ds106 is a class from the University of Mary Washington that is free. What is cool about it is anyone can participate, beginning at any time they want and ending at any time they choose. The ds stands for digital story telling. So, what is digital story telling? Well, digital story telling is using digital tools to tell real life stories in compelling and emotionally engaging forms. ds106 uses five different types; audio, video, writing, drawing, and photography. The reasoning behind digital story telling is simple. It is to help develop your skills in using technology, frame a digital identity, and examine the landscape of communication technologies.
So what is awesome about ds106? I think the whole set up of it all is really cool. There is no teacher- just volunteers and helpers to help come up with assignments. The assignments are never alike; it is always changing. That means there won’t be any boredom. These assignments are fast and simple, which makes it so you can really focus on the application of the technology rather than the complexity of the assignment. That is really cool because often times classes add unnecessary stuff, but this lets people focus on just what the class is about instead of cluttering their mind with confusions about what the assignment material is. My favorite part of this all is that it is for anyone and everyone. It can be accessed by the public. It is simple enough that virtually anyone could do it, and you can skip around and do the assignments that interest you. It is all so fun that it does not even seem like you are doing homework.
I could see myself using ds106 in a future classroom of mine depending on the age of the students. I think it would be great to inspire students are really get their brains rolling in the morning for a warm up. It would get them thinking for the day and it would be a fun activity and really let them express their creativity. Plus, I bet with some of the writing ones you could tie in a lot of standards with them like learning poems, etc. They have some autonomy over the way they choose to do the assignments and students would love that. It gives them guidelines and ideas, not prompts to follow word for word.