This photograph was taken shortly after the 1968 elections at a democratic-society sponsored protest in response to the results. The democratic candidate, Hubert Humphrey, was the face for an older generation, And was seen as someone who would not be progressive with his policies. The youth were not content with the progress that the country was making in regards to social and racial equality; as well as the war in Vietnam. With nixon and the republicans gaining control of the country, many of the countries youth were fearful that they may never see the country they all envisioned. This picture personifies the youth movement within the country, and their waning away from the values and beliefs previous generations have had.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

In  corresponding protests across the country this is a NY times article written by Sylvan Fox, about the protests that turned violent in NY. The previous passivity of the white middle class young adult was no longer seeing the desired results, and the movement became more angry in nature. With the liberal youth becoming frustrated with the lack of representation in government, and mor specifically the democratic candidate Hubert Humphrey


South Atlantic Quarterly; Summer1968, Vol. 67 Issue 3, p405-418, 14p

These elections also dramatized the singluarity within the white and black youth movements. Despite being vehementaly against international intervention, when it comes to matters on home soil, they are beginning to find that intervention and conflicts with police is the only way they can seek desired results. This was the foundation for the youth movement and their political alliances that have held weight till this day.

Javits and Burns See Vietnam as Key Issue of 1968
Database: ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851-2008)

This article states that one of the most pressing issues of the 1968 election is the current stand of the parties on the Vietnam War. As many people were opposed to the Vietnam War, it would be interesting to see how, if any, the politician’s stand on the Vietnam War during election time may or may not have played a role as this plays into the candidate’s stand on foreign policies.

Romney speech typifies GOP split on Vietnam
Database: Financial Time: Historical Archive (1888-2008)
The Financial Times (London, England),Thursday, May 11, 1967; pg. 3; Edition 24,230

This is another article talking about the pressing issue of the Vietnam War on the 1968 Elections. In this article, it talks about Governor George Romney, a Michigan favored candidate for the Republican Presidential nomination of 1968.

Vietnam, Political Accountability
Database: ProQuest Historical Newspapers, The Wall Street Journal (1889-1994)
October 12, 1967, pg. 10.

This is yet another article regarding the ongoing issue of the Vietnam War in the 1968 election. This article is interesting because it starts off by stating: “President Johnson, Mr. Bailey avers, is seeking to prevent World War III while ‘most Republicans are busy trying to win the 1968 election any way they can.'”

JSTOR – The American Presidential Election, 1968

This attributes the Vietnam War to many events that led to the Republicans winning the 1968 Presidential Election. Some of them include:

“The failure of the American policy in South East Asia which forced President Johnson to announce his decision not to seek re-election”

The Vietnam War “led a serious split in the Democratic Party and the announcement by Senator McCarthy and Kennedy to seek the party’s presidential nomination on a peace platform”

Hubert Humphrey losing the election largely “on the account of his close identification with the Johnson policy in Vietnam”


Database: American History & Life

In the 1960’s and leading up to the 1968 Presidential Election, communism was a large problem in the U.S. The article, “Make Your Voice Heard” talks about the increase in education for students, specifically in math and science. The United States felt that after the launch of Sputnik by the Soviet Union, there needed to be an increase in education so that U.S. can try and keep up with the other communist countries. The U.S. also felt there needed to be an increase in the Social Studies and foreign language. This was a time period were there was heavy tension between the United States and the Soviet Union. Students were specifically studying “international communism” to make them aware of what is going elsewhere in the world.

Database: New York Times (1851- 2008)

The Vietnam War was among many of the issues during the 60’s. “Vietnam in 1968“, is an article by the NY Times that talks about increase in military by President Johnson in Vietnam and how negotiations are a falso hope. An important point that the article makes is that President Johnson has got the U.S. into a war without going through Congress.

Database: New York State Newspapers

In the article, “Civil Rights Activist Speaks of the 60’s“, LeRoy Glenn Wight, a civil rights activist discusses his experience while taking a bus ride to fight against segregation in the 60’s. The article mentions other activists and their experiences dealing with the era of the civil rights movement.

The Vietnam War, Civil Rights Movement, and Communism are three of many conflicts that were going on in the United States and the world in the 60’s and leading up the 1968 Presidential Election.

