Category Archives: Assignments

Sharing to Learn – Learning to Share

Reposted from a June 24, 2014 3M-DS106 Salon Blog Post.  All proprietary information has been deleted from this public version.

Internal 3M Spark Post to R&D Community:

Rochelle Aug_07_Hand

Sharing to Learn – Learning to Share
Posted by 3M-DS106 Salon Patroness Rochelle Lockridge

The @3mds106salon continued our June topic discussion on data visualization.  Having a bit of fun I showed up and shared a chart I’d made for the children’s story “Goldilocks and The Three Bears”. The chart was harder to make than I expected.  Receiving feedback and hearing what others would have done provided a tremendous amount of learning directly relevant to my job.  Check out the original & revised version as well as an animated GIF heat map by @Justin.  Play is good!

Today’s 3M-DS106 Salon was visited by 4 of us:  Rochelle, Justin, Tony  & Sharon

We continued our discussion on data visualization which was our topic of focus for June.  (See list of links below.) As the patroness/host of the 3M-DS106 Salon I had been pondering how I could more effectively bring the digital storytelling aspect into our group. (After all, that’s what the DS stands for. :)) I knew from my experiences with the external DS106 that I had learned a tremendous amount of very relevant digital literacy skills by playing and having fun with the DS106 community  But it’s a tough sell these days to get people to play here at 3M.  We feel play is a waste of time.  That we should be doing something more productive with our time.

  “Anthropologist Gregory Bateson believed that the fixation on making everything productive and rational cuts us off from the world of the spontaneous that is home to real knowledge..Play isn’t a character defect; it’s the builder of character, developing persistence, competence, mastery and social skills that take us beyond perceived limitations.” [Source] 

I am here to report that my supposedly non-productive activity (even I was questioning it.) of creating a data visualization for Goldilocks and The Three Bears was not a waste of time -for me or today’s Salon attendees.  Sure I learned more about struggling with Excel and formatting a slide that was informative and attractive. (See my process below.) When I shared it with my colleagues I learned even more as they easily shared their suggestions on how to improve my slide by limiting the amount of text, making things more visually simple so that at a glance a viewer can get most of the information and changing from a solid fill to an image fill on my bars.  However, it wasn’t until the rest of the group started to share how they would visualize the data and story that a deeper layer of learning emerged.  I got it that DS106 and the 3M-DS106 version we’ve been building isn’t just about creating digital artifacts and sharing them with others, it is also about the learning that occurs when others share with us.

When I heard how Sharon might adjust the bar chart, how Tony would display the data as a color coded cross table, and Justin’s idea for a heat map and an animated GIF, Well I was blown away.  Wow.  This is where the power is.  I was “playing” to learn more about a subject I was interested in – In this case data visualization and effective Power Point slides. I bravely shared what I had made with the group. Because of the relationships we have been building there was a comfort to continue sharing thoughts and suggestions with one another. I learned how they would do things differently than me, and knew  that I would use that knowledge the next time I had a 3M project that required data visualization.  I also walked away today with a deeper understanding of why I created the 3M-DS106 Salon; why I continue to do the assignment preparation work; why I hold meetings every Tuesday;  and why I attempt to write a summary post following our gatherings.  I am promoting a safe place for others to learn to share and their sharing is helping us learn more  together.  It’s all good for 3M.

Amenity/Hospitality Ratings for The Three Bears Cottage

What I assumed to be a slam dunk creating a chart in no time at all, turned out, when I actually set down to make it,  to be quite a bit more difficult than I had imagined.  I had several variables and labels:

  • The three bears- Poppa Bear, Mama Bear, Baby Bear;
  • Porridge- Initially too hot for all three bears then: Too hot, too cold, just right;
  • The chairs and beds:- too hard, too soft, just right.

I tried creating bubble charts, x-y scatter plots, different styles of bar charts.  I finally settled on a basic horizontal bar chart.  Defining which data would represent the series and which simply data was tricky.  I kept ending up with the data points on top of one another.  It was frustrating that I couldn’t get it.  I don’t know if I was just tired or what.  Once I had the basic chart I wanted to make the slide readable and appealing. I added an informative title,  I increased the font size on the axis labels to 18pt. I found some graphics on the web to illustrate the amenities being rated. With the addition of a text box on the side, “Baby Bear was Just Right”, I wanted to communicate the final result of the “data analysis”.   My final touch was the addition of evaluation comments for each bar, such as Too Hard, Too Soft, Just Right.. I agree with the group that adding the individual evaluation comments was too much for this slide.

Tony suggested uncluttering with the replacement of the solid fill on the bars to images- for example 6 beds for Baby Bear’s ratings and 1 bed for Mama Bears.

Select data point bar => right click => Format Data Options => Fill => Picture or Texture Fill =>Insert picture from computer  file => Choose file from computer => Stack and scale with 1 unit per picture.

This would allow for removal of redundant text.  I’ve revised the slide with their comments in mind and created a new version below with more graphics and less text. Also using color coding more effectively by matching the clothes of the bears to the amenities.

Then Justin showed us quickly how he would make a GIF that could illustrate more of the unfolding story as well.  Take a look at it below.  And he’s posted the how and why of making the GIF on his blog too. How might you create an effective data visualization for Goldilocks and The Three Bears.  If you actually make something, you might learn a bit yourself. If you do, I’d really appreciate it if you’d share it with us so we can learn from you too.




Less text, more graphics, color coding, removal of axis. I’m still not sure if this works yet or not.  Is it clear that I am using a 1-6 rating system, with 6 being the best?


Justin’s Animated Heatmap Example:



I had another commitment and was not able to attend. I hope the following is useful. Looking at either of the two slides above, I found myself struggling with confusion interpreting the length of the bar chart, or the number of objects (representing hardness or temperature). I started out with the idea that the charts showed the hardness or temperature of the objects, rather than the goodness of fit.

