I am going to start by making an assumption: Most of you do not know what ds106 is and may have never heard of it. Don’t feel bad. Until two days ago, I fell into this category of folks also. I have spent several hours researching, reading, googling, playing, and setting up multiple social media accounts all for the sake of learning about ds106 and how to use it and I’m not going to lie…I still don’t fully grasp it and I’m not 100% certain I’ve taken all the necessary steps to sign up for it. However, I am going to give my best attempt at explaining ds106, what is so awesome about it and how it can be utilized, specifically from a future educator’s standpoint. ds106 is a free or open class that offers lessons & assignments on digital storytelling.
In order to learn about ds106 I first went directly to the ds106 website. I’m not quite sure this was the bet idea for me personally considering I felt more confused after visiting the site than I was before visiting. You can also visit the site directly and decide on your own whether it is sufficient in explaining what it is and how to sign up. The url is http://ds106.us/about/. After attempting to watch the video on ds106 about what it is and how it came about, I decided to take another route in order to understand better about ds106 and its purpose. I simply googled, “What is ds106?”. This led me to several blogs that discussed ds106 and kind of gave me an idea about what it is and how to use it.
From the information I have gathered, ds106 is an open online class that helps students learn to use different media and multiple modalities. In other words, it is free…it is all done digitally…it uses blogs, twitter feeds, flickr (photography), soundcloud (music), and other digital tools…it helps students to learn in different ways. In order to sign up for ds106 you have to first set up a blog and write at least one blog post. The “lessons” are set up in units with the first several units being Boot Camp. There you will set up accounts on Google +, Twitter, Flickr, Soundcloud, etc. This is as far as I’ve gotten in the process but as time goes on, I’ll keep you all posted on how it goes.
What I think is really awesome about ds106 is that it is completely free and self-guided. There are no time constraints, no grades, no teacher to lecture or tell you that you must participate. This is basically a community of people from all around the world connected online using various digital tools to tell their stories. There is an actual radio station and television station devoted to ds106 and it is all created by participants.
Although I am still a little uncertain about the entire process and how to use some of the required tools of ds106, I do feel that it can be an invaluable tool for educators and future educators alike because it keeps you connected with people around the globe and their ideas and creativity. There is a wealth of knowledge out there and ds106 goes to show that it is all at our fingertips!