CC0 Public Domain

CC0 Public Domain


January 19, 2015

This week, we’ll look at some blogs, see what parts are what, then delve in with you getting your own blog up and running.

Monday: Martin Luther King Day and, as it happens, Professional Development Day for teachers.

Tuesday-Wednesday: Blog introduction, we will look at a few examples and where to find what on the WordPress site. If you are behind on your TED reflection, it is up to you to complete it outside of class. You may use this lab before school, lunch or after school or you may complete it at home.
Discuss posting and commenting, Home page and About page and their type of content. There may be time to explore WordPress sites for ideas.

Thursday: Begin creating blogs, tackling minor tech problems and learning things as we go. You’ll have a handout for steps, but instructions are also under the Projects tab of the DigiComm site, too. Set up username, password, blog name; choose theme, write tagline, explore widgets.

Friday: Continue working on blogs. Changes to theme, tagline and widgets can be made later. Draft introductory post on home page, bio information for About page in Google docs, share for feedback, revise. Post intro content to Home page as posts –> add. Post bio content by going to About page and edit page. About is a static page. You have to edit its content to change it.
Finally, post the TED video reflection as a new post to the Home page, along with a link to the video (or, posting from home where YouTube isn’t blocked, you can embed the video where the frame shows in your post).
You’ll find a Tech Use Survey in the DigiComm Shared Google Drive folder. Please complete it sometime this week to help me in planning for this semester’s class.

Underlined items are items for the gradebook. Standards are listed under the Standards tab on the DigiComm Home page.

The TED video reflection will be graded on Speaking & Listening standards 10.3, 10.4 & 10.5, regarding analyzing Svitak’s speech and presenting your speech. The written part of the assignment will be graded on Writing standards 10.1, 10.2, 10.3, 10.4, 10.5, & 10.6.

Creating a blog will be graded on ISTE Communication & Collaboration standards 2.a & 2.b as well as Tech Operations & Concepts standards 6.a, 6.b, 6.c & 6.d.

Since each of these assignments, the TED reflection and creating a blog, is graded on two standards, they will each receive two grades, resulting in four, total. We will discuss my standards-based grading system next week. Until then, explore the Standards tab as it relates to each assignment.



January 12, 2015

Time to explore one of the main tools we’ll be using, Google Drive, and it all starts with having a Gmail account.

Monday-Tuesday: If you do not have a Gmail account yet, set one up. If you do have a Gmail account, or once you have a Gmail account (be sure to keep your account username and password in a safe place), add your Gmail username to the class contact sheet by completing this form.

We will explore Google Drive, how to use folders, documents, spreadsheets and presentations, and how to share these, how to move documents, how to access items shared with you, like the new contact sheet.

Wednesday: You will draft a reflection on the TED video featuring Adora Svitak, by creating a new Google doc in the folder that has been shared between you and me. If you are unfamiliar with reflection writing, it’s writing that helps you work through what you understand and what you do not, writing that helps you make connections with your own experiences. Most people prefer to begin with some guiding questions, and I have prepared these to help you with this assignment.

After you have written your draft and proof read it, move it into the Shared Editing Folder in the DigiComm Shared folder that you should have access to. Then ask classmates to read and comment for you. When you comment on someone else’s writing, leave comments that are helpful, comments that will help the writer improve the piece. Is anything unclear? Would more description or examples make it better? Could the writer use better word choice?

Once you take a look at the comments others have left for you, revise anything you think will improve your piece, then share with me in the Snider Editing Folder. I will also give you feedback meant to help you improve in your writing. Even if you are an excellent writer, I may make suggestions to help you improve. Even I look to improve my writing every time I write.

The reflection should be complete and ready to go by Friday.


January 5, 2014

This class is all about communication, particularly digital, but you can’t have even a digital communication class without the other kinds of communication: speaking and listening, reading and writing. Getting to know each other in the class will help us further our communication skills. Therefore, our week should roll out something like this:

Monday: My apologies, as I was absent. Mr. Jones did lead you in some discussion of the importance of effective communication, as I understand.

Tuesday: Explanation of how class operations, brief intro to this class web space, a little about some of the programs we will be using, and a nice little ice-breaker to get to know each other.
Also a request to sign up for communication via Remind, a messaging program wherein I can send reminders or other information to you without having to know your phone number nor you, mine. On your cell phone send the message, @digicoms15 to the number, 81010, to sign up. Share with your parents if you’d like them to receive reminders as well.

Wednesday: We will watch the TED video featuring Adora Svitak. I hope you find it inspiring. You will write a reflection over the video, drafted in Google docs, which will be your first blog post, once the blogs are up and running. To help you figure out what to include in a reflection, you will use this set of questions as a guide. But this is for next week, so think about what to watch for and what you might include.
Your first assignment, however, is to tell us about yourself in the form of a presentation. Consider Adora’s presentation in her TED talk, how she presented her talk: she hooked her audience, told stories to keep them engaged, tied all of her stories together in a theme, closed her talk with a purpose. You will plan a talk to last 1-3 minutes, telling your audience something about yourself. You could share a talent, an amazing experience or a passion that you have. Try not to do everything in one shot. Choose a topic, plan how you will present it, practice to get it to the 1-3 minute range. You may use a note card with keywords on it to help you keep on task, though I don’t want you reading from a script.
We will begin these presentations Thursday and finish Friday. You may volunteer at first, and then I will volunteer you. Plan to be ready to go Thursday.

Thursday – Friday: Presentations about YOU.


Sept. 2, 2014

I’m a little  late getting this week’s assignment posted on the site, but that doesn’t mean you guys haven’t been working hard at getting your blogs up and running. That’s been the focus of Week 3.

Monday: Labor Day holiday

Tuesday: Blog introduction, looking at a few examples and where to find what on the WordPress site.

Wednesday: Began building our blogs in ernest, tackling minor tech problems and learning things as we went.

Thursday: Continuing with building blogs, and venturing into posting first posts – the TED video reflection.

Friday: Substitute (I’m running Picture Day in the Auditorium) You will write content for your “About” page. Most themes come standard with the About page, but if your’s does not, you can create one. In Google Docs, open a new document and write a brief bio about yourself. You can use first or third person. Make it about two or three paragraphs. Suggestions for inclusion are the fact that this is a project for a class and your purposes, what your interests and goals are, what you enjoy about life. Share with a classmate for feedback. Post it on your About page if you feel confident about it.


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.