DS106… What is This?

The instructor for my literacy in the digital age course asked students to spend 30-45min on the ds106 website. I spent a lot more time on the site that this. Most of my time was spent trying to understand exactly what this site was, and what it was trying to accomplish.

My understanding is that this is a community that started as a course. Now the site is a method to inspire creativity through graphics, photos, writing, audio, and video. Assignments are created and the community chooses to respond. I also went to YouTube to further understand what this is all about.

“It is about you setting a bar for yourself and exceeding your own expectation”

“You’re allowed and encouraged to have fun with every single assignment you try”

Your first visit to the ds106 website can leave you feeling confused and ready to click away. However, if you give it some time and explore you might find something interesting, and maybe even get sucked in.

This strategy could be interesting for implementation into educational activities. What if students created and participated in classroom assignments this way? Would it inspire creativity or allow students to avoid topics that are challenging?

This makes me think of a student group that I had recently and loved working with. They were engaged with the material and always made it fun. When I would assign projects they made YouTube videos that were not only entertaining, they were informative. Giving students the option to get creative with assignments in a way that they enjoy could increase engagement.

Student generated video and audio content also has the benefit of sharability. Useful content can be available to other students enhancing the learning experience and creating a callobartive supportive environment.

A major issue in academia today is the constant push for perfection. While approrpiate in some situations obsession with perfection can stifile innovation in career fields. I have one instructor at my current college who’s obsession with perfection destroys the enjoyment for learning, and creates more stress than understanding. Her rubrics are unclear and if you don’t assess her exact expectation the point deduction is dramatic… I hated every minute of her class and spent more time trying to figure out what she wanted then getting anything from the course.

ds106 is something different. It allows creation without destructive criticism. This is something educators should avoid in the classroom at all costs. Classrooms are about ideas!

(Word Count = 408)




  1. I 100% agree with you that when students are given the opportunity to be creative, they enjoy learning more! I really enjoyed reading this post and your quote “ds106 allows creation without criticism” was spot on.


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