Good ideas

I need to articulate my ideas to find out if they are good. I need to test them out against the world and see if they fly so you might hear me have a crap idea, but that’s OK because I know some of my ideas are crap. But how would I know if I hadn’t said them out loud so that you could tell me? I might be going out on a limb here: I think ds106 is a good idea.

Make something. For a change.

I’m intrigued by ds106. If you don’t know what ds106 is, you can read all about it at I’m interested in developing digital literacies, and in helping people to tell their stories on the internet, for whatever reason, and I think ds106 could make a difference.

I work at the University of Nottingham. I’m a multimedia developer. I used to do a lot of programming in Flash until Apple spoiled my party. Or perhaps that was Adobe? No matter, I now work mostly with HTML5 and my world is a better place for it. I manage a team of developers and video producers. We build tools to make the technology easy to deal with if you don’t consider yourself technical, whatever that means, and we teach people the how-to stuff, so they can create materials for the web. Sometimes people do really great stuff.

But how do we teach creativity? How do we help people get over the starting point, the blank page? I’m not sure you can teach creativity in the same way you can teach someone to use a video camera, yet it worries me when people tell me they’re not creative, for the same reaons I worry when they tell me they’re not technical or they tell me they can’t sing. I think everyone can sing – it’s just that some people sing badly. But if you can sing badly you can learn to sing better, and with time you can learn to sing well.

I would like to introduce ds106 to people I work with because it will help with two things I care about: helping people engage with technology and helping people develop creativity. So let’s make something. For a change.