At first when I accessed DS106, I had the impression that it was just an website where you can access materials for class like Open Learning Initiative from Carnegie Melon or MyAccountingLab from Pearson. How surprised was I when I finished watching the YouTube video on their About page! Turns out that was not what I thought at all, but it was (to put into simpler terms) an online database where you use digital tools to tell stories!

What I noticed about DS106 is that they do not list an exact guideline for when they come into questions regarding intellectual property, fair use, etc.. However, I feel that they incorporate fair use and intellectual property into their entries without causing trouble to the original owner of the materials because of the nature of their assignments. They edit the materials in such a way that encourages creativity and encourages comments and criticism. This community understands the “Commons” by realizing that their material is open to everyone to see. They are posting in a database whose main purpose is to showcase their creations.

Elected in 1968, Richard Nixon campaigned on the coat-tails of equal right, however his lack of attention toward’s women’s issues caused him plenty of backlash.  During the election, women’s liberation was a hot topic, as the new wave of feminism flooded American politics, clashing with the culture of a “typical” female (think Doris Day and Mrs. Cleaver.)

Issues such as legalized abortions (remember, the Roe v. Wade decision wasn’t made until 1973,) the value of women’s votes, and the equality for women (especially married women) in the workplace were all highly charged issues, as women climbed the social, class and status ladder and clashed against the men who were already sitting on top.

Working women:

Currently, women make $0.77 to every man’s dollar, though this gap in wages is not something that hasn’t be fought before. In a 1962 issues of the Wall Street Journal (just six year before the election) women were already fighting for equal pay. In an article titled Senate Unit Approves ‘Equal Pay for Women’ Bill; Changes Possible: Tower to Seek to Put Limit on Labor Agency’s Role, Allow for Added Cost of Women Employes, talks of putting a limit on the Labor Agency’s role in the issue to allow for employers to afford the “added cost of women employees.” However, as the printed of this article the bill was not yet passed, women’s lobbying groups rallied for “equal work on jobs the performance of which requires equal skill.” The article also spoke of ridiculous amendments that would be added to such a simply bill (because it’s so hard to pay everyone the same wage when you’re cheap) such as not being able to look into earlier complaints by female worker’s on unjust actions, and the bill would only cover based on “seniority or merit increase systems.” The bill looked to favor the excuses by avoiding the harsh truth that employers just do not want to pay women equally.

Abortion Laws:

In an article dated December 1968 (right after the 1968 election) by Keith Monore ,titled How California’s Abortion Law Isn’t Working: California’s abortion law The abortion reformers look to the courts for change, spoke of how California was reforming its Abortion Law. It allowed for abortions to be approved and undergone only if the mother was mentally ill. In effect, many women were suddenly mentally ill to have their cases approved, and as Monore reported, if their cases weren’t approved women would find other means to abort their pregnancies, such as seeking unsafe “alternative abortions.” While Pro-choice and Pro-lifers battle it now during this election, in 1968 women were still having the “legitimacy” of their rapes questioned, as the article quoted stories of a raped girl who became pregnant who died after she jumped off her parents’ roof to abort the child, another was of a child who despised his “parents” who was conceived after his mother (a married women) was raped though abortion was approved by medical authorities it was the declined by the district attorney.

Sexual Discrimination:

In 1966, the National Organization for Women (NOW) was formed, and is currently the largest feminist organization in the United States. Since it’s formation, NOW focuses on issues pertaining to women such as abortion rights and reproductive issues, violence against women, constitutional equality, promoting diversity and ending racism, lesbian rights, and economic justice. Using the database “Women and Social Movements,” I was able to find an article titled “How and Why Was Feminist Legal Strategy Transformed, 1960-1973.” In Document 15 was an article from November 1967 which dealt with Constitutional Protection Against Sex Discrimination, written by Mary Eastwood. The core of Eastwood’s memorandum can be summed up by one quote:

“The power of American law, and the protection guaranteed by the U.S.Constitution to the civil rights of all individuals, must be effectively applied and enforced to isolate and remove patterns of sex discrimination, to ensure equality of opportunity in employment and education, and equality of civil and political rights and responsibilities on behalf of women, as well as for Negroes and other deprived groups.”

