Predicting the NFL Draft – A FFToday affinity Space Update

*To learn more about participation in a interest based community, also known as an affinity space, for my Games and Learning masters class, I have joined the a fantasy football discussion community and am blogging about the experience.

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My affinity space at FFToday is holding a contest for members to choose the first ten draft picks in the upcoming NFL draft being held on April 27th. I have decided as part of my continuing participation in the affinity space I will enter this contest.

One of my goals, as a fantasy football player, in joining the FFToday affinity space was to develop my skills as an evaluator of the rookies entering the NFL though the draft. In my younger and less responsible days I would regularly watch NFL on Sundays and college football on Saturdays, filling my weekends with the sport. By regularly watching the college level of football I had first hand  knowledge of the players that would be newest members of the NFL. Eventually I realized that weekends were for more than watching football, and paired my viewing down to just those games on Sunday. This has left me without my first hand impressions of college players, however, and for fantasy purposes I have been forced to rely on the sports media for evaluations of the potential rookies. By joining the FFToday community I have layered my access to rookie player research to include the evaluations made by FFToday community members, some with first hand  familiarity to these players.

These rookie evaluations have helped me think about rookies to target in my fantasy draft but when predicting the first ten draft picks this is not the whole picture. In fantasy football an athlete’s talent is only half the equation in the decision making process. Just as important is the player’s team and his position on that team’s depth chart. Because the team and his depth chart position lets the fantasy football manager have a better understanding of the player’s opportunity to be successful, a player can have all the talent in the world but if the supporting players on his team don’t produce then the player will suffer, also if a player is young and is sitting on the bench behind an established veteran, the rookie’s playing time will be limited and that will negatively affect his production.  The upcoming draft will shed a lot of light on the the situations these rookies will be thrown into for training camp.

The skill needed for FFtoday’s draft contest is matching the talent of top prospects with the needs of the teams that are picking in positions 1-10. I started my planning for my entry by looking at the recaps of the 2016 seasons for the teams with a top ten pick. Knowing how a team’s season played out gives insight into areas of need that a team will likely try to address in the draft, with the bigger the need the earlier in the draft it will probably be addressed. I decided to lean on the recaps from ProFootballFocus, because I trust their analytical approach to evaluating teams and players. The teams with top ten picks are:

  1. Cleveland Browns
  2. San Francisco 49ers
  3. Chicago Bears
  4. Jacksonville Jaguars
  5. Tennessee Titans
  6. New York Jets
  7. LA Chargers
  8. Carolina Panthers
  9. Cincinnati Bengals
  10. Buffalo Bills

With knowledge of the draft order, team situations and what I learned from the collected wisdom of the FFToday affinity space I selected my entry for the first ten NFL draft pick for the contest.  My choices were as follows:

  1. Myles Garrett (DE – Texas A&M)
  2. Solomon Thomas (DL – Stanford)
  3. Cam Robinson (OT – Alabama)
  4. Marshon Lattimore (CB – Ohio State)
  5. Jamal Adams (S – LSU)
  6. Malik Hooker (S – Ohio State)
  7. Mike Williams (WR – Clemson)
  8. Leonard Fournette (RB – LSU)
  9. Reuben Foster (ILB – Alabama)
  10. O.J. Howard (TE – Alabama)

Now that I have entered my picks I just need to to wait for April 27th, to see if my rookie research and my analysis of team needs have paid off.

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Predicting the NFL Draft – A FFToday affinity Space Update

Are You Ready for Some Fantasy Football Affinity Space!?!

football header.pngI have been a participant in fantasy football for 12 years and throughout that time the game has meant many different things to me. I love to watch football and have been a lifelong Broncos fanatic so in some ways fantasy football was a logical extension of my passions. Fantasy football, however, is more than just an extension of loving football, it is a community experience that is shared with the other members of a league. I have played in leagues that are social and made new friends, such as a league that I joined in at a new school I taught at. I have also been involved with a league of friends that use our shared love of football and the competition of fantasy to stay close even if we are far away, which I was for two years while teaching in Ecuador.  For me playing fantasy football is a four month extension of social media in which all discussion revolves around the athletes and the game of football. My friends and league members, new and old, became my fantasy affinity space.

But there are more people in the fantasy football niche culture and joining them in an
online affinity space seems to be my next step to being a member of the participatory culture that is evolving around fantasy football. It is the off-season for fantasy football but that does not mean that the players of the game are resting. This is the time that league champions are starting to do their homework about off-season moves for the biggest names in the NFL and the newcomers, who will have high value on teams come September, because these players will be overlooked by novices but score big points for team managers who are willing to take a chance. An affinity space for  fantasy football is a great place to tap into members’ knowledge and strategies.parkscallions-champion

I looked at a few fantasy football affinity spaces before choosing to join FF Today’s Fantasy Football Community. What I liked about FF Today was that not only did membership connect the user with discussion forums and tailored news from FF Today staff, but even early in the off season there was active contributions from the community about player contract news, injuries, drafting/keeping strategies, and and most exciting individuals sharing news items from local papers that were not being picked up by national sports media.

