My Digital Identity in a Time of Killing

Photo Source

Inevitably… I have limited time as I’m working on my professional development over the weekend. I keep trying to keep my mind on the assignment of #Identity in digital spaces for #DigPINs, but I realize…

I… just… can’t… focus….

I’m ashamed to admit that my stance on #guncontrol has been very reserved until the #IfIDieInSchool plague affected a member in my community’s family. Why did it have to take a shooting in my local area to make me wake up? BECAUSE shootings in schools DOES NOT compute in my brain. However, it’s not going away until a real change happens. I know many people who use their guns responsibly, but couldn’t we start with a law that bans semi-automatic weapons. It’s a start.

How long before my nephew and niece experience gun violence in their schools?

#KendrickCastillo Thank you for your big heart, bravery and smarts. May I have the courage you did Kendrick, #IfIDieInSchool

Photo Source

I work at Colorado School of Mines and recently attended an Active Harmer training (because that is the world we live in). The point of the training is this: keep your hands up when you see the cops, run like hell if someone is shooting and fight only if you are backed into a corner. #KendrickCastillo saw his moment to stop evil and he pounced. He was a phenomenal human being and my heart aches for his parents, family and friends.

I was born here in Greeley, Colorado (though I claim Nebraska for the other half of my adolescent development). Colorado is the birthplace of publicly broadcasted school shootings AND of the #LegalizeIt movement. How will my state reconcile being a such a “violent,” yet “open-minded” state? Perhaps we’ve all become complacent or perhaps we just don’t know how to cope. Let’s all smoke a tree, take a pill or fortify our personal fortresses so we can pretend like nothing is wrong.

I’m pondering my social #Identity in digital spaces right now and I thank #DigPINs for giving me a reason to blog/write today. Otherwise I might have busied myself with mundane, everything’s-fine thoughts rather than taking the time to process a REAL tragedy in my community.

I’m… so… sorry….

As I envision how I wield my social media power today, I must ask, “Who do I want to become?” I would like to be digitally literate enough to affect change in social, political and professional realms.

Tall order, I know.

I love my country and believe in its innate goodness of its #people. I am grateful to have had #access to my grandparents that survived the #GreatDepression and taught me the value of looking out for each other and living within our means. My maternal side homesteaded in Dalton, Nebraska and I find that very grounding.

This is MY country. This is OUR country.

How are we shaping it?

My ancestors took astronomical risks to make a life in a new land.  I believe we are in a time of charting new territory because old paradigms and assumptions no longer work. We need each other more than ever and I believe that we can all help each other to #daregreatly and challenge the norms. May @BreneBrown be proud of my latest attempt to live whole heartedly.

Reflecting the Penn State ID2ID 2018-2019 Program

 

Penn State Logo in conjunction with the text A Professional Development program for Instructional Designers

By Erin McCully and Susannah Simmons

As we noted in our initial reflection about the Penn State ID2ID Program, we were fortunate to have been randomly paired together in a wildly successful, worldwide program. We would likely never have met given our geographic locations (North Carolina and Colorado), but have learned a great deal through our collaboration. This collaboration grew to include LaDawna Minnis and Sam Coulson, other ID2ID participants, who we connected with via the pedago.me instructional design community.

Accomplishments

The outcome of our multi-leveled collaboration was an accessibility webinar that took place after months of weekly meetings and work with Mike Hess and Ethan Twisdale of the Blind Institute of Technology. These connections have already resulted in an invitation from them for us to present at an accessibility conference in Denver in the spring. Not all of us may be able to attend in person, but there may be the possibility of a virtual component.

Addressing Obstacles

Group meeting times proved difficult given family and other work obligations. There was also the challenge of keeping taskloads manageable for each person. However, the group was able to work through some panic moments. This required clear communication with the team so that others could pick up some of the load. A prime example was when Susannah expressed the feeling of overwhelm about figuring out the webinar platform or lack thereof. The group stepped in to form a work-around plan. We ironed out the wrinkles in how the technology would/should work and created a timeline detailing. By doing a dry run, we were able to find possible pitfalls to avoid.

Future Plans

The accessibility webinar was attended by 14 people and the responses to our follow-up survey generated ideas for topics of future webinars in this series leading up to the Accessibility Symposium.

