Albatross News Volume 2 Issue 2

I was very happy to see the timelines come in. More importantly the memes from our #MakeMonday 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.

Taylor happy. From a song I know nothing about.

In this edition of our newsletter you will find a better description of your next set of tasks. There are three major tasks:

  • Blogging
  • Twitter Analysis
  • Collaborative Essat

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 #engchat ,#edchat, #ctedu, #sschat, #edtechchat, #hiphoped, and many more. Teacher candidates may want to try out #ntchat. 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 #thimblechat 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. b

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. A group is defined as more than one and less than the entire class.
  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 #connectedlearning 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.


  1. 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.

  1. 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.