#DigPINS embraces an “internet as platform” approach to digital tools meaning that the whole internet is the platform. We mix and match and play with a bunch of different tools – here is an overview of a few we often use.
Yes, this very site is part of our digital tools! New information will be posted here weekly as each of our major topics are explored including readings, activities, videos, and even interactive games/content. When new info gets posted I will also make an announcement on Slack that something new is available.
We will also use this site as our blogging environment so those in the UMD cohort will log-in to this site to post their blog posts. See more on this below under the “Blogs” heading.
One note – that umd.digpins.org is our “UMD #DigPINS hub” but our partner schools also have their own hub sites and while we are all generally following the same curriculum you may notice some small differences between the content on each hub site. Some of the hub sites look very similar so be sure you are at umd.digpins.org (Look for the Block M in the upper left) to get the info for the UMD group (though you can feel free to explore the others too).
Slack will be our main communication tool and backchannel for the UMD cohort – meaning that we are only giving access to those who are participating in #DigPINS Summer 2021 UM-D cohort. You will need an account which will be invited to via an email invite from me – Autumm – during Week 0.
You will stay most connected if you download the app for desktop and mobile device and turn on notifications or at the very least login once a day to read what is going on and contribute at minimum once or twice a week. You should establish access to Slack by the beginning of week 1.
To help those who are new to slack Taylor Jadin (facilitator at St. Norbert College) created a quick video to overview some basics. I couldn’t fit everything into this video as Slack has a lot of features but I think it is mostly easy stuff that we can learn as we go.
In the beginning of #DigPINS you may receive a few emails to get things started but we will move away from email and to Slack for communications as we progress. Still, I am planning to send calendar invites for synchronous events and those will generate an email and if I’m having trouble reaching out to someone I may email to check-in. Finally, things do happen and no technology is foolproof so in case of Slack or any of our other systems failing I will use email as a fall back.
As part of developing a digital identity participants are asked to write public blog posts on a weekly basis as well as reflect on others who are blogging about #DigPINS. Our UMD cohort will be blogging on this very site – umd.digpins.org. During Week 0 you will receive an email invite to claim an author account on this site. You should claim your account and access the blog prior to week 1.
Blogging is about more than just writing posts; it is also about connecting with others who are posting about similar experiences. Our partner schools will be blogging on their own hub sites but we have set up a “discussion hub” that actually pulls all of the posts from all four partner schools into one place!
Throughout the course participants are encouraged to join in on live Twitter chats with some established online communities, as well as the ongoing asynchronous conversation using the hashtag #DigPINS. You may want to wait to establish your twitter account till after week 0 or week 1 if you are still considering aspects of “digital identity”.
Hypothesis is a social annotation tool for the web and digital documents. You will need an account which you can sign up for on the Hypothesis website and a browser plugin is optional. This tool allows us to collectively mark up a text that we are all reading in-line with comments, questions, and even video and images. You will be prompted to create your account during the week that we will actually use Hypothes.is
Sync Video Calls
Typically facilitators organize a synchronous video calls a few times throughout #DigPINS and often invite special guests. You will need a camera and microphone to be able to participate; this could be a webcam on your computer or a smartphone/tablet. You will also need a strong internet signal to connect though many of the providers also allow for a phone call to connect – though this only allows for voice communication. Some sync video platforms are Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype, and others. The platform will be announced when the call is announced.
We will participate in a few synchronous events in #DigPINS – meaning that several events will happen at a specific time. Examples of these are video calls and twitter chats though there may be others as well. To help us stay connected about synchronous events I will send a calendar invite to the UM-D cohort participants. Synchronous events are not required and you are encouraged to be creative about how you might be able to connect with synchronous events before or after the event.
Week 0 focus areas
Week 0 is broken up into four pages –
The Overview Page – What is this all about?
Participation – What does it mean to participate in a connected learning experience?
Structure – What is a connected learning experience?
Digital Tools – (Psst… you are on the Digital Tools Page)