Exploring Identity and Vulnerability

All, Fun

I have written many times about the importance of community to learning as well as how important community is to the work of the National Writing Project. Our first activities for the Summer Institute and indeed every event always revolve around building or renewing community bonds. For this year’s Online Summer Institute this community-building process is even more essential as we have the largest cohort we have ever attempted online (and possibly ever but I can’t swear to that). Anyone who has ever taught online knows that creating community online can be challenging, but this is not my first rodeo and my students tell me every semester that the community we have built is one of their favorite things about my classes, so I’ve got this (I think).

Even though I have been leading Online Summer Institutes for eight years now, I am constantly reinventing the wheel so we can have a smoother ride (see what I did there?). One of those reinventions includes going all-in on HyperDocs this year. One of the guiding principles for true HyperDocs is giving students some choice and so I decided to build that choice into my Introduction or community-building activity adopting a much more CLMOOC-inspired approach.

This decision posed two different challenges for me. First, as I noted in my CLMOOC reflections – I’m not always creative and interesting with my own introductions, but I feel pretty good about the intro I came up with. It is silly yet informative and I make myself more than a little vulnerable in the process. The second challenge was coming up with a good list of suggestions to jumpstart their creativity. I loved the opportunity to share a wide range of introduction methods and hope that my #PLN can help me add to the list! I don’t want this to be considered a definitive list just some ideas that will inspire their thinking. Honestly, I’m not sure where my intro fits on the list so hopefully that will help them be inventive and creative.

My list includes:

What are some of your favorites? What should I include?

What do you think of my Introduction HyperDoc plan and my personal Introduction? I love learning from my #PLN and I hope to have an even more improved HyperDoc Introduction ready for my students in the Fall. How do you begin the community-building process in your classroom? Do you make yourself vulnerable before your students or simply expect it of your students?

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