Where I am now

I am joining Nousion late this summer. I took this class last summer, but didn’t finish it, so I’m back to tie up loose ends. Without linking or referencing, you can see my post for this assignment last summer below; it’s called “Digital Boy Scout.”

In the year since I tried this the first time, I have thought about digital citizenship and literacy a lot in the course of my work, but never very deeply. I subscribe to many of the ideas we share in this class, but I became a little disillusioned as I saw my students totally uninterested in and unimpressed with online presence. (Many rural students just aren’t there yet, and it isn’t necessarily my job as their math teacher to bring them there, but I can and try to model presence and good citizenship.)

And so, at the start of my second time through Nousion, to me digital literacy is a large set of skills, experiences, and intuitions that allow one to navigate the digitally connected world, whatever that may be. Digital citizenship is presence and participation in that world, on some level. Many people are just consumers of information, but it seems that the majority participate in social networking. Some go beyond the platforms given to them by Facebook, et al., to create a their own digital space: that’s us here. Good citizenship is participating responsibly and ethically in the world.

Now to catch up on learning what that means…

Collection II: DigCit/Lit/etc

I’m running about two weeks behind on everything in my life right now, Nousion included. (This is bad because my anniversary was last week and I leave on vacation next week.) I’m not finished with Collection II, yet; but I figured I should post something to stay in the conversation, since connexion is an important part of citizenship. I will add things below as I finish them. (Chris, I’ll let you know when I’m finished.) I’ve already started on Collection III, so the next week on my Nousion blog will be a mix.

Where are you now?: Digital Boy Scout

Exploring “Digital Cit”:

Digital Literacies I:

Bling Your Blog: Understated Blog

Digital Literacies II:

Make and Share:

Cardboard Your Community: Pinky’s Park Photoshere

The first day that I tried to do this assignment, I couldn’t get my camera to work in the place where I wanted it. I ended up going to the Bethel seawall and trying again there. That photosphere is now one of the headline pictures for Bethel on Google Maps. I went back to the spot I wanted to use for the assignment a few days later and captured the photosphere linked above. The boardwalk in Pinky’s Park is a place where my family likes to take walks. The windmills in picture are around the campus of the training center where I work.

Understated Blog

I got carried away doing things that fall under the “Bling Your Blog” assignment before it was assigned. I wasted a lot of time during Collection I playing with colors and figuring out how to mix blog streams and static pages. I added a couple widgets to the side: a text widget with a bio and another with the menu. I will probably tweak the colors again—they’re too bold now.

I checked out other themes and decided that I like the default twenty-sixteen theme. I am a fan of serif fonts and menus along the top, which are defaults in this theme. I’ll probably keep it. I haven’t found any problems yet that require a plug-in to fix, so I haven’t installed any extras.

Digital Boy Scout

I’ve done a lot of thinking about unqualified citizenship, and my thinking on digital citizenship is based entirely on that. Digital citizenship for me, in short, looks something like living the Scout Law online.

And since we aren’t allowed any links or research in this post, from memory, A Scout is:

  • Trustworthy,
  • Loyal,
  • Helpful,
  • Friendly,
  • Courteous,
  • Kind,
  • Obedient,
  • Cheerful,
  • Thrifty,
  • Brave,
  • Clean, and
  • Reverent.

I think my initial thought on digital citizenship is about how we present ourselves in the digital public sphere and interact with each other. This begins to break down when we consider participatory democracy and community involvement as parts of citizenship, what I would describe as “civic duty.” What is required of us as digital citizens? We don’t digital vote or digital serve on digital juries. We don’t digital volunteer at the digital animal shelter or digital collect digital canned goods for the digital food bank. 

I have seen a place for participatory digital citizenship. We can do things like update Wikipedia, as a public service. We can participate in democracy by signing petitions, answering polls, donating to causes, and perhaps even participating in Anonymous actions. All of these activities are actually non-digital citizenship executed in the digital sphere; and I don’t know how many people actually participate in them.

Collection I: Geeking Out

Many apologies for the late post. I am traveling with my family this week. I hoped to post all of the choice assignments and this collection Saturday night, when we got to Kodiak, but I did not get a chance. After the first day of exploring the island with the family, I am posting late, late Sunday night.

Tweet, Tweet, Tweet:  twitter.com/KwiekMath

Barbaric Blog Yawp:  ndkwiek.com/nousion/yawp

Make & Share:  Equal Area Demonstration (silent video)

Tell Me What You Want:

Natural Born Digital Citizens? (part 1) — children and social media
Natural Born Digital Citizens? (part 2) — parenting for success
Natural Born Digital Citizens? (part 3) — digital recognition

Think About Your Thinking:

Domain & Blog
Tweet
Yawp

 

Thinking: Yawp

This assignment was fun. It appealed to that part of me that wants to tell my story, even if no one wants to hear it. The hard part was deciding how to tell that story, where to focus, where to start. I ended up tacking an extra paragraph onto the end to answer the questions in the prompt, but I think that might have been the best paragraph. The lists were a great part of the assignment and could even have stood on their own as a separate assignment.

My advice to future students doing this assignment: think of a theme for your yawp before you start.

Thinking: Tweet

I’m still not sure I did this one correctly.

Before this assignment, I had a personal Twitter account, but I had never tweeted anything. On my personal account, I still haven’t tweeted anything. I read other people’s tweets, but I say nothing. I think of it like the time when I was in my 20s when I would go to a bar or coffee shop alone and sit in the corner with a book and overhear other people’s conversations. I didn’t think anyone cared what I had to say.

Not wanting my personal Twitter followers to be subjected to my tweets for school, I created a new Twitter account for class. I might use it for work afterward. I posted my first tweet, but then I retreated to listening. My biggest challenge is convincing myself that what I have to say can be said in 140 characters and still be worth reading. I feel like an Ent.

My advice to future students doing this assignment: strike up a conversation, perhaps with Chris, right away. Get comfortable with the medium so that it becomes useful.

Thinking: Domain and Blog

I am, for the purposes of this assignment, considering the domain and blog setup assignments as one. At least in my case, one led seamlessly into the other. They were one activity that I completed in one sitting. They did not make sense alone.

It is easy to be a digital consumer—to have an account on Facebook or Twitter, to watch YouTube videos, to shop on Amazon, and so on. But to be a digital citizen requires some agency. Setting up our own domain and blog gave us that agency. Before doing this, I did not have my own presence on the internet. I had a presence as provided by other websites. I am still dependent on Reclaim Hosting and WordPress, but now I have my own space where I can present myself and interact with others however I want.

I found two challenges in this pair of assignments. The first was deciding on a domain name. So much of an identity can be determined by a name, especially in an arbitrary and anonymous environment like the internet. I decided to simply use my name. The next was setting up the website and knowing when to stop. It is easy to get sidetracked from other assignments and get sucked into rabbit holes of web design by trying to fix one feature or another. I have spent a lot of time poking around WordPress, trying to improve features of my site.

My advice to future students doing these assignments: Choose a name that succinctly communicates what your site is or who you are. Once you have it created, you can keep tweaking it forever. Don’t get stuck on the formatting. Design can evolve.