See, this is why I can't do ds106

#ds106. I am sure that is going to be a trending hashtag in the new year as Jim Groom’s MOOC  (Massive Open, Online Course) on Digital Storytelling gets underway in January. And looking at the participants who have signed on so far (or are contributing without actually jumping into the course), it is going to be a heck of a fun ride.

So many people in my network are participating (including one of our Art instructors) that I am feeling quite bummed about not being able to take part. But this winter/spring will see me finishing my Masters thesis, and, after the time I spent putting this together last night, DS 106 would just be too compelling a reason to not transcribe that 90 minute interview.

Here is the gist of a potential DS 106 assignment (suggested, I believe, by Tom Woodward)

Make an animated gif from your favorite/least favorite movie capturing the essence of a key scene. Make sure the movement is minimal but essential.

So, here is my contribution.

From Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange. This captures the moment where Alex, sitting with his droogs in the Korova Milk Bar, hears a woman singing opera. As that sly smile creeps across his face, we are fooled into thinking that he has nothing but scorn and derision for the older group of well dressed people sitting in the bar, and that he is about to call his droogs and go all malarky on their asses. But, what becomes clear a few moments after this, is that smile is not a smile of wicked delight at the thought of going ultra-violent, but a smile that revels his love of music. It is this moment that reveals both a weakness and a humanity that is ultimately both sympathetic and repulsive.  And, if you know the movie, that love of music becomes a key plot device later on when his behaviour gets modified.

I did this using the frame capture feature of the VLC player, and then created the animated gif in Adobe Fireworks.

This is the reason why I can’t do DS 106. As I beavered away on this in the basement last night, 20 more invitations to participate in my thesis research didn’t get sent out. Too…much…temptation.

What I find really interesting about this (besides the subject and the delivery method) is how Jim has taken the Instructional Design of the courses out into the open. Jim is certainly at the helm here, but he has asked his network for ideas. What kinds of assignments should this course include? How does one go about designing a MOOC?

He is crowdsourcing instructional design.

@jimgroom another #ds106 idea, 3 degrees of wikipedia competition see who can come up with most obscure wikiP “triple” (from @sleslie)

I’d like to see someone write a story/poem with a “googlewhack” in each line #ds106 (from @twoodwar)

5 Card Flickr #ds106 Story: Life is Like a Barrel of Pandas Add to pool tag ds106 in flickr Play (from @cogdog)

Maybe a good idea to use in #ds106 “Tim Burton’s new project: Storytelling with Twitter fans” (from @jtcf)

It’s a conversation that not only are his network of educators contributing to, but also potential students for the course.  This course is being designed, at least in part, by the crowds, led by a trusted network of educators that Jim has invested the time and energy in to developing relationships with.

It is a testament to the benefits of educators being open and engaged in social spaces, and taking a long term approach to developing relationships. If Jim had just started blogging or had just started using Twitter a month ago, this type of collaboration would not be possible. The network effect would not be there.

For me, a learner trying to understand the process of designing engaging learning experiences in a technology mediated environment, this type of transparency of process is invaluable, as it is to Jim, who builds on the successes and challenges of those who came before him. Standing on the shoulders.

Rock on, my droogs. I’ll be lurking along the sides and look forward to seeing what you all come up with.


Clint Lalonde

Just a guy writing some stuff, mostly for me these days on this particular blog. For my EdTech/OpenEd stuff, check out


4 thoughts on “See, this is why I can't do ds106

  1. Funny thing Clint, by contributing this bitchin animated gif of Alex which really does capture the insanely languid and violent ambience of that bar, you have joined ds106. You have always been the caretaker in this course, and work on your thesis as you may (and congratulations, btw) you will always be there.

    And finally, thanks for thinking through the framing of ds106, and my strange sense of guilt that so many folks picked up and ran with ds106 is but in a much healthier light in your post. The reason they did is because I've been bullshitting with them online for years, and that stuff matters. It isn't chit chat, ds106 is the manifestation of real relationships more than anything, and what better way to sustain a relationship than to makes myths together 🙂

    I would say I'm gonna miss you, but we both know that won;t be the case.
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    1. All those people who I have been building relationships will no doubt be madly constructing myths in their basements and posting to their spaces. I'll be overhearing, so yeah, I will be there :). I'm kinda anxious to hear what Mr. Potter cooks up audio wise in his basement.

      I was also thinking that this is the first MOOC I have seen that is not aimed specifically at educators, or has anything to do with education or learning, so I am interested in seeing how that works and how the participants who are not educators work in the environment. In that sense, I think that ds106 is an important course (at least from my perspective) in that the people you are working with are not primarily educators or educators who have an interest in technology. And i do not say that to take anything away from the others who have done these types of courses, but merely to say that it will add a great deal to the MOOC world to have an example and lessons learned from a discipline outside of education.

  2. "Come and get one in the yarbles." You have to love that kind of cry for chaos. There will be pain but it's going to be fun anyway.

    This is a beautiful thing to watch play out. I'll be interested in seeing what goes on once the course actually starts.

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