ds106 and the Daily Create Challenge

What is ds106 do you ask? It is an open online class from the University of Mary Washington that allows people to get creative, tell their story, and be challenged to branch out in their knowledge of and experience with technology. The ds stands for “Digital Storytelling” the 106 stands for…something. Course number? Address of the professor? The number of licks it takes to get the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Roll Tootsie Pop? The world may never know.

Storytelling with technology is ds106 in a nutshell. If you crack open the nut, though, you will find there is more to the class than the simple “be creative, tell your story.” ds106 has the following components that you will become proficient at, or at the least introduced to:


Argus Lady Carefree

Photo CC – by John Kratz

This is where you use photography to tell a story. It can be creating a meme, documenting a day in photos, or make your own postage stamp on stamps.com. All you need is a camera, access to the web, some creativity, and friends or family members to secretly photograph. (Then you get their permission to use the image, of course.)


The Big Draw at UWCSEA Dover

Photo CC – by Nicki Hambleton

This is sometimes drawing, but always using paper and a way to mark it. For example, it can be making a new super hero logo, or creating with coffee stains. It may be drawing two scenes from a movie. It just has to have paper, ink, and there may be a surprise thrown in!


TDK SA-C90 Compact Audio Cassette

Photo CC – by Duncan Toms

These are audio clips that you make for others to listen to. Maybe an old-timey commercial, a recording of what is happening in the house at a specific moment in time, or a recording of yourself making animal noises. Then it is uploaded and shared with all the world! If we were doing this on cassette tape, I would be awesome at this. I may have to break out my Walkman for this project.


YouTube and Joost

Photo CC – by Thomas van de Weerd

Make a commercial, a silent movie, or a documentary of the content of the refrigerator. Edit, put on YouTube and be proud that you have produced a masterpiece. This is the media format that we have been most accustomed to since childhood, and now we get to use it to tell our own stories.


des mots insensés

Photo CC – by Andrada Radu

This is where the sky may be the limit. We know that anything can happen with words. It could be writing instructions, creating a fairy tale, or a compilation of sentences from 5 books with a title you create! All you need is an extensive vocabulary, and perhaps a slightly twisted sense of humor.

 How will I use this?

The beauty of this class is that I will be learning and utilizing technologies that are new to me.  This open class can be a 30 day challenge, like I am doing for my digital literacy class, using The Daily Create.  ds106 can also be used in a classroom to spark some creativity. I hope to teach third grade, and I think that ds106 create challenges would be a tool that helps the students to make a product that demonstrates what they know and can do. How much fun would it be to find a daily create challenge that aligns to a standard the class is currently on?

I am thinking of a Friday Create. This could be a class project, group work, or individual work. The class work on a concept all week, and as a way for students to demonstrate what they have learned, they get to make something!  A Friday Create would be what students look forward to every week, and I would get to see a side to my students that I otherwise would never get a chance to view.

I am looking forward to getting started next week! Stay tuned… In the meantime, I am going to see how many licks it does take to get the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Roll Tootsie Pop.

Lolly in the sky

Photo CC -by darwin Bell


7 thoughts on “ds106 and the Daily Create Challenge

  1. I have not begun yet either, but I am looking forward to it. I’m also a little intimidated at some of these! We will all be getting a little more creative together, and it will be fun to see how we use the same ideas to create different things.


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