Wing It! – Bored and Brilliant Challenge

**This Wing It! is for Collection III and I’ll be participating in this challenge starting tomorrow (6/27) if anyone wants to join me 🙂

Note to Self logo. Dark colored head with multi-colored patterns exploding out of the top.

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On her podcast “New Tech City” (now “Note to Self”) in 2015, Manoush Zomorodi posed a week-long challenge to her listeners. She called it “Bored and Brilliant.” The premise of the challenge is that humans actually do our original thinking, problem solving, and creative thought when we’re bored. The term Zomorodi found to describe it is “autobiographical planning.” But with the advent of personal devices we have a tendency to fill moments of potential boredom with our face glued to a screen. This challenge isn’t intended as an anti-tech message, more of a chance to reflect on how we’re using digital tech in our daily lives. If you want to hear her presentation on the subject you can watch it here.

Objective: Give your brain more opportunities for boredom this week. It’s good for you!

So, my dear Nousionauts, are you ready to take on this challenge?

Assignment: Listen to the short podcast each day (for 6 days) and complete the daily challenge. Keep track of your experience with a mini-reflection for each challenge (an off-the-cuff audio or video recording would be really cool) – Was it easy/hard? What did you do when you weren’t on your phone? What did you find that you couldn’t live without? 

To start from the beginning here’s the link to Challenge 1. If you want to see all of the challenges and learn more about the project you can check out the main site: Bored and Brilliant,

If you don’t think you’ll remember to check the next challenge every morning, you can sign up for email reminders here.

**As they are no longer collecting data for the study, for this assignment just complete the daily challenge and don’t worry about tracking your phone time through an app.

Points:  15/15

Collection II: DigCit/Lit/Etc

Required Assignments

Where Are You Now?

Exploring “Digital Cit”

Digital Literacies I & II: Reflections for Chapters 1-9

Bling Your “Blog”

Metathink – Wiki

Metathink – Exploring Digital Citizenship

Who to Follow – Manoush Zomorodi

Who to Follow – Josie Fraser

Working Out Loud – Committing to the Portfolio

Making Connections

Wingman: Did You Know?

Rich Reflections

“As We May Think”

“A Personal Cyberinfrastructure”

“A Personal Cyberinfrastructure Revisited”

“No Digital Facelifts”


Metathink – Exploring Digital Citizenship

This was one of those topics that you could have written a dissertation on, but you know that no one wants to read more than a few paragraphs, and in fact, they’d actually prefer to just see a visual depiction of the information. I really struggle during the writing process when there’s JUST SO MUCH INFORMATION and I have the task of sifting and connecting it so that it becomes an easily readable document. One page papers are often harder than 8 page papers. Note that I’ve also been ignoring the “Search & Research” assignments for a similar reason. I want to do ALL the research, and come out of it saying something profound, though really I should be more accepting of imperfection and willing to explore/question/fail as part of the process.

So, to make the “Exploring Digital Citizenship” assignment easier for myself, I decided to use a specific frame. I wanted to look at where digital citizenship sat in relation to cybersecurity and digital literacy. Where do they overlap? Where are the boundaries? Using this frame helped focus my attention when I was conducting research (looking for models that discussed each of the three terms). It also allowed me to explore just one aspect of defining digital citizenship which was far more productive for me than taking on the concept as a whole.

For those about to explore: If your assignment is feeling a little chaotic, choose a specific frame or perspective from which to approach the topic.

Wingman: Did You Know?

Assignment created by Sarah Carstensen

Using a quiz maker, such as Quibblo, create an Icebreaker quiz.

– Quiz should be 5-10 questions long.
– The topic should relate to a personal hobby or interest.
– Remember, this should be fun!
– Share with the class

I decided to use this assignment as a test run for an icebreaker/pre-test in the Tourism class I’m teaching in the fall. Instead of Quibblo, I went with Google Forms because I like being able to use different kinds of questions in the same quiz, and having the responses all end up in my Google Drive for easy access. Also, I’m using the direction of “quiz” loosely, so I’m asking more open ended questions than right/wrong questions.

“No Digital Facelifts” – Rich Reflection

Article Title & Link:

“No Digital Facelifts” (Video) by W. Gardner Campbell


In reference to the three recursive practices:

Screenshot of Gardner Campbell gesturing to his slide about the three recursive practices: narrating, curating, and sharing in his talk "No Digital Facelifts" (17:07)

“No Digital Facelifts” (17:07)

“[T]he web is not just a platform for these things, it is the natural outgrowth of our desire for these things. That makes the web itself recursive, and students have an intimation of that, you know, they have a feeling about that from their own use of social media[…]” (17:00).


Gardner proposes three recursive practices as an alternative to the digital facelift: narrating, curating, and sharing. While familiar to anyone in education, Gardner makes a case for these practices not only having a place in our digital world, but that technology “amplifies” their impact (16:22). What I love about the above quote is it that draws attention to our natural attraction to recursive practices. As humans we want that kind of reflection and connection, and have pursued/built online experiences that feed that need. Gardner is right when he says that traditional education “militates against each of these things” (16:05). Recursive practices may be a common topic of discussion, but I would say that it clearly doesn’t drive our education system in the same way product and results do. On the other hand, education on the web is naturally suited to this kind of interaction, because we’ve designed it to be so. Why do we act like it would be such a painful transition? This is how students want to engage online anyway, and with guidance their experience could become more mature and self-designed. It’s time to start taking advantage of the resources inherent to the digital environment.

