I am sitting on the couch with my family watching Lawrence of Arabia and reflecting on my Digital Learning Hub. The movie reflects my current state of mind exactly. We chose to watch the movie after my husband and I read Malcolm Gladwell’s David & Goliath. Gladwell claims that T.E. Lawrence was an underdog, a successful military commander in spite of his background as a scholar. Lawrence suffers from conflicted loyalties throughout the film. His unconventional ideas are ultimately what make him successful. He attacks Aqaba from land, not sea.
A Digital Learning Hub is outside of my background. I studied sociology, women’s history, and native history in school. I have never taken a computer class in my life. I even use an outdated iphone, a 4s. I need to put aside my conflicted loyalties that scream students should still learn how to write research papers and begin to incorporate unconventional ideas into my classroom, students should be learning how to tweet and blog. I know that creating this Digital Learning Hub will allow me to create a filing cabinet type space for my new understanding of literacies in the classroom.
The initial decision was the platform. I settled upon Weebly. Finding a simple, clean template was easy. I have yet to settle on a background. I want a visual that represents my site and myself, but I have yet to decide exactly what my site is about.Therein, lay the next hardship. How can I write about making a DLH if I don’t know what to put in my hub? I want to offer multimodal tutorials, lesson plans and professional development opportunities on my site. And I know it should reflect my education as a part of the Information Technology & Digital Media Literacy 6th Year. When I entered the program at UNH I believed it would help me incorporate technology into my classroom. I have begun to realize that the program is really teaching us to be “new literacy” coaches. These new literacies need to be taught to staff as well as students. Leu et al. in What is New About the New Literacies of Online Reading Comprehension, states that old models of instruction assume the teacher was more literate than the students. Now “intellectual capital that will be increasing distributed around a classroom,” add to the teacher’s value as a social context mediator. Therefore, I should stop worrying about being an expert and start creating a social learning space.
I hope my Digital Learning Hub will reflect this newfound understanding of IT&DML. What can I offer? Why would staff or students want to add me to their personal learning network? How can I interact and still remain in control of my site? How much content should I create before I publish and promote my digital learning hub? How can I attack Aqaba from land not sea? I will take my lead from T.E. Lawrence and be unconventional.