#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 Kenyon and elsewhere, and in interacting with our colleagues at Kenyon College, the American University in Cairo, Colgate University, and the University of Michigan-Dearborn, we will branch that network out even further.
Some of our guiding questions 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?
PERSONAL LEARNING NETWORK (PLN)
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 have a flashbulb memory of the moment in which I went up to Sundi Richard and Autumm Caines at a conference and said “DigPINS sounds cool, I think I want to do it at Kenyon.”) There is a lot of overlap in our PLNs, and this week we will introduce you to some of the people that we learn from online.
Things to do this week:
Watch this week’s video from your facilitators.
Develop your network – Start looking for people and groups you know (professionally/academically) who might have public presences 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!), engage there and think about how they fit into your developing digital identity.
Check out the list of suggested Twitter accounts (and hashtags) from the #DigPINS facilitators – follow accounts that look interesting to you
Tweet using #DigPINS – We do want to continue having conversations in Slack and on the blog, but this week you should start working in the public more. (Disclaimer: if you have concerns about working in the public due to security or privacy talk to me). Maybe consider not just promoting your blog post in Slack but posting it to Twitter – don’t forget to tag #DigPINS. Our main prompt for the week is to consider people and environments for building your PLN and share your process for finding and connecting with them. And of course, people who have participated in #DigPINS in the past might be good folks to connect to! You can identify past participants by searching for #DigPINS on Twitter and scrolling through the search results.
Join our Digital Scavenger Hunt! Every day this week, one of the facilitators will post a scavenger hunt goal for the day. Your mission will be to
- Share what you find for each day’s prompt.
- Check the #DigPINS hashtag to see what other people are finding, and respond to someone each day.
- Over the course of the week, quote someone’s response, adding a comment or question.
- Over the course of the week, send a private message to one of the facilitators, and we will reply. Twitter doesn’t only have to be in the public timeline, the Direct Message (or DM) feature works more like texting an individual or small group.
- 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.
We’ve imagined this as primarily an activity to get you used to Twitter, but if you’re not ready for that yet, or if any given prompt feels like something you’d prefer to keep privately, you can respond in Slack instead of on Twitter.
“Play” the Nicky Case narrative game The Wisdom and/or Madness of Crowds to dip your toe 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). (There are lots of neat extra resources linked in this game; feel free not to follow every footnote. Unless you want to!)
Optional: if you enjoy this kind of writing, 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 Maha Bali
- Hatching a PLN by Terry Greene
- Personal Learning Networks: Knowledge Sharing as Democracy – Alison Seaman
- Digital Identity in a World that Never Forgets – Alec Couros and Katia Hildebrandt
Getting Started w/ Twitter: https://help.twitter.com/en/using-twitter
Optional: Twitter can be overwhelming because of so much information coming in a single visual stream. Tweetdeck allows you to organize by search terms, hashtags, user lists, and such. Some folks find this helps them sort through different communities and conversations. Personally I’m a sporadic user – it’s useful for tracking conversation around events (like a conference) but not my everyday tool.
And of course remember you can reach out to us if you need help by direct messages on Twitter, or through Slack or email.