Week One: Bootcamp – Let’s have some fun


All work is due by midnight on Friday, 8/27/21

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.

This course will run on the open web. Some people may not be comfortable putting themselves online. You are welcome to create personae and pseudonyms, and you are not required to put any personal information online. You may find it useful to use your web presence as an online portfolio though.

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.

2.  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.
b. 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.
c. 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.
d. Soundcloud (audio publishing) http://soundcloud.com/ This account is where you will share audio you create for the class.
e. OptionalInstagram http://instagram.com for photo sharing. You could also use Google Photos or Flickr https://www.flickr.com/
f. Discord Join the class Discord server. You should have received an invitation email.

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.

3.  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).

4.  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.

5.  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!

7. The Joy of ds106

Bob Ross has long been an unofficial guiding light of ds106. This semester, we’re making it official. If you’re not familiar with Bob Ross, he hosted the TV show The Joy of Painting for 31 seasons over 11 years until 1994. Through Netflix and Youtube, he has seen renewed popularity in recent years.   While his show was ostensibly about teaching people how to paint, he is also engaged in performance art, projecting personality, narrating his work, storytelling and philosophizing.

In order to get us all into the spirit of the joy of ds106, we will have each of you watch an episode of The Joy of Painting. I put together a spreadsheet so that each of us can watch a different episode. As he discusses his work, he also shares bits of philosophy on art, creativity, and life. Watch your episode and make a note of some of his sayings. What do they say to you? He also frequently tells stories as he paints. How might we use these as a source of inspiration. Each episode on Youtube comes with a transcript, which makes it easy to capture quotes. Write a blog post about your thoughts on his sayings and stories, and tag it rossthoughts1. Need to know how to add tags in WordPress? There’s a help page for that.

8. Related: What do you want to get out of this course?

This course involves a high degree of self-evaluation, so you should think about your goals at the beginning in order to consider how well you have achieved them down the road. You will have opportunities to re-evaluate your goals along the way, because they are likely to change as we get further into the course.

Many people take this course to fulfill a Gen Ed requirement. This is the official language for the ALPP outcome:

General Education Requirements Learning Outcomes

  • Students will be able to speak about work critically, both process and product.
  • Students will be able to evaluate the work’s effectiveness in conveying the student’s message or intent and/or achieving the student’s goals.
  • Students will reflect or explains how they created a work of substance and value.
  • Students will identify the process to achieve the goals of the creative project,and how successful the process was.
  • Students will reflect on the value of the creative process.

That is what the University says you have to get out of this course. You will gain experience in producing digital media and discussing your creative processes, and through that discussion, meet these outcomes. You will learn about digital media by producing creative works. You have a great deal of freedom for creative expression in this course though, so I hope that you take advantage of that freedom to achieve something more.

Write a brief blog post on what you think you would like to accomplish with this course. Tag this post ds106goals

Looking ahead: Artistic license

Art is much more than painting, of course. There is a limitless range of what can be considered art. Therefore, we are all artists. What kind of artist are you? What kind of artist would you want to be? You may want to take these questions into consideration when setting up your spaces and identity for this course. These questions will be used for further discussion next week.

Also looking ahead: Final project

The final project for the course will be a multimedia story based on the prompt: What is the story you want to share with the world? More details will be forthcoming later in the semester, but you are welcome to start thinking about it right away, as you may decide use to use the weekly assignments along the way to build towards your project.

9. 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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