Just like the issues before this, women have been fighting against sexual discrimination on a political for decades. Though progress has been made, there is still much to be done, and this current election may choose whether or not the war on women truly blooms to fruition.

Source: CBS documentary
By 1968, television became the most important source of news for the American public, and, possibly, the most powerful influence on public opinion itself. TV brought the war from the frontlines and jungles of Vietnam into the living rooms of the American people. The intensely negative coverage of the war such bombings, brutality and civil casualties by US military influenced both politicians and the American public. This resulted in growing outrage and anti-war movement, which strongly affected 1968 presidential elections. American public lost trust in current administration, while new coming candidates were able to use this hot issue for their advantage.

Vietnam War with Walter Cronkite, CBS documentary

Source: Brown University
In this interview Governor Lincoln Almond tells us that by 1968 Vietnam war became very divisive for the nation and he personally was taking part in many anti-war demonstrations. The war was taking its toll on Lyndon Johnson and, as a result, he was forced to withdraw from 1968 presidential race and give up his chances for his second term in the presidential office.

Interview with Governor Lincoln Almond
Spring, 1998

Source: AP Images database
This picture illustrates the police brutality against peace movement demonstrators in Chicago just few months before presidential election of 1968. This shows inhumane methods politicians used to suppress anti-war movement, which was unpopular topic during the political campaign. Picture speaks a thousand words!

Original caption: 8/28/1968-The “Black” Year (Tenth of Fourteen) – Police and demonstrators are in a melee near the Conrad Hilton Hotel on Chicago’s Michigan Avenue August 28th during the Democratic National Convention.
Copyright Bettmann/Corbis / AP Images

Over the next two classes, you will be researching and constructing arguments about the role of “cultural conflict” in the 1968 presidential election.

By September 24th, 8:00am:

Find three primary sources that are each from a different database.  Post your sources to the blog — make sure no classmate has posted that sources already, if they have, find another! — with a brief description that includes:
a) what database you found the sources in;
b) who created it, when it was created, and where it was created (consult Sam Wineburg’s “Thinking Like a Historian” for the type of “meta” questions you should ask of a document); and
c) a brief statement on how each artifact speaks to the role of “cultural conflict” in the 1968 election. Your response should not merely be about a conflict, but about its relationship to that specific election.

If you are confused about what constitutes a primary source, see this primer from the Yale University libraries. If you’re still confused, ask us.

Do your best to upload a copy of the artifact to the blog, which can accept pdfs, or screenshots of documents. At the very least, link to the artifact. Again… if you’re stuck, ask us.

The Newman Library provides access to a range of databases. Click here to view them.

The databases you should search within are:

  • American Periodicals
  • AP Images
  • Art Museum Image Gallery
  • BlackThought and Culture
  • Cinema Image Gallery
  • Economist Historical Archive
  • Eighteenth Century Collections Online
  • Financial Times Historical Archive
  • In the First Person
  • New York Times (1951-2008)
  • Savings and Loan Crisis Digital Archives
  • Wall Street Journal (1889-1994)
  • Women and Social Movements

Next week, you will each craft a historical argument using the primary sources has collected. We will spend time talking about this on Monday.

In addition to the above assignment, complete the reading: Kate Theimer, “Archives in Context and as Context,” Journal of Digital Humanities, Vol. 1, No. 2 (Spring 2012).

Review Assignment

  • Twitter conversations
  • Blog posts
  • Take aways from this assignment
    • blogging best practices
    • what is historical analysis?
      • what does it mean to construct an argument?
    • missing from responses: notion of network ethics, strong statements on “the commons.” Why?