To me, it would have been much easier to interpret a chart that put the ‘value to the customer’, or ‘match to Goldilock’s preference’ as a dependent variable on the Y axis and the independent variables (hardness, temperature) on the X axis, and you could even estmate a bell-shaped value curve to show the ‘sweet spot’ where she preferred to be. If I get time later today, I may try to give an example, but perhaps the text is sufficient.

Hoping this input is as welcome as you usually are to my thoughts. . .


Here are the charts referred to in my comment on Rocky’s earlier post re Goldilocks.



Data Visualization:

GIFing with Jean-Claude


“Oh Sheep! This is gonna look bad.” – The directors cut.   (Created by Rochelle Lockridge  for the JCVD #GIFFight)

My latest round of creativity induced OCD started with a new GIFFight challenge from Michael B Smith (@mbransons)

There’s also a DS106 Animated GIF Assignment 1190 for any of the GIFFight projects to post to.

After downloading 1.1GB of short .mov clips of Jean-Claude Van Damme from Funny or Die JCVD Make My Movie Challenge there was no turning back.  I was riding the dopamine wave.  There were some new learnings and tricky bits with the Adobe Elements software I was using that I’ve included below in the process portion of this post.

My first GIFs used downloaded images from the Tate Collectives which I had been introduced to through a previous GIFFight Challenge. Animate the crap out of 1840’s Tate Artworks as part of the Tate Museum 1840’s GIF Party. (There’s also a DS106 Animated GIF assignment 1248 for this too.)

Two of my Tate 1840’s GIF Party entries:



JCVD Erupts With Mt. Vesuvius

Vesuvius In Eruption from the Tate Collectives


JCVD To The Rescue. “I’ll protect you.”

Past and Present No. 1 from the Tate Collectives

The continued ride on that dopamine wave resulted in me making the following JCVD gifs to give a few of my DS106 mates a giggle.

Wanting to celebrate John Johnston’s hitting 106 likes on his JJGifs Tumblr site I searched through his posts and found a GIF of sheep running past that I thought would work well. Due to Tumblr size restrictions I was forced to shorten the “directors cut” version you see at the top of this post.  I just thought having him shooting the place up then realizing it was just sheep passing by added another layer of absurdity. The shortened version below is still funny watching JCVD slink away with the sheep though.


“Oh Sheep! This is gonna look bad.” Shorter version due to Tumblr size restrictions

Sheep GIF from JJGIFs

The GIFaChrome corporation recently posted that Colin’s new body guard, Jean-Claude Van Damme may need to tone down his enthusiasm somewhat.  He’s going to scare everybody off…. not just the bad guys.


JCVD is the new bodyguard for Colin the Dog (@GIFaDog). The GIFaChrome mascot.

A crazed Jean-Claude Van Damme freaked out on Twitter. His overactive testosterone levels blinded him to the fact that DS106 doesn’t need protecting from @clhendricksbc.


Jean-Claude freaks out over @clhendricksbc Twitter thumb.

Remember the DS106 Headless ’13 Riff-a-GIF spontaneous collaboration Riffs Sprouting Up Overnight? Which started out as a doctored photo of my grandson “DJ at Stonehenge“, Glad Jean-Claude wasn’t in the picture back then “protecting us”.


Stonehenge under attack – “Run for your lives! I’ll cover you!”

The How I Did It portion

I’m thinking it would be helpful if I were to create a screen cast tutorial for this process.  Like I said above, it’s a little tricky and has taken a fair bit of effort on my part to learn how to do it. Future project……

  1. Downloaded the 1.1GB (yes Gigabytes) of .mov clips from Funny or Die JCVD Make My Movie Challenge.
  2. Imported the clips into Adobe Premeire Elements 12 and added them to the time line.
  3. Added the still image onto a track under the JCVD clip. Premiere Elements knew that the movie clip was formatted so that it should have a transparent background and automatically created a video merge effect.
  4. Render, Publish+Share as Computer files => Scroll down to choose JPEG
  5. => Advanced => Basic Settings Click “Export as Sequence”
  6. To easily make the GIF in PSD from many images without having to drag and drop each. (A very painful process when you have 82 frames.)  The easy way…. File=>Place
  7. File => Save for web => make sure to check the “image sequence”.  Check for compliance with Tumblr size restrictions max 500px wide and must be less than 1MB

Going one step further, so that I or others (or me 🙂 ) could use the JCVD transparent images for their projects I produced a GIF and accompanying layered PSD file.

To create transparent background of JCVD for use in PSD files.

  1. Added JCVD movie clip to time line.
  2. This time our background will be a solid color that we can delete when it gets into Photoshop.
  3. Open project assests => New Item => Color Matte => pick color (I used green screen)
  4. Render, Publish+Share as Computer files => Scroll down to choose JPEG
  5. => Advanced => Basic Settings Click “Export as Sequence”
  6. Save
  7. Open jpg series in Photoshop Elements with File=>Place.
  8. click on layer changing it from background to layer
  9. Select a portion of the green. Select Similar. Select Inverse.
  10. Refine Edge. Output decontaminate Colors – amt 100% – Output to New Layer
  11. Smart Radius = 2.1 , Smooth = 1
  12. Edit => Cut (or ctrl-X)
  13. Delete original layers with the green background
  14. File => Save for web => make sure to check the “image sequence”.  Check for compliance with Tumblr size restrictions max 500px wide and must be less than 1MB.



DS106 Rocks!

DS106 ROCKS! 3M-DS106 Salon Patroness admiring the work of her co-collaborators for their OER14 paper.

If you’ve been following my communications out to the world over the last few days you know that the OER14 paper, “A DS106 Thing Happened on the Way to the 3M Tech Forum” that Alan Levine, Mariana Funes and I were writing was joyfully submitted on 2/27/14.  We’ll be presenting our 3M-DS106 Salon work at the end of April in Newcastle, UK. (Link to keynote speakers and panel members) For more see my post 3M+DS106+P2PL=OER14+M2M,  which includes a video I created from interviews with the 3M participants and the original abstract for the paper.

