Curating my #DS106 Creations for #ETMOOC

I have just under 70 blog posts on my site dedicated to my work for DS106, the original anti-MOOC course that encourages all participants to “Make art!” Since this week in #etmooc we’ve been challenged to attempt some digital storytelling through various means (and I fully intend to create something new), I took the opportunity to do some curation and look through my DS106 assignments. Since being able to reflect upon and curate our work is just as essential as making it in the first place (or at least so says my personal belief), I broke down my work into a few categories that I feel typify the amount of energy and craftsmanship that I put into each digital artifact.


ds106 averaged


Ben Could Have Created Something Better With a Glue Gun and Some Paperclips

This category isn’t necessarily meant to denigrate my own creations, it provides examples of digital storytelling in which I was either “playing around” or trying to produce a digital artifact just for the sake of creating it, not necessarily telling a story.

An “Average Day” with DS106 – My attempt to create something whimsical using the average of 50 separate pieces of visual media. I thought it might make something pretty…instead it looks like a big brownish/grey mess. I think with a bit more effort I could have created my own visual, rather than let the machine churn this out.

30 Minutes @ Work in 90 Seconds – These “hurry up” videos are the epitome of lazy create for me. That’s not to say they don’t create something cool when shot properly, but most of mine are simple cop outs at times, with nothing more than just a single still camera of something mundane, the footage dumped into iMovie, speed cranked up, and “blah”.

Multi-Task This! – I wanted to try doing something different, performing two cognitively intensive tasks at the same time to show how truly difficult it is to multi-task. So I gave a brief chat about a piddly little 12 bar blues that I was playing on the piano, creating a little snippet of audio. At best, it seems like showing off, “Look, I can play piano and give a mini-lecture at the same time!”, and at the worst it’s “Ben plays the piano horribly, and talks a lot of nonsense about stuff he really doesn’t know much about”.


Flux Capacitor Warning - Part 1

Hey, Ben Doesn’t Think This Stuff is That Awful

Digital artifacts/stories lumped into this area are examples that I’m actually a little proud of. They might not be perfect examples of my best ability, but they’re the pieces that I go back to quite often when I really want to push myself to create something better than I have before. These pieces were usually created with a clear storytelling purpose in mind, which I suspect helps the impact of the piece.

Merry GIFMas to All! – Not only did I have a blast creating this, I also had the opportunity to de-construct some iPhoto template files for creating cards. I was able to assemble the images taken for our static “paper-based” Christmas cards, and turn them into an animated GIF for my online friends. It was great to play with all of the photos that we took trying to get the “right” shot for the printed card, and gave us something that gives people warm fuzzies.

Hover Boards as Digital Storytelling Devices – While preparing for a presentation on digital storytelling and trying to create a visual reference for the idea of K-12 education “hovering” around the the implementation of the Common Core Standards, I got an idea to work with some source material that is fond in the heart’s of many 80’s pop culture fans. I also started to explore some ideas on just how easy it is for teachers to create their own posters, media, and visual artifacts using any photo editor or word processing tool.

Hunting Trolls in History – Not only did I get to collaborate with Shawn McCusker for this digital artifact (a social studies teacher that I’m a fan of on Twitter), but I also got to create something that I always strive for in an educational setting when presenting some new concept; a discrepant event to get learners thinking. Abraham Lincoln, apparently advocating for white privilege, and misquoted as Thomas Jefferson, creates this huge confusing puzzle that may or may not serve as something that students would need to solve or unravel, along the way encountering some of the hugely conflicting ideals about race in this country’s past.

Exploding Applesauce

Ben is Really Excited That People Really Enjoy This!

It’s not too often that we as individuals get to see our work spark the curiosity or interest of others. It’s the reason I became a part of the DS106 community in the first place, as it’s a nice way to get a pat on the back, support, encouragement, or advice on how to make your digital storytelling devices better. Sometimes, the nuggets I toss out there get swept and transformed, remixed, and turn into something even better than what I created. These are a few of those examples.

Video Story Problems – I started creating these about a year and a half ago with a few teachers in my district, and now the idea has started to spread to other schools in Michigan, Dan Meyer has used them as an example of math through digital storytelling at the elementary level, and they gave me an excuse to make one teacher of the hearing impaired extremely happy!

Fantasy TED Talks – The Dude Abides – Many of us have our favorite TED Talks, and many have TED Talks that we despise. Regardless, the whole TED Talk movement is something interesting that allows us to explore both the positive and negative sides of “sage on the stage” syndrome, in which we herald the 60 minute lecture of an expert as the panacea that will solve all of our problems…if only everyone would just listen! I thought “The Dude” was a great example that everyone could abide by….until I saw the awesome creations that my fellow DS106 creators made!


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