Participate 1 – Ideal Digital Learning Communities

The following blog is part of an online course, I am completing.  I have updated this to include the more detailed answers to some of the questions and hope to clarify some of my answers.

Answer: Consider what would be needed to create an ideal digital learning community. What would be needed to bring such a vision to fruition?

A large number of educators from a diverse background is just one of the factors needed to make an ideal digital learning community.     In my subject area, film and video production there is usually only 1 teacher in a school and sometimes in a whole district.  So it is hard to find someone to collaborate with in a school.  Even when I do find another teacher, they sometimes work in a totally different environment, have different goals, or have a different focus than my program. For most of my career, I have worked in the same type of schools.  My current position is totally different.  It took me over a year to discover this and most of the last 2 years to adapt.  If I had reached out a little farther, I would have discovered teaching in a Title 1 is a huge difference.  They could have helped me along.  To me they were the same students, I couldn’t see the difference.

A factor I hadn’t considered before is that there would be students or learners in the group.  I guess most people in the education field consider themselves lifelong learners.  This also gives everyone a chance to participate.

I am a member of several learning digital learning communities.  I discussed this in another blog.  I am most active in group for fellow film and video teachers on Facebook.  The group is mostly Georgia teachers but we have a few teachers from neighboring state who participate.  The ideal thing about this is all of the teachers participating are working under similar conditions.  Since we all work geographically close to one another we go through the same things together.  For instance, many of us attend the same conference every summer.  The members of the groups discuss everything from why to attend,  to asking for copies of materials and planning for the next event.

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Another community is one that I started to encourage the same type of participation but to reach beyond the borders of our state.  The problem with this group is that it requires you to be a member of Google + .  This is just confusing for some folks and the membership has not grown as large as I would like.  Google + communities offer a few options not available in Facebook groups.   I like that you can post and sort different topics in the communities.

What makes a good digital community is having people who are active and willing to share.  A large and diverse community will help this to happen.   You need beginning teachers, veteran teachers and people from the community to participate.  This will help to stir the pot and keep things cooking.

What can one do to make an existing DLC more attractive to and welcoming for students and teachers?

I have been participating in a few twitter chats recently.  Some I am fully participating other times I am just watching. From my experience, people are really friendly.  Whenever I make a popular comment, I will get a few likes and new followers.  This positive feedback has made me more active in the chats.   Some folks will announce they are participating and they will always get a hellos to welcome them to the chat.  DLCs need this same welcome environment.

I hope you enjoyed this blog. Please email me if you have any suggestions holcomb.ca@gmail.com. Follow me on twitter and subscribe to my blog for more upcoming ideas for your media classroom. Subscribe to my youtube channel for iOS tips.

Participate 1 – Joining a DLC

This my 2nd post for my online class.  Although it is a little off topic for me, I hope it offers my readers something they can use.  The product I am creating as part of this class should offer something for my readers. If this article does not interest you skip to the bottom and look for Film and TV webmix and click on it.  I am sure you find this is a valuable resource.

The first thing I immediately did was do a Google search to to find out the difference between a digital learning community and personal learning network.  According to the websites I visited, a digital learning community or dlc for short is socializing with others to share knowledge about a subject.  A personal learning network or pln is personalized to you.   So your pln may be composed of several different subjects.  My pln is composed of journalism, film and technology resources.

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I was a little surprised to discover I have been doing this for years in my own personalized way.  I have been participating in RTNF Listserv for years.  I have followed several schools that had exemplary video programs via their webpages. I am a member of a Facebook group for Broadcast Video Teachers.  I started a Google plus group for my school and fellow film and video teachers.  Plus I have been participating in a few different twitter chats.

The digital learning community I have learned the most from lately is the Facebook group for Georgia  Broadcast teachers. It is great because I can post a question in the morning and usually by lunch someone has answered my question.  Most of the teachers in this group are the only one in the building and possibly the district who teaches their class.  It is great being able to hear feedback and share answers with others.  The most difficult thing about this group is you need to know someone to join it.  It isn’t really for students but for their teachers.

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I am using the iOS and the desktop version of this Symbaloo.  Using the desktop versions gives me a lot more options.   Using the iOS version gives me the convenience of using the software anywhere.  I think it may be best to set up Symbaloo on a desktop.  Once I have a fully functioning web mix I have created, it  will be able to easily use from my iPad or other mobile device.

I took all of the resources from above and created a WebMix.  This includes tutorials that I use in my class, school websites, youtube channels and professional organizations.  My goal was to create something I would use and other teacher in my subject area could use.  Students might find some of it useful.  I would probably adapt it for student use.

Film and TV Classroom Webmix

I hope you enjoyed this blog. Please email me if you have any suggestions holcomb.ca@gmail.com.  Follow me on twitter and subscribe to my blog for more upcoming ideas for your media classroom.  Subscribe to my youtube channel for iOS tips.

Participate 1 – Character Traits

As part of a class I am taking,  I have been asked to blog about the three most impressive character traits of an exemplary citizen within a digital learning community.  Since I am film and video teacher I am going to relate this back to my subject area.

Sharing – People on social media tend to over share.  As part of a digital learning community you should share enough to encourage people read your thoughts, opinions, insights. There is a difference between sharing enough and sharing too much.  Daily posts about interesting topics tend to bring the reader back to enjoy your experience.  However,  if you simply just flood the digital landscape with everything people become unengaged from information overload.   It is better to have a few really relevant posts then fifty you must sort through.

Feedback –  By giving people feedback, you are saying I enjoy what you had to say please post more.  This is more then just simply liking a post but explaining what you liked about the post.  I was viewing the analytics data on my YouTube channel earlier.  I was able to see that my videos about video and photography were getting more views.  Do you thinking I am going to post more videos about these topics.  Absolutely!

Attribution-  When you get an idea from somewhere else let people know.  Even if you are not copying their idea exactly.  People researching a topic like to know where you got an idea.  This helps then to find other resources on the same.  When I started teaching film and video, there were few resources out there.  I explored every link they mentioned.  Without these resources I would not be not have made it all these years.

Email me if you have any suggestions holcomb.ca@gmail.com. Follow me on twitter and subscribe to my blog for more upcoming ideas for your media classroom.