The Art used for making the “art”:

With my focus on writing the paper (and my paying job at 3M that is making all of this possible) I haven’t taken much space to create something just for fun.  As soon as the paper finished I jumped back into the “art” game and used the opportunity to show my appreciation for my ‘partners in crime’:  Alan Levine, Mariana Funes, and Giulia Forsythe. (Who at our hopeful request in the final week, does what she does best, doodled a wonderful image to capture the paper beautifully.)


“A DS106 Thing Happened on the Way to the 3M Tech Forum” illustrated by Giulia Forsythe (@GiuliaForsythe on Twitter)

As usual, ideas emerged and morphed as I was in creation mode.  The first image created was of the three of us enjoying our time in the Salon. It was sparked by an innocent comment from Mariana on the final draft of the paper and the resulting Twitter DM exchange.

MF: This is now icing on cake – but did you not have a wonderful photo of the Patroness in the days of yore in one of your posts? Could we add it here? And gif it? No. Kidding.”

RL: Thx for final comments. Especially reference comments at end. Are you truly serious about inserting the Salon GIF into our paper?

MF: I would love it. You think it is too much? It would be still for printing but could be a lead in to gif 4 work? or the 1 with work process? would be nice to have something stand out in the dull dull proceedings 🙂 it is a work thing for u so yr call!

There were many layers and tools used in re-making the paintings.  All were produced in Adobe Photoshop CS5.  The more advanced transformation tools available over Photoshop Elements allowed me to do things like warp the little red 3M on the envelope on the side table and Giulia’s doodle seen in the lap of the Salon Patroness, Madame de 3M106 .

I was fortunate to already have Colin the Dog (seen at our feet), and our three heads cut out from previous projects. The biggest issue that took A LOT of time futzing around was matching the color and texture of the new heads to the rest of the painting.  With these two projects I’ve (rather painfully) moved beyond the novice stage of applying layer mask effects. It’s easy once you get it – sort of like making a GIF. But up to this point it was more of an accident than a purposeful action.  See that little check box (Which pops up when you are creating a new layer.) next to “Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask”? We are now best friends.


Not yet totally familiar with all of the layer effects and filters, I just kept trying stuff out until it looked sort of like I wanted.  I’m not 100% satisfied with the results, but it’s a long way from when I first started. (Nana-Tina-Little Alan REDOI still need more practice.  Look closely and you’ll also find DS106 on the back of the couch on the left side of the portrait and an OER14 on the right side of the mantle. 

But I really like the efffect of the rocking DS106.  This was one of those instances of serediptity.  I wanted to turn the still image into a GIF.  Nothing in the new image stood out as a piece that could be GIFed without what looked to me a lot of work.  I decided to try making the DS106 flash.  Again, playing around with the layer style effects I ended up with some modified images that would give the original flashing illusion I was intending. But stepping back and taking another look, I noticed something I wasn’t expecting. It turned out that creating the animation frames by turning off and on the layer effects of drop shadow, satin and emboss, it gave the DS106 the illusion of rocking in 3D behind my head. I love it when these things happen.

Mariana explains this well in an early draft of our OER14 paper.  (We had to reduce the word count from 6,000 down to 3,500. A lot of good stuff was left on the cutting room floor.)

Default open cultures generate the environment needed for innovation and creative thought. Zweig (2011) suggests that generating an environment that enables ‘structured serendipity’  may help us be more creative. From a cognitive perspective, Funes (2003) research suggests creative thought has at its core ‘bridging’ activity; creativity happens at the point of discontinuity when bridging from one domain to another. DS106 teaches bridging through an environment of structured serendipity via its focus on what Rheingold (2014) describes as ‘product orientation’ but is referred to in the DS106 open community as ‘Just make art, damn it!’

Credits for DS106 ROCKS!

Original painting: ‘Madame de Pompadour’ by François Boucher

Wall Painting Riff:

I cut out the center section of this original painting by Jean François de Troy (Paris 1679 – Rome 1752), “Reading from Molière” around 1728 found on Salon (gathering) Wikipage

Jean François de Troy (Paris 1679 – Rome 1752), “Reading from Molière”

I use a riff of this painting as the 3M-DS106 thumbnail image.

DS106 walkers small

Side Note:

I was formatting references for the paper for 6+ hours all told.  I’m going to get as much mileage out of that tediously boring work as I can.


Headless ’13 – The End

DJ-Headless-V1Without an instructor how would we know when to stop? When would we see “The End”?  Thanks to Mariana Funes for realizing that the UMW Fall semester ended on Friday, December 13th, 2013, the DS106 Headless ’13 course was given an end date. #DS106 is #4Life, but the Fall 2013 DS106 “headless” experience came to as close to an official close as a headless course can on 12/13/13.

The final project specs asked Headless ’13 DS106 participants to produce a story around a character that explores at least three of the media forms we’ve investigated this semester: visual/design, audio, video, web, remix/mashup, with the idea of creating a narrative arc for a character that is played out in the products of ds106 Assignments, and woven together with context and writing as a standalone blog post.


As per the DS106 culture (The ‘DS’ stands for Digital Subversives, right?), we went rogue and our final project turned out to be a collaborative creation of a GIFaChrome Camera which included a website, blog posts , “employee” profiles that included links to DS106 projects they created during the semester, prototype images, and a live product launch on DS106 Radio. For me it provided an opportunity to showcase the work done by all of us. Mariana captured what she could in her Storify Collection.  And this whirlwind adventure culminated my own intense 6 month learning curve in digital storytelling on the web. In less than two weeks my part in our final project had me practicing and honing my skills with everything I’d learned – and then some. Fortunately, I had a week’s vacation that I needed to use or lose.  I used it!

