Photo CC: by Michael Smith
This week we’ve learned about this thing called DS106. What exactly is it, however? While it may sound like a cool name of a droid, which was my initial thought, not going to lie – any other Star Wars fans out there? – it’s actually something like a call number for a class. What the DS stands for it digital storytelling, and this digital storytelling course, according to http://ds106.us/about/, is now currently available the world over – for free. “Digital storytelling . . . is an open, online course that happens at various times throughout the year at the University of Mary Washington . . . .” So now that we know it’s a class, a free class that is, what exactly is digital storytelling? According to the same site, digital storytelling can be defined as “using digital tools so that ordinary people can tell their own ‘true life stories.'” In other words, individuals use technology to “tell their own ‘true stories’ in a compelling and emotionally engaging form..” What’s really cool about it, in my opinion, is that individuals who choose to take part in this program are required to “design and build an online identity,” according to their website. An online identity – when used in a positive manner – enables individuals to explore, discover, and learn loads and loads of new information. It also enables those involved to connect with and build relationships with people they may never have had the opportunity to meet otherwise. The video DS106 has on their website is a final reflection, with the person that has gone through the class acknowledging the lifelong friendships they’ve made, which is pretty cool. I think just this aspect of DS106 – the building of relationships with other learners – is a crucial key to inspiring creativity in me as a learner, as the whole process is so involved. I say this because ideas are bounced back and forth between classmates, individuals receive feedback on ideas, and ultimately it’s because of this that people grow and evolve as a learner and in using their imagination. In my opinion, and from what I’ve learned, DS106 is a valuable resource to channel creativity and to grow as a learner.