Visual Stories for Teaching

If you had the ability to lay your hands on someone and they would learn instantly exactly what you wanted them to learn – Quadratics? no problem, the value of a healthy meal? done. And I asked you to describe what your hands did to the person, in this moment of educational healing what would they look like? Would they glow red? Green, blue? Sparks fly out of them? I say all of the above!

It’s the visualizing of something that you wish to communicate, a story, a concept, a solution to a problem – anything that you want to portray with an image, design, and/or animation is what were going to play with today.

Like the new sort of presentation, this is going to involve approaching a tool with first having an intention to make something. Not learning the digital tool and then wondering how you might use it. I believe this is how most people like to learn anyway right? Who reads manuals for the most part, we play with the technology and look for help for the things we don’t know how to do.

So, we’re going to look at some of the visual and design assignment ideas of the open course on digital storytelling called ds106. Each of the assignments involves creating something with a specific intention. You’re going to do a couple of these assignments and then you’re going to modify and come up with your own for your specific K-12 teaching.

For the first half of this assignment make two blog posts, one for each DS106 assignment you do. You can upload the image to our blog, or embed it from an image sharing service you have such as Flickr. Try to use either your own original or CC licensed images for your assignments and be sure to attribute them. Here’s a link to search for CC’ licensed images in Flickr. Also make sure you describe and link to the original assignment. Also include the assignment tag, and ‘ds106’ as a tag.

For the second half of this assignment you will create two assignments visual and/or design, in the spirit of DS106 for your future K-12 teaching plans. It’s best if the assignment is relatively straight forward, but could be broadly interpreted. You can consider reinterpreting an existing ds106 assignment for a particular K-12 learning outcome. Here’s an example of the Messing with the MacGuffin Assignment reinterpreted for an american history class – Change History in a Moment.

Make a post for each assignment you create – be sure to include an example, describe how you made it, and describe what kinds of learning outcomes your trying to satisfy. Tag each assignment post with ‘k12ds106.’

To get access to Photoshop you can use the iMacs in the library or you can visit classroom building computer lab. But if you’re adventurous, you can download and install the free digital image editing software, GIMP. You can find tutorials for it all over the internet. Also there are web based image editing tools such as, which gives you lots of Photoshop-like editing tools online for free.