Assignment Guide

Week 1: Beginnings...

Welcome to DS106! This is a wild, fast-paced, wonderful, stressful, inspiring course. Because of that, I both love and dread teaching it. :) I think you'll find that you'll learn a lot, enjoy a lot, but also break things a lot, ... and fix some of them. But you'll also have a lot of support.

Read more...

Week 2: Breaking & remaking text

This week, we begin the "content" of the course! We start with text: reading, writing, breaking, remaking, reflecting, and writing again. How do digital tools enable us to do new, creative things with text?

For some inspiration, check out a text bot my kids (age 7 and 5 at the time) and I built, Green Eggs and Spam, as well as one of my favorite Twitter bots, House Hunters Plot.

Read more...

Week 3: Breaking & remaking text, part 2

This week, we continue our work with text, applying what we read about last week to the creating of a Twitter bot. These bots will take existing text ― in the form of a list, a spreadsheet, or existing prose, poetry, or song lyrics ― and remix that text in interesting, surprising, and sometimes non-sensical ways.

Read more...

Week 4: Sherlock, part 1

This week, we move from remixing text as text into remixing text with other media. We'll explore Arthur Conan Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles (one of his Sherlock Holmes novels) and various radio, audio book, and film remakes of the novel. We'll make our own audio "cover" of Baskervilles, as well as write some fan fiction.

Read more...

Week 5: Sherlock, part 2

This week we take our exploration of The Hound of the Baskervilles, as well as our major creative work, to the world of radio! We'll find and explore existing audio books and radio broadcasts, and even make our own mini-episodes.

Read more...

Week 6: Sherlock, part 3

This week we wind up our exploration of The Hound of the Baskervilles with film adaptations and fan fiction. You'll have an opportunity to watch multiple film "covers" of this novel, as well as take a stab at making your own text- or multimedia-based "cover".

Read more...

Week 7: Musical covers, part 1

This week, we begin a two-week unit on musical covers. We'll explore some existing covers of old songs, and next week we'll create our own remixes/remakes/breakdowns of existing audio artifacts.

Read more...

Week 8: Musical covers, part 2 (and fall break)

This week begins with Fall Break! And then we conclude our two-week unit on musical covers. We'll take some time off of Daily Creates to focus exclusively on making our own remixes/remakes/breakdowns of existing audio artifacts. We will also get to know the DS106 Assignment Bank, and even make some of our own contributions.

Read more...



Week 9: Midterm projects

This week, we work primarily on our domains! This is the opportunity to get your domain into really good shape, thinking critically about what its purpose is, what story you want to tell about yourself with it, and what work you do/don't want to highlight on that domain.

Read more...

Week 10: Activist media

The Hunger Games, by Kendra Miller

This week we start to pivot from film remakes of books into the world of video production. As we have an election coming up, it also seems a fitting time to explore the concept of activist media ― media with a cause. We'll read about the making of "propos" (Suzanne Collins's name for "propaganda films" in Mockingjay), then watch a remake of that scene ― a video with a cause about making videos for a cause! ― and others in "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1." Finally, we'll look for inspiring activist film in our own culture. This week, we also return to the regular schedule of Daily Creates.

Read more...

Week 11 (Nov 6–10): Video editing, part 1

[rise], by Rhino Neal

This week we turn our focus to creating video, and remain there for most of the rest of the course. I highly recommend using iMovie for your video creations. It is very easy to use, comes free with every Mac (including those for student use on campus), and the DKC tutors know it well. If you (like me) primarily use Windows, I still recommend using iMovie on the on-campus Macs if you can. Simple, powerful, free video editors for Windows are hard to come by. However, you are free to use whatever you like, including more professional software. Just be aware that my help, and that of the DKC tutors, will be primarily limited to iMovie.

Read more...

Week 12 (Nov 13-17): Video editing, part 2

Edward R. Murrow in London, 1941 (CBS/Getty Images)

Following up on our activist media and video work so far, we'll focus this week on using video media to tell stories that make a difference in the world. Stories that "educate, ... illuminate, ... inspire" (Edward R. Murrow). We'll have our usual dose of Daily Create, Medium posts, and peer feedback, as well as a short reading to discuss. We'll also make a video following very similar parameters to last week, but with a more specific goal for those videos in mind than simply learning some new tools and techniques.

Read more...

Weeks 13-14 (Nov 20–Dec 1): Battlestar Galactica

We bring our video unit to a close with a look at a cult classic, Battlestar Galactica. Creator Glen Larson had been pitching this show to network executives for years, but only after the successful release of Star Wars did he get a yes from NBC. The series premiered in 1978, and ran for a single year. Though it was not renewed, its status as a cult classic led to a more successful remake in 2003–08 on the Sci-Fi (SyFy) network.

The remake not only takes advantage of advances in digital technology to increase the impressiveness of its visual effects on a smaller budget (the original cost $1 Million per episode in 1978!), but it also made significant changes to the plot and characters. ...

Read more...

Week 15 & Finals (Nov 27–Dec 13): Inspire & final projects

We're coming to the end of our time together. :( We've done some exciting things, though, and it's time to recognize some of the most inspiring work that we've done, and to build on it in one final, culminating public project.

Read more...