Digital Storytelling or ds106 is a great online resource that many people are taking advantage of to help better themselves in this new digital world. Ds106 is a free online course that is offered at the University of Mary Washington. It started out strictly for their students in 2010, but then in that following year the professors instructing the class decided to make it an open ended class and allow anyone to contribute. One thing that probably helped gain more outsiders was that they could join or leave the class at any point, and that they were not tied down due to financial obligations.
I think the whole premise around ds106 is awesome! Not only is it helping to develop individuals’ skills in digital technologies, but it is helping those individuals get outside their comfort zone and build some confidence. This course isn’t like a normal college course, it defers because it asks their students to frame their own person digital identity that is going to be out in the open. Also, since it is an open network of peers and individuals trying to help better each other, it helps facilitate and stimulate growth and development in the learning process in regards to digital learning and digital technology.
I think that this course could potentially be a tremendous resource not only in my own personal life, but also in my professional teaching career as well. In my personal life, I could use this course to help develop my technological skills. Seeing how my skills in digital technology are average at best. In regards to my future classroom, I believe that this course could help support growth and creativity of my students. At the end of the day, we want our students to be learning and developing to their fullest potential and as educators we should want that same thing in our students’ digital lives as well. Especially, since we are living in a world that is only going to get more and more digitally advanced. I also believe that getting students outside their comfort zone is a great way to better learn the material and to help imprint the material or new skill into a long term memory. The key is to using this resource appropriately though. Many kids may find it overwhelming or simply too much to do, so I could possibly adjust the material or lessons that are given from ds106 to better fit the learning needs and capabilities of my students. Overall though, I think that ds106 is an outstanding resource that teachers should use to help facilitate learning in their classrooms.