Week Three is Underway!

Greetings Campers!

Welcome to week three of DS106. This week we’re diving into photography and visual assignments. We also have some advanced blogging activities and some tips on how to up your participation points. We know there’s been some incendiary nonsense being spouted by one particular camper on Twitter. Please disregard. We’re working on containing the issue.

All camp work is due midnight on Sunday, 6/10. Below, you’ll find all the details!


Start your photography work this week by reviewing the following resources:

Please note that these sites contain some tips but, mostly, they link to LOTS of other resources about becoming a better photographer. You should spend some time following a bunch of these links and reading the various ideas and tips that they cover.

Over the course of the week, you need to complete five Daily Creates. All of the prompts this week will be photography-related. As you’re taking your pictures, keep in mind the tips and ideas you learned about during your exploration of the resources above!

At the end of the week, write a post in which you share the photos you took for The Daily Create. Reflect upon what you learned and how you applied it while taking photos.

Visual Assignments

This is your introduction to the ds106 Assignment Repository where most of your subsequent work for this course will originate. The Repository is a collection of assignments that have been contributed by previous ds106 participants. Each one has a star rating indicating how difficult/complex it is (rated from 1=easy to 5=hard).

For this week, you need to complete 10 stars worth of Visual Assignments — this could be doing 5 assignments rated 2 stars, etc. It is your choice which ones to do, as long as the total number of points adds up to at least 10 stars. For each assignment you do, write a blog post that includes:

  • The visual you produced for the assignment, this should be embedded into your blog post.
  • Write some text that shares your thinking behind the assignment, your inspiration, what it means to you. Think of this as similar to the extras on a DVD, the “making of” material.
  • In addition, share your process. What tools did you use? What techniques? Think of this as information that would help someone else doing the same assignment.
  • To have your work connected back to the assignment, your blog post must include the two tags for the assignment, one will be Visual Assignments and the other will have a name like Visual Assignments324

Keep in mind that simply completing 10 stars worth of assignments is the bare minimum to satisfy your work for this week (a “C”). How you do it, and how you write it up is what elevates you.

Also note that part of your requirements for this course is writing up three how-to tutorials over the course of the summer. The visual assignments will likely be easier to document as tutorials than the later audio and video ones, so it might be worth your while to knock one or two of these off now. If you write a very complete post, it could include your assignment work and count as a tutorial. Just make sure you also include the associated tutorial tags that are listed on each assignment page. 

Most of the assignments in this category will require you to do image editing/manipulation. Review the camp packing list for a list of resources for this kind of work.



All UMW students who are using WordPress are required to install some plugins this week that will extend the functionality of their sites:

  • Akismet: A spam-catching plugin.
  • Twitter Tools: Allows you to easily and automatically tweet whenever you write a new blog post
  • A Flickr plugin: Choose a Flickr plugin to integrate your blog with your Flickr account. A few possibilities:
  • JetPack: A collection of plugins in one. Adds stats and email subscriptions for comments, in particular.

In addition, we encourage to browse the Plugin Repository and install any other plugins that look interesting!!

NOTE: A set of tutorial videos for installing plugins is now available!

Google Reader

In order to make it easier for you to follow the work of others at Camp Magic MacGuffin, we’d like you to learn how to use Google Reader to subscribe to the posts of your fellow campers. Alan has put together a handy-dandy set of files that you can easily import into Google Reader, and he’s written up a tutorial about how to make ti all work!


DS106 and Camp Magic MacGuffin are all about building community, and that happens through various mechanisms of participation. Up your participation points this week by working on the following:

  • Minecraft: Minecraft is up and running and we have instructions about how you can connect to it and TeamSpeak (a special audio hangout that many of use use while in Minecraft). There is already a lot of bunkhouse activity going on in Minecraft, with several groups beginning to build their houses. Some bunkhouses are even arranging meet-ups to work on their bunks together. Start by exploring Minecraft and blogging about your experience. A couple of useful notes (in addition to the information provided in the tutorial we’ve linked to above):
    • You can take screenshots in Minecraft by click Function+F2. The trick is that you have to find your screenshots on your computer afterwards! Here’s a great page that covers the topic.
    • If you find yourself getting killed by monsters in Minecraft, you’re playing in “Survival” mode instead of “Creative” mode. Send a message to @mburtis @timmmmyboy or @leelzebub on Twitter, and we’ll get your mode switched.
  • Bunkhouse Connections: Make sure you are following and commenting upon the posts of your bunk mates! (See the Google Reader section above for tips about how to do this more easily). Advanced campers will go so far as to respond to other campers with posts of their own!
  • Twitter: If you feel like you’re missing something at camp, it may be because you’re not making the best use of Twitter. Twitter is the primary channel of informal conversation at camp. Make sure you are following at least all of your bunkmates on Twitter. In addition, you can follow the Camp Magic MacGuffin list on Twitter–that’s an easy way to access the tweets from everyone at camp! (You can find information about how to use Lists on Twitter here.)

Campers of the Week

We’ve got three new campers to honor this week!

UMW Student Kevin Murphy -- @kevin_murphy4

Kevin’s stepped it up this week with staying on top of assignments and blogging! Way to go Kevin!

Open, Online Participant Chad Sanding -- @chadsansing

Chad just joined Camp at the beginning of this week, and he’s already shared some great reflections on his blog!

Open, Online Participant Andy Forgrave -- @aforgrave

Andy hit the ground running this week with Minecraft — he’s been in there regularly building and offering advice to new Minecrafters!

Congrats to all of you — look for a notice on Flickr when you badge is ready for you to grab!

2 Responses to “Week Three is Underway!”

  1. Ben says:

    Survival Mode in Minecraft is only for the hardcore! If you can’t handle it, certainly stay away from the central camp area. Also, for those griefers who dumped an army of monsters in Bunk 5’s bunkhouse, for shame! Those poor monsters didn’t do anything to deserve the fiery death they received.