A few examples:

I’ve been trying to finish and post my wrap-up comments for the course for over two months now, without success.  If it ever gets done it’s entitled ‘GIFaChrome – A DS106 Practicum’.  This “abstract” of that post is really being written so that I can publish my fun little animated GIF at the top of this post, DS106 Headless ’13 – The End.

Making the GIF:

Using Photoshop CS5 I used the selection tool to copy and cut out the DS106 foam letters, which were individually placed into seperate layers.  I then used the clone, band-aid, and blur tools to cover up the holes left behind and make the back one continuous layer.  The additional text, Headless ’13 and The End, used the Stencil font which I’ve found is pretty close to the font used on the DS106 site.  With the animation feature in the full version of Photoshop it was easy to add the letters and text without the need to merge layers.  This allowed me to play around with a couple of different scenarios before I settled on the version posted above.  The final touch was to add drop shadow layering effects to the letters and text.  Increasing the distance for the text lines made them stand out even more- giving the GIF a bit of a 3D look.

Ewww Brain… Now in 3D!

My DS106 maxim of Reduce, Riff & Recycle has once again resulted in a fun, creative morning project.  Ewww Brain… Now in 3D!


Last August,  DS106’s Talky Tina created daily GIF challenges to keep our creative juices flowing while we were waiting for the DS106 Headless ’13 course to begin.

Talky Tina’s DS106 animated GIF challenge August 2013 GIF Challenge #10: Monster Chiller Horror Theatre 3D Style GIF  was to:

…look for a part of a scene in a 3D type movie where the thing comes right out of the screen at you.  Find a way to emphasize the moving of the thing out of the screen and into your face in a GIF.

 Ewww…Brain! was my answer to the challenge taken from a  Sharkboy & Lava Girl- May The Best Dream Win movie clip on YouTube. (Link to original blog post for the ‘how it was made.’) Today while trolling my Twitter home stream a DS106 exchange about how to make a 3D GIF with the use of white lines caught my eye. (See twitter feed below.) The illusion reminded me of John Johnston’s GIFaChrome Layercake technology  that I hadn’t tried yet. I decided to give it a go andd watched the video tutorial recommended by Mariana Funes.

Using the original Photoshop CS5 file from the Talky Tina challenge I created one white (two seemed excessive) mask line.  I’ll be honest.  I’m not sure how I managed to create a layer mask instead of the intended solid white line demonstrated in the video tutorial.  But who’s going to complain? It made things much easier in the Studio B production department this morning.  Lucky me!

Next, all I had to do was erase the portion of the line where the brain was popping out of the screen. Hmmm…. What to do with the brain goo as the brain slides down the screen?  That presented a creative challenge all its own. It looked way cooler if I adjusted the erasing opacity to 50% instead of 100% to enhance the illusion of sliding down a glass surface.  One final visual feature was to use the lasso tool to cut out a brain and have it slide down over the black border of the movie trailer clip.

Looking forward to using this technique in the future.  Below is the Twitter conversation that sparked this project.



At the end of April 2014 I’ll be attending the industry’s largest global M2M (Machine to Machine) conference in London as part of my strategic analyst job at 3M. But what’s that got to do with DS106 or OER14? And what’s with that P2PL in this post’s title? Let me explain.

At 3M I get paid to study companies and technologies relevant to the Electronics and Energy business group that I work in. That’s how I discovered DS106. I was asked to look into this new phenomenon called MOOCs and see if there was anything of interest for the group.  What I eventually learned was that DS106 was no MOOC. But it was, at its best, a peer-to-peer learning (P2PL) experiment where we learn from and teach one another skills that can help us to maneuver and communicate more effectively in the social media and digital world. Dare I say it? …by playing and having lots of fun in the process.

3M-DS106-GoldGuys_ShakeHands-4My initial foray in the summer of 2013 into the open on-line Digital Story telling course DS106 out of University Mary Washington, led me to organize an internal version of the “course” at 3M (3M-D106) to run in parallel with the loosely organized DS106 “Headless 13” session (Aug 26th thru Dec 13, 2013). My intention was to modify the open on-line course materials and methodology for use behind the 3M Firewall to help myself and my fellow technical 3Mers become more fluent with the digital communication platforms provided by 3M.  There is a need and expressed desire to improve the effectiveness of our communication, especially with our global colleagues.

3M-DS106 Final Project:

As a final project for 3M-DS106 I created a short video of participant experiences. “3M-DS106 is Open For Business”

yu garden cropped

Bill Dower 3M-DS106 Participant

To make it easy and time efficient for scheduling and editing I recorded Skype conversations from five participants, then reduced 3+ hours of audio down to 8 minutes using GarageBand 11 on my Mac. Achieving a logical flow to the storyline of the audio was a bit of a challenge. I had originally intended to break it into sections with snippets from each person, but that turned out to be too choppy and disjointed. Organizing by person provided a better overall feel to the audio.  But I did choose specific topics to emphasize and made sure to include important points each interviewee themselves was emphasizing during our conversation: Like the concept of having tools in your tool box, participants teaching and learning from one another (the P2PL (peer-to-peer learning) reference in the title), and Bill Dower’s passion for more effective global communication where English is not the first language for all parties involved.

At this time 3M does not have a good way to stream audio.  We do, however, have what would amount to an internal version of YouTube. I could easily post a video that would be readily accessible by all 3Mers using the my video editing software Adobe Premiere Elements 11 for the Mac.  And since it was now in a video format, it was a logical extension to add a few images to liven it up.  I could add images of their projects and their photos.  I started out with photos taken from their 3M on-line profiles, but the resolution was very poor.  When I asked for higher resolution images, to my surprise people started sending me more personal shots of themselves out in the world. The interviewees also suggested the addition of the 3M division they worked for and their location. These were delightful additions that I hadn’t planned or anticipated.  They made for a better end product that could reach a wider audience internally and externally.


