Create Something New With The Daily Create

I love “The Daily Create” from DS106. We have a ritual in my digital media class to have a “Creative Friday” each week, so Daily Create just brings this concept up a notch. Every day a new challenge is introduced, usually a photography, audio or video assignment that can be made in a short period of time, around 15 minutes or so.

To me, the idea is to make something new on the day that the challenge is issued. It is the “create” in “Daily Create.” So don’t get me wrong, I’m really not bashing anyone here, but I really don’t get it if a photography assignment is given and people turn to their archive of past photos, or even worse, to the internet’s vast archive of photos, to find a suitable picture instead of grappling with how to do the assignment on that particular day. (I showed my students how I can verify if their photography is an original with Google Image Search. You can supply a photo URL and it will pull up visually similar photos that tell right away if you’re playing fair or not!)

For example, this past weekend the assignment was to “Take a photo depicting your favorite kind of weather.” Ok, cool, I thought. How can I express this idea in a photograph? It’s sunny and 65 degrees outside. My favorite kind of day is a cold, wintery day. One of those days it’s so cold that the inside of your nostrils freeze up. Yeah, it’s sick, I know. It probably comes from my having a cold, cold heart.

But we haven’t had more than an inch of snow all winter, and none is in the forecast. What to do? Well, there’s always the deep freeze that needs defrosting. Perhaps that could provide the wintery mix I need for my photograph. Well, what do you know?

 If I put a shoe in there, it’s almost like I’m walking in a winter wonderland. Well, except for those yummy sugar cookies in the background. Hmm, I wonder. Maybe if I try a different angle, this picture would be a little more convincing?

Snow Day



Now that’s more like it – an impromptu winter scene straight out of an Irving Berlin Christmas movie. Well, maybe not, but you get the idea.

Once I uploaded the image to Flickr and tagged it with tdc049 I could see it along with all of the other images made for that particular assignment.

Some of the others I really liked were this photo of overshoes suggesting a rainy day, peaches that hearken to warmer days, a sun dress & sandals, and a sweater with sunglasses, suggesting a sunny but cool day.

favorite weather

None of these required a literal scene of the concept being conveyed, but were more metaphorical in nature. Now that’s getting to the essence of creativity, don’t you think?

So, DS106ers, I’m challenging you to try a little harder, think out of the box, and don’t be so literal and concrete in your thinking. Don’t be afraid to get a little abstract, even weird when communicating ideas. Creativity beckons us to do this!  Get those creative juices flowing and show us what ya got, ok?

3 thoughts on “Create Something New With The Daily Create

  1. I really like your thinking here- I think the daily create is much more fun when you get inventive with the response, or bend it, or turn it inside out. I spent a week last year doing the exact OPPOSITE of what they told me.

    The whole thing there is no grade for this. So there is no risk, no wrong answer. That is what makes it fun and a challenge is to try something different, not reach for the easy hand hold.

  2. Thank you for putting into words, Bill, what I often think when I review some Daily Creates. My students and I talk about “multimodality” a good deal, which is an important term in literacy studies these days (the notion that different modes invite different ways of signifying). So TDC usually asks folks to tell a story visually or convey a message. How do you, for example, take a picture of a smell (Monday’s DC, I believe). My first question would be how to tell the story of a smell with a picture. These questions of “adaptation” from one mode or medium to another are at the heart of the Daily Creates, as I see it. Sometimes students just respond to them as if they are a command (or, sigh, homework). I am going to refer students to your helpful blog post to see whether it can help them better understand the real challenge that prompts can pose, if you’re up for a challenge. It may simply be that some students are not used to being asked to think creatively in this way in school settings.

  3. Cynthia,

    I think you are right that students are not being asked to think creatively in school. I thought I was onto something special when I began doing “Creativity Friday” in my classes a couple of years ago, but then I learned about “The Daily Create” which is even better. I have my students pick three and turn them in each week.

    My post was partly a response to a Jim Groom tweet about students calling other students on cut & paste jobs passing for original work. The author of that post has since removed the offending post and comment, but as it turns out, Google has a very good memory and a cached version can be found here.

    The comment Jim was referring to is not in the cached version, but it was about the content being lifted from another website and a referencing link provided as evidence. With a little time, I suppose I could find it, but it’s not that important. What is important is that we are teaching students that this stuff we are putting online is for real, and it is more permanent than they realize. It’s not just a private conversation between student and teacher anymore, and this is what makes these experiences so powerful, I think.

    I wrote more on this in a post entitled Persistent Web: A Learning Experience.

    -Bill Gx

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