Blog Posts and News

Beginnings

It is great to be back into the flow of online teaching and learning. With the first week just underway, it’s good to get to know each other. Taking a ‘week zero’ approach to the first week of the course helps me, as an instructor, to get to know the students a bit before the course work gets rolling. Having time to look over the course, the assignments, the weekly tasks required, as a student, is a better way to start. With that in mind, I’ll repost a video I created last fall to introduce the course site to the students. This may be helpful in this second iteration of the 3910 Critical Digital Literacy course.

Consider your digital ‘brand’

I’ve recently come across this article which has potential impact for students in this course in terms of their digital persona and professional ‘brand’, but also in shaping their understanding of the responsibilities we have as educators, to support students to use the internet as a place for good.

Digital Citizenship Among Students: It Takes a Village shares insights from the experiences of the author from the perspective of a parent and teacher. It emphasizes the need to be proactive in teaching students about social media, what to post, what to write, and how to conduct themselves in online spaces. This could be an important message for teachers who are venturing into the profession, but also those currently working with children in a variety of educational settings.

You can find more about media and digital teaching resources on the MediaSmarts Canada teacher section, where lesson plans and unit guides are available.

The Happy Student’s Guide to 3910 CDL

I’m excited that we are soon kicking off this course and wanted to share a video message that I’ve used before, in both online and face-to-face settings.  There may be moments when you doubt your ability to complete this course, but I believe YOU CAN DO IT! There may be times you’ll forget and feel like you’re falling behind, but I believe YOU CAN DO IT! Planning and time management is a skill to be practiced, one that can never be perfected, but one that will bring you comfort when the going gets tough. Set your schedule! Be ruthless in managing your time! Honour your needs and factor in your mental health.

Here’s two ‘be happy’ thoughts! While this happy student’s guide references another course (DS106), it has a message for you as this course gets started.

The Happy Student’s Guide to ‘3910 CDL’

Be Happy by Pharrell  Williams, with animated minions to add to the fun!

Happiness is starting a new course!

Domain of your own

So I’m thinking out loud here – so you can hear it, think about it, consider creating a domain of your own. It’s of course your decision, at this point in your academic journey, whether you think it’s worth the effort. Creating a domain of your own is a badge of recognition, a way others in this big wide world can find you. As a soon to be educator, is it worth the time and effort?

I’ve got two domains to my name. I didn’t have these domains when I started teaching. One is fairly new, created this year. The other is older, but also created to build my ‘brand’ as an educator. You’ll find me at hjdewaard.ca and hjdewaard.com. I’ve also acquired the FiveFlames4Learning.com domain where I keep my blog.

But, that’s not the point of this post. What I’m really thinking about is YOU, as students in this course, about getting your own domain. It costs – there’s an annual fee to be paid. Like a subscription to Netflix, but better because this will directly impact your digital web presence as an educator, not just become a distraction from the ‘real world’.

Here’s a blog post that may get you thinking about this topic – Why a Domain of One’s Own?  There will be lots to consider if you read through the blog post and the comments. The people behind this post and comments are deep thinkers and active creators in digital spaces, recognizable names in the ed-tech spaces and networks. It’s worth a read. Some great conversations may result.

Course Trailer

Welcome to CDL 3910.This is a brand new, elective course for concurrent education students. Here is the course trailer. With this course, your critical digital literacy skills will reach ‘to infinity and beyond’!

This course trailer was created as a model of a Creative Make. It is a one minute collection of images that are royalty and copyright free, with a  Creative Commons license of CC0 unless otherwise designated in the credits at the end of the movie clip. The primary source for images is Pixabay and Unsplash. The music is licensed CC-BY and found at Free Music Archives. The image annotations were created using Preview – an application found on Mac computers. The video was produced using a template for a movie trailer provided in iMovie on a Mac computer, rendered as an mp4 file, and then uploaded to YouTube.

Let’s begin

Let’s begin here. Today. Now is the best time to get started. You CAN do this!

I’m starting to create and design this course site today. I’ll work over the next week to set up the best theme, create the structure for this course site, add pages, nest pages, set up the menu, add widgets to the side and bottom panels, fill the pages with content to support student learning, add or create images, supplement content with embedded hyperlinks, embed video and other media objects, and generally fill this empty site before the students ‘arrive’.

From a blank WordPress site, I’ll create a space and place to model critical digital literacies. Yes I can! and you, the students who come here to share this journey, can do this too! Let’s build things, tinker and play with digital technologies, together!

Let’s BEGIN!