Think about how you can enable students to work (safely) on the open Web, interacting with existing online communities, sharing and publishing their own work, and connecting with each other and other students.
Techniques and Activities to help you explore this practice.
Almost every discipline we teach has some kind of presence online. It is worth spending some time researching and engaging with the spaces where your disciplinary peers hang out. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram all are good sources to check.
As teachers, what is our responsibility to help our students find and engage with these communities? At this moment, helping students connect to others is a great way to ground them in the moment and help them understand how practitioners in their field are navigating the uncertainty we are all experiencing.
Open vs Closed Web Spaces
The Web is made up of different kinds of spaces, some more open/public, others more closed/private. There is no right or wrong to these qualities, and spaces and communities exist along a continuum between them.
As instructors we should, however, consider the implications of how open or closed a space is for our students. What do different spaces allow your students to do? What do they prevent your students from doing? How do these affordances intersect with your own teaching values? Do different spaces support different ways of learning and are those in line with your own teaching philosophy?
Work on the Open Web
Create your own personal, open Web presence. If you work at Plymouth State, we recommend you try an installation of WordPress on PlymouthCreate, but you can choose any other tool that allows you to share your ideas, thoughts, and work on the open Web.
Craft this space into an online home for yourself. Think about the kind of things you would like to fill the “rooms” of this home with: your latest ideas; your personal photography; your C.V.; links to your presentations or articles; etc. Spend time building this home for yourself and updating it regularly. Share it with your own personal learning network and invite people to comment on, critique, and link to your new home.
As you build and create, think about how this work is relevant to your courses and students. What could they be sharing online that would be valuable to them as learners in your class? How would sharing their work publicly be different/feel different than your current practices? What challenges would you face (technical, personal, ethical) and how could you address them?
Engage a Community
Choose an online community that you’ve found that is related to your discipline/field or a personal interest you have and join it. If you’re having trouble finding a community try these tips:
- Search Twitter for words/phrases related to your interests/field and see if there is any hashtag activity around them. If there is, start following that hashtag.
- Search Facebook for groups (these will be more active than pages) related to topics you’re interested in.
- See what hashtags or groups your friends/colleagues are following or part of.
Spend time not just lurking but participating — share your own ideas/thoughts, respond to others’. Commit to spending a certain amount of time each week in this space, learning from others and sharing your own knowledge.
As you work in this community, develop an assignment you think your students could complete within the community that would further their understanding of the field. What projects they could develop and share in the community? Could they provide feedback or insight into any of the topics being discussed? Are there other students in the community whom they could connect and collaborate with?
Online reading and resources to help dive deeper into this practice.
- How to Build an Ethical Online Course, Jesse Stommel
- The Public Necessity of Student Blogging, Travis Holland
- When Social Media Assignments Increase Risks for Vulnerable Students, Jade Davis
- Platforms, Chris Gilliard & Chris Friend (episode of HybridPod)
- Design Activities & Assessment for the Web, Dave Cormier
A larger community of teachers and learners interested in this practice.
Discuss on Twitter
If you are active on Twitter, we encourage you to share your thought and ideas using the #ACEFramework hashtag and the #internet hashtag to talk about this practice, in particular.
Join a Meeting
If you are interested in talking to people about the Connection value (for which The Internet as Classroom and Community is an ACE-informed practice), we invite you to our hosted Zoom chats. Chats are scheduled this summer on the following dates:
- Thursday, June 18 from 1:00PM-2:00PM (EDT): Overview of the ACE Framework
- Thursday, July 2 from 1:00PM-2:00PM (EDT): Connection Practices
Submit Your Ideas
If you find yourself working this summer on a project or approach that uses The Internet as Classroom and Community, we invite you to share what you’ve found or created, via the Submit Something button below. If you choose to publicly share your submission, it will immediately become available on this page in the Revisit section. (For particularly compelling submissions, we may also add this to the Resources section of this page.)
Hypothesize with Us
Join Our Team
Plymouth State University community members are invited to join our Teams site for the ACE Framework. Feel free to use our discussion channel to ask questions, give suggestions, and point to new resources.
A space for user-submitted ideas, resources, and links related to this practice.