Not the first, not the last, but I humbly claim being dead wrong about ds106 not getting the MOOC respect.
We get tons of it.
Check it out, after 7 hours, the DS106: The Open Online Community of Digital Storytellers Kickstarter campaign, launched around 5pm today, is closing in on half its goal:
What the bleep is going on? Read the site, watch the video. Pretty simple- ds106 has been chugging along on a self hosted web server, and with all the burst of activity this year- 7 universities participating in DS106, more than 1200 open online participants that have generated over 18,000 posts- the server had to be moved from a shared host to a big rack in the clouds.
While ds106 was born here at the University of Mary Washington, we are asking for support, because it belongs to more than us. And its a fascinating experiment in whether an open community will support its own infrastructure.
Hats off in a big way to Tim Owens for not only developing the idea to use Kickstarter, but running with it the full way from conceptualizing, designing, and even directing Jim Groom on camera (“how ya doing” he says to the server ;-) I’ve been around the crew at DTLT a few weeks now, and the pace of things happening here is just under light speed. Tim, Jim, Martha, Andy are a real powerhouse- and this new kid is hoping to catch up.
I’ve been very flip to MOOCs but seriously, stepping back, all of them are bringing value to the DIY education space- no matter the structure, they are presenting opportunities that were not there before. Even if no one yells “4Life” in the AI course, it is still an open space to learn. In fact, in all of this, it is not what the MOOCs do or provide, but what people bring to the MOOC.
So bring on more MOOCs of all flavors, and stand them up against the rising tide of opportunists who want to cash in on the interest in openness.
Openness is as openness does.
Say what you want about ds106, the lines in Giulia’s epic art (which is the design of the kickstarter t-shirt, and this, the only way to get one is to pledge) gets to the heart of ds106, this is a call not of branding ds106, but of claiming what is free, and open from the washers.
We need to think differently about our culture. This is not simply augmenting our experience with technology. Claim your space. Review. Remix. Make Meaning. Make Art, Damnit!