Dear future ED654 students (aka Nousionauts, Nousioneers, Nousionistas, etc.):
If you are still deciding whether or not you want to take this class, I encourage you to go for it. No matter whether you are naturally open or shoot for anonymity; whether you know a lot about the elements of digital citizenship or next to nothing; whether you see the value in online engagement or not — this class is right for you. Whether you teach formally or informally; directly or indirectly; children, teens, adults; novices or advanced users of the internet; your own children or complete strangers — this class is for you.
Though it can be said that every graduate class is what you make it, this is literally true of Chris Lott’s ED 654. He has created the course with a remarkable amount of flexibility, empowering you to customize the course to an impressive extent to make sure that you walk away with new knowledge and skills that are directly applicable to you as an individual.
Ok, so you’ve decided to take the class. Great! Here’s my advice to you: Dive in with both feet.
Embrace this rare opportunity to make the course exactly what you need it to be. Yes, there are key concepts that you must develop an understanding of but there’s more than one way to skin a cat. If you come across a class topic that you are very familiar with, don’t just do busy work. Think about how you can push yourself to the next level in that area and talk with Chris about it. He doesn’t want you to waste your time anymore than you do! If you’ve got a great idea for applying a concept that doesn’t work with the listed activities, run with it! He really wants you to learn, explore, and find your own value in the class.
Embrace community and learn from each other. Inevitably, your class will be made up of people from a wide variety of backgrounds with different expertise, career goals, etc. Take advantage of that diversity of perspective and knowledge! Look at the ways others approached the assignments you complete. Do some of the assignments that your classmates make up. Take the time to not only comment on others’ work but ask questions and initiate discussion. Remember names and basic facts about your classmates to help form a sense of community but also to look at their work in context.
Embrace living the class out online. If you must go entirely with aliases, fine, but do make and use the webpage/blog, Twitter accounts, and whatever other accounts you make. This class is experiential. You can look at theory all day but until you experience things firsthand, you lack a robust understanding of digital citizenship. Experiencing it also allows you to create informed opinions.
Soon you will be known as Nousioneers. Nousionauts. Nousionistas. You will come to embrace the title and feel part of the community that makes up your class and the greater community of past Nousioniphiles.
Summer 2016 Nousionarian