Category Archives: Assignments

Reflecting on DS106

Well this was interesting.

This has been more than kind of a crazy last semester of school for me, and I certainly wasn’t expecting quite the rigor or required level of involvement that this class calls for, even with the warnings. This is the kind of work I like to do, so I figured working on my own schedule would make it a pretty enjoyable, stress-free time.

It didn’t exactly work out that way, but I still largely enjoyed my experience with this class. I engaged with numerous forms of new media and tried things that I never had before. That’s really what I’ll remember the most from ds106. It forced me to use my skills to create some pretty cool things. I didn’t know I was even capable of making a number of the projects I ended up with.

It engaged in seemingly every interest I have, too. It got me to play with visual stuff, which I love. It got me to mess around with recording and playing music for fun again, which was totally awesome. I love that I was able to personally play and record the music that I used for my radio show and case study. It’s cool to go back and listen to all of that stuff again and remember that I’m able to make interesting things. The class also made me play around more with video, web tools, and a host of other things.

This class also allowed me to be funny, which has always been crucially important for me in expressing myself. So often we have to write and speak so damn seriously that it’s such a breathe of fresh air to take an assignment and simply have fun with it. The one week I made the darth vader voicemail and the Ben Stein/DeNiro conversation (Bueller?) was one of my favorite weeks just for that reason. I just had fun with the topics that were given to me. I was allowed to be weird and quirky and it was OK. That’s pretty awesome. It’s also awesome when people tell you that your work made them laugh or think about something differently. Reaffirming feels good, don’t it?

Naturally, the biggest area of this class I wish I engaged with more was this┬ácommunity aspect. I was on Twitter and following along more than it appears, but I definitely wasn’t as active in the conversation as I could have been. It’s been a really hectic semester even without the fact that I’m graduating. I was extremely busy with other things and the community part of this class kept getting pushed to the side until it was too late. I regret that, and wish I had made a bigger effort to stay involved with everyone online, because that’s where this class catapults to the next level. I witnessed some really cool things develop over the months, and I’m sad and jealous that I didn’t participate in quite the same way.

Regardless, of all my classes here at UMW, this one certainly stands out from the pack. To be fair, it’s the only online class I’ve ever taken, but it’s more than that. I’ve never been allowed to work on things I really want to do so often before. It’s been a fun ride here and an interesting way to close out my life here at UMW. Thank you to everyone involved in this class who make it what it is. This really is a special little opportunity.

Assignment Ideas

I’ve just made and written tutorials for two new web assignments that use the online tools Kumu and Inklewriter.

The first assignment, the Kumu map, deals with organizing relationships on a highly customizable web. I used this tool in my Adaptation class and it was very cool. It can be creatively used to do numerous things. I think it would awesome for someone to map out the relationships between all of their ds106 assignments. That could be a fun log to keep throughout the year. View my tutorial here.

The second assignment uses Inklewriter, an online, interactive storytelling engine. It’s similar to Twine, which there is already an assignment for, but I prefer Inklewriter when I’m doing more storytelling than gaming. It’s a great platform that could do many things. Check out my brief tutorial here.