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Week 0: Digital Tools – SNC #DigPINS

Digital Tools

#DigPINS embraces an “internet as platform” approach to digital tools meaning that the whole internet is the platform. We mix and match and play with a bunch of different tools – here is an overview of a few we often use.


Yes, this very site is part of our digital tools! New information will be posted here weekly as each of our major topics are explored including readings, activities, videos, and even interactive games/content. When new info gets posted I will also make an announcement on Slack that something new is available.

We will also use this site as our blogging environment so those in the SNC cohort will log-in to this site to post their blog posts. See more on this below under the “Blogs” heading.

One note – snc.digpins.org is our “SNC#DigPINS hub” but our partner schools also have their own hub sites and while we are all generally following the same curriculum you may notice some small differences between the content on each hub site. Some of the hub sites look very similar so be sure you are at snc.digpins.org (Look for the SNC logo in the upper left) to get the info for the SNC group (though you can feel free to explore the others too).


Slack will be our main communication tool and backchannel – meaning that we are only give access to those who have participated in #DigPINS this year and in the past. You will need an account which will be invited to via an email from one of the facilitators.

You will stay most connected if you download the app for desktop and mobile device and turn on notifications or at the very least login once a day to read what is going on. You should establish access to Slack by the beginning of week 1.

To get started with Slack:

  • Click the “Sign up for our Slack” link that you receive in the “Welcome to #DigPINS” email you receive from me during Week 0. This link will let you sign up for an account. Make sure to enter your SNC email address.
  • Download the app for your computer and / or mobile devices. After downloading and installing the app, you will be able to click the link above to sign in to our workspace, or you can enter the url when prompted: digpins.slack.com

I would recommend you also watch this video I made on getting started with Slack:


In the beginning of #DigPINS you may receive a few emails to get things started but we will move away from email and to Slack for communications as we progress. Still, I am planning to send calendar invites for synchronous events and those will generate an email.

Blog Posts on this site

As part of developing a digital identity participants are asked to write public blog posts on a weekly basis as well as reflect on others who are blogging about #DigPINS. Our SNC cohort will be blogging on this very site – snc.digpins.org. During Week 0 you will receive an email invite to claim an author account on this site. You should claim your account and access the blog prior to week 1.

Here’s a video on blogging for #DigPINS that covers getting ideas for posts, logging in, and writing and publishing your post:

Blogging is about more than just writing posts; it is also about connecting with others who are posting about similar experiences. Our partner schools will be blogging on their own hub sites but we have set up a “discussion hub” that actually pulls all of the posts from all four partner schools into one place! We call it discuss.digpins.org and it also has links to each of the other schools’ hub sites. You can use discuss.digpins.org as a way to explore what those at other institutions are thinking of the readings, activities, and other parts of #DigPINS and when you post at snc.digpins.org it also automatically gets posted to discuss.digpins.org.


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. You may want to wait to establish your twitter account till after week 1 if you are still considering aspects of “digital identity.”


Hypothes.is is a social annotation tool for the web and digital documents. You will need an account which you can sign up for on the Hypothesis website 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. You will be prompted to create your account during the week that we will actually use Hypothes.is

Video Calls

Over the course of #DigPINS we will have a few synchronous meetings via video call. You will need a camera and microphone to be able to participate; this could be a webcam on your computer or a smartphone/tablet. You will also need a strong internet connection to connect though many of the providers also allow for a phone call to connect – though this only allows for voice communication. Some sync video platforms are Google Meet, Zoom, Skype, and others. The platform will be announced when the call is announced.

Week 0 focus areas

These following Week 0 pages focus in on helpful information about #DigPINS

Overview – What is this all about?

Participation – #DigPINS is an online connected learning experience. If you have never been part of a participatory networked learning community before you will find this info helpful.

Time and Structure – What is a connected learning experience?

Digital Tools – (Psst… you are on the Digital Tools page)