Erin intends to remain a member of the pedago.me group and become more active in slack to network professionally with other instructional designers. (This group is a gold mine of experiences, ideas, and tips!)

Susannah will continue to pursue opportunities learning about accessibility in higher education. It seems that accessibility will only grown in importance and could expand into a speciality instructional design role.  

Erin’s Personal Reflection

I am so very grateful for the ID2ID program – while the original plan to get an instructional design mentor through this program didn’t work out, being paired with an instructional design “buddy” was wonderfully helpful. The ID2ID program has provided me with connections and free professional development that has already helped me grow as an instructional designer. I look forward to assisting with more accessibility webinars as well as other projects ahead!

Susannah’s Personal Reflection

I no longer fear the word accessibility. Hearing about schools getting sued for accessibility issues has had a haunting effect on my work. Faculty often looks to me as an expert, but I’m learning alongside everyone else. However, this experience has removed my fear. The more I talk about accessibility with other designers and pursue new skills in this arena, the less intimidated I feel. Like with anything else, it’s a matter of deciding to learn and following through. The accessibility webinar was a fantastic opportunity to learn directly from an expert as well as expand my network to include those I would like to emulate.

Mini Capstone Project: Accessibility Webinar

 

The Penn State ID2ID Program Deliverable

By Erin McCully and Susannah Simmons

The Pedago.me monkey logo dreaming up a collaboration between ID2ID & The Blind Institute of Tech

Overview

Our project for the ID2ID program was an Accessibility Webinar hosted by pedago.me and the Blind Institute of Technology. This webinar was the product of much multi-level planning effort between ourselves, which expanded to include two other ID2ID participants, LaDawna Minnis and Sam Coulson. Then Susannah took a chance and reached out to the Founder of the Blind Institute of Technology, Mike Hess, on LinkedIn and asked if he would be interested in creating an accessibility training for Instructional Designers and Educators in Higher Education. Mike generously agreed to help in our efforts and offered up his Chief Accessibility Officer, Ethan Twisdale as our expert and guide in the training.  

Intended Audience

The webinar was promoted on Twitter, LinkedIn, within the ID2ID discussion boards and pedago.me slack group to reach our intended audience of instructional designers, which quickly morphed to include faculty in higher education that wanted to hone their accessibility skills.

Erin’s Institution

Disability Services staff said that this webinar could be shown to faculty as a means of helping them understand how students using a screen reader would experience a word document that was not designed with accessibility in mind.

Susannah’s Institution

The event was not promoted to faculty as a strategic move. The hunt for the institution’s next Disability Services coordinator was still underway and Susannah did not want to be considered an accessibility expert on campus. At least, not yet.

Missed Opportunity

The intended outcome was to fill in the gap that screen readers are for accessibility/disability service departments only. We aimed to demystify and provide the experience of navigating a document without sight. Our hope was that the webinar would allow instructional designers and faculty to walk away with the knowledge of how screen readers generally work and the ability to create an accessible document.

Webinar Details

The webinar focused on using a screen reader and creating an accessible Word Document. This required participants to download NVDA on a PC or familiarize themselves with the VoiceOver program on a Mac. Once registered for the webinar, participants received a confirmation email that provided instructions for both types of screen readers.

Note: We were not able to access an official webinar platform, so we used Susannah’s basic Zoom capabilities and enabled settings that provided barriers to trolls from the internet.  All participants were set to mute, no personal videos could be shown and the chat room was facilitated by LaDawna and Sam. If someone was inappropriate, they were going to be kicked out immediately.

During the webinar, Ethan demonstrated how the screen reader worked on an unaccessible document (bad example) followed by the experience on an accessibility document (good example). He explained what made the accessible document, such as descriptive links, alt text for images, and proper use of headers and text. Then he gave participants the chance to try using their respective screen readers with those same demonstration documents. Participants asked great questions in the chat room and there was even enough time for Ethan to demonstrate how cumbersome websites can be to a screen reader.

Takeaways

We understand that faculty can be very concerned about the time and effort it takes to create accessible documents and learning materials for students. We wanted to help demonstrate that not only is it very important to take the time to do this, but also it doesn’t take much effort to create an accessible document. As instructional designers, our confidence to create such documents has increased and we are better able to help the cause by teaching faculty how to create such documents.

