Just having some fun with Mozilla Webmaker’s Thimble, which makes everything completely remixable. Haven’t tried Thimble out yet? Give it a shot. Remix my How to Rock a MOOC. It’s yours to mess with.
Peace (in the mix and remix),
There was no real reason for this comic — no one in Connected Courses is talking about Flipping the Classroom, as far as I can tell — but I had this thought as I was reading through the tweets and blog posts of some eager young professor somewhere going overboard with the idea of transforming their classroom experience, and how the graduate student helper might complain about being flipped.
Peace (in the frame),
As has been my mode lately, I was watching the most recent video from the Connected Courses project in Vialogues (Thanks, Terry) with Michael Wesch, Randy Bass and Cathy Davidson with my ear towards ideas that I might use in a comic. Of course, when you have smart people like that, interesting ideas float around like butterflies.
But something Cathy articulated resonated with me. She was talking about the growth of online learning spaces, and the tension between technology opening up new platforms for learning and the value (or not) of the “teacher in the room” as opposed to a screen at your desk.
Her comment about whether teachers can be replaced had me thinking. I know she was being provocative.
Later, after I tweeted the comic out, Cathy graciously replied that she liked the comic and then forwarded me her blog post in which she unpacks this very comment in a very thorough and thoughtful way. Go read it. (not being bossy; I think it is worth your time)
I made the comment back to her that I took her point to mean that we teachers (humans form) have to take advantage of what we bring to the table, live and in person. If we don’t and if we are just replicating the droning Q/A of a computer program or the distant teacher with no personal connections to their students, then why not just automate learning? I don’t believe this, although I see the value of online collaborative learning initiatives, but I do believe that we teachers – at whatever level you teach — have to take advantage of those learners in your space and work your butt off to make it worthwhile for them to be there with you.
Peace (in connections),
Over at Connected Courses, the push this phase/cycle/week is into the “why” of connected learning and the why of teaching itself. A lot of people are sharing out this video by Michael Wesch, who has been pushing his university students into interesting terrain around digital humanities and culture and information flow. His use of the questions of “why” and “what” and others had me thinking of the classic Abbott and Costello skit.
Of course, Professor Wesch’s talk is not a comedy routine. And it is worth viewing.
Peace (in the why),
An inquiry question that is emerging during this cycle of the Connected Courses is “Why I teach” and a bunch of people are writing and sharing media on this particular question. It’s always a good question to ask.
I went the comic route, although I felt a bit constrained by the format of the comic. I had to limit my explanations, I found. Still, I hope I communicated the complexities of teaching young people. It will be interesting to see how my own ideas of teaching intersect with other #Ccourse folks, who are mostly university professors/teachers.
Why do you teach?
Peace (in the inquiry),
I had the pleasure of being part of an impromptu chain of poetic events yesterday, which stems in part from discussions in the Connected Courses, although all of those in this poetic chain are existing connections.
I may have gotten the very start of the poetic path wrong. I wasn’t there at the gathering, so I am interpreting from the echoes of words left as breadcrumbs from others, and I suspect there may be more to this that unfolded outside my field of vision. Isn’t that always the case anyway? Aren’t we always left to our interpretations of where an idea has begun and where it may yet end up?
So … I made a map, of sorts. Follow along, and take the connection further, if you will. We made room for you. Find an anchor and write. Make a connection and invite us in.
Peace (in the pursuit of a poetic idea),
My friend, Susan, wrote a powerful post about connected learning and her own experiences (with lots of alliteration!) and I found myself diving into her sentences. So, I constructed a Zeega out of her words, as my own way of reflecting back on her reflections (if that makes sense)
Peace (in the connections),
This comic is just an extension of thinking about how some universities require faculty to use a certain Learning Management System and how that requirement hems in both the teacher and the learners in many ways. When we talk about open learning systems in space like Connected Courses, this may a roadblock for many faculty.
I like how Howard Rheingold responded to my post yesterday, noting that he often pushed and pushed against these institutional restraints and then did covert online learning systems outside of the university purview. Sort of a ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ approach to open learning. I don’t know if many faculty, with lesser name recognition and clout, are willing to take those chances, particularly if they are not tenured and need to be sure to follow rules, stay in line, keep the upper folks happy (or at least, not get them angry). We need more pirate instructors. Arrr.
And that may mean using the university system (Blackboard, Moodle, whatever) but thinking through the many ways to “hack the system” to make it work for you and your learners, even as you still technically fall within the sphere of your educational institution.
Maybe change is underway, where there is more freedom for faculty to set up their own online spaces beyond the university sphere. Maybe this comic is already obsolete. I hope so. I suspect it still might be a mixed bag, depending on where you teach and the ethos of the university itself. There may be folks in the Connected Courses who follow along and think … if only. Facilitators need to be aware of them, too. (I am sure they are)
Peace (in the frame),
After listening to Jim and Howard and Alan talk about the infastructure for open learning as part of Connected Courses, I could not help putting together a few comics to poke fun.
First, the three called themselves “brudders” with the names of Embed, Click and Link (a play on Car Talk). I added a fourth brudder.
Second, I support the idea of folks setting up their own domains when running a college/university course. I do wonder if universities allow that. I know, with our writing project, we’ve run into walls on this issue, of the universities requiring us to use their learning management system. Maybe that’s a question for another time (or one I might bomb into Twitter).
Anyway, I had this vision of all these URLs being created along lines of Jim’s point that our spaces are our digital identities (I agree) and how the naming of a URL and a blog space/community network is an important first step. Thus, the domain rainstorm idea.
Peace (in the frames),