You may be thinking, “Why do I need to know the importance of something, if I don’t even know what it is?” With a name like “ds106,” there isn’t much room for interpretation. So what is ds106? Basically, it’s another name for Digital Storytelling. “Digital Storytelling” is a little more self-explanatory, however there is a lot more that comes with this concept than you would first imagine.
This isn’t just a general mainstream definition of digital storytelling. This is digital storytelling as a resource and an online course. The course, ds106, is available to anyone, free of charge, to take at any time. On ds106’s website they choose a definition of digital storytelling that says it is “using digital tools so that ordinary people can tell their own real-life stories.” (Wikipedia) It’s a way to share your true story in a way that’s emotionally engaging and compelling.
What’s so interesting and cool about ds106 is that it is an online open course that doesn’t cost anything, but still comes with the benefits of any other course you may take. The big thing that I saw as a benefit of ds106 is the collaboration between the students. There has even been a version put out that doesn’t involve a teacher whatsoever. This really promotes community and interaction between the students, which is so important when in a learning environment.
There are some specific objectives and ideas that ds106 mentions:
- Developing skills in technology as a tool for networking, sharing and being self-expressive.
- Creating a digital identity where you can become a practitioner and interrogator of new modes of networking.
- Critically examining the digital landscape of communication technologies as emergent narrative forms.
The importance of the course revolves around technology training and learning how to communicate with others through technology. There are all sorts of tools throughout the ds106 website and different activities to get involved in. Among these activities are daily creates, ds106 assignments, remix tools, and resources to follow your “classmates” and fellow collaborators.
Digital storytelling may be something that is not very well known in the technology community, but I believe it needs to be brought up more often. It’s so important to use your resources, whether they are free online courses, tools, or even other people. Today’s age has such a privilege to be able to get online with the click of a button and have access to so much. We can’t take these things for granted!
I would highly recommend checking out ds106 and finding out how it could help you to be a better learner.