ID2ID’s Influence

Our experiences in ID2ID allowed us to meet other instructional designers and to discuss among ourselves some of the gaps in our own knowledge. With accessibility being such an important conversation, we decided to help ourselves and others feel less intimidated by the topic. The timeline of the ID2ID course allowed us to design backwards to set mini milestones in order to host the webinar. We had weekly meetings to ensure a flawless webinar and feel very accomplished in making it happen.

Next Steps

The Blind Institute of Technology asked all the IDs in this collaboration to present at their Accessibility Symposium in May 2019. To ramp up to the event, there will be two more webinars in February and March. These will walk participants through the user experience for multiple LMSs and the click-by-click experience of working through a module. Since we worked so diligently on the first webinar, the following two should be much easier to execute because we follow the process, roles and responsibilities from our previous webinar. Bring it on!

 

Penn State ID2ID Program: Reflecting on our accomplishments and challenges thus far

 

By Erin McCully and Susannah Simmons

Initial thoughts on the Penn State ID2ID program

We really didn’t know what to expect when starting the ID2ID program, but one thing was clear. We were fortunate to have been randomly paired together in a wildly successful, worldwide program.

The open structure of the ID2ID program has allowed us to choose our own topic of interest. We decided to explore accessibility online education and set the lofty goal of hosting an accessibility event that focused on the “how” of accessibility, rather than the “why.”

As an added benefit, Susannah introduced Erin to an online ID community named Pedago.me. Their slack group connects instructional designers across the country and helps IDs discuss current challenges and offers an outlet for brainstorming new solutions with like-minded professionals. This was particularly helpful for Erin because her work could sometimes feel isolated.

Accomplishments

We have determined the type of event we will host, the date, and the audience for the event. We have also teamed up with another ID2ID team, La Dawna Minnis and Sam Coulson, while Susannah has made connections with Mike Hess and Ethan Twisdale from the Blind Institute of Technology. Ethan will be our guide in creating an accessible Word document that can be read by a free screen reader.

Next Steps & Progress

We need to do the following:

  • Determine the roles each of us will take during the event
  • Create and distribute marketing materials
  • Find a webinar platform

Unanticipated Obstacles

It isn’t always easy for the four of us IDs to get together once a week via Zoom, but we are managing! We originally thought one of us would have access to the Zoom webinar feature, but that is not the case. We are currently looking for a webinar solution.

Might the ID2ID program be able to help us find a webinar platform?

Addressing Obstacles

We are currently reaching out to members of the Pedago.me group to see if someone has access to a webinar platform for our event. There must be someone out there who can share their resources, especially for such an important topic. We will keep shaking trees until we find a platform and the event isn’t until November 15th, so have through October to secure a solution.

Future Plans

We will continue to meet at a regular weekly time and whoever is unable to be present can catch up using the Pedago.me slack channel or the shared Google doc. We are hopeful that this first session with Ethan may turn into a series that will help instructional designers and others become more familiar with how to create accessible materials and address other issues of accessibility in education.

Updating my resume

It is an interesting place to be in when you realize your resume is too long.

For so many years, I worked to fill up the white space and wished my resume showed a clear career path. Fast forward to now. I tweaked my resume over the weekend and realized how “old school” it appeared to be – page of positions with even more bullets. I  realize it’s time to get current (even if it’s a pain).

Everyone is busy, especially people on hiring committees. If my resume doesn’t immediately catch their attention, then I’m not a good designer. I’m on the back side of the game now and I get to forge my career path now. I choose to move forward with confidence. #livelonglearning

My Board Game Antidote to Overt Competition: Pandemic

Pandemic-Board

Photo Credit: https://geekdad.com/2013/11/pandemic-ipad-vs-board/

Due to poor planning on my part, I purchased Pandemic yesterday and asked my boyfriend and guinea pig, Ben, to play the brand new board game at 9pm last night. I cannot confirm or deny that our rushed game play was an effort to complete my play journal assignment today.

Pandemic is a cooperative, strategy game that has a large learning curve. The goal is to work as a team to travel the globe eradicating deadly viruses by continent. Each player has special talents that the team needs to use wisely. For example, a quarantine specialist can stop outbreaks by their mere presence, while a scientist can discover a cure faster than other players. Given the cooperative nature of the game all players are racing against the clock or deck of cards to rid the world of the outbreaks before they conglomerate into a pandemic. Players are all in it together.