I have started my contributions as a newcomer to the group, looking for guidance with my fantasy roster. The way my long time friend’s league works is that we can keep three players each season and so I have reached out the the FF Today community for a fresh perspective on which players form my roster are gems and which are busts. The replies have been few but thought provoking, and similar to the responses that others have received to similar posts about their teams. I hope that as the NFL off-season moves into free agency there will be more interest from community members  to discuss and analyze keeper rosters as they get ready for the season.

Are You Ready for Some Fantasy Football Affinity Space!?!

Speed Creation – Week 15 Digital Story Critique

*THIS POST BELONGS TO A COLLECTION OF CRITIQUES OF DIGITAL COMICS AND RELATED MATERIAL, CREATED FOR A MASTER LEVER COURSE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO DENVER.

This week I have found a very cool crowd sourced comic for my digital story critique. It is from creator David Revoy, where fans contribute pledges to facilitate Revoy to focus his time on Pepper and Carrot because the donations providing a source of income. There are perks for pledging included having one’s name included in the comic’s acknowledgments section of each issue and even merchandise/illustrations. This comic is not only crowd sourced but it is open source, meaning that the community of views has the ability to uses the images and characters of Pepper and Carrot to add to and remix this digital comic universe.. The results are new fan fiction episodes, video games and toys modeled after the heroine Pepper and her cat Carrot, also community created translations of dialogue bubbles into multiple languages. Revoy goes even further to support this community by creating tutorials to teach viewers how to use the open source tools that he is using to create the comic.

Pepper and Carrot is cute, entertaining and definitely worth a read but I decided to critique one of Revoy’s time lapse video depicting the creation of a page from Pepper and Carrot being crafted with the digital drawing tool Krita.

Story

The video shows the amazing transformation of the digital canvas as Revoy adds layers of digital paints to create the Pepper and Carrot comic. The video also provides a snapshot of the steps that are taken to craft and perfect the process of rendering a page in the digital world. I found it very interesting how often would Revoy just cover over elements instead of erasing or undoing. Which in his creation process would have just been an extra step. This is a fascinating look at the the process from a blank page to a detailed final product.

Pacing

The timing of the screen cast time lapse is well executed and provides a balance between showing the entirety of the creation and slow enough to see details.  Each time I have watched the video I better  understand the tools Revoy uses and how he uses them. this t balance to keep the video both informative and entertaining.

Digital Elements

Revoy does an awesome job of adding video with music in a way that that give the story tension. The tempo of Peer Gynt’s In the Hall of the Mountain King and the sped up time lapse video gives the story a sense of urgency, like running a race, and in the end a a feeling of accomplishment for the viewer. In the end I found myself getting anxious thinking that Revoy was not going to finish adding details before the song was going to end.

Though I highly recommend reading Pepper and Carrot I was just amazed at how powerful this making of time lapse was because it gave me a view into the world of a digital comic producer and gave me a snapshot of his tools and creative process thought this powerful but simple digital story.

Speed Creation – Week 15 Digital Story Critique

Supporting the mission of my Digital Story – A Response to Chosen Text Week 15

*THIS POST IS PART OF A CONTINUING SERIES OF RESPONSES TO SCHOLARLY TEXTS FOR LEARNING WITH DIGITAL STORIES, A MASTER LEVEL COURSE I AM ENROLLED IN AT UC DENVER.

For my digital project that I have launched for ILT5240, I am using twitter to create a dialogue with a community around making recommendations for graphic novels. I have launched the twitter account @G_N_Librarian and a website to archive the 4 tweet recommendations I have been making. I am happy so far with what I have made but it has not been the interactive experience I envisioned. I was hoping that my twitter followers would reach out to me with their other interests and that I could make recommendations for my followers; fostering a digital community and that that would, eventually, lead to community members contributing their own reviews and recommendations. I looked this week for texts with insight into making my twitter feed more engaging and interactive. Hoping to find some strategies to bolster the Graphic Novel Librarian community. I found three texts that provided the best advice for me:

Each of the articles shared their findings different ways. The 10 Twitter Tactics to Increase Your Engagement is produced by the Social Media Marketing Society as a compact and informative list of strategies with explanations of why they work. The Twitter Cheat Sheet is an infographic that is very engaging. Created by search engine optimization firm LinchpinSEO, the infographic provides a nice view of strategies that are similar to those from the Social Media Marketing Society and accessible for visual learners. Finally, A Scientific Guide provides the most in depth analysis of what make a successful tweet and provides not only general tips but also how to craft tweets for specific purposes and was written by social media blogger .

