Who said summer was downtime for learning? – ds106 #4Life

Ds106 touches individuals differently depending upon where in their life path they may be traveling. It has pulses and energy for all paths and directions and the beauty is that no one way is right. Even for an individual, it will change and morph and circle, or tangent over time and projects.

I found the midwest winter, the first year of retirement from daily job responsibilities, and the kizmet of starting ds106 at the same time a UMW class was in session brought a high level of activity for me. I loved it! As the UMW session finished up it was almost like going cold turkey. The twitter feed was almost non-existent and interactions dropped dramatically. The individuals I had seen grow over 14 weeks were now off to their other life needs. A few are still around and it is good to see them in a non-traditional student role as a community member.

every post deserves a random GIF! inserted. 🙂

One of the safety nets I had put in place for myself was joining the Google+ Community of open course participants. One of the first open/headless courses seemed to bond and gather some #4life folks who are still active almost daily. Their energy and passion seems to keep others afloat and offer reality checks of how to make a lifestyle vs overwhelming expectations. There are some true ambassadors and shepherds of ds106 in this community who are totally giving. A random comment or post every now and again keep the ds106 life breathing. In the community, I can see the acceptance of diversity and how the culture has embraced the Heckyl and Jeckyl tendencies of people who find a passion and go full speed ahead for a while, but then may also drop back and out of sight for a time. And why shouldn’t that be all right? It is life isn’t it? When re-entering it is almost as if one never left. And creativity and ideas are always embraced.

So summer brings a time for those with otherwise professional responsibilities and those who do ds106 to stay human, whole and creative, and maybe have made some extra time to create together in creative strands.

Traditional education institutions still see summer as down time. Funny how education systems still need to be reminded that learning is 24×7 and 365 and most learning doesn’t happen in a classroom. I can only imagine how K12 students and even post secondary might be different if we didn’t have the systems we have – but I digress – that is another deep topic for another conversation!

Summer means PLAYTIME in ds106! It really knows no calendar.
It is THE example of 24x7x365 anytime, anywhere learning in which the learner is responsible for learning and creating their customized path.

A summer 2015 focus is Prisoner106 – a TV show as the topic for creating. This storyline has organized more as a group and is creating in the ds106 format and is listed as Summer 2015 Open DS106. It has brought together #4life and new to #ds106 artists. A great opportunity to stretch your own skills and creativity.

Another open group is the working on the next in the series of the Bugeron Family and the Summer Trailer. This year the family is producing the bi-annual story telling festival with the theme of Fairy Tales. Anyone who lives ds106 is invited to join the family and create. There is family history to catch up on with lots of open paths for creating your own character. It is a complex web of characters, storylines, and real people with many layers. At first it can be intimidating – but as you look closer you realize it is just full of opportunities for creations. After following #noir106 and it’s case files (see the archive created by Maggie Stough), agencies and characters, I see a similarity in approach. More on this in a future post.

Then of course the option of following the headless course in your own context or taking on the suggested learning assignments. Always a good choice that seems to stand the test of time (so far) in filling the learning passion for the many who embark on the journey.

But yet then more!!! UMW has a few sections running thru the summer in which one can follow along with traditional students. These sections are fun for some of us more travelled people. The different look at life from a different station is a real boost for creativity and an opportunity to learn and to give.

And – yet more – a graduate course in CU Denver Learning with Digital Stories is using ds106 as their learning for this summer and have jumped in the deep end right off the mark. So another burst of creative minds inspired and challenged by for one’s own learning.

And – ds106radio!!! #ds106spell, RockyLou Radio, @cogdog vinyl spins, @dkernohan sessions – TUNE IN! It will get your juices flowing!


and of course we have @cogdog and @jimgroom, @mdvfunes, @johnjohnston, @rockylou, @talkytina – and so many others (no offense – so many I can’t list!) who continue to keep the ds106 life running.

And this is only what I have stumbled upon – as you watch the Twitter tags – so many more flavors of ds106 to sample. Share what you find.

It is summer recess for education – but recess means PLAY TIME and CREATING. Go forth and make art! ds106 #4life


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