Jenna Sander: 3M-DS106 participant (Link to a sample of her 3M-DS106 projects.)

OER 14 & M2M Conference

And the whole experiment was successful enough that Alan Levine, Mariana Funes, and I submitted an abstract to present a short paper at the OER14 (Open Education Resources) conference on April 28-29, 2014 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.  Our abstract was accepted with flying colors (See below) and hopefully all three of us will be in attendance.

This brings me full circle to how I have found myself attending the M2M (Machine to Machine) conference in London from the 24th-25th.  When I am traveling I try to find a conference nearby that may also be of interest for 3M.  In my usual fashion I went to Google and started a search for energy and electronics related conferences in Europe around the dates of OER14. Believe it or not, the first one that popped up was the M2M conference. I made some inquiries around the web and with people in the know in this area at 3M. (More peer-to-peer learning) It turned out to be a premiere conference and I was easily supported to attend.

3M + DS106 +P2PL = OER14 + M2M



OER 14 Abstract (Reviewer comments included at end.)

Newcastle, England 28-29 April 2014

Title: A DS106 Thing Happened on the Way to the 3M Tech Forum

Ms. Rochelle Lockridge, Strategic Analyst, 3M
Mr. Alan Levine, Educational Consultant, CogDog It
Dr. Mariana Funes, Cognitive Coach

DS106 ( is a computer science course in digital storytelling at the University of Mary Washington (UMW), framed on principles of the web as a platform for storytelling. Students learn to manage their own digital domain in the process of understanding storytelling and creating media. In 2011, ds106 opened up to a global community of online participants.

This case study explores how DS106 tools, methodology and philosophy were successfully adapted into the corporate world at 3M to build community, collaboration, and effective global communication skills.

Participants in 3M-DS106 were based in Minnesota, Texas and California. A majority were active members in the 3M Technical Collaboration chapter, a subset of the 3M Technical Forum (12,000 plus global members), which fosters communication across a diverse technical community.

Our hypothesis was the pedagogy and assignments of the ds106 open course could be modified for delivery on a corporate intranet, using internal creation and communication tools standard for 3M employees. We hoped to learn how the course experience could work within cultural and technological constraints of a corporate environment.

The open ds106 course evolved from years of undergraduate courses at UMW. With no course offered for Fall 2013, a teacher-less open online version was built from previously offered classes.

3M-DS106 began with an open invitation to several hundred users on Spark (3M’s Twitter equivalent for their technical community). As a network connector, Rochelle Lockridge customized and re-published assignments from the open ds106 class and shared back to the open community the activities of the 3M participants.

The 3M-DS106 structure included weekly online web meetings held over lunch, to discuss assignments, which were done independently using 3M blogs and Spark as communication tools.

The 3M participants were interviewed at the end of their experience. Their blogs record their growth and reflective practice. In narrating their processes, they found value in giving and receiving feedback via comments, and were developing a greater capacity for relationship building. With more comfort in using creation tools and 3M’s social networking platforms, they increased their effectiveness for technology transfer.

Participants identified a need and desire for integrating the course experience into their technical work. Using tools in real time on 3M related projects within a community of learners to provide support, was deemed a highly effective practice.

The global 3M environment demands a quicker flow of information/ideas in a mode that is more conversational than the corporate norm, with the added challenge of consideration and protection of proprietary intellectual property.

With the success of this experiment, the 3M Technical Collaboration chapter will sponsor a yearlong 3M-DS106 course to provide participants more time, flexibility and practice with a monthly focus on topics, and incorporation of more communication tools specific to 3M.

This experiment shows that an open course can be adapted in a business environment, but more importantly a community that is larger than a single course enables success when the boundaries between groups are blurred.



REVIEWER COMMENTS: Our abstract rated excellent for communication and overall impression for 2 of the 3 reviewers.

REVIEWER 1: I couldn’t imagine from the title what to expect from this abstract, but reading it gave me several moments of pure, unadulterated OER joy. I imagine this will be a VERY popular talk at the conference as it exhibits a rare – and highly successful! – interaction between an online, open course and an unrelated major corporation. This looks to have been a *very* important experiment and one of which the OER community needs to be aware, as OER segues into the mainstream. I wholly endorse acceptance of this paper for OER14.

REVIEWER 2: Excellent, this is a unique and engaging study that will attract large participation at the conference. Challenging corporate and open education norms with insights from participants working across groups and pedagogies, this abstract offers an unanticipated angle on the much loved DS106.

REVIEWER 3: I am very interested to see how these techniques translated to the corporate world and what 3M perceived value is as well as the participants.


Ode to Surfer Dudette

Surfer Dudette had her last wipeout on Nov 18, 2013.

To ease my grief I wrote a poem (with Humpty Dumpty as my model) and produced the video Ode To Surfer Dudette in memoriam. Her tenure on my mantle and her guest starring roles in DS106 Daily Creates have come to an end.

Her first appearance was a stop motion daily create  “Surf’s Up Dudette” back in July. Then she reappeared Riding the Dopamine Wave , which led to a recurring role as a DS106 Daily Create random image.  This video is in memoriam of her time here. I graciously thank Cathleen Nardi , Talky Tina and Alan Levine for their art and inspirations that added to my tribute. As well as my friend Beth who accidentally dropped her and unleashed a “big wave” of creativity.

Aloha `oe my poor little nalu wahini.  A hui hou kakou. 


Surfer Dudette in Hawaii courtesy of Cathleen Nardi


Surfer Dudette… a gift from her daughter
Surfer Dudette… she surfed in the water
DS106 projects and daily creates
For creativity she highly rates
Surfer Dudette… on the mantle she sat
Surfer Dudette… from her perch she did SPLAT!
With Rockylou’s Resources and Rockylou’s Spin
We’ve made Surfer Dudette a star once again.


