The 8 Bit Experiment: a place for digital play

A discussion that continues to emerge in my time in academia is how can we support digital learning. Many institutions support faculty and staff by giving them digital space on their servers to host websites, blogs, etc. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case at our institution. So I started exploring my own avenues for “playing” in a digital space. Having the opportunity to experiment is very important to me. This extends into virtual spaces as well.

Separate from my blog

I’ve been blogging under the brand of the 8 Bit Librarian for several years. 

Although I have a digital space for personal reflection, I’ve wanted to create a digital “playground” for many years. Although I wanted to keep it seperate from my main branding I still wanted it loosely connected to my online brand but in order to test, break, play and have fun, all values I try to incorporate into my teaching philosophy.

This space should be somewhere I could destroy and rebuild without fear of losing years’ worth of writing. For a long time I explored the idea of the 8 Bit Lab, but you might have guessed the domain was not available, and was being sold for a premium $4847.27 …far too rich for my blood.

Early on, I floated the idea of but didn’t end up going that route. Instead, I landed on In the end, I was happy with the “experiment” component as it invites “discovery, testing, or demonstrating” ultimately, covering the ideal I had for the space.

What is part of the “experiment”?

What might you find here? Some ideas I am currently exploring. 

  • A group blogging space
  • A community of practice
  • Boss Buddy
  • Omeka
  • Off brand content

My first “experiment”

To start, I plan on piloting a small community blogging platform to teach students about blogging in contrast to more traditional publishing venues such as the printing press. This idea is forming around the Enriched Mini-Courses Program (EMCP) offered every year which “allows students from grades 8 to 11 in Eastern Ontario and Secondary II to V in Western Quebec to explore a field of study in a university or college setting”. 

A simple WordPress site to teach students about blogging.

Wanting to always ground my teaching in theory and pedagogy, I have developed a rationale for the EMCP session that can be found here.

I hope that I can continue to use 8 Bit Experiment as a place to play, test and experiment with various digital tools. Over the coming weeks, I plan to reflect more on the EMCP experiment here on 8 Bit Librarian.

Header photo by Ousa Chea on Unsplash

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