit, which was great, the highlight of the week was a session on Digital Storytelling. Marty Otanez, an anthropologists I have known since he was a doctoral candidate, showed several digital stories from his theory class. He had each student create a digital story employing the principle elements of an anthropological theory. Here is a link to Marty's blog with several stories and some of his own work. The story I would like you to view is "A Medical Gaze," but I am sending the full link because the others are of value as well.

Medical Gaze serves as a model for what we will be doing with both Centennial stories and the Indigenous stories project... In both situations we will be pairing elders with youth to tell their stories. I think this is a great example of this. Sorry if if doesn't play so good. I am trying to get a full copy.

Home again, home again. Back to work and finishing up this class.

My Travels Continue... and more about Skyping

More travels. No time for course work. Thus I fall further and further befind. Still wishing I could participate in DS-106, but struggling enough here.

I was back for a single day before taking off with Yavapai Culture to San Carlos Reservation near Globe. Here we held two long interviews with tribal members registered there. We were investigating familial relationships with Yavapai people who returned to Camp Verde at the turn of the century. Along with this, we interviewed about their lives at San Carlos and what they remember of their ancestors stories.

Then back home to begin downloading, editing and transcribing before running of on another trip next week. On Friday, we attended the Arizona Centennial meeting of the American Indian Tourism Association. Here we discussed projects being prepared statewide and at a local level. Statewide we will participate in Indian Villages at Prescott, Phoenix, and Tucson. Locally, we will be doing Digital Stories of the what was important to the Yavapai and Apache people. That year, statehood was probably of little importance to the People... but that fact they acquired their first lands since 1973 was of infinate value and started them towards their future.

On the way home we stopped at best buy. My Skyping project has bumped up against some monetary decisions. Seems to be a decision of buying a "Smart TV" that would Skype, a new laptop that will run the most current Skype interface, or new operating system for the iMacs. More about this later.

Well, back to the airport for Seattle. More later.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Greetings from California

Not too much progress on my projects this last week. Taking a bit of a busman's holiday. I'm off in California harvesting seaweed.

Projectwise... I have changed the blog to better reflect the project. We have several tabs... first about the project, second about the project team, and the rest about each tribe we will be doing digital stories with. Visits and take a look.

I was able to make a new Google account just for the project team, so we could all work with the blog, and also Facebook. Creating a new Facebook account was successful with the new Google email account, but bombed when I had to put in a name. Had to make one up... so the page is associated with a fake person, not Native Digital Storytelling. Oh well. Still don't "get" Facebook.

More fun is wildcrafting with my old best friend. Will work on pictures later, but for now we are working with two types of seaweed. Harvesting Nori, a great plant collected during low tides in northern California. Its rich in vitamin A, potassium, magnesium, and phospherus. It makes a great snack food toasted with sesame seeds. More timely this week is my friends rising business in Kombu. It is a seaweed that contains iodine and could offset radiation effects. Despite the media saying the danger is small, we have been packaging it for days and her phone rings off its hook.

Also have been trying to get back into DS-106. It is a digital storytelling course that is open for anyone on the net. Todd is deeply involved in it, and I can't seem to get started. Made a little digital story I was going to post here... but didn't get it uploaded to YouTube. May not have enough bandwidth here. Oh well again.

Well, the tide is going out and its time to climb back into the cold cold north coast water. Will send pictures later when I sort them out.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Things are looking up...

Well, things are better this week. Solved one of my three problems with Skyping: the DVI connection to the projector. Next I must decide on upgrading the operating system so I can use the latest Skype features, or going with a legacy version. Maybe buy the Mac I plan on for the library sooner.

Things are also progressing on the Social Networking aspects of the Intergenerational Digital Storytelling Project. I have set up a blog for it and updated it again today. Will add more information tomorrow.

Along with that I have created a new gmail account for the team members to share. Wish I had done that prior to setting up the blog. Oh well. Still have not been able to set up a Facebook account separate from my own. I thought the new gmail would fix that.

Spent some wonderful "quality time" with Todd. He is a wealth of info and ideas. I always leave his office full of hope and excitement. He helped with some basic problems with blogs, wikis, Facebook and more. The going is far less muddy now.

For the class, I also worked by my wiki, adding more resources than I had in previous years.

It has been a busy and exciting week at Yavapai-Apache... first the Pageant last Saturday where this years royalty was chosen. And yesterday was the Exodus Commoration, where the tribe celebrates the return home from 25 years of incarceration at San Carlos at the turn of the century. At the end of the day we raffled off a bronze sculpture to help fund a nine-foot monument at our Cultural Resource Center (where I work).

Monday, February 21, 2011

A few more things....

Well, the projects are slow going, but I forgot to mention I am tip-toeing through the 100 best online apps slideshow. I was most intrigued by the idea of putting all my bookmark links onto a page. So I play all day with delicious... then today looking at Diigo. Still want to look again at igoogle and maybe glogster.

While it does put all my bookmarks, I am a little dissapointed with delicious. I can organize by tags, but can't put important things at the top, etc. Will have to explore further. Perhaps Diigo has more control.

I did find (finally!) how/where to put my tabs on my project blog. Then was dissapointed to learn it is a static page. Oh well, I can adapt. Did a couple of posts for tests.... can't figure out where/how to delete them.

I also revisited by Wiki for indigenous storytelling. It was a little rough last time, so I plan to revamp it... maybe Friday.

Well, nough playing for now. I need to do some work today.