This week, ds106, the open online digital storytelling community that grew out of CPSC106 at UMW, was awarded the Innovation Contest from Reclaim Open Learning. The award is meant to honor projects that embody principles of open education and participatory learning. ds106 is one of five projects to receive the award this year.
Reclaim Open learning is a collaboration between the Digital Media and Learning Hub at UC Irvine and the MIT Media Lab. It’s goal it to bring together like-minded researchers and educators who are interested in issues of open education. The Innovation Contest is one program of the project.
ds106 is an open, online digital storytelling community that was originally architected by Jim Groom, director of teaching and learning technologies at UMW. After teaching UMW’s digital storytelling class, CPSC106, for two semesters, in spring 2011 Groom became interested in opening the course up more broadly. Working with Martha Burtis, special projects coordinator in DTLT and another CPSC106 instructor, and colleagues at other institutions, Groom launched ds106.us and invited anyone to join the course and participate in the activities.
During the first semester, over 200 participants signed up for ds106 from around the world and explored the art and meaning of digital storytelling. Since then, the community has spawned a crowd-sourced assignment repository, a Web radio station, The Daily Create (a site that provides daily prompts for those interested in exercising their creative muscles), and In[spire] (a student-created site that showcases the finest work in the community). In addition, faculty at other schools have used the ds106 community to model similar courses at their own institutions.
As part of the award, Burtis will attend and present at the Reclaim Open Learning Symposium in Newport Beach, California on September 26 & 27.