Monday, September 29, 2014

Three-Ring Circus

As I go back to the lecture hall this quarter, it is interesting to think about all of the different experiments taking place right now in the connected courses movement, which encourages faculty and students to use new technologies for online social networks to experiment with access and collaboration in new pedagogical ways.

Last week the FemTechNet DOCC (Distributed Open Collaborative Course) hosted its first Open Office Hour for the year, which I moderated with the help of Melissa Gregg, a renowned researcher on ubiquitous technologies, affective labor, and the quantified self movement.  Students were encouraged to watch a video dialogue themed around "Labor" with Judy Wajcman and Anne Balsamo before coming to the office hour and to read a set of open access readings on the subject.  Although we had faculty members rather than students show up for the office hour, it was still a lively discussion, which pointed to the possibilities for more kinds of synchronous exchanges in connected courses, as Gregg spoke from her own office in Intel.

Last week was also the week when the materials that I had developed with Jill Walker Rettberg and the rest of the Selfie Researchers group were scheduled to be covered in the collaborative syllabus for our Selfie Course.  Jill wrote a great blog post for our week on "Dataveillance, Biometrics, and Facial Recognition."

Before I know it, the FemTechNet week on "Diversity, Equity, Access" will be coming up in the Connected Courses initiative for "active co-learning in higher ed" with Balsamo,  Lisa Nakamura, and Veronica Paredes.  Course facilitators Jim Groom, Alan Levine, and Howard Rheingold have been building from the earlier Reclaim Open Learning challenge to rethink the MOOC paradigm with more innovative options for higher education.

As though this three-ring circus doesn't have enough going on simultaneously, I am also working with other faculty in the UC system to design and develop an online Digital Writing and Rhetoric course with the Innovative Learning Technology Initiative.  To complement course content, interviews with researchers in the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology are publicly available for others interested in digital rhetoric.  

As usual, I have also set up the video podcasts for my big Media Seductions course,  so that even my regular university teaching will continue to have an open component. 

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Anonymous Sharon Irish said...

you need at least three avatars to do all this work, Liz!

5:46 PM  
Blogger Dogtrax said...

Experimenting, and tinkering with teaching ... those are key elements to the Connected Courses idea, right? Yes, it feels like a circus at time when we are in the midst of change, but you have some pretty nifty stuff going on around you right now.

2:13 AM  

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