Week One: Bootcamp – What’s the story?

image of a sign saying "What is your story?" and "What is our story?"


All work is due by midnight on Friday, 1/29/21

Welcome to ds106! This first week is dedicated to getting set up: set up your domain and Web hosting; install your WordPress site; and create other social media accounts such as Twitter, SoundCloud, YouTube, etc. Complete introductions via posts, twitter, video, audio, etc. The sooner you get started, the better. If you run into trouble after looking through the supporting links, the Digital Knowledge Center is a great place to go for help.

Here is a detailed list of what to do this week:

  1.   Review the Syllabus

You should carefully read through the syllabus. This course is different from most. The syllabus will help you understand the work and activities of the course. If you have any questions on the content, send them to me via Twitter or email.

  1.   Set Up Your Accounts
    This course runs on the open web and in various social media venues. I am assuming everyone knows how to be safe online. How you choose to present yourself, or what you choose to present as yourself, is entirely up to you.
    a. Domain Sign up for your own domain name and web site (free through UMW’s Domain of One’s Own project). Detailed instructions can be found here. Don’t skip the verification step! If you already have a domain through Domain of One’s Own, then you are one step ahead.
    Google / Youtube (video sharing) http://www.google.com/accounts/ If you have a Gmail account, you are already set with this. If not create a Google account. This gives you access to YouTube and Google Docs, which we may use during the semester.
    Twitter http://twitter.comTwitter will be one of the main channels for communication in ds106. If you already have an account for personal purposes, you are welcome to use it or create a new account for communication related to this class. Send your first message of greeting and be sure to use #ds106 hashtag in your tweets. Learn how to search on the #ds106 hashtag.
    Soundcloud (audio publishing) http://soundcloud.com/ This account is where you will share audio you create for the class.
    OptionalInstagram http://instagram.com for photo sharing. You could also use Google Photos or Flickr https://www.flickr.com/

Note: All of the social media accounts (Twitter, Instagram/Flickr, YouTube, and SoundCloud) that you create for this class MUST be public so we can all see each other’s work. If you already have accounts on these services that you don’t want to make public, you’re welcome to set up separate ones just for this class. The advantage of using the media sharing services is that they give you more storage space than your domain. When upload your media creations to these sites and embed them on your domain, they only take up as much space as the URL or embed code.

  1.   Install WordPress

You’ll be using this installation of WordPress to share your work every week, all semester. So you’ll want to get this installed and get comfortable with it ASAP. You should install it either at the root of your domain (www.yourdomain.com) or on a subdomain (ds106.yourdomain.com, for example). If you already have WordPress installed on your UMW Domain from another course, you can use your existing site (and just tag or categorize your ds106 work accordingly) or choose to create a new WordPress site in a separate subdomain.

We have three online guides that I recommend you review as you tackle this task:

Brief Introduction to cPanel: This guide will help you learn to navigate cPanel (the control panel for Web hosting on Domain of One’s Own).

Creating Subdomains and Subdirectories (optional): If you want to install WordPress somewhere other than at the root of your domain, check out this guide.

Installing WordPress: Learn how to get WordPress installed on DoOO.

WordPress Basics: Orient yourself to the WordPress environment.

Find out what a subdomain is and how to set up a subdomain on our documentation site.

NOTE: Do not use wordpress.com. You have to set up your own domain, or use a domain you already have (see Step 2, above), and you have to install WordPress on it (this step).

  1.   Register Your Blog at the Main ds106 Web Site

Once your blog is available on the web (it should be almost immediate) register yourself and your new blog on the DS106 site. You MUST do this in order for everyone to see the posts you’ll be writing for the class. NOTE: As part of the registration process, you will need to use your Twitter user ID, so be sure to have one.

  1.   Make some Multimodal Introductions

Now that you have all your accounts and everything set up, it’s time to use them to introduce yourself to the class. Use Twitter, SoundCloud, YouTube, and Instagram/Flickr to introduce yourself to the community, be creative, be legendary. Once you’ve done that you need to embed them all into a WordPress blog post. Here are some tips for embedding media in WordPress.
When you do your introductions on the various sites, tell something different on each one, give different aspects of how you want to present yourself. That way, when you embed them all in your introductory blog post it can create a kind of a multimedia collage. You can write a bit to connect the pieces better for the reader.

Are you exhausted yet? There a lot more still. If you wait until the weekend to do your all work you will be crushed!

  1.     What’s (y)our story?

What’s your story? What’s our story? In ds106 we create media and make art, which may represent stories, vignettes, scenes, or some other type of digital narrative. We’ve been using themes, like the western, secret agents, pop culture, etc., as a way of giving us a common ground for interaction. The themes are meant to be open to interpretation, to give everyone opportunities to be creative and to make it their own. This semester we’re considering the theme “What’s (y)our story?”

My inspiration for this came from an article from a few years back about making scholarship more relevant. Can we find ways to talk about college and academic topics that are compelling, engaging and interesting to people outside the world of academia? If we major in subjects like math or history (or in my case, library science), we probably like them more than most people, and know why they matter to the world, why they’re interesting, why they’re fun. How can we share our enthusiasms through images, through sound, through video, through the web?

This does not mean that we need to create academic treatises, nor does it mean that everything we do needs to relate to the theme, however we decide to interpret it. We could find different aspects of college life to build our narratives around. We could do this any way you want to.

That last point is important. This course is our story, or your (collective) story. You get to decide how we are going to make this work, and how we are going to work together.
Your second assignment, after set up and introductions, is to consider the theme. Your assignment is to write a blog post about what you think of this theme and where we can go with it, individually and as a group. Are there examples of media (text, image, audio, video, etc.) that you think are outstanding or important, which the class might be able to use for inspiration? If you have ideas, include them in your post. If you don’t, keep thinking about it because we may continue this conversation next week. Share your thoughts and ideas and tag the post ds106thoughts. I shared some thoughts here. Need to know about tags in WordPress? Here’s some help.

  1.   Write your Weekly Summary

You’ll be completing these summary posts on your blog every week. This week, write a post that shares your reflections on the first week. Tag this post WeeklySummary. These posts are REALLY important. We use them to grade you every week, so you need to link to other posts you’ve written, embed media you’ve created, and narrate the process of learning that you went through this week. What did you learn? What was harder than you thought it would be? What was easier? What drove you crazy? Why? What did you really enjoy? Why? NO EXCEPTIONS. NO LATE WORK ACCEPTED.

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