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Albatross News Vol II Issue 1

3 min read

Welcome to 106.

This is our first . You will receive one newsletter every module or so.

The WorkFlow

Just like our first class this class will be production based. You will be making and building from the start.

Throughout the class we will take the lessons we learned in Tag Tag Revolution and apply them to how we write.


A Website. Blogs. A Stream?


Here are the tasks you must complete to get started in class:

  • Set up a blog. I have made tutorials available and will be doing a screencast as soon as this newsletter goes into circulation.
  • Write an introductory post. Tell us who you are or your tech experience.
  • Join the class Stream
  • Update your profile

If you get that done by Sunday night you will be in good shape. We can start Module One when we get everyone up and running.

If you have any doubts look back at this stream. They are your peers. They came from where you sit now to being able to read, write and participate on the Web.

They built websites. They remixed images, and they played with html, css, and javascript.

An important Note on Privacy

You as a student have a fundamental right to privacy. You are more than welcome to blog under a pseudonym. Also you set the privacy of any post to the class Stream. You can select as "Members Only" so only members in the class can see it or select public so anyone who visits the class url can see it.

Once this class is over you can delete all your posts, take them with you, or hopefully keep the blog dancing.

Blogging Tutorial.

While I recommended Known in class and in our blogging tutorial I have learned that Known will no longer be offering their free websites. I still recommend Known and they have wonderful educational discounts but if you are looking for free you may want to look at at or Medium.

I included more in-depth tutorials here of both and will will go over both in a screencast once this newsletter goes live.

Looking Forward

I am really excited to launch this class. Please note we move at the speed of your growth and travel pathways you want to discover. I really meant it when I said you will be grading yourself and can develp the final and the syllabus in ways that suit your overall learning goals.

Good Luck Everyone. Excited for an Awesome Semester

All images sourced from which sources from which pretty much sucks up everything from everywhere

Albatross News Vol 2 Issue 2

7 min read

I was very happy to see the timelines come in. More importantly the memes from our challenges from our first maker challenge were exciting. They even caught a little buzz on Twitter:

When our learning spreads I do a little dance. In this edition of our newsletter you will find a better description of your next set of tasks. Taylor happy. From a song I know nothing about.

The Blogs

We use our blogs for thinking.

Taylor rubbing her chin.

Each week you are responsible for sharing two blog posts. The first post is an analysis of one of the assigned readings. The second post is a reflection on you, technology, and social media.

In the first module I wanted to focus on getting everyone up and running. We were launching Known., and playing with Thimble. All these open source tools can be tough to learn.

It is hard to focus on quality writing while also learning new tools.

Taylor in funny school video

We will now shift our focus.

Blogging is different than traditional writing. It is also different from facebook updates and snapchat stories. Especially academic blogging. In fact I would argue this genre shares more with traditional writing than the status and stories found on social media.

Looking back at the first module I see many people brining the affordances and practices of social media to their blogs. That is good. We are talking about literacy as a social and distributed process. We want to explore meaning making and multi-modality. Our stories are linked intertextually to worlds online and off. However some practices do not fit.

There are some habits you need to shake off.

Taylor dancing singing some song about shaking

For example writing one brief paragraph do not fit what is expected from academic bloggers. I also need to see you take advantage of greater multimedia (this is both skill and art so I will be patient here).

So everyone understands our  Monday maker challenge will involve us creating a rubric as a class to assess each other blog posts. If you want to get a jump start this is the piece that will guide our thinking.

Many of you will need to step up your game.

Taylor gets hit in head with basketball. Good slapstick

Twitter Chat

I do not require the use of Twitter for this class. Though I highly encourage it (in fact I could see someone documenting their Twitter journey as a learning pathway in this class).

 It is an essential channel in developing professional identities.  For this module you will analyze a Twitter chat. It is important for your analysis to step back and see the forest from the trees.

Taylor running around a tree. There is a a horse in the picture. I do not know why.

Step One: Find a chat.

  1. You can choose a popular event such as the elections or a sporting event. A twitter hashtag is usually displayed. Warning these channels move very fast.  It will be almost impossible to read in real time.  You never want to try and control the current. Just tip a toe in the stream. In other words just look for overall patterns and reply to a tweet or two. The goal is to spark up dialogue by responding to others.
  2. You can use any number of the educational  hashtag chats. Here is a directory. I usually stop by ,#edchat, , , , , and many more. Teacher candidates may want to try out . That is new teacher chat. It is a supportive community that offers a wealth of advice.
  3. You can join us on  9/23 for where @Moz_Teach is going to share a collection of back to school remixes. You were probably one of the first classes to use the new tool so I am sure you have a unique story to tell.
  4. If you do not want to register an account for Twitter for privacy reasons you can analyze the attached transcript.  You can annotate it using You of course can submit a hard copy annotation as well.

  Step Two: Document and analyze any patterns you see around learning?

  1. How is it organized?
  2. Do you see any expert versus n00b dynamics?
  3. Does there seem to be any leaders? What makes someone a learner?
  4. If you participated what did you learn?
  5. Do you see any evidence of other people learning? What was it?
  6. Were the voices equal? diverse?
  7. What could they have done better.

Step Three: Publish a post with your analysis.

  1. State your claims succinctly. Use media.
  2. Use evidence to support your claims. This will include information from assigned readings and patterns you surfaced in your analysis of the Twitter chat.
  3. You should embed tweets into your analysis.
  4. Make it fun. Be honest and proud of your work.

Collaborative Case Study

For your performance assessment this module you will be working in a small group on a case study. This case study must analyze the space through a lens of Connected Learning.

 I know many people don't have the best reaction to group projects.

Taylor looking confused. Probably from a song or something.

I am sure there were times when you were quite angry at not pulling their weight.

Taylor smashing her boyfriends car Mrs. Wood's style.

You may have even lost it once or twice over a group project.

Taylor crying in a corner

I apologize ahead of time but you need to get over it.

Taylor holds up a sign with the word sorry

The problems the world faces are simply too big for you to tackle alone. In the more immediate future you will not survive in a networked economy if you can not work in distributed places with other people.

No matter your field or industry you will be better if you can read, write, and participate online.

We can not walk away from group work disappointed.


  1. Find a group.
  2. Choose a learning space (can be a community on Google+, a hashtag on Twitter, a Facebook Group, an online community like, or an extracurricular club at SCSU).
  3. Watch the community for awhile, investigate older posts, record evidence.
  4. Compare your evidence to the values and design principles of Connected Learning
  5. Create a Google Doc for your group. Share with Dr. McVerry.
  6. Draft, revise, draft, revise, draft, revise.
  7. Edit and then publish by sharing a link to the class stream. Make sure to include the tag in the body of your post.

Resources to Help

1. Here is the assigned reading (Executive Summary Only) that will provide background on Connected Learning. You can also refer to my initial ignite talk

2. The first step of writing is to read a mentor text. Use the case studies on as your guide.  

3. Use the graphic organizer to help scaffold your writing. Organize your evidence. Make sure to make a copy (File>Make a copy), rename the file and share it with Dr. McVerry.

4. I will review how to use Google Docs in a face to face class. This is a great module and I am cheering for your success.

 This newsletter was a remix of Caleb Smith and Mike Riccis 12 Gifts for You. It was a response by Speaker Boehner's office to President Obama's call for free community college.

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