As we were struggling through the game last night, Ben said, “Why didn’t you pick an easy game like Parcheesi?” I explained that my choice was based upon our past, not-so-fun experience with Chess. I thought Pandemic might be a good solution to our overly competitive natures, while appeasing our love of strategy.

Although my timely execution of the game was not on point, my long-term planning was. Per Pandemic’s online reviews, I could see it as was a well-designed game that aligned with Gee’s (2004) games and learning principles to “create motivation for extending engagement and preparing for future learning,” (p. 67). Additionally, the clerk at the Wizard’s Chest where I bought the game said the game “left him wanting to play more.” I decided Pandemic was a game Ben and I could grow into.

In a quest to “up my game” I not only purchased the game, but I also aspired to pick a game worthy of my experience with the Games and Learning course at CU Denver. I have seen my peers and classmates really savoring their gaming experience and I wanted to adopt this discourse for myself. My observed benefits of gaming includes the following:

  • Mental Stimulation
  • Developing Playfulness
  • Social Interactivity
  • Affordable Entertainment
  • Community Building

In regards to playful learning, Pandemic as a learning tool in the schools reminds me of the game/study To Pave or Not to Pave as published in the book Mobile Media Learning: Amazing Uses of Mobile Devices for Learning. This place-based design for civic participation was a study executed by James Mathews and Jeremiah Holden. It required students to create a learning experience around a civic issue of whether or not to pave a public path (Dikkers et. al, 2012). Playing Pandemic and the creation of To Pave or Not to Pave directed participants to achieve a common goal. In Pandemic the goal was to prevent a worldwide epidemic, while To Pave or Not to Pave’s goal was to engage participants civically. In both games, working together forces participants to see multiple perspectives and ways to skin a cat. In fact, playing Pandemic allowed me to glimpse into Ben’s brain and see his strategic thinking. His preferred method was to travel and diffuse the problem in each hot city together, while I suggested we divide and conquer. I was pleasantly surprised that one, I was able to let him take the lead, and two, when we stuck together, we were more effective.

This was my first experience with a board game focused on collaboration over obliteration. A perfect example of obliteration was our course’s first group game, Small World. The goal was to completely destroy a culture of people/creatures in order to win their land and resources. I know Small World is just a game, but is it really? When I think about the reality of ruined cultures and such things as the resource curse, I have a hard time playing out an age-old struggle of the haves and the have nots. (Yes, I should probably calm down.) In playing Pandemic, it was refreshing to step outside of obliteration and my competitive self. I enjoyed the gaming perspective of cooperating with my partner in a playful, save the planet sort of setting. Thanks to Pandemic,  I now have found an unexpected antidote for the overt competition that many other games promote.

References

Dikkers, S., Martin, J., & Coulter, B. (2012). Mobile media leanring: Amazing uses of mobile devices for learning.

Gee, J. P. (2004). Situated language and learning: A critique of traditional schooling. New York: Routledge.

It’s about the community, stupid.

Photo Credit: http://www.csjo.org/
Photo Credit: http://www.csjo.org/

Between my affinity space, open annotations, and scholarly critiques required of my Games and Learning class at CU Denver, I keep coming back to the importance of community. Each of these aspects revolves around curating new connections and deepening my understanding of applying play skillfully. I feel like I’m beginning to think in a completely new way: the community I form now will sustain me in my new career after school.

Affinity Space

Although I have never posted on the Code Combat discourse board, I have been able to find most any answer I need when stumped by the game. Even simple problems are openly discussed on the board for the world to see. All my needs are being met through lurking, but if I were to build community, active participation is warranted.  

Open Annotations & Scholarly Critiques

Annotating the course readings through Hypothes.is has led to new streams of curiosity. Often times a conversation over a reading would lead to my next article to critique. I have become quite picky about my articles because I’m not simply completing the assignment, I’m carving my own unique, educational pathway. More specifically, here are a couple Hypothes.is conversations that led me down the path of critiquing articles on serious play and playful assessment: 

Games Taken Seriously = Serious Play Learning

I previously wrote The Science Behind Serious Games around the game, Mars Generations One: Argubot Academy EDU, which was a collaboration between GlassLab, The Educational Testing Service, and Pearson Education. I was amazed by the idea of learning scientists developing learning progressions to create superior learning experiences. I thought, “Wow, learning scientists must be really smart people. They have the secrets to how to make a learning progression.” My professor, Remi Holden, point blank asked if I could describe what learning progressions they used or what research they shared to back it up. I could not answer his question. I think I got enamored by the flashy words and big name companies. This was a reminder to always dig a bit deeper.

