What the Heck is DS106 and Why It’s Awesome

Our society doesn’t put much emphasis on creativity and art in education. However, creativity and art are the most important aspects of our culture. Imagination is the main ingredient in art and creativity and as the famous Albert Einstein quote says, “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.”(https://creativecreativity.com/2007/11/11/einstein-on-cre/)

Image result for ds106

DS106 is an open online course that allows anyone at anytime to practice their creativity and digital art skills through “digital storytelling”. The definition of digital storytelling is still debated but Wikipedia defines it as, “Digital Storytelling is an emerging term, one that arises from a grassroots movement that uses new digital tools to help ordinary people tell their own “true stories” in a compelling and emotionally engaging form. These stories usually take the form of a relatively short story (less than 8 minutes) and can involve interactivity.

The term can also be a broader journalistic reference to the variety of emergent new forms of digital narratives (web-based stories, interactive stories, hypertexts, fan art/fiction, and narrative computer games).”

The program started at the University of Mary Washington and it took off from there. The DS106 course will inspire your creativity and self-expression, introduce you to new ways to utilize technology, improve your narrating skills, and help build yourself a digital network. There is no reference to date or time so students can work at their own pace. There is no teacher in this course, so there are no pressures to impress the instructor.

This course requires you to have a digital identity created through a blog and other social media sites. When I signed up for DS106 open course, I chose to link my current accounts up with the DS106 site so that my posts would be available to the students of the course. Going through “unit 1: Boot Camp”, I needed to make accounts with flickr, soundcloud, and gravatar.

The assignment page on DS106 is the method through which the learning and creativity are incorporated into the course. There are many types of assignments such as visual, audio, web, writing, animated gifs, code, design, video, mash-ups, fanfic, and 3D printed assignments. Each type of assignment page, has many assignments that incorporate the topic and art. Assignment 1 in visual assginments, for example, assigns you to take photos of yourself in different poses and compile them together and overlap each other to make an “unconventional” self-portrait.

This course is special and awesome, because it allows an outlet for self-expression digitally. The assignments increase slowly in difficulty throughout the course, making digital learning attainable. The story-telling aspect really makes each learning experience personalized.

4 thoughts on “What the Heck is DS106 and Why It’s Awesome

  1. Great post! I really enjoyed reading it! You did a great job of explaining what ds106 really is. I love how you say that there is no pressure to impress the instructor because there isn’t one. I love this because a lot of the time I am worried about what the instructor is going to think. I can’t wait to hear as you go through the course. You did a fantastic job!



  2. Can I just say that looking at your picture at the end of your blog actually made me dizzy lol! I really think that you did a great job at explaining just what ds106 is. I enjoyed looking at your pictures as well as reading the background information for this class!
    – Kenzie


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