Today, I embark on a new learning adventure. I have signed up for the free, 15 week online course known as Digital Storytelling 106 or more affectionately referred to as “DS106″. Up until two weeks ago, “DS106″, for me, was just a combination of letters and numbers. However, after Darren Kuropatwa, made the following comment, in one of my blog posts:
I began investigating this remarkable learning opportunity. This is what I have learned:
DS106 is a MOOC or “massive, open, online course”. Although you may know what the MOCC acronym stands for, I found Dave Cormier’s YouTube video “What is a MOOC?” to be quite informative. Dave’s summary, resonated with me when he stated that “MOOCs are a step toward life-long learning” and that as a MOOC participant:
- YOU: choose what to do;
- YOU: choose how you participate; and
- YOU: decide if you’ve been successful … just like in real life!
So I signed up for this DS106 learning adventure, which officially begins January 16, 2012. I encourage you to investidate this DS106 educational opportunity and join as well in order that you might take advantage of the wealth of ideas and resources that are so willingly shared.
Jim Groom offered DS106 as both an open and credit course about a year ago at Mary Washington University (MWU). Successful implementation of DS106 courses have expanded to include sessions sponsored at York College (The City University of New York) and Temple University in Japan. Starting in the spring 2012 term, Alan Levine (aka CogDog) joins Jim to host a second session at MWU. However, my guess is that for every student who registers and pays to take the credit version of DS106, there are two or perhaps three others, like me, who register for the free online DS106 course because they believe in the course objectives and hope to:
- Develop skills in using technology as a tool for networking, sharing, narrating, and creative self-expression
- Frame a digital identity wherein you become both a practitioner in and interrogator of various new modes of networking
- Critically examine the digital landscape of communication technologies as emergent narrative forms and genres
As an educator who is always looking for engaging projects and activities, I recommend that readers explore the DS106 repository of approximately 200 unique and creative digital media projects which are organized into the following nine areas:
- Web Assignments
- Visualization Assignments
- Video Assignments
- Mashup Assignments
- Visual Assignments
- Design Assignments
- Audio Assignments
- Writing Assignments
- Fanfic assignments
My intention is to complete and share at least one assignment from each of the above categories during this online course.
I look forward to participating in this DS106 course and sharing what I am learning through my blog. Perceptive readers will note that this post, and future ones in which I reflect or dialogue about certain aspects of this new Digital Storytelling MOOC, will be purposely tagged with “DS106″. Such specific tags will help facilitate the servers at Mary Washington University aggregating or collecting all “DS106″ tagged posts for sharing and feedback with the various digital storytelling participants.
To gain a different perspective on this innovative course, I recommend readers view Giulia Forsythe’s YouTube video entitled “How ds106 Changed My Life“. Many readers will recall that Giulia was the talented illustrator, who participated in the first UnPlug’d event this past summer and enhanced the “Why (blank) Matters in Education!” publication with her creative artistry.
In closing, I realize that two years ago, I started my Life-Long-Learners blog as a New Year’s resolution. Since that first article that I posted on January 1, 2010, I have learned so much, shared so much, and expanded my Personal Learning Network in ways that I would have never dreamed possible. I trust that by joining, and taking part in this DS106 community, I will continue to learn and share so as to help students and teachers along their path to becoming life-long-learners.
Happy New Year!
Take care & keep smiling