While the Networked Narratives course I am co-teaching with Mia Zamora is not a ds106 iteration, it’s definitely in the family.

Students and open participants are participating in their own blog space, we are syndicating posts into the course site, and there is also a daily create like site.

Like when I teach ds106, our Kean University students are tasked with submitting at least two ideas for the Daily Digital Alchemy. Just this week, one of our students wanted feedback on her ideas as submissions.

My neurons snapped at this one

Song Shuffle Story

Shuffle through songs on your playlist/phone/Spotify/iTunes(??) (idk what kids use these days) and see if some titles line up to form a sentence/poem/conversation/etc.! If that’s impossible, use a few song titles to inspire a mini-story. Bonus points for expanding the story.

because of one of the earliest student submitted ideas to the DS106 Assignment Bank, submitted by “callean” February 4, 2011 (the second month of the first open course):

Playlist Poetry

Write a sentence (preferably somewhat coherent, yet on the nonsensical side), a poem, or a quick story using the titles of songs you have in your Windows Media Player (iTunes may possibly work as well). Print the screen. Paste it in Microsoft Paint (or some higher-end equivalent). Save it, upload it, and share. If you could even respond to the one I originally created as a challenge (possibly even embed it as a comment on that blog entry), that would be even cooler.

It was an idea none of the instructors had thought of, and maybe never would have thought of (sorry Jim and Martha), and that’s what made it electric- the sheer originality. It took off, and I remember the mad rush of excitement as people tried it out and shared it in their blog.

You can find 30 responses linked from the assignment, the total was likely more, but we lost a lot of links from people nuking their blogs.

It was a significant response, and whether you think tying to create a story from stacking the titles of songs “counts” as story or whether this is an OER or if it has a creative commons license attached or that I cannot accurately tell you how many times it has been remixed, you have missed the open pedagogy in action here.

I’ve seen that happen so many times in DS106 this blog is not big enough to post them all.

Nor should I point out that in the Spring of 2017, 6 years after the first course, DS106 is still chugging along.

Since 2011 the original cMOOCs have come and gone, the xMOOCs soared to the heights of the hype curve and pivoted away. Yet there is a site with over 70,000 syndicated participant blog posts, over 1000 contributed assignments (with 12000 plus responses), over 900 consecutive daily creative challenges.

Since then, a total of zero one researcher have explored it’s data. I guess it’s not open enough.

So that’s why I had to gush appreciation to my current student, who came up with a similar idea on her own. Cue Kirby Ferguson?

Not only that, my student closes her email:

Should I send examples of each, too?

When you see her first DDA on April 9 published you will see how proud I am our current students because of the way she frames, describes an assignment, then takes the step to do the assignment, and post an example.

Her daily assignment submissions and others in this class are so much better formed than the typical ones I see in the DS106 site, often on par with simply “Take a picture of a pie and a bicycle”.

But alas, there are no explicit licenses of sharing here, no OERs, and so probably it’s probably not open pedagogy.

I will take lightning twice again.

Featured Image: Lightning Bolt pixabay photo by skeeze is in the public domain using CC0

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Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. The whole concept of Dailies is powerful on so many levels, as is the invitation to add your own. It narrows the gap between the so-called instructors (sorry, man) and the active learners. It’s also an exemplar of how a teacher shares the stage with the students, in a meaningful way, in a digital way.
    Thank you and the others for setting the idea in motion, and for keeping it in motion.

    1. And thank you Kevin for being active in both the ds106 and the netnarr dailies (and nudging me when they run out… I am working on a notification warning system for site admins).

      But even more, thanks for all the well crafted submissions you put in there- they come all ready to publish!

  2. First, that is a fantastic playlist. I would totally get into that which makes me REALLY want to hang out with that student.

    Second, I’ve heard you mention before the lack of researchers interested in DS106. I should first say that I’ve thought similar thoughts about our OU Create project. I feel like I’m sitting on a gold mine considering we’ll hit 5000 domains by the end of 2017. Same thing with my PR Pubs student syndication blog. But now that I look back and realize how much the MOOC hype was pushed by the potential of being able to do big data quantitative analysis on the courses, and how little I felt I was getting out of those research reports (not always, that’s a generalization, but still) I’m actually okay that no one wants to do any type data mining on it, though I do think our flavor of projects and domains do deserve a more qualitative approach of research. Conversely, I’ve seen ds106 cited SEVERAL times in research, so I by no means think the project and your work goes unnoticed by the research community. Far from it in fact.

  3. I have to laugh at myself; honestly, I couldn’t make heads or tails of that play list prompt. I went over it again as you presented it and just couldn’t figure out how to interpret into my world and brain. It must come of not being sure of what a playlist really is or if I even have one. I try to keep up, but games and playlists are unfocused streamers in the wind of time blowing by me.

    But that is irrelevant to the points you’re making here of pride in your creation and your students, which is well earned. I agree that you are awfully clever and that you have created a sustainable, dynamic space station where we intergalactic journeyers enjoy high play and mixing it up with visitors from other generations, I mean, strangers from planets vaguely resembling ourselves through a glass darkly.

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