There are six key literacies that we will practice throughout the semester. To earn a literacies badge, you must write a Badge Application Blog Post in which you make connections between earlier platform badges you’ve earned and the skills associated with the literacy you’re demonstrating. These badges represent the pinnacle of our class learning experience, and they are awarded after a considerable amount of work. Thus, you should write and explore the points below while making connections to your use of social media networks and your consumption of information. It is my goal that each person in the class earns the majority of these badges and understands these concepts after the class is over.
Curation Badge (75 points) – In order to earn the Curation Badge, you must demonstrate a thorough understanding of curation and its role in Internet culture. When you write a badge application to document your curation ability, you should address many of the following points:
* Showcase at least 3-4 separate instances of your personal curation practices and show how you harness a massive amount of information into a stream that is manageable and trustworthy. The goal is to demonstrate that you know how to curate information across multiple social media platforms.
* Reference the ongoing debate surrounding curation and decided whether curation is the right kind of metaphor for what we do online every day.
* Show how curation is, for you, a social practice. That is, how does your knowledge of your audience or your personal and professional contacts influence how you assemble information for yourself and for others?
* Share or reflect on at least one instance in which the work you’ve put in curating sources of information has paid dividends in your life. Has curating made overwhelming social media tools useful?
* Articulate on at least some level the internal criteria you use to curate information or ideas on a given social media platform. For instance, when you make a Twitter list, what are your standards for adding a source or not adding a source to it?
* Write a philosophy of curation. How do you practice it? For whom? How do you know that something is well done?
Attention Management Badge (45 points) – In order to earn the Attention Management Badge, you must show that you are mindful of how you focus your attention in an age of many distractions, many electronic devices, and many sources of entertainment and information. You should read Cathy N. Davidson’s “Learning from the Distraction Experts” chapter from her book, Now You See It and weave the ideas from it into your badge application post. Additionally, you may want to consider or accomplish the following:
* Develop the mastery of at least one tool to help you focus your attention. Some examples include Pocket (formerly Read it Later), productivity and social media network-blocking software like Anti-Social or Rescue Time, or other tools that help you manage your time. By developing mastery, I mean that you are able to articulate a process of organization that helps you be productive.
* Articulate your own practices of attention management. Do you struggle to maintain focus or be productive? How do you know when you are “in the zone?” What are your bodily cues? Do you think that your brain has changed over time, and if so, what has caused that change?
* Share your strategies for using multiple electronic devices, rewards, or punishments to focus your attention, a process that psychologists would call operant conditioning.
* Reflect on N. Katherine Hayles’s idea of Hyper Reading versus Close Reading in her book, How We Think. Do you use social media tools to engage in multiple kinds of attention focus?
*Tie the ideas from Howard Rheingold’s chapter on attention management in Net Smart in with your own use of specific social media platforms.
* Establish some way to measure how well you can pay attention, all while recognizing that your attention span can vary depending on context and circumstance.
* Associate various social networks with your corresponding levels of attention focus. For instance, does Twitter serve your needs better when you are not able to focus your attention as deeply as you’d like?
Metacognition Badge (51 points) – By earning the metacognition badge, you will have demonstrated the ability to talk out loud about the way you use social media to accomplish your goals, connect with other people, or find information. You should write a blog post that illustrates the following:
* Share your ability to create a system of metadata on a social media platform that makes sense to you. Are you inventing terms or using pre-existing terms to organize your knowledge?
* Show that you can use metadata in creative ways, across multiple platforms
* Demonstrate instances in which thinking out loud about your use of social media interfaces has caused you to find information more efficiently.
* Record a podcast or lead a small group session in class in which you teach someone to use a specific social media platform. Then reflect on your teaching experience. Did talking to someone else about a social media network that you know well help you understand your own organization practices better?
* Reference some of the scholarship and writing we will read this semester on metacognition.
* Show how metacognition is, for you, connected to broader literacies like Curation and critical evaluation.
Self Presentation Badge (71 points) – To earn the Self Presentation Badge, you must develop a personal articulation of your policies of creating a presence for yourself to the online public. Which social media networks do you use? Do you have different practices for each network? What pictures, details, and information do you share about yourself? These are questions you will want to think about as you form your badge application post. Some specific things to cover in your Badge Application post include the following:
* Talk at length about your system of public presentation. What principles do you follow? Do you have standards for yourself, and do you hold expectations of others?
* Link to or cite at least 2-3 other public intellectuals who talk about the challenges and opportunities of presenting yourself in public. Jeff Jarvis is a great person to read, but there are others.
* Make connections between your online, social media presences and the career field you hope to pursue. Why is it important for you to present yourself online if you plan to be a ______ (fill in the blank)? Similarly, what are some of the things to consider if you plan to be a _______ ?
* Point to concrete examples of how you have presented yourself in public on social media networks. Those examples could include this class blog, other blogs you have written, your Twitter or Facebook profile, your LinkedIn profile, or your Instagram account.
* Earn the Hindenburg Badge (recommended), several platform badges, and the Profile Picture Badge.
* Talk about the distinctions you make between your public self and your private self. Does social media change how you think about these categories? Do you wish that other people with think about these categories more deeply?
Self-Care Badge (52 points) – Talk about ways that you have intentionally limited your exposure to social media and information. How do you stay sane in an “always on” age? Do at least one radical thing to practice self-care and then write about it.
* Write a self-generated breakdown of your media diet in the mold of Clay A. Johnson.
* Make at least one change in your life that will help you maintain your health and general well-being. Share how you decided to make that change and where you got the idea. Allow for some time to go by and then reflect on whether the change has improved your ability to think, live at ease, or otherwise be an effective consumer of information online.
* Write about how at least one tool or digital lifestyle change has caused you to live a healthier life.
* Reflect on how your consumption of information on digital devices mediates your interaction with the world. Pay attention to potential negative aspects in particular. Do you have a hard time following what people are saying or engaging in conversation with someone? Do you worry about what you could be missing if you “turn off” from social media or the Internet?
* Demonstrate that you are a life and a learner in process. Show how your use of social media tools helps you lead a balanced life.
Information Literacy Badge (84 points) - In order to earn the Information Literacy Badge, you must demonstrate your ability to think about the process of evaluating information in multiple digital contexts. This badge should be the culmination of a semester’s worth of thinking about media, information, human attention, truth, and time. You may want to write about any of the following questions:
* Do you think of yourself as an information literate student or person?
* What is the connection between information literacy and our responsibility as citizens in a democracy like the United States?
* What do existing definitions of information literacy teach us about the challenges of learning in an age of information surplus? You may want to look at the ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards, IFLA’s Guidelines on Information for Lifelong Learning, the University of Montevallo’s Quality Enhancement Plan, or other definitions that you find interesting.
* What skills should be required of information literate students? Has this class taught you anything about information literacy?