ds106: The Summer of Oblivion

Videodrome: Dr. Brian Oblivion

Starting on June 20th there will be another round of ds106, this time an intensive, five week version that will run through July 21st. Currently we have 25 students registered for this course at UMW despite every attempt to scare them away with this pre-course email. Now there is no reason to try and scare anyone interested in taking the open, online version about the workload because you can do as little or as much as you want, and leave the rest. No apologies necessary, you do what you do—only requirement is that you try and have fun doing whatever it is you do.

I come with no expectations for what this second go around will be in terms of numbers and participation from the open, online folks. I was blown away during the Spring by just how many folks brought it on a regular basis, and I’m not sure we can expect that his time around given it’s during the dead of Summer and a far quicker, more intense version of the course, but making it open was the best thing that ever happened to ds106—so how could I not put out the invitation again. So come on in and make some art with us—we would love to have you! What’s more, I’ve found ds106 has been an amazing way to connect with new folks from around the world and I jump at the opportunity to keep that goodness going.

So, if you are interested do me the favor of filling out the form below so I can make sure your work syndicates cleanly from your blog. After that, just head over to ds106.us and register on that site and be sure to fill out as much of the profile information as possible, and be sure to include an avatar! That’s it, easy as ds106 art!

I’ll be sending out some details about the course along with the syllabus and calendar early next week. There will also be a series of tutorials on the course wiki for getting one’s own web host, domain, and installing one’s own WordPress blog. That said, as a preface to those forthcoming resources I’m introducing some new elements to the course this time around. We will be playing in Minecraft (minecraft.ds106.us) as a way to see how this space works for collaboration, machinima storytelling, and distributed communication within a virtual game world. Also, there will be a daily radio/TV broadcast by Dr. Brian Oblivion (featured in the animate gif above). I’ve decided to go through with both Minecraft and the alternative teaching identity. The former is a no brainer, this is a virtual world and given the class is entirely online how could we not experiment to see what this space might afford us? As for Oblivion, I wanted to push myself in this course to not only experiment with and challenge some of the ideas we have about the role of the professor, online learning, and mediated communication—but I wanted to do this while reading Marshall McCluhan’s work closely and using the course and my story within it as a way to think through and comment on his ideas. I figure if I am not pushing myself to explore and be consumed by this media then it would run counter to the whole reason for the course in the first place. So, there it is, ds106: The Summer of Oblivion—but this analyzing is paralyzing, let’s play this dang thing!

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8 Responses to ds106: The Summer of Oblivion

  1. otto paertz says:

    Summer of Oblivion – I’m so ready for this.

    This Jim Groom guy knows how to run a course.

  2. Nigel Robertson says:

    We talk about research informed teaching being a component of a university education. This nails it to the post! The teacher as researcher as student.

  3. Reverend says:


    Oblivion is coming soon to an SP711 near you soon! Where are all the identities being aggregated?

    Hope you will play some music for us, or even join in the fun 🙂

  4. otto paertz says:

    Ah yes, the aggregation. The flippant response would be to say “Aggregate this!” But that’s only because I haven’t the knowledge or experience to pull the disparate bloggy blog things from the various sockpuppets together.

    In the future, we will try to more closely follow the ds106 method. I’ve been told that I have access to a “virtual server” at my institution and the IT dude said he’d install WordPress for our purpose. So maybe in the Autumn iteration we’ll have that ready.

    For now, the best I could figure out was to put all the blogs on a single public Posterous page: http://www.netvibes.com/ottopaertz#SP711_Blogs

    If anyone has any thoughts or suggestions about better ways to aggregate, we are all ears.

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