Below is a snippet of our Hypothes.is conversation where Remi suggests I look into the research behind the serious game, Place Out of Time (POOT).  

He directed me to his the article, It Matters Because It’s a Game: Serious Games and Serious Players by Jeff Kupperman and team. I devoured this article and realized the game they created wasn’t some high-tech video game. It was a very thoughtful, imaginative opportunity for students to act out their characters roles in a safe, online setting. Then I thought, “Hey, I could do that!” it was a nice perspective shift to see that I am fully capable of being a part of the serious game scene. 

Assess(ment) as Play?

My next Hypothes.is tip-off stemmed from a conversation with Remi about the article, Questing as learning: iterative course design using game inspired elements by Seann M. Dikkers. In the margins of this readings, Remi respectfully disagree with Dikker’s belief that time is best spent playing the games online and not in the classroom. This statement intrigued me, so I asked for specific examples about how playing games in Remi’s classroom proved to be valuable learning experiences. 

https://media.wix.com/ugd/0a72dc_1108889c47284cd0ad0b1720b6839fed.pdf
https://media.wix.com/ugd/0a72dc_1108889c47284cd0ad0b1720b6839fed.pdf

Our conversation pointed to my next article of study, which happened to be written by Remi himself: Playful Possibilities for Assessment: Fluffy Ducks and The Queen’s Gambit  I was beginning to see that playful teaching and learning were not just a technique to use, but rather a pedagogical way of being. True, playful learning requires more of the students, but it also requires more of the teacher. Playful teachers need to be just as interested and invested in the students’ learning as the students themselves.

The scholarly critiques have proven the most enlightening part of this cycle’s activities. The articles about serious play in POOT and Playful Possibilities for Assessment opened me up to the larger playful learning movement. These articles, along with my Hypothes.is conversations are influencing and shaping my educational path. So much so, that I found a way, which is very well hidden might I add, to develop my own independent study this summer to further explore playful learning, open source education, and instructional design and technology.  

Changed Preconceptions

My biggest realization has been that a game doesn’t have to be complex or full of rich video game graphics to be engaging. In the context of POOT, I love the element of imagination tempered with serious role play. The students get to chose their character, but they are also expected to convincingly play this person through their discussions and word choice. The game maker has captured the student’s  imagination, which means that even I, without any video game creation experience, could create a playful and meaningful learning experience. 

Growing Network

My Hypothes.is annotations and work as a CU Tech TA have been creating a critical mass in me on the topic of open educational technology. I’m starting to know the key players and have begun to connect the dots tracing back from my first class this past summer, Digital Storytelling. There are so many wonderful avenues to explore and connections to make. I’ve listed a few of the connections below:  

  • Medium
  • DS106
  • Jim Groom
  • Digital Pedagogy Lab
  • Quest 2 Learn
  • LTMedia.lab
  • Domain of One’s Own

What I’m left with is how to ensure that I truly become a part of the community. It seems that there so much to do in order to stay current within the realm of educational, technology.

  • Do I tweet enough?
  • Do I read enough?
  • Do I tinker enough?

Right now I’m simply trying to catch all the information as it comes at me. Luckily, I learned about Google+ Communities in another class and am using it as a warehouse for information. Who knows, maybe it’ll grow into something, but right now, I’m happy to have found a good system for tracking all the information flying at me.

I’m creating a personal learning network in order to ensure, sustain, and grow my career in education technology. 

 

Assess(ment) as Play?

Photo Credit: http://Craker.wordpress.com
Photo Credit: http://Craker.wordpress.com

With playful learning becoming more common, it makes sense that student assessments might also follow suit. Playful possibilities for assessment: Fluffy Ducks and the Queen’s Gambit by my CU Denver professor Remi Holden emphasizes that static rubrics are not effective measures of dynamic, playful learning. His argument speaks of his experience revamping the Educational Technology Master of Arts program at the University of Michigan-Flint. 

