Week 01: Hard Fun

"The cave you seek to enter holds the treasure you seek." - Joseph Cambell

Instructor's Notes

Each Monday new bits of the course will be published here on the course blog - outlining the theme and tasks for the week. This week is a bit logistical and busy, as we will focus on understanding our course context and getting you connected with and Slack.  

Weekly Routine

This week we will set our rhythm and routine, so you can get a sense of what we'll be doing and where we'll be doing it.

  • Sunday:  instructor's notes and task-list posted, here and in Slack.
  • Tuesday: StoryThing posted in Slack.
  • Thursday: video posted or live-hosted - via Zoom and/or here and in Slack.
  • Sunday: weekly tasks due


I'm Brad

Hard Fun

There are a variety of themes and ideals baked into INTE5340, but the one that captures it most succinctly to me, is what Seymour Papert termed Hard Fun.

Once I was alerted to the concept of “hard fun” I began listening for it and heard it over and over. It is expressed in many different ways, all of which all boil down to the conclusion that everyone likes hard challenging things to do. But they have to be the right things matched to the individual and to the culture of the times. These rapidly changing times challenge educators to find areas of work that are hard in the right way: they must connect with the kids and also with the areas of knowledge, skills and (don’t let us forget) ethic adults will need for the future world. – Seymour Papert

We'll spend the next 8 weeks having hard fun with digital storytelling.   We will make media, study media, and play with media, as we embark on a story-themed course of learning.  

The Hero's Journey

INTE5340 uses a story-metaphor in which you (the learner) are the hero, I (the teacher) am the mentor, and your classmates (them) are the sidekicks.  Canvas was our status-quo, and leaving it behind for a new type of learning experience - that is your first challenge.  

Inquiry Based Learning

Our destination is defined by the learning objectives of this course, but our journey is not set in stone.  I ask you to think of it somewhat like a choose-your-own-adventure course in which the experiences you have are dependent on the choices you make.  I would say we operate somewhere around level-3 in the inquiry-based learning model (guided inquiry):

Yes, we will give you instructions and tasks to complete each week. We will guide you and help you every step of the way, with the expectation that you will become less reliant on our guidance over the arc of the course.  The expectation is that you will develop some form of Dumbledore's Army.

Scavenger Hunt

Your instructions for getting setup this week are in a bit of a scavenger hunt format that kicks-off below.  Follow the steps. Answer the questions.  Do the things.  And you will find yourself squared away in and Slack in no time.   I look forward to getting to know you and hearing your stories.  

This Week's Tasks
  1. Read & watch the instructor's notes for this week.
  2. Read the syllabus.
  3. Review the Kickstarter page to get familiar with the kinds of stories you'll be asked to produce. You'll need to choose one of these as soon as next week! So, start thinking.
  4. Establish your account. (please use your real name)
  5. Watch how works in the video below.
  6. Use - join us in annotating the course syllabus with  I've left some questions for you there, and invite you to ask any questions about the course there too. 
  7. I've left the next steps of this scavenger hunt in the margins of the syllabus. Set up, annotate the syllabus, and by the end of the week you'll be invited to our class Slack - where the real fun begins.

Author image

About Brad Hinson

Teller of stories; drinker of coffee; father of kids; tinkerer of tools; geek. I am an SEHD Assistant Dean, an LDT Instructor, and a ThinqStudio Director @ CU Denver.
  • Denver
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