Readings for Today

  • Sam Wineburg, “Thinking Like a Historian,” TPS Quarterly.
    • Key Concepts:
      • Reading documents: author, context, time period—that form a mental framework for the details to follow. Most important of all, these questions transform the act of reading from passive reception to an engaged and passionate interrogation.
      • Sourcing: Think about a document’s author and its creation.
      • Contextualizing: Situate the document and its events in time and place.
      • Close reading: Carefully consider what the document says and the language used to say it.
      • Using Background Knowledge: Use historical information and knowledge to read and understand the document.
      • Reading the Silences: Identify what has been left out or is missing from the document by asking questions of its account.
      • Corroborating: Ask questions about important details across multiple sources to determine points of agreement and disagreement
  • Cohen and Rosenzweig, Digital History, “Collecting History Online.”
    • Key Concepts:
      • Traditional archives v. Online
      • Interactivity
      • Preservation
      • Born Digital v. Digitized
      • Intellectual Property/Privacy/Authenticity


One of the things that caught my attention on the ds106 site was the site’s title “Digital Storytelling it immediately bought to my attention the similarities to our class name. My first link was a story The Importance Of Words. The story began with a question of the importance of words in our lives. Then the writer when into the story

The story that I picked was about the importance of a language and the role that words play in our life. This story talked about people who did not have any language. As Susan was very surprised seeing a 27 year old man without having any language, since he was born deaf and he did not know that there is something such as words. And when he learn sign language from Susan, he became so emotional that he cried because the meaning of life changed for him as he realized that everything as its own name and definition.  As he said that his life without language was a dark life but now he is in a bright life.

As for this and other intellectual property ds106 seem to have a of respectful and an open policy like our digital history class. As for fair use they invite people to use and share the information just like wikipedia. I love one of their “subtle rules of NO APOLOGIES for not being able to participate when other parts of life intrude.” But particularly it was the way in which they choose to layout the creative commons in a language that was very simple and inviting to ready. I believe that it was my first time actually finishing the legal language of any document online. Impart too because they especially didn’t make it very long as to discourage the masses from reading it.

Finally, the theme of giving back, contributing and meeting new people gave me new motivation to take part in an online communities like ds106 and that made me see the importance of the site like these.

DS106 IS .........awesome?

By leedanger from


This gif was my initial reaction when I first visited the ds106 website. From the very first moment when I click on the ds106 link from the assignment page, I was confuse and dumbfounded because I didn’t know where to start and how off. I thought to myself, here is this website with a vast amount of information, how can I gather the information I needed to for my assignment.

After doing some searches around the site, I found out that ds106 is a digital storytelling online class open to all people.  The design of ds106 goal is to help participants establish an online identity, while documenting their process on blogs and sharing ideas and engaging in discussion with their peers.

After I got familiar with the ds106, I feel like the approach the ds106 community takes on intellectual property, fair use, and network ethics is pretty much nonexistent, where the only guideline i found was the “Honor Code“.

“Students are expected to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the letter and spirit of the Honor Code. A violation of the Honor Code is a very serious matter.”

Which to me is a very broad statements, in which I felt participant are expect to know “better”.  I don’t necessarily think this is a bad thing because I believe that where there are less rules and guideline in place, user are able to express more freely and creatively. In which I think ds106 community has achieve. For instance, when I was browsing through the site, I found the content created for participant, unique and distinctive. One example is the visual remix of Grant Wood’s painting American Gothic with Twight charcter Edward and Bella created by Darren Crovitz.

By Darren Crovitz (Visual Remix)

To answering the second part of the question, ” How does this community understand the “Commons”?”,  I took to twitter and found some interesting  tweets by Jim Groom and Alan Levine , which I think could be apply to the community understanding of the common. In which I came to the conclusion that the ds106 community understanding of  the common is to experience it first hand and get involve, through weekly or daily assignment and assignment bank. By having user creating content and sharing it with anyone who can access it, its enhance the idea of  “a shared storehouse of human creations” as Daniel J Cohen and Coy Rosenzweig talk about in Digital History “Owning The Past”.


Overall I think ds106 is a great site for people to learn and establish themselves on the web through blogging, making gifs, visual remixes , mash up and etc. As well as making the web a collective tool to educate the masses.

Final words, I would like to thank Mr. Groom, Mr.Levin, Mrs.Burtis and Mr.Branson for taking out to response to my tweets and my classmate tweets.



From Mona Lisa holding a cat to altered World War II slogans relevant to modern times, there was something unique about what was going on. I wasn’t quite sure exactly what was going on just yet…

The website is an open classroom available to everyone where they can either participate as a student, teacher, or observer.

