Course 2: Week 2

Thanks to everyone who attended our first face-to-face meeting for Course 2 last night! Once again, it was another fantastic meeting with lots of great discussions and ideas. Sadly, it was time to say goodbye to Adam Clark as co-Instructor for Course 1, but happily we introduced Brian Farrell as co-Instructor for Course 2.

Discussion Highlights

Huge thanks to David, Gary and Ruth for taking awesome collaborative notes during the session so that I could write this post (without you guys, I would have forgotten all the good stuff!)

We started off with an interesting talk about why people share in public online spaces, like a blog:

  • to follow a favorite hobby or topic;
  • the person growth: sharing your thinking and ideas through writing, photography,¬†¬†videography, and engaging with others about those ideas helps make you a better person and professional;
  • to develop and maintain contact with people we have not yet met who we can collaborate with to support professional or personal growth;
  • share your personal interests, passions and skills with others, enabling you to be recognized for your talents among communities of creators;
  • building credit in the personal world like contacts in the digital world;
  • similar to the the family and traditional communities that exist in cultures like India;
  • building a positive online presence that will outweigh any negative content that could be published by others, owning your own digital profile.

We also talked about the flip side of sharing online, of course it can be great and result in amazing outcomes, like this story that Brian shared, but you always have to be aware of what you share because examples like this can have long reaching repercussions. So, the questions become:

  • How do we teach students to share appropriately online?
  • How do we help them understand that what seems cool and great to share now (as a teenager) may not seem so cool in 10-years time, like a “digital tattoo” you can’t get rid of.
  • As tools are constantly changing (eg: from MySpace to Facebook), how do you manage all the “old” accounts? Are we creating a “digital graveyard” of our lives in partially defunct spaces around the web?

We tried to watch this video, but the sound was not working right, if you have time, I highly recommend you watch at home:

Instead, we showed the video on this wiki as an introduction to the New Media Literacies readings we will be doing later in the course.


Groups had some great discussions as they did some cybersluething of our course instructors: Adam, Brian, Kim, Rebekah and Frank.  Although we made it a bit of a challenge: to see how much you could find out, and to determine who you would hire if a position was open at your school, there were lots of search skills we covered by going through the process, including:

  • keyword manipulation & strategy
  • compare and contrast different search engine results
  • strategic website searches (YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Rate My Teacher, Flickr)
  • critical evaluation of results

We wrapped up this discussion with an excerpt from this video of Evan Ratcliff discussing how people tried to find him when he tried to vanish for Wired Magazine. It was amazing to hear the variety of skills and strategies that those cyberslueths used to win the reward for finding Evan:

  • crowdsourcing to collaborate on a common goal
  • reverse algorithms to strip metadata from a picture and then search for those unique characteristics
  • strategic thinking based on extensive social media experience (narrowing down by friends on Facebook)
  • game based learning experience

How are we teaching those skills (and more) or using those strategies in our schools?

Course 2 Updates

Assignments & Deadlines:

  • 1 blog post and 1 comment per week (total of 7).
  • Please include links for the comments (only) on the grading sheet.
  • Please record your Course 2 work in the same spreadsheet, using the Course 2 tab at the bottom of the page.
  • As you record your comments (week by week), please simply copy and paste the URL of the post into the column for Blog Post Title (this makes it easy to see that the blue URLs are your comments and the black titles are your posts.

Final Project Options (always includes 1 reflective blog post, which is post number 7):

  • Create or Modify a Responsible Use Agreement for your school
  • Create or Modify a Social Media policy for your school
  • Create Your Own Google Search Story and use for class
  • Create or Modify a Unit Planner to focus/include Creative Commons or Digital Citizenship conceps

The importance of commenting:

We’re not asking you to comment just to make more work, it really is an essential part of the blogging process, commenting:

  • allows you to make connections with other bloggers
  • encourages other bloggers to read your blog
  • enables you to find others who are reading the same posts you are – which means they are probably interested in the same things you are
  • challenges your own ideas
  • is a conversation! Read the other comments people have left and join the discussion, rather than just leaving your own thoughts without engaging with others
  • can (should?) be a thoughtful, and meaningful process, which includes links and references to other work to continue to push thinking deeper.

Next Meeting: Saturday, November 26th, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm in the Loft at YIS (lunch provided).

A lovely evening of #pechakucha at #btg2010 Great community building experience!

We invite you to join us Saturday evening as well for our Pecha Kucha night, as part of our annual Bridging the Gap Conference. It will be a low-key, interesting and engaging evening of Pecha Kucha-style presentations from many different members of the YIS community. We would also love to have some COETAIL members present, especially those from outside of YIS! Please let me know if you’d like to attend.

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