The Production:

The video was produced with doctored images in Photoshop Elements 12.  The selection tool was used to pull Surfer Dudette from her perch on the DS106 Nordic Track.  She was overexposed in the original photo, so I had to make adjustments with the brightness, contrast, hue, and the burn tool to adjust the color and darken her a bit.  Lots and lots of fiddling around!

Jenny_gift_greenShe was placed in various locations by adjusting her size and rotation.  For some of the composite photos, like when my daughter is holding her in front of a 1986 Christmas tree, I needed to use the selection tool again to capture pieces of Jenny’s hands to make new layers that could go over the top of Surfer Dudette. (She was actually a gift from Jenny given to me only a few years ago after a trip to Florida.)

The circling birds were a great find in the animated effects that came with Adobe Premiere Elements 12, my video editing software.

Getting the text font, color, style etc. to look nice and consistent was a much bigger deal than it looks.  I tried all sorts of versions before I settled on the one you see in the video.

The final video segment was from her first appearance in my stop motion video “Surf’s Up Dudette”.

The Hawaiian words above were found on-line at  My apologies to Cathleen Nardi if I’ve used them incorrectly.

  • Aloha `oe (farewell to you)
  • Nalu (wave or surfer)
  • Wahini (woman)
  • A hui hou kakou (Until we meet again)

A few more Hawaiian words I wanted to use but couldn’t figure out how to fit them in.

  • Kai (sea, seawater, seaside)
  • Ohana  (family)
  • Tutu (Affectionate name for grandmother or grandfather) – I just loved this one.  @Rockylou22 is the perfect twitter handle now.


Link to Seagull Sounds:


 Special Thanks:

GIFAChrome Camera GIFs Cory Doctorow

Professional photographer Jonathan Worth has put out an invitation for anyone to take his photos of Cory Doctorow, activist for liberalizing copyright laws and proponent for Creative Commons, and remix them in anyway you like. They will then choose from the best remixes and share any profits with their co-creators.

A series of photographs taken by Jonathan Worth of author Cory Doctorow are now available for you to remix, regenerate, and to make new art, especially in light of the themes and topics of his books. Your challenge is to make something new out of the photos.

This is a new experiment in public art, and a new way of thinking about digital media. Who could be a better figure than an author who releases all of his published works under creative commons license with an open invitation to remix?

This opportunity was presented to the DS106 participants for Remix/Mashup weeks, as well as turned into an assignment MashupAssignments1020. The process of creating these new images evolved through three versions and resulted in the creation by Rockylou Productions and a host of other co-creators as documented by Mariana Funes of the first GIFAChrome Camera with accompanying GIFAChrome DS106 Film.


Cory Doctorow GIFAChrome DS106 GIFStrip for Jonathan Worth post-photo remix invitation was co-created at Rockylou Productions.

And as part of the “rules” of the remix challenge, everything we create must be licensed under a creative commons license too. (Notice the CC license logo on the strip?) So no worry about patent infringement or licensing fees. Everyone is welcome to use this work and remix it for themselves. I’ve even included templates at the end of the post that you can download to make your own GIFAChrome image.

Another wonderful side of collaboration and co-creation is that you don’t have to do it all yourself. Others are there to support the evolution of the project at hand.  While I’m covering the process below, Mariana brilliantly captured the contributors and expanded on the philosophical issues that can arise.

=> Check out the Storify collection of tweets and commentary from co-inventor Mariana Funes:  “The Birth of an idea.”

This week I have been following and participating in DS106 Remix weeks. As usual, there have been unexpected surprises and reflections. I expected to learn the difference between a remix and a mashup, but never expected to change my mind about what it means to own an idea. – Mariana Funes


The Manufacturing Process of a GIFAChrome GIFStrip

After perusing the photos of Doctorow, and the remixes already submitted, my creativity kicked into high gear. I happily discovered  two versions of the Doctorow head shot that could be turned into a GIF. [Head shot 1  and Head shot 2] How about making one of my GIF strips? [DJ BIrthday Dance GIFStrip] Yep… I found two more images from Jonathan of Cory working at his computer that could work. [Working 1 and Working 2]. The third would be the shot of him sitting in his chair in front of the bookcase.


Using Photoshop CS5, each GIF was made in its own Photoshop file.  Then the three image composites were combined into one larger canvas strip with one above the other as shown below.


Each GIF and/or image is stacked one atop the other to create an image strip.

I then placed a film strip template on top of everything.  DJ BIrthday Dance GIFStrip will walk you through the process. With the first draft finished, I alerted the DS106 community on Twitter and our DS106 Google+ Community, asking for feedback to improve the image. This was after all to be a collaborative project.

There were comments from several that the head shot image was a favorite. So I turned it into a single GIFAChrome image.



Cory Doctorow GIFAChrome DS106 Image created from original images by Jonathan Worth


Adjusting the colored image:

I wasn’t happy with the final panel as colored, I learned how to use layer filters in Photoshop, thanks to a post by Alan Levine, and was able to apply hue/contrast and brightness adjustments to a single layer. I was pleased that it didn’t take me too long to approximate the color scheme of the first two panels.

Redesigning the film strip template:

Jonathan had joked about his disappointment with the rebate  He was evidently accustomed to 120 film. What the heck was he talking about?

I had to do a Wikipedia search to find out what a film “rebate” was (the stuff along the sides of the images that give the image number and film type) and that the film template I was using was for 35mm film. 120 film doesn’t have those little sprocket holes on the sides. [Learn more about the differences]  I certainly wasn’t expecting a lesson on photographic film types for this assignment. But you never know what rabbit hole the DS106 Matrix will take you down.

I went back to Worth’s photos and found a collage of contact sheets that I used as examples to build the new frame template. The font used on the Kodak strip turned out to be pretty close to Century Gothic. That was easy. Alan Levine joining in the Twitter banter, suggested a DS106 film would be appropriate.