Each of these articles provided valuable advice for increasing followers and engagement for my twitter feed. To develop the community I have envisioned for Graphic Novel Librarian I decided to focus on incorporating the most common and/or powerful ideas from each text. I will apply these promotional tweets that I make between the standard my standard updates of 4 tweet graphic novel reviews, for the time being. The four strategies that stood out the most to me were:  

  1. Keep tweets short – shorter than the 140 allotted characters – this frees people to retweet you without needing to edit the tweet
  2. Tweets should come out often but not too often. Making sure you have a twitter presence most days keeps your account in your followers active memory but limiting tweets at at most two tweets a day keeps your account from becoming stale. Because of the size of my 4 tweet graphic novel reviews I am shooting for four tweeting periods a week – twice for 4 tweet reviews and twice for promotional tweets.  
  3. Ask for viewers specifically to retweet you or to mention you in their tweets and reward, these rewards could be public mentions or retweets, private thank you messages or even tangible rewards and prizes.
  4. Mentions, hashtags, and linked content such as video or blogs attract attention and increase engagement (retweets/likes). These tools, however, can interfere with each other if overused. Focusing on just one specific tool per tweet will keep viewer focus on your content and not overwhelm them with links, and more will make them more likely to retweet.

Here is my original promotional tweet, exactly 140 characters and no image:

“Tweet me your hobbies, likes/dislikes, preferences in literature and entertainment and I’ll personalize a #GraphicNovelReconedation for you!”

Here is my new promotional tweet:

“Tweet your interests, get a personalized #GraphicNovelRecommendation! Please retweet!”

Only 119 characters with a request for retweet and an image of the G_N_Librarian 4 tweet review banner (not pictured)!

Please check out my digital story and let me know what you think, also please send me a tweet with your interests so that I can craft a digital comic review for you! AND be awesome and retweet my promotional tweets.

Supporting the mission of my Digital Story – A Response to Chosen Text Week 15

My Digital Response to Storytelling Text – Week 9

*THIS POST IS PART OF A CONTINUING SERIES OF RESPONSES TO ASSIGNED READINGS FOR LEARNING WITH DIGITAL STORIES, A MASTER LEVEL COURSE I AM ENROLLED IN AT UC DENVER.

I decided to try something new this week and created a digital response to the assigned readings from my Digital Storytelling class at UC Denver. I hope you enjoy:

My Digital Response to Storytelling Text – Week 9

The Bee’s Knees – Response to Scholarly Text week 8

*THIS POST IS PART OF A CONTINUING SERIES OF RESPONSES TO SCHOLARLY TEXTS FOR LEARNING WITH DIGITAL STORIES, A MASTER LEVEL COURSE I AM ENROLLED IN AT UC DENVER.

Found my scholarly text for this week in the College Research Library News. I was looking for research about using comics for teaching in specific disciplines. I had been searching for comics applied to science instruction, in particular. I had originally not expected much from John Meier’s article Science Graphic Novels for Academic Libraries but I am glad that I decided to give it a try. Meier’s piece has an interesting introduction outlining the current state of university library collections of comics and graphic novels and reveals the better funded institutions have greater collections of comics then under funded institutions.

The heart of Meier’s article, however, is an interview with Jay Hosler. Who iclan apiss a researcher at Juniata College, and a graphic novelist. I know his work from the amazing piece Clan Apis which is the story of a the two honey bees and their hive. This graphic novel full of facts about bees, life in the hive and photo realistic illustrations and diagrams. But it is science fiction and the story of the relationship between the main characters is heartwarming and full of depth, intrigue and character development. I love this graphic novel and have used it in my instruction with fifth graders.

Hosler has lots of great things about comics and using them for teaching science. There were three quotations that stood out to me as being the most influential ideas Hosler shares.

On the power of images in a comic Hosler said: “You get to see the other person’s thoughts, and I think that is the magic of a graphic novel.” This concept of seeing the thoughts of the artist in a comic lets the creator of the comic show the narrative to the reader and then use text to verify the meaning of images.

On the balance between text and images in a comic: “A balance must be struck between the two with word and pictures doing different things.” By having both text and images in a comic each can be used to accomplish the specific storytelling tasks that each is best suited for.

On why to use comics in science instruction: “I . . . write a comics story and embed a graph . . . it’s not disjointed, it’s there. There is no way you can just move on to the next panel. You can’t skip a panel any more than you can skip a paragraph. Because it’s right there. The characters are walking over, around, and on the graph.” Also incorporating an engaging narrative draws in the learners into the story and if the facts are embedded in that narrative then the students will be actively engaged in their learning.

The Bee’s Knees – Response to Scholarly Text week 8

The Birth of Discow: The Man and Moovement – Daily Create week 8

I have been anticipating/dreading the creation of gifs as expand my experience in the creation of digital stories. I think gifs are great ways to express quick thoughts or stories but I also think the format seem imposing to create. I saw this gif daily create and thought it was a great opportunity to practice creating a gif before diving in on the ds106 gif assignment. I was surprised at how easy it was to create the gif. I used imgflip to make make the gif and all I had to do was upload images and then adjust settings. Imgflip provided a preview so I could see how I was adjusting the gif and could see the final product. I got images from freeimages, and was able to find almost everything I wanted for the gif. I originally envisioned Discow emerging from a magicians cloud but but could not find one, I then experimented with fireworks and color swirls, which I almost used a combination of both. Fortunately  I stumbled on the black and white hands when I searched ‘creation’, because they are so much creepier better. The only work I really had to do was use photo shop to crop the images so they were the same size and not distorted to fit together in the gif.

The Birth of Discow: The Man and Moovement – Daily Create week 8