Digital Wave. Summer workshops for faculty and staff revolving around the use of technology. My husband coined the term in 1994 and created the surfer dude logo in 1995. One year we even had some 80 tee shirts made as a celebration of that number of participants!
This year, due to construction on campus and electricity being turned off for two weeks following graduation, Digital Wave was simply not going to take place on campus. What better impetus to try an all-digital, virtual Wave!
Fourteen faculty expressed interest in participating, of which seven actually joined in. Five students (a rising: sophomore, junior, and senior, and two who graduated last week) and I were the online guides. The goal: to increase understanding of a PLN (Personal Learning Network), develop (or further develop) an online PLN, and explore isenet.ning, Twitter and Posterous in the process.
Initial organizing and directions were posted on school email, but the bulk of the directions were posted on the Ning, with some additional use of Posterous. Prior to the formal start of the two-day session, Q&A took place on the Ning. For the actual facilitation, we used a live email chat via our school’s FirstClass email.
Monday, June 14, I thought we’d go from 9 a.m. till about noon. By 2:30 that day it was apparent that everyone was hooked, perhaps a bit tipsy with their online travels, but hooked nonetheless! Tuesday, June 15, we did manage some face-to-face time – but not with the faculty participants. I invited our wonderful student guides to come for blueberry pancakes. Every year those of us who facilitate Digital Wave go out for a “thank you” lunch and ice cream, and celebrate the graduating seniors. I have known some of the students for easily six years, and this year we even had an honorary online participant in the form of a graduate from last year.
Due to differing schedules, it seemed breakfast would be the best bet for our celebration, plus I love to make blueberry pancakes. How cool to have a co-pancake maker, and he even brought his own tools! After breakfast one of the students suggested we try a video chat using UStream. This proved to be an entertaining experiment and a way to bring closure to the two days of exploration.
A HUGE THANKS to students and faculty for diving into a day and a half of online exploration! Here are the students, minus one who had to leave early but he had a stand in for the photo 😉
This is what two of the faculty had to say at the conclusion of Digital Wave:
Thanks to all. It was quite an experience…addictive, in fact. Once Digital Wave was over, I missed the mania of going here and there, attempting to blog, audio chat, and all else. I started an online course through ADL about Diversity, and guess what…I immediately joined their blog. Ah! My PLNs are growing by the day! Thank you for such an enriching, fun-filled two days- a great way to kick off the summer!
I’d like to piggyback on [the] email of thanks. THANK YOU ONE AND ALL!!! I was deep into researching, updating, reading, corresponding, exploring…all on the Internet thanks to all of your help and encouragement. Being a part of the Digital Wave was like a license to explore and get lost in various social/learning networks. It was an intense two days and even though I might not have been actively asking for assistance, I was using trial and error to see how these networks functioned and to ponder the functionality of these in my life. I truly have broadened my PLN status and look forward to continue exploring them further in the lazy days of summer ahead.
I wish you many sunny days and leisure time.
“All intellectual improvement arises from leisure” ~ a cool quote from the British author Samuel Johnson
p.s. Happy 26th Birthday Jamie!!!!