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A daily dose of digital creativity

March 6, 2012

logo for The daily createDigital Storytelling (DS) 106 is an open online course that runs several times a year — you can join or leave whenever you like. Now in its third year, the course is the brainchild of Jim Groom at the University of Mary Washington. Participants experiment with digital platforms for storytelling, build an online identity, interact with a community of fellow learners, and engage with the outside world. Basically, the course is part storytelling workshop and part technology training. Whenever I read about it, people are very enthusiastic.

Part of DS 106 is something called “The Daily Create,” a short (15-20 minute) exercise designed to stir up creative juices. Each morning a new task is posted; it can be from photography and drawing to audio and video. Participants complete the assignment, upload it to a specified service and tag it. They are encouraged to create something new (not submit something they already had) and try multiple approaches to each task.

The Daily Create - Grid Dip Meter The assignment a few days ago was, “Take a picture of an instrument that measures something.” From the gallery of responses posted on the site, you can see that participants reacted to the creativity requirement in different ways. The photo subjects include not only rulers and calipers but also fingers and a video game screen. Some people showed creativity through the angle of the shot or the placement of an object. A few of the photos (IMHO) were not very creative; I can easily imagine that it is hard to be “on” every day for this assignment.

It’s fun to browse through the creative work at this site and the archive page is an excellent source of ideas for student assignments that incorporate media. Some of the topics you’ll find there are

  • POV Silent Walk Down the Street or Through a Building
  • Record a sound of an ordinary thing and make it hard to guess
  • Take a photo of a leap. Or a leaping photo
  • Record a video in which you describe where your name came from

Photo credit: The Daily Create – Grid Dip Meter by NoiseProfessor, on Flickr

5 Comments leave one →
  1. March 7, 2012 9:31 am

    Reblogged this on teachingandlearningatmsu and commented:

  2. Chris Clark permalink*
    March 7, 2012 7:50 am

    Jim, Thanks for sharing the assignment repository link. I was looking for ways to offer my multimedia course students some extra credit opportunities, and this is truly gold mine! I love what you are doing with DS 106. It will undoubtedly influence where my course goes after this year.

  3. March 6, 2012 5:02 pm


    Thanks for the awesome write-up of ds106 here, it is a really fun class. Tim Owens deserves full credit for making the Daily Create site a reality, and it is all done with freely available WordPress plugins, you can see the details here

    Also, Martha Burtis’s work with the ds106 assignment repository is amazing. It’s a space where students submit assignments and other people in the class can do them. Take for example the fat Cat visual assignment which a student at UMW submitted and people all over the world completed, pretty crazy:

    One thing you might notice is not only the list of 23 people who did that particular assignment, but also the 3 or 4 tutorials people submitted to help others complete it. What happens with ds106 is the students not only help build not the community of the class, but the class itself. It is like building an airplane while flying in it!


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