#DigPINS – Digital Pedagogy, Identity, Networks, & Scholarship

St. Norbert College

Overview and Schedule

January 2018

Jan 3rd – Jan 24th

Facilitators: Deb Anderson and Autumm Caines


Welcome to #DigPINS! This is a three week online professional development course/conversation for faculty and staff designed to introduce and expand how connected digital environments impact pedagogy, identity, networks and scholarship. #DigPINS is strongly inspired by University of Mary Washington’s Domain of One’s Own Project, their faculty training initiative, and the Community of Inquiry model.

Full Spectrum Pedagogy (FSP) stipends are available at two levels for those who would like to apply but you do not need to apply for an FSP stipend to participate. If you are working on an implementation project to elevate student learning (FSP Level 2 stipend) as part of a FSP stipend #DigPINS is extended for a 4th and a 5th week with more focused and individualized attention.

It is our hope that through this experience we can build an online learning community with each other and perhaps with a broader global online education community. Through the tradition of Communio, St. Norbert College has a deep investment in community. In the weeks that follow we will explore the possibilities of using digital tools to extend, expand, and further connect our community to each other and beyond.


This course is completely online using a variety of digital tools which are explained in more detail below. There are both synchronous and asynchronous activities in this course and the course is highly participatory through many forms of reflection and conversation. This is not click through, lockstep, online training – there are no multiple choice questions.

The time commitment is at least 4-5 hours a week, but it could be more depending on how much you want to participate. Our time will be spent on asynchronous activities like readings and videos as well as synchronous activities such as video calls, collaborative annotation, Twitter chats, etc.

To help you feel connected please consider being open to receiving notifications on your phone and/or plan to check in with our Slack channel daily.

Every topic has a guiding document (which will be linked below) and the facilitators will post a video outlining the week’s theme and activities. For synchronous activities we will poll the participants to find a common time. If a common time can not be agreed upon we will choose a time that is best for most and try to record for those who can’t make it. We would like everyone to have both synchronous and asynchronous experiences.

Our designated hashtag is #DigPINS. This tag has been active on Twitter for the last two iterations of the course with participants from here at St. Norbert but also from around the globe. It was also recently used at Davidson College. No one owns hashtags but we have started to develop a community of educators here who are asking similar questions so Check it out on Twitter! You may also use the tag on other social media platforms but we are not aware of other platforms where an active community exists around the tag.

Digital Tools

It is important to note that the focus of #DigPINS is not meant to merely build technical skills – This is not a “click here” kind of course. We aim to look at technology through a critical lense but you will need technical skills to participate – it is an online course. Some of us may need to build different technical skills than others but everyone is encouraged to use the time in #DigPINS to push themselves in learning and evaluating new skills and technologies. The facilitators are here to help and ideally the community will work together to help one another to empathize and learn together in these areas.


Slack is a text based chat program that is a little more fun than similar technologies that came before it (irc chat – if you were ever into that kind of thing). It has fun features like emoji reactions and gif responses. You will need an account and you will stay most connected if you download the app and turn on notifications or at the very least log in once a day – read what is going on and/or leave a comment. Slack is not a public communication tool, it is just for our team though past participants of #DigPINS also have access. Slack will be our main communications tool for #DigPINS.

Blogs –

As part of developing a digital identity you will blog publically. You are encouraged to post weekly in your blog as well as read and comment on your colleagues’ posts. There are no due dates for blog posts but see the note about Liminal Days in the schedule below. Blog post topics are completely up to you as a reflection on any part of your experience in #DigPINS that week. Blog posts do not have to be long or in-depth but rather an open conversation.

Note: Domain of One’s Own (DoOO)- One way of taking your blogging to the next level is to own your own domain. DoOO is not about technology but about a philosophy of owning part of the web in the intimate space that we claim for ourselves. It is technologically a little more advanced but it is not about easy – it is about learning (and we will be with you every step of the way). If you would like to go this route let Autumm know and she can guide you.