Upon looking through the courses I noticed something peculiar between the assignments. Each assignment starts with a product and the students are challenged to create something completely unique within set guidelines. Such as this assignment where students use copyrighted material or intellectual property and “remix” them or create a reflection of the piece. The completed product is displayed openly to the public and others are urged to participate.

If you aren’t sure exactly how to proceed or hitting a mental wall… Have no fear as ds106 offers a big remix button next to each assignment that offers you a theme to incorporate your assignment with.

Ds106 allows those with technical skills to create something original based on existing ideas. Those without technical skills are offered tutorials and a community of like-minded pupils to communicate and educate one another. The entire idea of being an open course and an education tool allows the use of sensitive material to promote creativity.

Any and all walls of a digital commons is broken and swept aside as all material is available and open to each other. Users can even remix another student’s work. Ideas and information is shared and archived available for anyone to view.

Upon first entering DS106 I was immediately struck by its header, which read, “Digital Storytelling – We Jam Econo.” We Jam Econo is the name of a 2005 documentary which tells the story of seminal California-punk band The Minutemen. The band operated on a streamlined, “by any means necesary”, economic system. This system reflected heavily on their insistence on playing affordable shows, as well as releasing their music at a fair price. Ds106 certainly reflects the same sentiments through its open source approach to real, honest online participation.

It seems evident that the community believes strongly in their right to operate and create material within the context of a more “free” internet. As participants in the never-ending experiment of the World Wide Web, DS106 seems to prove, alongside countless other contemporaries, that “another internet is possible.” The most impressive display of the importance of the site lies beyond the walls of the initial assignments page, Mission: DS106. After exploring each tab, I was most interested in the work being done through the audio, visual, and mash-up assignments. Where many classes might stay clear of any possible grey-area regarding copyright, DS106 does not allow any roadblocks on their path to honest digital storytelling.


My experience with DS106 was very interesting once I had a chance to explore it. I really like how the users are extremely creative, it is very interesting how something that is an online course and its at free will can have such a positive outcome. One thing that really caught my attention is in the INSPIRE part of the website, “We have knitted together an intimate community that is not only participating in its structure but also creating it”, it really reminded me of the objective for our class. As far as intellectual property and fair use, DS106 participants would probably agree that when using someone else work to create something new or in better words, remixing, it just gives more opportunity for someone to express themselves easier. The class understanding of the commons is demonstrated by the freedom of sharing their ideas and work of art where it can potentially be viewed by anyone. Overall, my experience with DS106 was positive and I think our professors are doing a good job at making our small class as interesting  as DOS106.

There is a very prominent DIY (do it yourself) approach to this online community. Our society treats education as a “you must”; whereas in reality, it should be an act of free will. It’s an innate ability humans have to want to learn more about the world surrounding them. Due to the stifling neglect of creativity in the school space,young students find the most joy during their playtime with friends. This is because of their ability to create their own space with like minded people. As we get older we simply don’t lose that creative exuberance towards the world. Its a combination of academia and our surrounding world, that expects the rules and procedures to be followed in such a way it deters us from being creative.

With communities such as DS106 emerging, and becoming increasingly popular; the idea of ‘taking back’ education begins to come into fruition. The pace at which our society operates, and how effectively we can work remotely, lay the foundation for our future. Massive open online courses that are free and open to the public lay the framework for the taking back of education. In this specific case, the community strives to produce new media through collabration. All collaborating is down on items that can be successfully manipulated and “re-mixed”, under creative commons licensing. The idea of being able to take someone else’s work and adding your own personal touch visualizes the power That fair use can have. Adding your own touch to someone else’s work could prove successful in building on new ideas and being able to gain perspective of the picture from an entirely different viewpoint.

After exploring DS106 website, I think it’s a great platform that allows people to be creative and inventive while freely sharing their new type of art with internet community.

Intellectual property. With the emergence of the Internet people start to rethink and change the ways intellectual property should be used in a modern inter-connected society. Members of the DS106 community do their best to recognize the rights of the owners of intellectual property such as images, video, music and other digital content. However, they feel that they have the right to create new media by using elements of intellectual property and this makes important additions to original contributions.

