Weeks 1 & 2 in Review

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It is just like me to be playing catch up in the beginning of the class. From the look and sound of our classroom, I could guess many of my classmates are doing the same. Partly, because this class is a bear to get rolling. I’m no IT expert, but I can find my way around a good tutorial (when I can find the time to). So here’s my shorthand version of the experience of DS106 from a newb perspective:

Week One – “Thirty’s a Crowd”

Friggin’ A. Its freezing cold outside. I must have commuter student written all over me as I wander the historic city campus looking for Monroe Hall. Some time later, I’m standing in a room with an image of a bearded man projected via Skype. Professor Levine I assume? My first thought was that not that many people were scared away with the foreboding email he sent the week before class began. Or maybe not… Someone leaves at the mention of purchasing a domain and web hosting and I get a seat. Great way to start the first week! By Wednesday night I’ve caught up on my blog reading, but the I’m stuck on the domain name. In class we discuss the nature of the blog and I’m doing fine until we begin discussing “trolls” and I’m hoping Google Translate understands techy. Oh Lord. I’ve got to learn a foreign language too.

Week Two: “Birth of a Blog Brings Bags of Gold”

It… is… finished. Or so I hope. I finally named and launched my domain and web hosting, installed WordPress, and got my cookie-cutter theme up and running. YAY! I’ve never been so happy to be vanilla. Honestly, this was sooo much easier than I thought it was going to be. The DS106 professors provided us with tutorials, which was a nice security blanket to have available for scary moments, but I was able to navigate the process pretty well. This week we are reflecting on the endless opportunities web-based media provides, as well as realizing our ability (our responsibility?) to be a part of its continuous evolution. In our class discussion of digital makeovers, I bring up education as a major offender. Some aspects are catching up, such as e-textbooks, online classes, etc. But my personal experience has showed how most organizations go at this all wrong. You can’t take a classroom experience and make it digital. You have to create a digital learning experience. This is coming from someone who, after ten years of various undergraduate experiences, earned a bachelor’s degree from a school that at least tried to adapt the learning process to fit the medium of the internet. I remember when Blackboard first came out, it was revolutionary for universities. What will be revolutionary in education for this generation? Talk about a bag of gold nobody seems to want.

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