The Lowdown on ds106

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Photo CC – By Chad Kalnz

So, I’ve been discovering a new resource, ds106. I thought I’d share with you what I’ve found out!

What is ds106 you ask?

Well, it’s actually pretty cool! It is a fantastic source for finding digital assignments which can help improve digital literacy and learning more skills. Originally, however, ds106 was an actual class offered at the University of Mary Washington. It was offered as a sort of open class which means that much of the class is student-lead.

The class walks through several different skills needed to successfully use technology. Skills taught include storytelling, networking, creativity, online sharing, communication, and narrating.

One of the great things about ds106 is that the instructors planned to allow the students to create and submit their own assignments. The response from the students was great. They seemed to appreciate being able to share their ideas.

Another cool thing about ds106 is that before the class actually started, the instructors were receiving overwhelming response from people who were not even in the class. People from different places were submitting assignment ideas and sharing completed examples. Now, ds106 is offered for anyone to enroll and take online. Its free and you can join and leave whenever works best for you. Its great that a resource like this is easily accessible for those who are looking to learn more about creating digital art.

Thus, the website for ds106 ( ds106.us) has compiled as assignment bank. This is where you can find over 800 assignments to try and share the product. There are 10 different types of categories to choose from. (You can look through assignments here.)

Another cool thing from ds106 is The Daily Create.

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Photo CC – By magicatwork

This is a program through ds106 which posts a new, creative assignment each day. They only take 15-20 minutes to complete and you share them on social media with the online community. There are various types of assignments including video, writing, audio, photography, and drawing.

(I actually will be embarking on a 20 day journey with daily create. You may see posts about my assignments show up on the blog.)

I really am kind of excited about completing The Daily Create. I think it will help me challenge myself to learn more and be more creative. I also think this is a great tool for the classroom. Depending upon the grade level of the students and time, a daily create could be completed daily or even once each week. They also could be a choice for students to complete during their extra or free time.

The assignment bank on the ds106 website could also be used in the classroom. The ideas could be used or adapted to be completed as assignments in other subjects. Students can improve their digital skills while also forming connections to classroom topics. For example, the assignment “Comparing the Past to the Present” could be used after talking about inheriting genes and biology of parents and children. The assignment “Family Friendly Billboard” could be changed to have students create a billboard about a major historical event. One last idea I had was using the “You in Collage Form” assignment as an introductory activity with a new class.

I can definitely foresee me using the ds106 website and The Daily Create in the future, for my own personal gain and in my classroom! It certainly is a useful and neat tool.

 

Sincerely,

A Girl Learning to Digitally Create Better!

 

 

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4 thoughts on “The Lowdown on ds106

  1. I always look forward to how you’re going to sign off your blog posts, Cara! I am so glad you enjoyed your exploration of ds106. I think the site is so valuable for teachers. First, there are so many great prompts and assignments we can borrow. But the most important thing to me is the example of what happens when teachers act as facilitators and participants and then get out of students’ way. Huge positive response! Students want to learn, create, and share: we just have to create the conditions where that can happen. I really like your idea of using creates in the classroom during free or extra time.

    • Thanks! That’s one of the things I’ve had the most fun with haha! Yes, I agree! I love that we have the real examples to view! I just feel like I want to find some time to incorporate them into my classroom! I think students would really enjoy it!

  2. Cara,
    Good job on your blog post. You provided a lot of good info to sum up the program. I like how it teaches us new ways to use different forms of technology but also encourages us to be creative. I also really like that it is free and student lead, that makes it a little more relaxing and laid back. I am excited and also extremely nervous to try my hand at this project. I hope to learn a lot and have fun like i have with this class so far rather than become frustrated and discouraged.
    Skyler

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