Fair use. Allows to maintain a balance between the free flow of information over the Internet while still protecting intellectual property rights. It is a shared opinion among the members of the ds106 community that the role of fair use is to prevent copyright from limiting the creativity, and from imposing other challenges that would prevent the creation and spread of knowledge and learning. Since DS106 is online teaching and learning site, it permits limited use of copyrighted material.

Network ethics. Everyday technologies like the Internet, and digital media affects how we work, play and communicate, and challenges us to think about ethical problems in new ways. Few users of DS106 site would argue that legal downloading and distributing copies of copyright-protected material is stealing, and thus ethically wrong. However, using pieces of others’ digital work like mash-up and remix allows for the emergence of new forms of creativity.

Commons. After browsing through DS106 site, I came to realize that site users understand Commons as being able to collaborate, explore, share, mix and re-use digital content in new creative ways.

When professors Waltzer and Harbison first mentioned ds106, it didn’t sound like something I would want to explore in my free time. Upon entering the website, however, my attention was quickly grabbed by the unique design centered around the constantly switching images. Those images are created by users, or rather the students of this online course. Aside from artistic element, the images are based on works of other people, and that is the reason for this post and for ds106 itself. Every assignment for ds106 requires students to make use of the Commons and everything it offers. All of the materials used by the participants are available under Creative Commons licensing, which allows for unrestricted sharing of intellectual property.

The eye-catching design of the page was not the only thing that impressed me. The content of each post shows the high level of research done and reflects the commitment of students. They accomplish a serious amount of work for an online course with optional participation. One way or another, each student specifies the way he/she used the works of others in a legal way. Like others have mentioned already, that is something we are learning to do in Digital History as well.

Upon entering the DS106 site, I found it a bit overwhelming with so many different options and aspects of the site to explore. But after some use with it I became comfortable.  The participants view the commons as a shared space that we can all use and which better us in the advancement of learning and sharing digital pieces. The site is like the center of a web that branches out and displays information and art from all over. There were many mashups and the underlying theme was ART.  In terms of entering these pieces of art onto the site, ,seemed to be of great use and help for participants.  It grazes over the importance of including a url back to where you attained certain pieces, which is important in regard to fair-use.   As Phillip mentioned in his post, I did find it a bit similar to our Digital History site in the sense that we are both collaborating with each other in a digital way to explore the web, share art, and at the same time take a class!   In the future we will be seeing many more sites and networks similar to this.

Phillip Bleustein


The community of DS106 is an open online class that allows for students to contribute their ideas in an open digital space. The class community is in favor of the “Commons”. They like being able to integrate their ideas into open digital space without worrying about copyright. They  feel that while being able to collaborate their ideas with other’s it also gives others inspiration.  DS 106 is not so different from our Digital History class that we are in. The definitions assignment that we did is very similar to the DS106 class. As a group we were contributing our ideas into a digital space for others to learn and bounce their ideas off of ours.

Connecting to the #DS106 Experience

When first assigned, the DS106 site looked like one huge monster filled with pictures, video and text. There were hyperlinks to every which-way, pictures moving up and down and with it all being against a black background, DS106 appeared to have a Frankenstein’s monster-like hold on the internet. After exploring some links, I realized that’s exactly what it was hoping to achieve.

DS106 is a mass online course that deals with Digital Storytelling (I felt incredibly proud when I realized that’s it’s what the DS stood for) by use of text, image, sound and video. It deals heavily with blogging, with students completing assignments and posting them up on their blog.

On the official DS106, under the About section the instructors pride that “the only requirements are a real computer, a hardy internet connection, preferably a domain of your own and some commodity web hosting, and all the creativity you can muster.”

The class works to create a narrative that can frame the student’s internet identity – and yes, it’s extremely progressive with a side of “Matrix” science-fiction.  Still curious about the inner workings of the course, I reached-out instructors Jim Groom, Alan Levine, and Michael B. Smith, in true DS106 style, via twitter. To which I learned that curating the internet, so to speak, is no simple task.

Michael Smith was the first to respond, and he discussed how DS160 deals with fair use and how the program avoids copywrite issues.

Smith tweeted me about the copyright issues around not just the DS106 course, but the internet as a whole.

