Okay, so I looked at ds106 when I saw it assigned and I thought. . . Okay, this is a class, right? Why am I looking at another class within a class and it made my head spin, you know, like Inception, a dream within a dream. But when looking at the course held throughout the year at the University of Mary Washington is pretty awesome.
I am afraid to put myself forward online because I don’t like the idea of my stuff online. . . For-ev-er (imagine that kid from Sandlot). Ds106 seems to take those fears and tell you to overcome them. This class is open to all, enter it when you want, leave when you need. It is free to all and requires only a computer, Internet connection, preferably a domain and some community web hosting and creativity.
The course’s web site gives ds106’s course objectives. Personally, I thoughtney were a little bit confusing what with all of the big words at had to be deciphered.
- “Develop skills in using technology as a tool for networking, sharing, narrating, and creative objectives”- or you’ll learn to use tech to connect with others and use it as creative expression.
- “Frame a digital identity wherein you become both practitioner in and interrogator of various new modes of networking”- in other words, you’ll make a digital identity, Twitter, Facebook, wordpress, etc to network and create
- “Critically examine the digital landscape of communication technologies as emergent narrative forms and genres”- or you will analyze communication tech critically and creatively.
The class is part tech training, part critical analysis of digital communications available, and part storytelling workshop. Digital storytelling is hard to define. The course’s web site defines digital storytelling as “using digital tools so that ordinary people can tell their own real-life stories”. It sounds like a digital journalism course. But the definition of digital storytelling may be more broad than that and may actually include web-based stories, interactive stories, hypertexts, (Texts which contain other texts as hyperlinks contain other links) fanart and fan fiction, and narrative computer games. This portion of the “definition” of digital storytelling makes it seem more fun than a journalistic standpoint which has all of the fun of a report. To be able to use digital storytelling as a tool for creativity which can be used in fun ways. I don’t write fan fiction because I don’t really think that I can equal the original author’s intent, but I read them because I enjoy the creativity of others.
So, yes, there are journalistic portions of digital storytelling that may seem boring, but have you ever read an editorial? They’re full of opinions and thoughts. Then, there are ways of actual creative expression to be found in digital story telling that are fun for both the user and his/her audience.