Week 8 – Continuing to expand your PLN

February 23, 2014

Developing your PLN on social networks isn’t a one-week deal, so we’ll continue to expand this week on what we started with Twitter last week and learn about a helpful app or two along the way.

Monday: First, we’ll finish what we started a few weeks ago by presenting manifestos. Use extra time today to catch up on any work you are behind on.

Tuesday: Starting with paper, we’ll brainstorm some key search terms for Twitter to help you find entities to follow that will help on your pre- and post-graduation plans. I’ll show you how to search and discover folks to follow that can provide you with informative resources, not only for this class, but for planning your future. You’ll want an easy way to save articles for reference later on, perhaps for the assignment due at the end of the week. I’ll demonstrate Delicious, but you have the option of trying out a similar app called Diigo. Either of these apps save articles to your account and are then searchable by tags that you choose.
If you’re still not feeling it – the whole PLN, Personal Learning Network idea – read this Q&A with high school student Courtney Gressman (an item I saved with Delicious a few weeks ago for this week’s purposes), about her own PLN experiences.

Wednesday: Using the search methods we discussed yesterday, continue to build your PLN. Set up an account with Delicious or Diigo in the Chrome browser while you are logged in your Google account. Save any articles of interest to your Delicious/Diigo account, tagging them so they are easily retrievable.

Thursday-Friday: Choose one article you have found and write a reflection on it. I still recommend writing in Gdocs, seeking peer edits and feedback from me before posting to your blog. What made the article interesting to you? What connections can you make to it or, possibly, to other articles? Work to come up with unique thoughts of your own prompted by what’s in the article. Post to your blog with link(s) to the article(s).
Don’t forget to find time to read your classmates’ blogs. One area in which everyone scored low on was commenting on others’ blogs and responding to comments on your own blogs. We need to get conversations going. Try ending your posts by posing questions that invite conversation. And if you visit other blogs and comment, those bloggers are more likely to visit yours and comment.

Friday: Who are your Follow Friday picks for the week? Choose at least four and write up a post about why you chose each. Try to get a personal post up by the end of the week as well.

*underlined items are graded assignments


Week 3: Getting into a blogging routine

Jan. 19, 2014

While some will be finishing up last week’s assignments, we will continue to add to our blogs and start posting to them as a routine. Whenever you have additional time in class, you are encouraged to read each others’ blogs (you should be following each other) and share comments that invite conversation. You may also read other blogs and in doing so, find others you’d like to follow and comment on. Reading these blogs may also give you ideas about new things you’d like to try with your own blog, either in your personal posting space or, perhaps, something you’d like to suggest we do as a class assignment. This is your class, and I’ll happily entertain ideas you have that you’d like to try.

Monday: No school, professional development day for yours truly

Tuesday: Complete any assignments from last week. You should have started a blog, chosen a theme, added a personal posting page, looked over widgets you’d like to add and posted your TED reflection with a link to the video.
Today you should also begin drafting a bio for your About page. In your bio, tell a bit about yourself, but please avoid using your last name or where you live. You might also include that this blog is part of a class assignment and what you plan to do with it. You could also include short-term and long-term goals and your particular interests. Draft in Gdocs, seek peer edits, then feedback from me before you post it on the blog. Consider a photo to post on the page as well. You may use one you already have or make use of our news lab cameras.

Wednesday: Read the following article, “How is Digital Writing Making Kids Smarter?” It is loaded with additional links to more information. Click on some of these and read further – your choice as to which you read. Write a summary/reflection on the “Digital Writing” article and include information from one or two of the other articles. Draft in Gdocs, seek peer edits, then feedback from me before you post on the blog. Use these guiding questions to help you write your reflection.

Thursday: Continue working on your “Digital Writing” reflection.
Write a personal post this week on a topic of your choice. I still advise drafting in Gdocs, seeking peer edits before posting. Try using an original photo, drawing or creation in PhotoShop.

Friday: To be completed by today:
Blog with TED reflection post, “Digital Writing” post on homepage
At least one personal post on personal public post page
About Me bio posted on About page

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.


Jan. 4, 2014

Welcome to the first week of Digital Communications. At first it may seem that we’re all over the place as each thing I want for us to do kind of requires the knowledge of something else – so we’ll jump around a bit. But wear a seatbelt, hold on, get organized, ask questions, and we’ll all be just fine.

After some introductions and explanations we’ll take care of our first bit of housekeeping:

Remind 101
Gmail accounts
Student survey (please complete this week)

Monday: Introductions, view TED video, featuring Amy Cuddy      fail, technical difficulties

Tuesday: View TED video. Introduce Google Drive, class blog. You will each share a folder with me through Gdrive for your drafts and other correspondence. The folder should have your first name/last initial.
Assignment: “First Interview Question” Consider the TED presentation, and prepare a 2-4 minute presentation, telling your audience (the class) an interesting fact about yourself. This can be, but is not limited to: a talent, an amazing experience or a passion of yours.

Wednesday: “Interview” presentations.

Thursday: Work on GDrive folders.
Assignment: Write a reflection over Monday’s TED video. View guidelines for planning and writing your reflection. If you’d like to read an example of a reflection over a similar video read this post by a Massachusetts high school student.

Friday: Peer edit, through sharing in GDrive, the TED reflections. Each student will share his/her draft with the person below them on the contact spreadsheet.