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Digital Intros & Digital Footprints

Written by Jenn Cook
February 15, 2014

Our first assignment at the 2013 SI (our entre into Troy Hicks’ Crafting Digital Writing!):

Create a digital introduction to yourself for us, using Animoto, YouTube, Voicethread or Sparkol.

After viewing one another’s vids and discussing the process of introducing ourselves via digital composition, many of us went back to school and used a similar assignment with our students at the beginning of the term. (Pro Tip: anyone can sign up for Animoto and make free 30-second videos)

We tried out other, simpler forms for digital introductions, borrowing from The Daily Create folks at DS106, another CMOOC that welcomes anyone, any time (like the NWP’s #CLMOOC). I highly recommend finding a way to incorporate DS106 into your daily life! Find tons of cool digital composing and storytelling ideas here:

What we noticed about digitally composing an introduction to ourselves (compared to, say, reading a piece out of our Writer’s Notebook) is that it offered lots more room for individuality and creativity. From the tech tool options the teachers had (Sparkol, Voicethread, YouTube, Vine) to the many forms that the content could take (what should we know about you?), each of the 9 teachers in our Institute approached the same exact assignment from different angles and perspectives. This diversity made the “screening” of these introductions feel like a film festival. We loved it so much we watched them all twice.

Following our inital “makes,” we discussed the ethos of digital citizenship and followed the worn paths made by our digital footprints. A good resource for considering Digital Footprint is George Couros: Also see the handout that I’ve attached to this page, one I used in the Summer Institute to get a conversation started about online presence, social networking, and the extent to which each teacher felt comfortable with these tools and systems. 


Open G_Couros_DigitalFootprint.docx