When I opened up week 4’s assignment sheet, I was confused. What is ds106? How does an open course in digital storytelling pertain to me? How can a course from another institution be relevant to the one I’m taking? Thankfully, I relaxed a bit and took a dive into ds106 by starting on the about page. Slowly, and by stumbling around rather blindly, I realized that ds106 is actually pretty cool. Not only is it unique in its structure (or lack of which), it also encourages creativity without forcing it. Yes, there are assignments, but they are quite open to interpretation and are pretty helpful with those of us trying to get a hang of the whole “online identity” thing.
One thing I liked in particular about ds106 is its emphasis on community and the inspiration that comes from it! Specifically, the “Hall of Fame” for creations that proved to be extra “inspiring.” These works can be found in a collection here. I think it’s very neat how students vote for the projects that inspire them most. Not only is it great incentive to do well, but it gives a sense of community to the class that yes, their work is being acknowledged past the grading sheet. Sometimes, continuing a creative path is difficult. It can feel like no one is really paying attention, or that maybe what you’re coming up with isn’t as great as you thought. These feelings can occur especially when posting to the internet, where there are millions of others just like you, also trying to digitally express themselves. While recognition is only part of the reward, it definitely helps to know that you have other people to bounce ideas and feedback off of.
I also loved their internet radio station! At the time of writing this post, I’ve only gotten the chance to listen to a little bit of it. However, the concept alone is quite interesting! Again, the ability to produce a product that anyone can access, such as a radio program, is such a confidence booster for those who are a bit unsure regarding their work and how it is being received.
Honestly, what I loved most about ds106 is how much it reminds me of DigLit! Though the outlets and set up are slightly different, both ds106 and DigLit are actively encouraging people to explore and communicate in the digital age. While I’ve learned so much from DigLit already, I can’t wait to see what else ds106 has to offer!
PC: Shawn Rossi