ds106,  openness

A Man/Me/Then Jim – digital storytelling

Like Alan Levine I have signed up for open courses but never completed them (I too am an OCDU (Open Course Drop Out)). This raises some issues for open education in itself – motivation to complete is not just about interest but also about pressure. If you have paid for a course then your commitment to it is higher, or if you've told everyone you're doing something it's harder to drop out.

But I'm willing to try again, particularly for something as innovative as Jim Groom's Digital Storytelling course ds106. I have a meta interest in this beyond the content (which I think will be great fun), and that is to see how a course which aggregates content from participants in the cloud feels and works. 

Already you can see that the open nature of the course has led to participants suggesting ways in which it can operate, or possible activities. This is partly a result of Jim having a good network who want to work with him, but also because the boundaries of the course are not fixed.

The course starts in January, but as a pre-course activity we were asked to create an animated gif of a favourite film which captures the essence of it. In an attempt to export some culture and sophistication to these rowdies, I created the following gif from Kieslowski's Double Life of Veronique. I cheated and used the online service GifSoup (warning, lots of the Gifs on the home page appear a bit 'adult'). I haven't seen this film for years, but I remember the brewing tea scene. It could be because it's contemplative, beautiful and about silence. Or it could be because I like tea.


PS – blog title is from this Rilo Kiley song.



  • Jim Groom

    Look at you taking the high road, I should know you were secretly into European films 🙂 I too am interested in how this aggregation model will turn out, and I really think the design and structure of that model around assignments has to be creative, visually stimulating, and constantly updating. I think if this course will prove innovative at all—and I’m not so sure it will—it may be in that regard. I just hope someone can code what I see 🙂
    Now,that said, the other part that i think will be cool is the way “assignments” emerge. For example, Tom Woodward was just idly throwing out examples on Twitter )he is an idea machine) and I pushed him to blog it up. Once he did, people just assumed they were assignments, D’Arcy Norman started making art, and it seemed like it was an assignment, but it wasn’t. I love that. The way the course may actually push people to create as a means to playfully keep sharp in their interrogation of the media they know and love could be wonderful. But whether it can be sustained for any significant amount of time is another story. I’m not certain it can, I mean all these people are already so busy, but in my mind it has already been a blast, and if it ends for most sooner than later, well maybe that’s how long it needed to be.
    All that said, having you in poses a special treat, cause underneath your tea loving, high brow film sensibility, there is a lovable zombie 🙂

  • Alan Levine

    As the eminent philosopher Gold Hat said, “”Culture? We ain’t got no culture. We don’t need no culture! I don’t have to show you any stinkin’ culture!”
    As Jim notes, there has not been one assignment made. What the bleep are these people posting stuff before the course even starts? Before there is a syllabus? Madness! Madness! Madness!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *