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WEEK 6: TOOLS FOR PASSION PROJECTS

Sept. 21, 2014

Last week I introduced 20% Time, Genius Hour, Passion Projects. This week we work in ernest to establish what each of you will work toward during your one day a week or more, depending on how other assignments play out for you. I want to give you tools that can help you with the research and maybe with the projects themselves. I will introduce three this week that will help you find and collect information you find on the Internet.

Monday: One of my favorite apps is one folks either know and use or don’t. It’s Pinterest. Once you understand how Pinterest works (think about being shown an array of things that might interest you, and you can select any of them and “pin” them to your own digital bulletin boards to look at later), you’ll use it for both work and entertainment.

If you’re finding information on blogs or news sites that don’t have the familiar “follow” button that you use on WordPress, know that there is another way: RSS readers. There are many to choose from, so it really comes down to simply choosing. Rock, paper, scissors? Closing your eyes and pointing? Or do what I did, Tweet about it, and go with the first response you get: Feedly.com. But first let’s take a look at this cute video that explains how RSS readers work.

Maybe you don’t want to follow the blog or news site forever; you just want to save this one perfect article. There are apps for that, too. Diigo, Pocket and Delicious, to name a few. Let me show you a bit about Delicious.

Play with these three apps this week. You’ll sign in and out of Pinterest as you do Google and WordPress. But Feedly and Delicious are Chrome-based apps. That is, when you’re signed into your Google Chrome, they’ll show up on your Chrome bar – wherever you are. When you sign out of Google Chrome, you’re signed out of those, too.

Tuesday-Thursday: Keep playing with Pinterest, Feedly and Delicious. Read and research your passion topic, and save and curate with these apps. By the end of the week, write a post for your blog about how helpful you have found these three apps to be in finding and saving information for your project. Has one been more helpful than the others? Can you explain why? Will any of them be helpful in the implementation of the actual project or just mostly in the research? Can you see uses for any of them in any other part of your life? Write the post in Google Docs and share with the person above you in the contact list for feedback. Do some revisions, then share with me.

Friday: By Friday you should have written up a proposal (think of an outline) for your passion project. Begin with a summary of the topic, include your driving question, what your end product will be and a timeline of what you need to do to get there. Are there steps you must make before you get to the final project?

Meet with me anytime before the end of Friday’s class to go over your proposal so we can get things pinned down.

 

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Week 2 of DigiComm

Jan. 13, 2014

Time to get our blog on. We’ll discuss a little of the history and evolution of blogs this week, as well as what we will do with blogs in this class . While it’s always subject to change, here’s the plan for this week:

Monday: Finish up TED reflections and do peer edits. The idea is to “share” your reflection piece with the person below your name in the contact list (shared with you last week). If that’s not doable due to that person not being ready, you’ll ask the next person. If you’re caught up, please help by editing for someone else.

Tuesday: Take a look at feedback from me on your reflections and polish as needed. Because you will not retain readers with copy that is not written in Standard American English, exceptions made for voice, it is very important that your work is as polished as it can be before it goes live on your blog.
With remaining time, look at existing blogs for examples of what you like and don’t like. A good place to start is WordPress. Depending on who you follow on Twitter, you may find links to blogs there or on Pinterest.

Wednesday: We’ll have an Introduction to Blogging presentation. You will begin your exploration of blogs in earnest, settling on three or four to examine more closely for a comparison assignment.

Thursday, Friday: Begin setting up blogs per instructions to be posted on projects page, as soon as I figure out parent/child pages on WordPress. Until then, use the GoogleDoc I created and linked.

Be careful not to get behind. I am teaching and assigning to the mid-level student. Some of you are more advanced in technology and writing and will finish projects sooner. Some of you may struggle with either technology or writing or both. These struggles may be compounded by absences.

If you stay ahead, challenge yourself to do more, make your assignments more complex, and help your peers out when there is time. If you fall behind, catch up at home, stay after class for a bit of your lunch period, make arrangements to come in after school or at the end of a class when you have finished other work. I’ll work with you as much as I can. If you get overwhelmed, talk to me.