4. Digital Civic Engagement


Week 4 Theme

In the Real World: Digital Civic Engagement

Can digital authorship help to change the world?

AGENDA, February 14, 2018

  • Renee reviews your completed work
    • Interesting themes from the Facebook Closed Group dialogue: the tension between idealism and realism in our hopes for digital media & learning to advance democratic citizenship
    • Reflections on LEAP 1 : Class Roster warm feedback 
    • Reflection on our search strategies for digital civic engagement:  Your Padlet Wall:  there is much value in modeling & making transparent our search processes
  • View and discuss: Tweetdeck screencast from Meg Jones
    • What elements are used in this particular “how to” video to promote engagement and learning?
    • We wondered whether or not it was appropriate to frame Meg’s tutorial as a form of digital civic engagement.
    • #EDC534 Twitter stream.
  • Review and discuss LEAP 2 assignment, readings and homework assignment for next week


Week 5 Theme: Digital Authorship In and Out of School

What does digital authorship look like in different types of educational contexts?

  1. READ: Gain an understanding of why images have communicative power and learn more about annotation as an instructional strategy.
  • Hobbs, Create to Learn. Chapter 9: IMAGES (pp. 139 – 153)
  • Daniels, H. & Steineke, N. (2011). Collaborative Annotation. Texts and Lessons for Content Area Reading. Portsmouth NH: Heinemann.

2. READ & ANNOTATE: Select 1 scholarly article from the list below and engage in a careful process of reading and digital annotation. As you annotate, please include 3 – 5 notes that summarize, analyze, question and critique. Respond to the annotations of others as appropriate. (PhD students, read and comment on 2 articles, please.)

3. COMPOSE or SELECT IMAGES TO SHARE: Create (or find) 1 or 2 images that relate to our focus question: What does digital authorship look like in different types of educational contexts? Then use our private sharing space on Cluster to post your images. Be sure to comment on the images you have shared. Offer at least one comment on work shared by another student. Take a look at the work of other students before sharing so we avoid duplication or redundancy.

4. If you did not participate in the Zoom chat, view the video here. Use the “Leave a Reply” function to offer your perspective on this question: Are “how to” videos really a  form of digital civic engagement? Why or why not?

9 comments on “4. Digital Civic Engagement”

  1. The way that I think of civic engagement is when people address issues of concern to help others or make a positive change in society. I think how-to videos are informative for people, it just depends on the content in the how-to video that would make it fit under the term civic engagement. On page 45, Hobbs talks about makeup tutorials and how-to videos that are very popular right now. In my opinion, these how-to videos are not a form of civic engagement. They are mainly for entertainment or information, but do not address and issues of concern or really even affect society. For me, I think that civic engagement has to do with looking at the homelessness in your city, or petitioning a new law against drug use or animal abuse. If someone were to make a how-to video on stopping pollution in their area, or any ways to make a change in their society, these situations would fit under the category of digital civic engagement.


  2. Hi Everyone! What an odd feeling to have your own video analyzed for engagement practices and digital civic engagement! I am humbled at your feedback and appreciate everything every single person here brings to this community of learners. To answer the question (since I missed being in class), I did not previously believe how-to videos were a form of digital civic engagement. However, after Renee described my action of creating the video as a response to a need within the community, and made my tacit sense of belonging explicit, I realized that yes, I do believe this genre of video could be considered digital civic engagement. If this were a community in which I did not have a sense of belonging, or I did not feel connected with, I would not have acted on a need expressed by this community and in support of its members.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think we saw an excellent example of a video being used for digital civic engagement. Meg Jones’s screencast was a great example of using a video format to engage with a community, us! There were several features of her screencast which helped make it so connecting. First, her topic addressed a need of the community. Here we are, all learning to use Twitter, and she was able to share with us a great and easy way to keep the posts organized so that it is more effective and efficient to use. She also, by including her picture in the screencast provides the human side. We see her personality shining through in her face and expressions. A “how to” video is generally used to help others and that will always be a form of digital civic engagement. This might be true about informational videos depending on their subject. For instance, a video on how to register to vote in your community could be a form of civic engagement, as well as a video on how to replace the screen on a cellphone. The size and scope of the community may vary, but in either case the community is benefited.

    Barbara Miller


  4. Prior to watching the Zoom chat, my answer to this question would have been different. But after hearing the great insight in the video, I would say “how to” videos are a form of digital civic engagement. Prior to the discussion, I would have to admit I had a narrower conception of civic engagement. That may be influenced by being a social studies teacher, my perception was typically associated with citizen actions and government. However, I now feel that Meg’s video is a great example of civic engagement that addresses a specific community. She used her skills to address a need within a community, which was fueled by her sense of belonging.
    The community and level of impact varies with each scenario, but is beneficial none the less. Meg’s video is an example of a point I made in our Facebook postings: you know the information, you know the issue at hand, what are you going to do about it?
    I wasn’t familiar with tweet deck prior to her tutorial, so I just wanted to say thank you for making the video!


  5. Hi everyone, before this class, like others, I never would have considered a how-to screencast to be an example of digital civic engagement. And Renee Hobbs use the word “political action” which confused me a little more. Because to me, political actions are bad, useless, self-serving actions–you know, like the way our politicians act.

    I used my trusty Google to see what other people thought about political actions. This article from Book Riot (https://bookriot.com/2015/02/10/reading-political-act/) “Reading is a political act” brought up some ideas that helped me understand: writing what you know, creating things that reflect reality, teaching lessons, readers are leaders and words inspire action.

    Political actions are *not* always dirty and self serving. And the how-to video is most definitely and example of digital civic engagement. Thank you Meg.


  6. I think the basic assumption of civic engagement is that it is related with diverse efforts to make our society better. In other words, the goal of civic engagement is to alleviate or solve the problems of the social community by making joint voice of citizens. Therefore, theoretically, every effort which has an intention to make a development of society can be regarded as civic engagement. In fact, I think that the form of civic engagement is not a problem, but the content is more important. The “how to” video may or may not be a form of digital civic engagement depending on the content.
    Also, as Erica pointed out, “how to” video has an informative nature and its original purpose is to deliver determined solution on the problem. Of course it is more likely to reflect the voice from one side. Also there is less space for reader or listener to think about the problem and solution deeply in the diverse perspectives. However, social issues are not simply answered. Therefore, there can be various opinions depending on various viewpoints. Therefore, I think “how to” video can be an inadequate form in terms of addressing social issues and encouraging individual action since it is more likely to make people to believe someone’s idea as a correct answer.

    Liked by 1 person

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