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Advice to Future DS106 Students

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First off, consider what you are wearing. I would advise that you not take too many pictures of yourself if what you’re wearing is some sort of fashion statement. Every year or so, fads go in and out of style, and what you are wearing now may look ridiculous. But I digress. We are here to talk about the DS106 class.

One of the best things I can advise you on is critical reflection. If it is not evident in the posts by your teachers that this is important, let me emphasize how important this really is. It is everything! It is not enough in this class to just do the assignments like some sort of puppet following the rules on a webpage. Try your best to think about why you are doing these assignments. If something clicks, that is what your weekly summaries are for. Why did it take you all day to make a five minute video? Why where you assigned this? What where you supposed to get out of this assignment? What have you retained in your cluttered college brain that can help you understand all forms of storytelling in a new way? Every time I wrote a weekly summary, the critical reflections where enthusiastically encouraged by my professor. I would sometimes write in my summaries an epiphany that occurred when I was doing an assignment, or reviewing the videos assigned that week.

Other things I feel obligated to tell you is TRY not to be a procrastinator. I get it. As a fellow procrastinator, I know it is part of our DNA. We can’t help it. However, it is important to at least tell you to at least try not to. It will make your life so much easier. My best work has been when I did not feel rushed to meet a deadline and I could focus on my tasks. It is also smart to converse with your other classmates. Use email, Twitter, or more preferably comment on their stuff with feedback. This inspires them to do the same. Also, don’t forget your professors. You are paying them to help you on your academic path, and they will help you. Borderline harass them if it suits you on Twitter or something. Let them know what’s up in your life too. Tell them if there are extenuating circumstances that might effect your production in this class. This brings me to my final point. Your assignments are used to measure you in any class you take. They measure your production based off of your grasp of the concepts you have been taught. This is why all I said about the weekly summaries is crucial in this class. Simply posting assignments is how you become an average student. It’s doing the bare minimum, regardless of how long you spent on them. The true measure of you grasps of the concepts in this class is your reflections on them. Show what you have learned. It’s your chance to really prove you have learned something. I actually wish I had this opportunity in all my classes, instead of only being graded off of my production in the forms of papers and tests. So good luck future DS106ers. Please take heed of what I have said!

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