Working Out Loud – Committing to the Portfolio

Part 1: Where to Start?

As I continue taking classes in the ONID program, it has become more pressing with each semester that I organize my work into a portfolio instead of letting it live as a semi-functional blog with parent pages for my courses. Honestly, I’ve been a bit of a commitaphobe about it: there’s no “About” text; I don’t describe the program; and I have been reluctant to use the finer points of WordPress that allow easier searching. So, it’s time to buckle down and make this house a home (on the web).

There are a handful of changes I’d like to make and I’m anticipating running into more as I work through this process:

Disaster Insurance – This assignment happened to coincide with a WordPress update, which reminded me I needed to backup my site! I’ve been using the Backup Guard plugin, but I don’t backup my work as often as I should (i.e. only when there’s an update and they remind me). I looked into scheduled automated backups, but it involves an upgrade to Backup Guard Silver ($14.95/yr). This means I need to either 1) research an alternative plugin that offers scheduled back ups for free, or 2) suck it up and pay the fee. I would be pretty devastated if it all went away in some freak, data-destroying crash so I need to take care of this pronto.

Everything in its Place – Eventually I want my landing page to be my “About” page (with real information in it). The “Blog” page with all recent posts will live next to it on the navigation bar. I’m still not sure how to put my classes and assignments together efficiently. First, I need to figure out which classes are necessary to the portfolio, and if there are any other requirements specified by the program. Second, what makes sense for the long term? Should each class have a description attached so it isn’t just assignments floating under a course number?

Linking Posts – Tags. I should use them. Time to backtrack through assignments and start tagging. I’d like to be able to tag with some more general terms that could link between courses.

Accessibility – I pulled up my website on my phone yesterday, and it really does not look good on a mobile browser (on in the WordPress app). Isn’t this where most people would see it? I don’t know if it’s the theme (which I really like on a desktop), or if WordPress isn’t particularly mobile friendly. Part of the most recent update gives you the option to preview your page in desktop, tablet, or mobile view. I need to play around with the mobile preview more and see if I can make the site more mobile accessible.

** I’ll be keeping everyone updated as I work through this website re-haul. Stay tuned.

Who to Follow – Josie Fraser

Josie Fraser conducting a presentation from a podium

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Josie Fraser is busy. She is leading a new cyberbullying education program through Childnet International. She is a Wikimedia UK trustee. She gives talks and writes papers about open educational resources and digital literacy programs. AND she manages to keep her social media presence and blog updated. But looking at her CV, there is one project that seems to have taken up much of her time from 2010-2014 and has, so far, made the greatest impact, DigiLit Leicester.

Idea web showing how E-Safety, Communication, Assessment and Feedback, Creating and Sharing, Professional Development, and Research are all connected to the bigger idea of Digital Literacy.

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From what I’ve briefly read, DigiLit Leicester is exactly the kind of digital literacy support that every teacher dreams of. The project brought together the Leicester City Council, the local university, and 23 secondary schools to create a “Digital Literacy Framework.”The framework they devised was purposefully designed to link digital literacy directly to secondary education practices. The framework was put into action in schools, and teacher were encouraged to provide feedback, which informed not only changes to the framework, but also future digital literacy development opportunities. Through this close collaboration, the project was able to meet their end goal of providing the support and education for teachers developing their digital literacy, and in turn influencing digital literacy instruction for students.

Josie Fraser can be found online at the following websites:

Twitter (13.5k followers) – @josiefraser

Personal Website –

Who to Follow – Manoush Zomorodi

Headshot of podcaster Manoush Zomorodi

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Manoush Zomorodi is the host of WNYC’s weekly podcast “Note to Self,” which she describes in the intro as “a tech show about being human.” In the podcast she has recently tackled topics such as ‘Skimm-ing’ the news; algorithms that can improve your life; and the Internet’s impact on how teenage girls understand sexual desirability. Before joining WNYC, Zomorodi was a reporter for BBC and Reuters.

In her most recent podcast, “A Beginner’s Guide to International Tech Etiquette,” Zomorodi interviews three international NPR correspondents about the how different cultures engage with daily technology. In the 25 minute episode, they discuss how the French don’t leave “out of the office” emails; South Koreans love watching live videos on their hyper-fast internet speeds; and how many people in East Africa have switched to a digital currency. The episode asks listeners to reflect on how their own culture shapes their digital experience.

The video below is a talk Zomorodi gave last year at a PSFK event where she outlined the purpose of her “Bored and Brilliant: The Lost Art of Spacing Out” challenge posed to her podcast listeners. It’s goal was to encourage people to spend less time on their phones when they were bored, giving the brain a chance to engage in continuous creative thought. The week-long challenge hoped to attract a couple hundred test subjects, but 20,000 people eagerly signed up for the experiment. “Bored and Brilliant” spawned her second challenge “Infomagical” in early 2016, which garnered 30,000 participants who were ready to solve the issue of information overload in their lives. Through her podcast and social media Zomorodi has also drawn attention to the trending topic #womenpodcasters and the event #WerkIt hosted by her parent station WNYC.

Manoush Zomorodi and her work can be found online on the following sites:

Twitter – @manoushz

Personal Site –

WNYC Podcast – “Note to Self”