To be quite honest, my first thought of taking an online class entitled Literacy in the Digital Age was utter fear. I was extremely anxious due to the fact that I had never taken an online class nor was I familiar with a lot of the current technology other than Facebook. I guess you could say that my expectation of the class would be that at best I would struggle through it all just enough to pass the class and at worst I would end up dropping the class out of sheer confusion and frustration. However, neither of these have proven to be true…at least not so far. Contrary to what I believed, I have enjoyed this class more than any of my classes on campus (not to say that I don’t enjoy those classes). I have found that this class has sparked my interest in digital literacy and has caused me to want to become more creative as well as to learn about all the up and coming digital tools that can be used in education. I have learned how to navigate and use Twitter, how to blog and use an RSS in order to keep track of other blogs that interest me, how to create a Vine, embed links in my blogs, etc. I think one of the tools I have encountered in this class that has become something I will use as a lifelong tool for learning are the TED Talks.
I think the most interesting module was Module 7 in which we were required to research ds106, research the Daily Create, and watch the TED Talk about trying something new for 30 days. I have never in my life experienced anything like ds106 or the Daily Create. I can say, however, that I have taken part in some 30 day challenges…mostly in order to create new habits for myself or to break old habits. Recently, I quit smoking using no patches, no medications, and no gum or candy. I have now made it to 22 days without cigarettes and plan on extending the challenge far beyond the 30 day period to my entire lifetime. I felt that this module was also the most challenging module for me so far because I was rather confused about what ds106 was for several days after starting my research on it. It wasn’t until I actually accessed the assignment bank and began to just dive in to some of the assignments that I began to understand what ds106 is and why it can be such a great tool. I have come to see the value in ds106 as a community of people coming together for the sake of encouraging learning and creativity and plan to continue to complete assignments in this free course.
Over the next half of the semester I hope to learn a little more about how I can best use all of this technology in my future classroom and also how to better spark creativity in young people. I truly have a newfound appreciation for digital literacy!