 

Lofty Goals of Educational Technology

This is not your ordinary program in educational technology. The goals of the program included the following (Holden, 2013):

  • Transforming how teaching and learning intersect with technology

  • Helping “pro-social tech-tinkerers” develop media that just might change the world

  • Sustaining communities of educators committed to immersive learning experiences

 

Playful Teaching & Learning

Remi and his process-oriented colleagues actively worked to experiment with their designs, embrace failure, and commit to reflection. Their focus was to engage students playfully over eliciting the “right” answers. In their process of playful pedagogy, the following principles were applied to courses (Holden, 2013):

  1. Play requires the acceptance of constraints

  2. Students should be playing with things (applications, codes, etc)

  3. Play assumes failure

  4. Playful teaching and learning fosters community

 

Products of Playful Learning

Playful learning can generate a generous variety of outcomes that challenge standards and think outside the box. Holden’s experience with the Global Program at Michigan University produced the following outcomes (2013):

  • An online economic justice simulation for high school students

  • Website & curricular resources about human rights in China

  • Community gardening in Michigan

  • Environmental conservation in Mexico

  • Global citizenship in the Congo

  • Social studies through digital and analog tools

Of course these projects have been dramatically simplified, but it is important to understand the grand scope of what can be produced from playful teaching and learning. There is no way to group these projects into categories, let alone assess them with a single rubric. It appears that self-directed learning and educational pull shaped the projects.

 

Assess(ment): Verb Over Noun

Playful learning is active and should be measured as such. Using a standardized rubric in any of the above examples seems a bit trite and could potentially squash their brilliance. What rubric standards could begin to capture a project’s essence?

  • Engaged learning?

  • International citizenship?

  • Courage within the possibility of failure?

  • Forward thinking?

Actively assessing a project insinuates it is alive and allows for discussion of the idea’s greatness. Additionally, assessing the product of playful learning requires an engaged educator. An educator who cannot simply check a box and never know his/her student’s abilities. By playfully challenging students to give their best effort, the same can be asked of teachers in assessing such learning.

Playful assessment completes the playful teaching and learning cycle..

 

 

References

Holden, J. (2013). Playful possibilities for assessment: Fluffy Ducks and the Queen’s Gambit. Retrieved from http://www.academia.edu/4414832/Playful_possibilities_for_assessment_Fluffy_Ducks_and_the_Queens_Gambit

 

Why am I Afraid to Sound Dumb in my Nurturing Affinity Space?

I have been playing Code Combat for about a month now and still haven’t broken out of lurker mode in the affinity space. How is this happening?

Perhaps:

  • I’m experiencing adult onset shyness syndrome (AOSS is a real thing)
  • I secretly fear middles schoolers (we ALL should)
  • I don’t understand the game well enough yet (coding is SO easy)
  • I don’t want to ask a dumb question (they really DO exist)

As much as I joke about not diving into questions on my affinity space, I am excited about one of the discourse discussions. There is a challenge called the Flower Grove and I’m not sure what level contains it. However, it is fueling my progression because I really want to participate in the flower design discussion. Here are some of the designs:

Photo Credit: discourse.codecombat.com
Photo Credit: discourse.codecombat.com
Photo Credit: discourse.codecombat.com
Photo Credit: discourse.codecombat.com
Photo Credit: discourse.codecombat.com
Photo Credit: discourse.codecombat.com

As I was snapping images of the designs I actually made a baby step towards participation.

I started liking people’s images – Success!

As a general overview of my progress, I am plugging along in the second world. If you look below that means I’m in the Backwoods Forest. There are six more worlds after that. 

Photo Credit: Code Combat
Photo Credit: Code Combat

I am trying to make coding a practice in my daily life. When I’m tired of working on school work, I take a break and play Code Combat. One a planning note, if I were to complete Cloudrip Mountain by the April 24th (before final project is due), I would have to complete approximately five challenges a day. This seems like a really tall order given that the coding is getting harder and it takes a great deal of concentration on my part.

But I’m up for the challenge.

Cultivating an Online Tribe is Hard!

Photo Credit: Dendrite Park
Photo Credit: Dendrite Park

Okay, so my Soul Stories community is thriving as an in-person tribe, but engaging participation for our new networked learning space is a completely different ball game. The challenges I anticipate include the following:

  • People attend purely for the in-person connection and don’t want to participate online
  • Key players need to buy-in to the online conversation
  • It needs to be accessible by all member, some are not tech savvy