Hypothesis is a social annotation tool for the web and digital documents. You will need an account and a browser plugin is optional. This tool allows us to collectively mark up a text that we are all reading in-line with comments, questions, and even video and images.

Sync Video Calls

We will be using YouTube Live/Google Hangout for our synchronous video calls. Each week we will meet in this way and the call will be recorded for review later. You will need a camera and microphone to be able to participate; this could be a webcam on your computer or a smartphone/tablet. If you feel like you need a test call to check your connection, camera, mic, etc just contact Autumm or Deb.

Social Media

Throughout the course participants will be encouraged to join in on live Twitter chats with some established online communities, as well as our own ongoing asynchronous conversation using the hashtag #DigPINS. These will be announced as they are scheduled.



We have three weeks to get through an exploration digital impacts on four major topics – Pedagogy, Identity, Networks, and Scholarship. Each of these are extremely nuanced and complex areas and it should not be our goal to cover each of these comprehensively. Rather, our charge is to ‘seed’ a larger conversation and ongoing practice. Calling each of our time chunks for each topic a ‘kernel’ is a metaphor to remind us to stay practical about the scope of the course. Our ‘kernels’ (or seeds) will grow on past the end of #DigPINS.

Liminal Days?

You will notice that there is an overlap day (that we are calling a Liminal Day) that encompases the end of one week and the beginning of the next. These Liminal Days act as our transition points from one week to the next – think of these as great opportunities for posting blog posts about your experience or projection about thoughts on the next week. We will work together to find common times inside of each kernel for synchronous activities. For a more in-depth overview of each kernel click on the link.

Kernel 1: Jan, 3rd – 8th Digital Identity

Liminal Day – Jan 8th is the end of week 1 beginning of week 2

We all contain multitudes; you have different identities depending on context and probably identify differently as a scholar, teacher, professional, member of the community, and member of your family. During this four day period we will explore digital identity through some readings, a synchronous introduction call, and V&R Mapping. During this time we will also have you set up an account with some of the digital tools you will need like Slack, Twitter, and your blog.

Kernel 2: Jan 8th -13th Digital Networks – Community

Liminal Day – Jan 13th is the end of kernel 2 beginning of kernel 3

No man (or woman) is an island; we all participate in networks everyday through work and/or family but what about online networks and community? How do we create and maintain strong connections when the environment is digital? This week we will start exploring what it is like as we move more toward the resident side of the V/R map through posting and commenting on blogs and participating in a twitter chat.

Kernel 3: Jan 13th – Jan 18th Digital Scholarship

Liminal Day – Jan 18th is the end of kernel 3 beginning of kernel 4

How are scholarship practices changing with the digital?  Who reads our scholarly work? How much of our scholarly work is understandable to those outside of our disciplines? We will be pulling from what we learned last week in networks to reflect on our scholarly practices through readings, blog posts, and a sync video call.

Kernel 4: Jan 18th – Jan 24th Digital Pedagogy

Liminal Day: Jan 24th is the end of the 4th kernel, the end of #DigPINS, and the beginning of continued growth of the seeds you have planted

This week we begin to think about how all of what we have been learning can come into play as we are working with students. What are the benefits and drawbacks to working with students in the open? What digital tools could help students to think about subjects from new perspectives. Again, we will have a set of readings, blog posts, and a sync video call with a special guest. 

FSP Implementation Plans – Additional two weeks of #DigPINS

If you are working on the Implementation level of a Full Spectrum Pedagogy Stipend (or if you are not but would like to continue with an implementation plan) then #DigPINS will continue for another two weeks. We will take a break for the beginning of Spring term before these additional weeks start – we will poll everyone who will be participating to determine the best time to start back up but plan for this to be in February/March. During this time we will continue our community of inquiry to share and collectively collaborate on each other’s implementation plans for elevating student learning through digital pedagogy. The scope of any particular implementation plan may require more individualized work beyond these additional weeks.