Linking to a post in his blog, he shared a post by Groom regarding what really counts as “fair use.”  The post titled “Is There No Sanctuary?” is told entirely with .gifs, youtube clips and a few sentences of narration for flow. It tells the story of how Groom’s Youtube account was shut-down after various copyright complaints after using clips of copyrighted videos for educational purposes.

In Groom’s blog about the situation he writes,

I feel like a criminal for quoting works I love. I feel like a criminal for wanting to further imagine through the offspring of our moment. Worst of all, I have to feel like a criminal when I am having fun. It’s becoming a much more serious crime, and I’m scared about that prospect. Not so much that they’ll sue me, but more that they have already occupied my mind trying to convince me that sharing online is evil. To convince me that a video sharing site owned by an advertising company that promises to “do no evil” has become the de facto mediary between millions of people and what seems a basic human right to re-use, remix, and re-imagine the media we inhabit.

 – Jim Grooms, Fear of a YouTube Planet

The idea of reusing,  remix, and re-imaging the internet is a central aspect of the DS160 course. Smith tweeted that a lot of images are also taken from public domain sites such as but “mashing bits of popular media like digital punk flyers.”

Smith then linked me to a Youtube video by Groom, titled No Digital Facelifts: Thinking the Unthinkable About Open Educational Experiences.

In his lecture, Groom notes the importance of Narration, Curation and Sharing when dealing with any type of digital history and web content.

Which leads me to my conversation with Groom himself. Our conversation was more about the fundamental philosophy of what DS106 is and the inspiration behind such a deeply embedded course for the web.

Jim Groom is the director of the Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies and adjunct professor at the University of Mary Washington and is the brainpower behind DS106.

Groom also directed me to Gardner Campbell’s article titled A Personal Cyberinfrastructur, which focused on how the internet should be used in an educational setting.

In short, students would build a personal cyberinfrastructure, one they would continue to modify and extend throughout their college career — and beyond.

In building that personal cyberinfrastructure, students not only would acquire crucial technical skills for their digital lives but also would engage in work that provides richly teachable moments ranging from multimodal writing to information science, knowledge management, bibliographic instruction, and social networking. Fascinating and important innovations would emerge as students are able to shape their own cognition, learning, expression, and reflection in a digital age, in a digital medium. Students would frame, curate, share, and direct their own “engagement streams” throughout the learning environment.

– Gardner Campbell,  A Personal Cyberinfrastructur

Much like our own class, the DS106 is a larger version of our own digital curation. With hundreds of students creating content for the web, by the web, with the web. Which left me wonder just how the community is to interact on such a grandiose scale. This is where Alan Levine came in, who explained me to how MOC classes like DS106 work as a community.

So…what now? As a new semester begins to rev its engine, the DS106 community is already finishing up their first few assignments. In a call-out using the #DS106 hash-tag on twitter, I asked students how they felt about the course. Some appeared excited, others confused, but one user tweeted back to me personally.

There’s a famous quote by Marshall McLuhan, a Canadian philosopher of communication theory, that claims that “the medium is the message.” As the lines between offline and online become more blurred, the tools of the web are constantly changing, and with that so is the message. Courses like DS106 are providing podiums for students to share their messages with the world, to be heard through a new medium.  Now what remains is the question of just how many people are willing to listen, and will obstacles such as copyright laws limit creativity.

By September 17th, 9pm

Explore  Write a post of less than 500 words exploring the approach members of the ds106 community take to questions of intellectual property, fair use, and network ethics. How does this community understand the “Commons”?

As part of this assignment, you are encouraged to ask a question on Twitter of some central members of the ds106 community:

  • Ask @jimgroom questions you have about the philosophy behind ds106.
  • Ask @cogdog questions about community-forming and modes of interaction.
  • Ask @mburtis questions about the assignment bank and building the architecture of ds106.
  • Ask @mbransons questions about the (re)use of media in the course.

To ask them on Twitter, just include their twitter handle (for example, @jimgroom) in your tweet. And be sure to tag your question with the #baruchdh hashtag!

By September 19th, 8am 

Leave a comment on at least two posts by your classmates.

By September 19th, 5:50pm

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