Discovering DS106

Earlier this week, I was reading through my assignment sheet for the Literacy in the Digital Age class I am taking at Chadron State College.   One of my assignments consisted of exploring the DS106 website and then writing a blog post about it.  The moment I pulled the website up and started my researching, I was just a bit overwhelmed and confused and just…


(Pixabay photo by Mammela)

It was a lot all at once.  So many links and videos and side information to read before I fully understood what exactly it was that I was looking at.  It was a mess.  I scrolled and clicked and scrolled and clicked until I found the objectives.  Ah-ha!  I thought these would have the answer sas to what this DS106 course is all about.

*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

Yep, I was still lost, though some aspects of the course seemed a bit more clear.  Where’s the “DS106 for Dummies”  book when you need it?


(Flickr photo by Leo Reynolds)

Their website gives this little tidbit of information, which was another little piece of the puzzle.

Digital Storytelling (also affectionately known as ds106) is an open, online course that happens at various times throughout the year at the University of Mary Washington… but you can join in whenever you like and leave whenever you need. This course is free to anyone who wants to take it, and the only requirements are a real computer, a hardy internet connection, preferably a domain of your own and some commodity web hosting, and all the creativity you can muster.

So, I found out what the objectives of the class was and what the class was, but what exactly DO YOU DO in this class?

I still felt lost in a sea of DS106.


(Pixabay photo by Benjime)

I decided to just go into the class itself and see if I could find additional information, useful information, defining information.   The syllabus had a more defining clue to what a person would do in this class.

…it is our responsibility to examine the term digital storytelling within the cultural context of our moment. This means each of you will be experimenting with your own digital platform for storytelling, as well as placing yourself within a larger narrative of networked conversation on the internet at large.

I started building a better understanding of what it was.  DS106 teaches a person how to find ways to tell stories through different digital means, using different forms of technology, and using different platforms.  Visual, design, audio, video…   Connecting with others and sharing your work is a vital component of this course.  You’re encouraged to start a blog, have numerous social media accounts, join the google community, all to connect with others.

Part of what makes ds106 special is that you’re part of large, ongoing community of digital storytellers of all past participants.

Another interesting aspect of DS106 is what is called The Daily Create, where creative challenges are posted every day.  I’ve started participating in The Daily Create and I’m currently 5 days in.  It’s taken little time to complete, but it will definitely challenge me creatively, as I have to use audio, video, writing, drawing, and photography at least once throughout my 20-day challenge.

There are over 800 media assignments that were created by members of DS106 that a person can challenge themselves to, as well.   You can also check out DS106 radio  which is “open free form internet-based radio station, broadcasting shared music, recordings, cross casts from other stations, as well as live broadcasts from community members.”

Overall, I think DS106 would be quite a challenging course to take, and it would certainly take me out of my creative comfort zone.  BUT that’s a good thing sometimes.  Sometimes we need to be pushed outside of our comfort zone for us to learn.

DS106 inspires creativity.  It takes a person through the learning process of telling digital stories, yet it’s FREE, it’s open, it can be started at any time, and it can be completed at your own pace.  My kind of learning!

Want to check out some of the best creates?  Check out Inspire.

Here’s one of my favorite video submissions, “Silent Era-Back to the Future” by Ben Rimes.  Incredible work!



I'm a mother of 3 wonderful boys, a wife, a college student working towards my elementary education degree, an aspiring children's book author, an avid volunteer, and a substitute teacher. I love being outdoors, reading, spreading kindness, spending time with family, learning, and teaching.

4 thoughts on “Discovering DS106

  1. Fun post! I will agree that the first couple of days were an uncomfortable push to create something that I had no idea how to do. I think on of the keys to this is to share resources. It takes quite a bit of time just to find a good resource.


    1. I’m glad it’s not a course we’ll have to take, as this class keeps me plenty busy. The Daily Create is quite fun though!


    1. I’ve enjoyed the Daily Create part of DS106, but the rest of it would definitely be a challenge! It may be something I’ll have to try after I’m doing with school and actually have some spare time that everyone always talks about. 😀


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