So just what in the world is DS106? Well, DS or Digital Story telling, is a class offered by the University of Mary Washington. It’s a very flexible class that is open to everyone and can be picked up or put down at any time. The participant of the course is the only one holding themselves accountable for the assignments. If you do or don’t do an assignment, it is only by your rules.
Because of the extremely flexible and open nature of the course, there is also no true assignments, save for the ones that the student either creates for themselves or chooses for themselves. The sky is the limit, as far as the work you want to do. Browsing through the class, there is almost nothing that you can’t choose to do, or that hasn’t already been done in the class. There is even a fanfiction option! Things that you may like to do on your own time, or may not even find the time to do regularly, you can do as work in this class.
This offers a polarizing stance to the average college course, in which there is a schedule, designated assignments, and enrollment and class time is strictly given. This breaks all of the ‘normal’ rules for a college course.
Some of the things to do are extremely appealing and exciting, with a DS106 radio station offered, countless writing assignments in all areas, photo assignments, video assignments, options for making animated gifs (if that’s your forte), audio assignments, 3d printing, and even mashup assignments that combine elements of other assignments or that have no real place anywhere else. If none of those suit your taste, you can follow the standard course for DS106, if none of those are appealing to you at all. Or, you can even just make up your own assignments!
There is something for everyone on DS106, and all are assignments that have little to no stakes, in which only your peers and yourself can judge your progress. They are simple to finish, and can all be played around with to suit your own style or preferences.
The biggest takeaway I get from the overall idea or concept of DS106 is that you have every opportunity to learn or start something new. Even if you’re not great at something, need a little help, or just want to show your progress to someone, there are spaces in which you can still learn and still participate.