Wrapping up a nice semester split in two with a great groups of students. New Media (inf115) is a course of Sagrado, set up with a connected an open strategy, which borrows from the syndicated content model as well as from other social and connectivist learning approaches.

But I am not here to philosophize on theory, but on this particular semester’s practice. We got ourselves into this COVID mess and had literally to evacuate the University on one nice day of March. Just one tiny week after (to transition and learn Zoom) we (almost synchronously with thousand other institutions) did the now-famous pivot thing.

So we found ourselves online, zooming and lecturing at full speed. On Whatsapp my colleagues were sharing their successes and difficult moments. On Zoom my students (I had so many students, this semester, omg) and I ventilated in a very gentle and elegant way how we were feeling. Students did not understand their faculty’s shyness (and their own illiteracy) with technology and with remote methodology. All shifted to Zoom, and suddenly everybody was doing sync classes online, and recording them for the absent. And that provoked more anxiety in many cases and somehow a bit of cognitive overload.

I took a just and correct decision, namely to not translate our twice-a-week meetings into twice-a-week Zoom sessions, afraid as I was of losing my students before even pivoting. Instead we did a range of async activities coupled with some lectures (more like introductory lessons). We worked a lot online in the digital world, which we connected to the atomic one with crossing assignments. We did a podcast, personal curation that distilled onto group meta-curation (curation of the already curated if you will). We were lucky since our course lent itself very well to the digital spin others were forced to take with little prep.

Students enjoyed the time of discovery and production of GIF’s, Instagrams and memes. They participated massively into the “Una foto cada día”, the daily photo challenge prepared by Alan Levine (one of his famous SPLOTs). They did quite some storytelling throughout all the course, and finished with a nice work with Google Arts & Culture, when they assembled a story told with works of art from collections throughout the world. They also created a website each to host and share their creations. I think that most of them can actually use their personal website as a portfolio beyond the class. Their websites can be accessed from the sidebar of inf115.com.

In the end, I believe students finished off with a good idea of the Web creative and publishing affordances and mastering its expressive language.

Let’s begin with a couple of such galleries as mounted by this semester’s students. This is a Nature-inspired Gooogle gallery — by Andrea.

And this one was by Penélope on Urban Art.

A poster elaboration of the quarantine meme, by Angelo Parks made us laugh with some romanticism.

While this next, done by Marieliz, made everyone feel… well, avenged!

For the record, check all the memes & GIF: they were all published here, in one student’s blog: https://socialmediaismybf.family.blog/2020/05/08/grupo-b-curaduria-de-gifs-y-memes/.

The Instagram group curation was published here: https://mariwariinfo.data.blog/2020/05/08/curaduria-de-fotografias-en-instagram-proyecto-grupal/

A video (the opening video of this post) built by crowdsourcing many microvideos from all students, showing their doings during the quarantine: https://youtu.be/WcU64rCQTu4

Last, two Spotify playlists, born out of a master playlist begun by yours truly and finished off by students (here…). Students in the end decided to curate two smaller and better focused playlist. The first is a varied (language, music styles, etc) list from many paths of music. Play it along!!

The second is made of only Puerto Rican musicians.

From Sophia, Lady Bird

Personal art from Alexandra:

Classics’ Gallery from Paulo

Inspirations from Instagram:

Antonio Vantaggiato