I had toyed with many names for my new invention. RockylouChrome was definitely out. It was clunky. Finally the light bulb turned on and GIFAChrome DS106 film was born.The GIFAChrome DS106 100 film obviously had to have a camera to be used in. With version two of the GIFStrip a new-to-the-world GIFAChrome camera was invented.

I was also watching and listening to the viewers of these new images, and several were concerned with the middle frame not “GIFfing”, and wondered if there was something wrong with the strip.

Back to the photoshop for…



Alan Levine GIFAChrome DS106 3D Wigglegram

What to do…. What to do…. What I considered an artistic statement by keeping the middle frame still was confusing to others, So I put my artistic ego aside and turned the middle frame into a 3D Wigglegram GIF.  A technique I acquired this summer creating Rockin’ The Rocks in 3D. And with Alan Levine as my subject matter while completing this project.


I very carefully extracted Cory sitting in his comfy leather chair from the bookshelf background with the quick selection tool. I then had to use the clone tool and spot healing brush to rebuild some of the bookshelf and applied a blur filter to the entire background. This helps Cory’s image stand out even more. There were then three frames of Doctorow, each off-set slightly- roducing the GIFAChrome single image below.


Cory Doctorow GIFAChrome DS106 3D Wigglegram

The 3D wigglegram GIF looks better if it “wiggles” faster than the other GIFs I was using.  To create this effect I made 12 animation frames for the entire GIF sequence at 0.06 seconds in duration.  The top and bottom frames remained stationary for 6 frames each (a total of 0.24 sec) while the center frame rapidly oscillated at the 0.06 frame rate.

Cory Doctorow GIFAChrome DS106 GIF Strip- DOWNLOAD at  100ppi GIF  or  300ppi GIF

We were requested to save our files in the high resolution of the original images. At 3000ppi this resulted in a final Photoshop file of a whopping 1.4GB. Ouch! That’s huge. It’s amazing that my computer didn’t crash- just slowed down during processing. I was able to finally reduce the file size to “only” 670MB by deleting and merging some unnecessary layer.s  If you’re interested you can download the whole thing here. All were created in Photoshop CS5.


GIFAChrome Templates are in the .png format so you can easily insert your own GIF images within a transparent center frame.


GIFAChrome DS106 GIFStrip template DOWNLOAD


GIFAChrome DS106 Single Frame Template DOWNLOAD

Riffs Sprouting Up Overnight



UPDATE 12/06/13: Check it out we were featured on the GIFaChrome Connects blog.

Another fun aspect of DS106 being an open online course that attracts global participation is that you can go to bed at night (usually way past a healthy bedtime because you just “had” to finish one more thing on that project) and wake up in the morning to find a comment on your posted work, or better yet that someone(s) have delightfully riffed on your creation. DS106 Never Sleeps! Such was the case with my DJ at Stonehenge photo I originally created for ds106 daily create tdc669.

From Wikipedia: A flash mob (or flashmob)[1] is a group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual and seemingly pointless act for a brief time, then quickly disperse, often for the purposes of entertainment, satire, and artistic expression.[2][3][4] Flash mobs are organized via telecommunicationssocial media, or viral emails.[5][6][7][8][9]

Here’s what the ds106 flash mob created between 11/11/13 to 12/06/13:

  1. A giant DJ is spotted at Stonehenge.
  2. Mushrooms sprout up overnight.
  3. It’s all a dream reflected in Alice’s looking glass as shown by Cathleen Nardi.
  4. It gets curiouser and curiouser when a patch of spinning mushrooms and the  Cheshire Cat show up.
  5. Over night another patch of mushrooms spring up and smoke is seen gently rising from within.
  6. Colin dog is spotted lurking in the trees holding his stick ready for play.
  7. Alan Levine’s radioactive caterpillar notices the smoke rising among the mushrooms and crawls on back to see if his buddy is hanging out there.
  8. Cathleen Nardi notices a rabbit hole appearing in a flash in the bottom left corner with a pair of ears just poking out.
  9. Rochelle Lockridge coaxes the little white rabbit out of his hole.
  10. The story is captured with the new GIFaKidChrome imager in development over at the GIFaChrome labs.

You can witness the evolution of the composite image right here as it unfolds. I plan on updating this blog entry if it morphs further.  And links are provided to the posts so you can follow the comments and story line as it develops.  (Suggestion: By subscribing to comments on this post you can get the latest updates directly.)

Note: All of the image GIFs and layered .psd files are attached below so anyone can join in the fun. Most current Photoshop file can be downloaded here

Original Photos and evolution of our ds106 flashmob collaboration:


Photo 1: Stonehenge – Feb 2010 photo taken by Rockylou

25. Pull Train

Photo 2: DJ opening toy train for his 2nd birthday (Aug 2013)

Nov 9, 2013 @7:57pm Minnesota, USA or 9:37am Hawaii or Nov 10 @12:37am Scotland

Photo 1 + Photo 2 + Rockylou’s sense of humor+ Photoshop CS5 => DJ at Stonehenge for ds106 daily create tdc669: “Take a photo of something very small and make it look big.”



1st Composite: DJ reportedly “eats” left hand side of mushroom and grows huge (DS106 Google+ Community post  )

Some little blonde girl gave DJ a mushroom while visiting Stonehenge. He took a bite of the lefthand side before we had a chance to stop him. This is the result.  No need to worry though. He took another bite on the right hand side and was back to normal by the time we returned to the tour bus.

Let The Riffing Begin!

Nov 11, 2013 @12:14pm (6:14pm Scotland, 8:14am Hawaii )


Riff 1: John Johnston discovers mushrooms sprouting up at Stonehenge and posts to DS106 Google+ Community

Nov 11, 2013 @1:52pm (9:52am Hawaii)


Riff 2: Cathleen Nardi reports that it was all in Alice’s mind and posts photo to DS106 Google+ Community

Nov 11, 2013 @11:38pm (Minnesota, USA)

It gets curiouser and curiouser with the addition of spinning mushrooms and a Cheshire Cat.


