It has been quite the learning experience this semester building my digital learning hub. When I first heard that we had to build a hub I was not too interested in making one. I felt this way because I already use Moodle as my content management system, which is a hub of learning in itself. I thought that this project was a little redundant for me, but have changed my thinking because my Moodle is limited only to the students in my classes. I am the type of person that likes to share with others, as I search online for other educators’ work to implement into my teaching as well, remixing when needed. I look to use this hub as a supplemental tool, where students can go for tools like multimodal tutorials and other resources that they will not have access to after they leave my class. We are teaching our students the importance of being a lifelong learner, so I want my hub to serve as a place where my students, past and present, can go to access materials they may need at some point in their life.
I began creating my hub in Google Sites, but did not like how plain and dull its appearance was. This does not fit my personality, so I did not want this to be part of my online brand. I want my online brand, or digital identity, to represent me. I have switched to WordPress.com as the the place to house my digital learning hub, mainly because it is aesthetically pleasing and is easy to set up. My blog was already set up here, so I figured that it would be a seamless transformation into my hub, turning my blog into one of the pages located in the hub.
Currently I have my hub set up with 5 main pages: Home, Blog, Courses, Teaching Toolbox, and Contact. I plan to add a section strictly devoted to the IT&DML program, where I will include all of my coursework created in the program. On my homepage is my “about me” to welcome visitors to my hub. I chose this as the homepage to inform visitors about me as an educator and person (if they care to know).
I have included a page for my blog as well to coordinate a place for all my posts to go. I feel it is important to have this section because before I learned how to do this, (thanks Nicole) I had my blog posts automatically posted to my “home” section. I do not want visitors to my hub to be directed straight to my blog, mainly because that might not be what they are looking for.
I have added a page devoted to the courses I teach at my school, so that when students access my hub they can go straight to the course they take and access any necessary materials. For each class I will upload important documents and media needed for class (syllabus, parent letters, rubrics, etc).
I have a page called “Teaching Toolbox” where I will include all multimodal tutorials, how-to-videos, and tech tips. I currently have lesson plans as a subsection here, but am thinking of moving this to the IT&DML page that I will create. Still thinking about this; hopefully any of you reading this can give me some of your feedback!
In closing, what I like most about this project is that our Digital Learning Hub is a work in progress, meaning that it will be remixed and tinkered with throughout the duration of this program, and possibly long after. I will probably make more changes even after I make the changes discussed in this post. It was very helpful being able to share our hubs in class with our peers, receiving feedback and sharing ideas on how to make our hubs better. I look forward to seeing what the “final” version of my digital learning hub will look like in the very near future!