Tag Archives: ds106

What’s in a Week One?

Sunday was the deadline for students in this fall’s section of ds106 at UMW to complete their work for the first 7 days of class. This semester, the first two weeks of class have been constructed as a “ds106 Boot Camp.” Alan and I decided that before students really delved into the hard work of digital storytelling, they needed to get some fundamental skills under their belt. In the past, we’ve tried to interweave these skills into the start up of the storytelling assignments, and students were often still struggling with how to embed media, create links, or properly use tags in the sixth or seventh week of class.

Boot Camp is meant to hone those critical ds106 skills before the really hard work starts. So, last week their primary objective was to get their domains registered, their web space configured, and WordPress installed. In addition, they had to dabble with the Daily Create and set up accounts on a bunch of social media sites that we’ll be using this semester. By Sunday at midnight, all of this work had to be completed, and each student needed to write a summary post of everything they’d done.

In the past, the first 2-4 weeks of ds106 was consumed with just getting students’ domains registered and sites up and running — while also dealing with the first storytelling assignments.

I’m happy to say that by Sunday, every student in my section (and I believe all of Alan’s students as well) had registered domains and installed WordPress successfully. In addition, most of them had created their ds106 accounts and linked them to their new blogs so that their posts were pulling seamlessly into the main ds106 site.

I cannot tell you how radical this is. We owe the success to three things, in my mind: 1) I think the Boot Camp approach is proving successful. Students are really focusing on these fundamentals and getting it done. 2) The reworking of sign-ups on the ds106 site has proven to be great. Almost every new account automatically gets a feed and institutional tag assigned to it. Occasionally, we have to troubleshoot a problem account, but those issues are few and far between. 3) The launch of the Domains of One’s Own pilot at UMW which is delivering free domains and Web space to our students means that we can manage them through this process WAY more easily than in the past. And DTLT’s Tim Owens is the man is has made that happen all along the way.

Here’s a screenshot of the Google spreadsheet that I’ve been using to track my students progress through the first week of Boot Camp obstacles. As you can see, only 1 student is really lagging behind. Other than that, there are only a few missing pieces. (Names/domains/twitter handles have been blurred to avoid embarrassing anyone ūüôā )

Again, this is so RADICAL.


Perfecting the Syndicated Blog Sign-Up

It’s hard to believe that Camp Magic MacGuffin finished weeks ago, and in another five days (yikes!), a new session of ds106 starts up here at UMW.

Alan and I ended up really tearing our hair out for the first few weeks of CMM trying to get everyone signed up with their blogs in FeedWordPress and tagged appropriately (in the CMM case, tags were used primarily for the bunk houses students were assigned to).

Going into the fall semester, I really wanted to clean-up this process.  Continue reading Perfecting the Syndicated Blog Sign-Up

Summer Camp, DS106 Style

This summer, I’m honored to be co-teaching DS106 with my new colleague, Alan Levine. We’re going to be teaching the class entirely online over 10 weeks. In typical DS106-fashion, we’ve invited the Web to participate. The class will be made up of a group of enrolled students at UMW as well as a cohort of open-online participants. We’ve got a lot planned.

First, and foremost, our version of DS106 will be taking place at Camp Magic MacGuffin, a very special summer camp for digital storytelling, creativity, and self-actualization. (I don’t actually know what “self-actualization” means, but it sounds nice.)

In a day or so, we’ll be sending out a welcome letter to our UMW students. Others who interested in participating should check out our welcome video and our special video for open, online students. You can also review the syllabus and packing list.¬†And, if you’re really dying to know more, you can get to know Alan and me better or take a look at the folks who’ll be joining us as camp counselors.

For the duration of camp, I’m going to be blogging my entire experience on a shiny, new site. I’ll be feeding those posts to my Twitter account as well as showing them in my sidebar.

See you on the other side of the mountain!


I’m spending this weekend all alone, and taking advantage of the peace and quiet to explore some new assignments.

Here’s my fantasy TED talk:

I can’t explain it, but I went through a period in my mid-20’s when I was totally addicted to the Teletubbies. I found the show fascinating — and watching it was a way of completely zoning out. And I was always intrigued by the damn baby sun. What the hell was it?!

