Advice any future DS106 student should know
The number one advice any future DS106 student should know is that you should never underestimate this class. Now I mean this in a few ways, in terms of time, in what you can get out of this course at the end, and in terms of commitment.
Let’s start off with time. When a professor warns you their class is going to be rigorous sometime people have the leaning to say to themselves “ehh it’ll be fine I can get it all done day of.” Let me warn you right off just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Also if you can somehow finish all your DS106 assignments in one day chances are that work will not be stellar. (Also Daily Creates are daily if you have three assigned in a week you can’t just do them all late.) Almost every week of the semester in DS106 is a new type of media you have to work with, meaning you are taking on a totally new project and learning new skills. Those new skills might take more time to learn than you estimate. The quickest way to struggle is to underestimate the time the weeks assignments take. Start early and start strong. DS106 is a rigorous course when the instructor gives you your bootcamp warning take it seriously. No one is trying to trick you this class is a lot of work but the pay off is amazing (more on that later). To survive and thrive in DS106 make the commitment to schedule time throughout your week to work on assignments and give it your all. That leads me into the next part, what you get out of it.
DS106 has a unique opportunity that you really do not get in most college courses. Each week this course challenges you to learn different ways to use digital tools that you might never have used otherwise. You have to lead your own crash course in video, audio, and image editing but that is the beauty in it! Always thought design was cool? Congrats your homework is to learn how to do it. Too often people feel like audio and video and the like are too difficult or something they could never do. But in DS106 you have to do it which means you finally get to learn those skills with no excuses. Treat DS106 as part of your own crash course in learning every type of digital storytelling element imaginable and you will walk out of this class with so many new skills and ways to understand storytelling.
Now you might be asking yourself why didn’t she put what you get out of it last, but stick with me because commitment is the most important aspect of the not to be underestimated. Yes you need to careful and thoughtful of time for this course, and yes you can get great skills out of this course but neither of those are possible without commitment. DS106 asks a type of commitment different then most 100 levels course you expect. Namely because DS106 is far more than just a course. its a community. A community that extends beyond the college campus into the open web and world. Anyone can join DS106 and DS106 has famously coined itself as” DS106 4Life.” If you really want to get the most out of DS106 you have to throw yourself into the community. You and your character both should try to interact with your classmates and the larger Twitter community. This is something I wish I knew earlier or fully understood because once you start it becomes so much fun. You should also commit to your class narrative and to your character. Get into it and into the canon of the class narrative is fun and it is a uniquely DS106 experience. You also should commit to your projects. Make things you are proud of and that you think are cool it makes working much more fun!
Ultimately you have to never underestimate DS106. When you put in the time, the commitment, and the effort you will learn more skills than most classes ever. This class is ready to teach you a lot and force you to learn new things you just have to jump in with an open mind. If you do that then DS106 will be a fun and compelling course unlike any you have every taken or will ever take.
So welcome to the DS106 community it’s amazing your gonna love it