Riff 3: Rockylou riffs on the evolving creation by adding spinning mushrooms and a Cheshire Cat to enhance the Alice in Wonderland story line. Posted to ds106 Google+ Community

Downloadable Spinning Mushrooms + Cheshire Cat Photoshop CS5 .psd

Downloadable Spinning Mushroom .psd


Downloadable Cheshire Cat .psd


Cheshire Cat GIF

Nov 11, 2013 @12:34pm (6:34pm England)

Mariana Funes shares this beautiful GIF  in a post to ds106 Google+ Community wondering how it was made.


Nov 12, 2013 @7:05am (Minnesota, USA)

Rockylou reports more mushrooms sprouted up over night and smoke is seen wafting up from behind. Observations posted to ds106 Google+ Community.


Riff 4: Who could be hiding smoking their Hooka Pipe back there amongst the new patch of mushrooms?

Cropped Smoke GIF


Downloadable Cropped Smoke .psd file

Nov 14, 2013 3:07pm (9:07pm, England)

Mariana captures Colin lurking in the trees, wondering what the cat is grinning at and is that girl going to throw him a stick or not.

I can see Colin coming out of the back trees to scare that grinning cat.  I was thinking about using  this and adding it to it 🙂


Riff #5: Colin dog lurking in the shadows joins the fun with Mariana’s  post to ds106 Google+ community

Nov 14, 2013 @11:15pm ( Nov 15 @5:15am England)

Rockylou couldn’t stand seeing the rogue white background flashing through on the spinning mushrooms and fixed it while creating a new clean .psd file adding Colin dog as its own layer.


Riff #5 edit: Rockylou cleaned up the spinning mushroom GIF and created new .psd file with individual layers in comment to Google+ Community

Screencast tutorial on adding Colin to the Photoshop file as a single layer.

Colin Dog original photo by Alan Levine

Transparent .png of Colin



Nov 15, 2013 11:00am.

Alan Levine’s “radioactive” turquoise caterpillar joins in.  He’s last seen crawling up towards the mushroom patch in the back to check out if his buddy is back there.

Download the Photoshop .psd file here.


Nov 20, 2013

Cathleen Nardi adds the rabbit hole we last talked about.

Alice in Wonderland with Rabbit Hole


Dec 06, 2013

In participation with the DS106 GIFaChrome final project Rochelle Lockridge adds a white rabbit popping out of the hole and turns it into a GIFaKidChrome image.



got ds106?

Oh boy… did I have fun with the DS106 Daily Create tdc671. We were to make a poster for a new DS106 ad campaign, ‘got ds106?’, based on the ‘got milk?’ milk industry campaign started back in 1993. [Wikipedia article].  I created the DS106 DesignAssignment1234 to share the fun with future DS106ers. 


Super Hero Alan Levine assuring us DS106 helps build creativity that soars.

got-milk-supermanI did a quick search of Google Images for ‘got milk?’ posters and had a plethora of great images pop up.  I was immediately drawn to the Superman poster.  Employing the Google once again I located the Phoenix American font used for the original campaign.  The link will take you to a free downloadable non-licensed version.

I deleted the original text, then copied a section of the remaining blue sky to paste and stretch to fill the empty space.  Using the newly downloaded Phoenix American font I changed a few words to customize it for our ‘got ds106?’ campaign.

That’s how milk DS106 makes you feel.
The calcium fun helps bones creativity grow strong,
so even if you’re not from Krypton  Strawberry, AZ
you can have bones of steel creativity that soars.
got milk DS106?

 I could’ve just replaced the text , but what would be the fun and challenge in that?


Alan Levine

Photoshopping Alan (a ds106 instructor at Cogdog Blog) Levine’s head onto Superman’s body was a must, and turned out to be much simpler than I thought it would be. (These techniques are “simple” now, but it’s taken lots of practice and perseverance to learn them.) Choosing a good picture with the right composition was important.  I wanted him to be facing to the left and tilted similarly to Superman’s.  It didn’t take me but a few minutes to find a nice photo with another Google Image search, this time for Alan Levine.  Amazingly, the lighting was even a close match.  How lucky was that?

Using the quick selection tool in Adobe Photoshop Elements 12 for the Mac, I selected and deleted everything but Alan’s head, neck and hat. (I thought the hat added another layer of giggle-able absurdity to the mashed image.) Another bit of serendipity was that Alan’s brown jacket blended well with Superman’s cape. Yippeee!  But I needed to do a little rebuilding of the top of his hat since it was cropped in the photo.  This required copying a piece of it from the top, duplicating it a couple of times, reducing the size to align these little ridges on his hat, and then erasing the outside edges of each layer to produce a rounded head effect. I merged all of the layers and used the clone tool to blend them.  His neck was a little trickier. I started with the Spot Healing Brush, then found two new tools today, Smudge and Blur. I was quite pleased with the results. As a finishing touch I used the blur tool again around the edges of his hat and face to give a more blended effect against the sky.

The DS chest plate was pretty simple too.  I used the clone tool to erase the “S”, and produce a blank yellow background in the process. Then cut out a “DS” from the DS106 logo. By adjusting the hue and saturation of the DS layer I was able to approximate the red color of the original “S”.  Resizing and transforming the layer with the skew and distortion effects was employed. And the final adjustment was to reduce the opacity just a tad.

After I uploaded the new poster to flickr I noticed that Superman’s belt also has an “S” on it.  Ooops….. Oh well… it’s not about being perfect here in DS106.  It’s about the creating, trying, learning, and giving it your best…. wherever you’re at.

UPDATE November 24, 2013

Superhero Alan Levine has been GIFfed!


DS106 Superhero Alan Levine has creativity that soars!