ds106- Terrible to Terrific

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. 🙂



16 thoughts on “ds106- Terrible to Terrific

  1. ashleycosmt

    When I read this assignment I literally had pains in my chest that felt like a heart attack for sure. So basically, I feel your pain. I am not creative in the slightest, but I think what makes it better for me is I just post the stuff, and there is no commentary on it. No negativity, it’s all meant for fun. It eases my mind more. I have done 3 now, and honestly they aren’t the best work out there, but I also am hoping they aren’t the worst.


    1. charitywyatt

      I am trying to figure out how to start this morning and I feel completely lost on how to even start? Any advice? Very lost here…


      1. Hi, Charity! Don’t stress- we all felt overwhelmed I think! I’d start on the About page. That really helped me out. Basically, just go through the site and figure out what all is happening on it. What is their mission? What does this online class do? Then, go look through the different components (G+ Community was my favorite!) and see what’s going on there. The Daily Create is on this, too! Look through archives and you can see examples as well. There is a lot of information to take in, but it’s pretty awesome! Best of luck!! 🙂


    2. That’s what really helped me, too! Once I realized that the entire point of it was to tap into your creativity without fear of being “wrong,” I felt better. I’m just going to try it out and see what I come up with!! I looked back through some of the archives and thought that The Daily Creates there looked awesome, so I’m pretty excited. I’m sure that your’s are wonderful!! Don’t stress. 🙂


  2. Isn’t it incredible? I heard Alan Levine and Jim Groome speak at a conference about ds106, and it blew my mind. There is so very much we could cover in this Digital Literacy class, but ds106 is worth spending a week on, to me, for so many reasons. It’s like a low-stakes tech bootcamp to figure out how to do a lot of the creates, and it really gets our brains thinking for the rest of the projects we’ll do in the course (especially the digital stories and metaphors at the end). But what I love best is that it’s a vibrant example of what happens when teachers are facilitators and participants and get out of the way of the learning! I can’t wait to see what you create!


    1. It really is incredible! I loved peeking back through all of the archives and seeing what some students had created. It’s amazing what they are doing without a teacher! Crazy what can happen when they get out of the way of learning. 🙂 Lots of cool stuff to learn and use in the future for sure!


  3. Regan,
    I felt the exact same way as you. I also do not see myself as a very creative person so this freaked me out. Then i thought the ds106 page was a little confusing and i wasnt sure what i was reading. With further research, i think i get it. Now i am just struggling to get signed up for daily create, i get confused what url and feeds they want so they can find my blog. But like you, i also think this will be a good experience in building my creativity skills and improving them. I am excited for that part.


    1. It was definitely overwhelming, but once I got a grasp of it, I saw how cool it was! I would just focus on doing the Daily Create and posting it. I followed their Twitter page, so tagging them in tweets will be easier! I’m excited to build my creativity skills as well!


  4. Hey Regan! I relate to your initial panic also mixed with some confusion. But the more I looked around the more it grew on me. It really is awesome when classes allow the students to have more control over their learning. Its great to see what comes out as a result. I didn’t think I would enjoy the daily creates but they’re actually fun! And I’m excited to see where I can fit them into my classroom!


  5. I really do not think that I am a creative person either. I typically take inspiration from others and attempt to make it my own. Also, in a weird way, I love that you got stressed over ds106 too! I am just glad that I was not the only one. I am additionally glad that we were both able to persevere and discover that ds106 is really an awesome site. There really are an unlimited amount of cool ways that we can use the daily challenges that we are presented with in our future classrooms as creative assignments that still meet those treacherous standards. Good luck tapping into your creative side!


    1. You were certainly not the only one, I promise! I was stressed to the max when I first started looking around on the site. But, the site is awesome and is overwhelming just because it has so much stuff on it. Thank you, I’ll need it! Good luck to you as well. 🙂 I can’t wait to see your Daily Creates!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love having a platform to express creativity. That’s one of the best things about the daily create challenge. It gives us a small set of instructions and then sets us loose to do what we want within those parameters. I like it a lot.


    1. Yes, yes!! Now that I’m about half way done with our Daily Create Challenge, I’m loving it. I love reading other people’s responses. Honestly, a lot of them make me giggle a little bit. Creativity is an amazing thing.

      Liked by 1 person

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