If I am being completely honest, I don’t see myself as a very creative person. I’m not sure if it’s the thought of flat out failing at creativity that has always bothered me or something else, but I’ve always shied away from expressing a creative side. So, when I first read this week’s assignment sheet, I felt as though I had been hit in the chest and lost my breath. A daily challenge and website with creative assignments? I have to be creative every day and share it with the class? How was this going to happen? I was frightened, to be frank.
So, I put it off until tonight. After dinner, I opened my computer, put on my happy music (One Direction, in case you were wondering), and got on the ds106 website. My first thought? What in the world am I looking at?! Being myself, I naturally got stressed out. This feeling persisted until I actually began poking through the website and seeing what it was all about and all that it included.
After a lot of research (and a ton of help from the About page), I feel as though I have somewhat of a grasp on what ds106 is, and it is fantastic. This site is all about harnessing a person’s creativity and digital storytelling techniques to enhance them. Digital Storytelling, or ds106 for short, is an open course that is offered online. Since its start at the University of Mary Washington, ds106 has literally taken off. The course is described as “part storytelling workshop, part technology training” and “part critical interrogation of the digital landscape” that is constantly evolving and changing around is. Now, it is a course that anyone can start at any time and end at any time. Need to take an extra week on the photography module because it’s just not quite your thing? That’s great! More time to learn. This class has no teacher. Pure craziness, I know. Students enrolled in it are asked to complete a set of modules and post creative assignments using different forms of technology on their blog, Twitter, and various other Internet sources. Students are asked to explore different areas of digital storytelling during the course, such as photography and audio storytelling. It has other components, such as the G+ Community and an assignment bank, that are awesome resources to look through. I loved peeking through the community and seeing what others had done as Daily Creates.
This brings us to the point of the website that was the source of my initial terror: creativity. I realize that I’m going to be a teacher and, therefore, creativity is expected of me. I’m not saying that I’m never creative; I’m just saying that it happens very seldom. However, I think that this challenge will be awesome for me to start. Basically, every day, a challenge is posted that participants respond to. Today, the challenge was to Print Out a YouTube Video. Yesterday, the challenge was to write a story to correspond with a picture of an octopus literally grabbing a man (the possibilities are endless, let’s be honest). As I looked through the archives and saw some posts from the people that participated today, I felt almost excited. I could do this!
The opportunities to use this in my classroom are endless. I do think that creativity is important; in fact, I love to see other people being creative! In my eyes, creativity can often spark passion, or vice versa. I’d love to use some of the Daily Create writing prompts some day in my classroom. There are drawing creates, tech-y creates, GIF creates, and video creates among others. The bottom line of The Daily Create is to try to infuse more creativity into our lives; although this may be scary, why not give it a shot?
(Photo CC: Flickr.com)
So, here’s to a new adventure! Time to let my creative side come through. It’s time to create. 🙂