Finishing up Community unit

Thanks to everyone for their hard trek this first week. Hopefully it has been a learning experience: it has been for me. One primary goal was for everyone to reach a good comfort level with our equipment: Discord, Discourse, website, Zoom. We’re not all the way there yet, but we are definitely making progress. That goes for me too. The last step of this section of the trail is to respond to others’ Question concerning technology wikis — which will help strengthen our community of inquiry — and to fill out the evaluation on the website, and the bottom of the Community page of the website

Getting ready for the next stage

Tomorrow we begin the Plague section: it has some definite highs and lows and some steep parts. To begin, look at the Plague page on the website. I spent forever making these pages and then forgot to make them part of the course … There you will find an overview of the section, a revised description of the main project, and a link to the podcast and text resources for this unit.  And get started reading All fall down. I hope that you all have acquired a physical copy of the book, so you don’t have to read it on a screen, but if not, you can find digital versions on the Resource page.


We are definitely making progress in communication, but I’d like to remind and refine a little. First, we should plan to use Discord for most-interclass communication. We can also use the personal message feature on Discourse.

A couple pointers: if you friend people in the class, including me, it’s much easier to send/receive private, direct messages (DMs. When you post in a channel, it’s visible to everyone. You can also create DM groups if you want. So please send friend requests to everyone else in the class.  

It’s also easy to send personal messages (like email) to another person in Discourse. Just click on their icon and choose the send message button. When you have messages or other notifications, there will be a little colored number showing on your user icon in the upper right of the screen. Also, while you’re inside your account, fill out your profile and add a picture, so that we are not all just colored circles. 


I shared xMind with one group yesterday and I thought I should share it with everyone. You might be overwhelmed with new technological tools, but xMind is really a handy piece of software. It makes concept maps, plans, flow charts, timelines, etc. It’s quite easy to use. Here’s the website to download the free version:

I use xMind, among other things, to plan the curriculum for this course. Here’s my map for the upcoming unit. Maybe you’ll find it interesting as an artifact of what teachers actually do by way of course design and organization.