Every iteration of #DigPINS is different and facilitators choose the tools that are the best fit for their group. #DigPINS builds resiliency of navigating multiple environments through using multiple digital tools. By avoiding a centralized system participants get a better understanding of how to work and learn on the internet.
Tools use in #DigPINS are intended to expose participants to two complex spectrums: Public/Backchannel and Synchronous/Asynchronous.
#DigPINS participants are given a chance to explore multiple technologies that are on a range of public spectrum. Participants should be given a “backchannel” where they can communicate with others in their cohort but are not in public view. In addition, technologies that do put out public content should also be incorporated into some of the activities. By providing open public channels of communication in conjunction with those that provide the cohort access to each other but block more public postings, participants are given the choice to grapple with what content belongs in the public and which belongs in the backchannel.
Tools that fall on the synchronous/asynchronous spectrum expose participants to different ways of expressing one’s self in digital environments. Asynchronous tools give you the benefit of thinking through your thoughts before publishing them but synchronous tools enable spontaneity and perception of body language that is closer to face to face interactions.
Tools that have been used in past iterations
Again, each facilitator can choose for themselves which technology tools to use for their deployment of #DigPINS. The following list is an example of some tools that have been used in past iterations.
Slack – Backchannel tool
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 your team.
Blogs – Public tool
As part of developing a digital identity participants are asked to publicly blog usually on a weekly basis. This can be done as a single blog for the entire group, having participants set up their own blogs, or a mixture of both. Blogging platforms can include WordPress, Blogger, and others.
Hypothesis – Public Tool
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 – Public or backchannel depending on settings
Typically each week facilitators organize a synchronous video call with the participants and often invite special guests. You will need a camera and microphone to be able to participate; this could be a webcam on your computer or a smartphone/tablet. Some sync video platforms are Google Hangouts, Appear.in, Skype, and others.
Social Media – Public or backchannel depending on settings
Throughout the course participants are encouraged to join in on live Twitter chats with some established online communities, as well as the ongoing asynchronous conversation using the hashtag #DigPINS.