7-11-11 ds106 Live Broadcast: Web Storytelling

In today’s video Tim Owens and I take you through the Web Storytelling assignment step-by-step. This assignment is due Wednesday at midnight. Please post it to your blog and tag it as “webstories” (no quotes).

Please note the ds106 radio shows are due tonight (7/11) at midnight and the shows will air tomorrow starting at 1:30 PM and run through the evening. Be sure to have one of your group members following the radio stream during that time and have access to Twitter and Skype so that you can come on the radio and talk about your radio show. You can get on ds106 radio by following these directions: http://bit.ly/radio4life Keep in mind there will be no formal class tomorrow, but you will all be asked to monitor the ds106radio station from 1:30 PM on.

On Wednesday, 7/13, we will start the introduction to the video section of this course at 1:30 PM. Please be ready to contribute your favorite web video examples during this session, which will be led by Jim Groom’s twin brother Tim Groom.

On Thursday, 7/14, Andy Rush will take us through the specifics of web video, covering everything from codecs to compression to video editing tools and more. This session will also be held at 1:30 PM.

Martha Burtis
Officially Done

Some examples of ds106 radio shows and bumpers

It occurred to me that Jim Groom, given his altered state, may not have given the class some examples of radio shows that have been done already in what was once simply . Therefore I have taken it upon myself, as a good professor, to provide you with some solid examples of both radio shows and bumpers from previous courses to use as a model as you create your own.

The idea behind the radio show is to frame a series of stories/narratives that experiment with telling stories orally through sound on the radio. While the bumpers are used to both to promote your show, as well as transition neatly between different sections of your groups show—if they are, indeed, distinct. Bumpers can be very short, i.e., 15 to 30 seconds, or as long as a minute. The general theme for the show should be focused around Summer Camp or Summer of Oblivion. Hopefully either gives you room to experiment. Ideally your group will work together to come up with a show that is both coherent and original. What’s more, it should be something that you all can work on together or individually. That said, please try and make it work as a longer, compelling show that is at least 5 minutes per person as a rule (or 20 minutes if there are 4 groups members).
If you want examples of shows from students in the previous classes, see my May ds106 course’s “Dog Days of Summer” show here:
Also, there are a number of radio shows you can access here from the Spring semester
And here are some bumpers:

I hope this helps you all in your quest! What’s more, I have taken the liberty to extended the deadline for the final radio shows from Sunday at midnight to Monday at midnight.

7-7-11 Live Broadcast: Jim Groom Missing, Assignment Reminder, and Web Storytelling

What follows is a copy of the email I will be sending out to the ds106 Summer of Oblivion course members shortly.

Here is the link to today’s abbreviated course session:

Keeping up with the ds106 Radio Show
In light of Jim Groom’s disappearance, I think I need to step in and establish some kind of order and reaffirm that we must remain one as a class, and put all our divisions aside. What’s more, you must get your assignments done! Today’s video was short and sweet, and provided a review of where we are and a look at where we are going—with or without Jim Groom.

As a quick recap. you should already have your radio groups formed and each group should have a name and list of members on this wiki page here. Also, your groups :30 second and one minute bumpers are due for your radio show by tomorrow, Friday, July 8th, at 5 PM. In addition, the show is due no later than midnight on Sunday July 10th (this deadline is not negotiable). Finally, the shows will air on Monday, July 11th starting at 2 PM and going through the evening.

Telling Stories in/on the Web Assignment
What’s more, as a look of things to come we will be experimenting with web storytelling, wherein you each will be asked to hack a website and make it your own. Here is an example I worked on today to give you an example of what one of them might look like:¬†http://marthaburtis.net/ds106_amazon.html

This assignment will be the subject of Monday’s course, and the course will be centered on this assignment but in order to get a head start see the video about how to execute this assignment¬†here and the very detailed tutorial¬†here. You can see some ideas and the vision of this assignment on Jim Groom’s blog¬†here, before he lost it entirely.

Steady and strong wins the race,
Martha Burtis