What is ds106?

Why would you, dear reader, be interested in something so enigmatic as “ds106”? Let me tell you.

ds106 is an online course offered by the University of Mary Washington. It’s completely free and only requires your own connection to the internet and a great deal of creativity. Sometimes, there’s no teacher (which hopefully means no grades?). The ds stands for Digital Storytelling and the 106 in the course number. Therefore, this is a course that revolves around digital storytelling. Throughout the course, you build and maintain an online brand and personal identity through digital tools. This is a course that teaches you a lot about digital literacy and critically examining the information that you see on the internet.

One great thing about ds106 is that it helps you build a network of people on the internet. It can be challenging to make connections with people on the internet. It can be hard to interact with people that you don’t know in real life. Since this course is free and readily available, you can meet people from all different places and backgrounds. This is an important part of life! We should always strive to understand where others are coming from. Networking is also crucial in finding a career and maintaining an online presence.

This course pushes you to be creative in your every day life. While storytelling alone requires a great deal of creativity (trust me, nobody wants to listen to a boring story), there are so many other things to this course. There is one part of the course called “The Daily Create” which pushes you to create something every single day. There is no reward for partaking in this but it pushes you to be more creative and get out of your comfort zone. It also pushes you to look at every day tasks in a different way. You might not think that making toast can be seen as artistic but there are many examples on their website that would prove you wrong.

Overall, this concept is interesting. The fact that it’s free makes it all the more enticing. It also seems laid back. Since it’s free, open to anyone, and might not have a teacher, who will notice if you skip an assignment? I like that idea.

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