Week 1 DS106 at York College – Dark Shadows

Wax On Wax Off
cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo by Michael Branson Smith:

Last spring while teaching ds106 with my York students, I was introduced to the ‘blitz assignment’ which asked students to make and share something under the time constraints of the short class. I enjoyed both the spontaneity of this type of assignment as well as the opportunity to watch my students work on a project with little direction.

So for the first day, I concocted a #ds106shadowpuppet assignment which asked students to shoot five shadow puppets and upload them to Flickr (there is a five image minimum for your images to become searchable). They were to tag them and then choose a favorite to Tweet out with the hashtag #ds106shadowpuppet.

It was a great mix of learning – discovering a creative shadow, digital tool futzing, and most importantly showcasing the power of aggregation. The twitter stream and Flickr feed both started to come alive, and thanks to Alan Levine and the awesome ds106 community, others began to jump in as well.

I love some of the stories discovered in shadow:

A couple groovy ones from Mynheer.


Love is Love

And some rockin’ with Yaisy

My sweet shadow (back to school)

And Nawas Gafar killed with this beautiful silhouette (ok not a shadow but thematically sound, and ds106 always favors those that creatively discover how to break rules.)


And I’m planning to continue  this semester with GNA Garcia’s advice:

[tweet https://twitter.com/DrGarcia/status/240290942991622145]





4 responses to “Week 1 DS106 at York College – Dark Shadows”

  1. Raymond Mora Avatar

    I have one question um what does blue-host do for you exactly i have word press subscribe to the website but what is it used for? is there another web-host where is doesn’t required money please respond back?

    1. mbransons Avatar

      Hi Raymond. Bluehost is a web hosting company, they provide services to clients which allow them to creat and use a practically unlimited number of web services and tools. This includes installing the open-source software WordPress. WordPress.com is a ‘free’ service built on the open-source software WordPress, but in limited in its functionality compared to installing your own copy of the software using your own hosting solution.

  2. […] giving students something to make or produce in 15 or 20 minutes. We did photo challenges and how Michael Branson Smith started his current class with a challenge of shadow pictures. One of the more amazing stories was how in Spring of 2012, a former student gave us a design […]

  3. […] These were things like asking them to find three photos of varying kinds (converging lines, people shots) and posting to flickr, finding design elements in the building, etc. In a similar fashion, Michael Branson Smith started his ds106-like class at York College by having his students photograph and post images of interesting shadows. […]