Thinking about your role as teacher working with young people what kind of obligations do you believe you have to to help them curate and create and digital identity?
I had my first opportunity to do this on a 1-to-1 basis this past spring as I worked with an intern teaching her how to blog using our department's English Majors' Weblog. Her job was to create an identity for the blog beyond that of silo. Silos are fine as far as the go, but we decided together that was not far enough. I helped her understand the nuts and bolts of using a WordPress blog and gave her some tools for helping gather info, then I stood back to allow her room to create the blog's identity and her own identity as its 'owner'.
I responded to questions on a daily basis. We set realistic goals together, and within two weeks she decided that the role she wanted was that of 'hub' to the many 'spokes' that represent what it means to be an English major. The curation tools needed to do that included the standard ones you might imagine: email listservs, email distribution lists, personal connections to others who know what you are trying to do. She created other spokes like a Facebook page which she connected to our Creative Writing Department's Facebook page. She connected us to Twitter and then figured out how to add widgets to our weblog that would automate both FB and Twitter to show on that page. I showed her how to use Google Analytics on our weblog so that she had ways to begin to see how her 'curations' affected audience.
She created a new identity for the weblog and she did it mostly herself with some very hands off suggestions as to what other tools she might use and where she might find more ideas. It was a grand semester, that it was.
That obligation extends to my emphasis in the classroom for appropriate tools gathering information (Diigo and Zotero), making sense (writing texts, talking about texts, close reading together using ExplainEverything, collaborative work with Google Forms) and sharing (Presentation styles like pechakucha, instructables, and ignite as well as YouTube, Prezi and lots of others that I model for them during the semester).
There is the danger at every step of avoiding a feedback loop. Venkatesh Rao puts it very succintly, "Sometimes acquiring a skill can make you see things you didn’t see before. When you have a hammer in your hand, everything looks like a nail. On the other hand, if you can’t see nails, all you see is opportunities to make better hammers."
We want our learners to be able to both see nails and use hammers. Often when tools afford new ways, we get obsessed with the design of the hammers. We have a duty to help our students see the nails and to grow the mastery that enables them to hammer the bastards down without bending too many of them over.
Week 2: Responsibilities as Educators
Here are some optional questions to help us focus on this area of interest. Please share your thoughts about all or any of these questions :
Thinking about your role as a parent, guardian and/or teacher working with young people what kind of obligations do you believe you have to to help them curate and create and digital identity?
If you work with adult learners what kind of obligations do you think you have to help them curate their digital identity?
How do you go about ensuring that learners develop curation competencies? Do you have any resources that you could share with other participants? Has anyone developed a rubic for this area?