Digital Storytelling 106, or ds106 for short, is a free online course through the University of Mary Washington. In this course, students will learn to develop their digital skills through storytelling. Students will create a digital identity through telling stories in the forms of audio, video, photography, drawing, writing, and and other creative forms. Students will also examine the digital communication landscape as an avenue for storytelling. Before doing some research about ds106, I had no idea what it was. The really interesting thing I have discovered from my research is that this course is open and free to not only the students attending the University of Mary Washington, but to everyone. It is available for anyone to explore. You can begin this course whenever you choose and can, in turn, leave the course whenever you desire. I find that very handy. You can work at your own pace. This puts the control in the students’ hands, which can be unnerving to some teachers. However, I feel that this is a great way to inspire learning. I found this article to be very helpful in learning about ds106.

The way this course is set up and run, it allows for so much creativity. The daily assignments are given with the challenge to complete them in the most creative way you can. This is such a great idea for all age levels. I really like the daily create challenge. I think that using all the forms of creativity (audio, video, writing, drawing, photography, etc.) is a great way to challenge students to think outside the box.

Some things that I found awesome while doing my research were the music videos students/ teachers have created to explain things in their lessons. I found one that was about math concepts such as the slope of a line. It was really clever. Another thing that I found awesome was the video about advise for future students (found here). It gave advise from the teacher and students on how the class is and helpful tips. It allowed me to get a better feel for the class rather than just reading about it.

I will definitely apply what I’ve learned through my research to my life and future classroom. I think the daily create challenge will really push me out of my comfort zone, which I will benefit from considering I’m really shy and quiet. I also think this will benefit my classroom. I will allow the students to create things on their own and have creative ways of completing assignments. As a first grade teacher, I hope to have several projects for my students where they will use their creativity in any way they choose.

Photo CC-By Bryan Alexander

I found this image to be really relevant to our lesson this week on digital storytelling. It show that storytelling, social media, and gaming overlap. We have also learned about this in several of my other courses this semester.

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