#DigPINS explores digital networks from the perspective that who you interact with, and how you interact, informs and shapes your digital identity. We form one network as a group doing #DigPINS together; there is a larger network of all those who have taken #DigPINS in the past at other schools, and in interacting with our colleagues at Kenyon College, St. Norbert College, University of Michigan-Dearborn and American University in Cairo, we will branch that network out even further.
Guiding questions for this week include:
- Who do you interact with online?
- How do you find and join networks?
- What are your current networks?
- What are the affordances and limitations of particular networks?
- What role do you play (or might you want to play) in these networks?
Personal Learning Networks (PLNs)
As we begin to talk about digital networks, we start to talk about being more resident in more public places. One way to think about building connections is with a Personal Learning Network (or PLN) model.
For example, I came to #DigPINS through a larger network of folks who work in instructional design, educational technology, and digital pedagogy. I had previously met one of the facilitators in person, followed other facilitators on Twitter and connected with another facilitator through email (they had been a former colleague of a colleague of mine).
There is a lot of overlap in the facilitators’ PLNs, and this week we will introduce you to some of the people that we learn from online.
Things to Do This Week
1) Watch this week’s video from your facilitators
2) Join Twitter and Develop Your Network
Start looking for people and groups you know (professionally/academically) who might have a public presence on Twitter. Then check out who they follow, the hashtags they use, etc. Connect with ones that you feel an affinity towards. (Or, going back to our Identity week, think about spaces where you’re already connecting with your professional communities, and how you might engage in those networks differently.)
Our examples this week will focus on Twitter, but if you discover useful groups on other platforms (like Slack or Discord or Facebook or good old blogs and email!), think about how they fit into your developing digital identity.
Check out this list of suggested Twitter accounts and hashtags to follow. Follow the people or conversations that look most interesting to you.
Technical Help with Twitter
- Getting Started with Twitter
- Use Tweetdeck to help you organize your feed by user lists, hashtags, etc. Check out this video to learn how to set-up Tweetdeck.
3) Join the #DigPINS Digital Scavenger Hunt
We’ve designed this activity to help you get used to Twitter. Each day this week, one of the facilitators will post a scavenger hunt “task” for you to complete in Twitter. Throughout the week:
- Share what you find for each day’s prompt using the #DigPINS hashtag.
- Review the #DigPINS hashtag to see what other people are finding, and try to respond to someone each day.
- Check your Twitter “notifications” to see what conversations you have been mentioned or tagged in. Respond to any notifications that you feel compelled to, and consider retweeting tweets you think are pertinent. Add your ideas via tweet to the growing conversation. Always remember to add the #DigPINS hashtag, NOT the handle @DigPINS
We’ve imagined this as primarily an activity to get you used to Twitter, but we will also post the scavenger hunt “tasks” in Slack. We realize not all #DigPINS participants may be ready to tweet. Posting in Slack is also an option if any given prompt feels like something you’d prefer to keep more private.
4) Play the “Wisdom (or Madness) of Crowds” Game
The narrative game The Wisdom and/or Madness of Crowds (by Nicky Case) is designed to introduce you into the world of network science. We use this “explainer” to start conversations about information literacy in networks; it should prompt some thoughts about how you want to tune your networks to bring in the kinds of information you want and need, and be resilient against “fake news.” You may also think about what kind of role you play (or might want to play) in your networks (e.g. fostering bonding and/or bridging ties between your networks). Feel free to skip some footnotes and only dive into the ones you find compelling.
Optional: if you enjoy this game, Case has recently released an explainer on future COVID-19 scenarios. This is not related to #DigPINS at all, but it might be interesting to you for its topic, or as an example of good science writing.
- Critical Digital Citizenship: Promoting Empathy and Social Justice Online by #DigPINS facilitator Maha Bali
- Hatching a PLN by Terry Greene
- Personal Learning Networks: Knowledge Sharing as Democracy – Alison Seaman
- Write a reflective blog post. Need an idea? Review the guiding questions for the week at the top of this page
- Read and comment on others’ blog posts at discuss.digpins.org
- Interact with other participants in the #week-2-networks Slack channel