Week 12 – Attention, Multi-Tasking and Diversity Statements

This week we will divide our energies between two topics. You may post about either one.

The first is the issue paying attention and focusing on a particular task, challenge or experience. Alternate titles for this topic could be:”The Keys to Happiness,” “Balance and Flow” and “Making the Genie Work for You.” There are several reading selections for you to consider. You don’t have to read them all, but should make sure to look at Clive Thompson’s chapter. For the other selections, try to pick readings with opposing or contrasting viewpoints.

The second topic for next week is The Diversity Statement. Many employers, including universities (such as this one) now require applicants to include a statement outlining their experiences and perspectives on diversity, equity and inclusion in their dossier (along with the teaching philosophy, research statement, etc.). There are couple of resources listed to help you think about how to approach this kind of statement. If you choose to focus on this topic, you may either blog about it or bring a draft of such a statement to class (we will put a folder on Drive for the statements before class on November 15th.

Can’t Let it Go — Inclusive Pedagogy With #Gedivt

We are deep in the heart of the Contemporary Pedagogy Syllabus and last week’s session on Inclusive Pedagogy left me reeling — in a good way. Talking with a diverse group of people about how to cultivate inclusive and diverse classrooms is always interesting, and often quite challenging, but this session was especially noteworthy for …

Week 8: Inclusive Pedagogy

Diversity photo

Next week we will examine contemporary diversity issues and think about how to use inclusive pedagogy in our classrooms. Just as our learning environments are complex, so are the individuals that comprise them. Everyone has visible as well as “invisible” cultural identities, and inclusive pedagogy attends to those differences. Inclusive pedagogy seeks to engage learners in ways that are inclusive and supports environments that are attentive to diversity. It also helps prepare students to contribute productively to an increasingly complex and globalized society by helping them develop a broader understanding of domestic and global diversity issues.

So, this is a big project. And an important one. Some of us have already thought about and worked extensively in this area, some of us are just dipping our toes in, and many of us are somewhere in between. This is ok. In fact, it’s even a plus.

To prepare for seminar next week, please read the required texts.(id’d with an asterisk*) Start with the two short selections (on the Hidden Brain and diversity in the workplace). You’ll note that some of the materials for this module have been updated or inspired by the recent upturn in incidents of racism and intolerance locally and nationally. Please have a look at President Sands’ recent statement about the tensions between Freedom of Expression and VT’s Principles of Community, and make sure to listen to the podcast on “Dismantling Racism in Education.” And make sure you read Dr. Labuski’s project description for “Universal Precautions. Dr. Labuski will be joining us for class next week so you will want to be prepared to discuss her work.

The selections by Claude Steele and the article on Brave Spaces / Safe Spaces are longer, but you should read them as well and  come to class ready to talk about them. As usual, you may blog about whatever resonates most with you.

If you want more of a deep dive or are already familiar with these texts, please explore the supplemental materials on Canvas and on the supplemental page on the schedule. If there are items you think we should know about, please tweet them out to #gedivt

Image licensed under Creative Commons 2.0

Week 5: Assessment

Our topic for this week is “Assessment.”

I plan to have us watch one of the Dan Pink videos posted on the Schedule this evening, but if stuff happens and we don’t get there, you will definitely want to familiarize yourself with Pink’s perspective before proceeding further. (Choose between the 11 minute animated version and the 18′ 30″ TED Talk). Then read “The Case Against Grades” (Alfie Kohn) and “Imagination First” (Liu and Noppe-Brandon). If you get to Lombardi’s piece on “The Role of Assessment in Authentic Learning,” and /or Peter Elbow’s “Ranking, Evaluating and Liking,” that would be great.

You may post about whatever issue (or set of issues) raised in these materials resonates with you the most.  Assessment is a complicated topic and we have complicated (and sometimes contradictory) ideas about how it works and how it should work (in general and in our particular field.)  This should be an interesting session, and I am eager to read what you have to say.

For those interested in annotating via Hypothes.is, there’s a good public thread available for the Kohn reading and I’ve started one for Lombardi’s text here (for the GEDIVT) group.

Image: By State Library of Queensland, Australia [No restrictions], via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

Week 4: Mindful Learning

Once again, everything is on the table as long as it engages the readings for next week and /or the topic of mindfulness in teaching and learning. You might want to respond to the readings in the context of the videos and discussion we shared this evening. You might want to reflect on your current understanding of pedagogy — connected or otherwise — knowing that this might change. And you might want to go back to Gardner Campbell’s article on networked learning as experiential learning to see if there are some new connections you might want to make in light of our F2F session today.

Whichever path you take we look forward to reading your work and talking with you about it. We will be working with Langer’s concept of “Mindful Learning” during class next week, so please make sure you’ve read those texts and can access them during our class session.

Week 3: Engaging the Imaginations of Digital Learners

Praying Mantis on Tinker Cliffs

Now that we’ve thought about networked learning as experiential learning it’s time to think about how we learn and how the web has facilitated a shift in the way we think about different kinds of learning and learning experiences. The readings for next week develop some of the ideas we addressed in class about participatory cultures, gaming, and arc of life learning. Different people (teachers and students) respond to learning environments in their own unique way and there is no “one size fits all” approach to engaging today’s student. But most people  agree that imagination is an essential component of motivation, and next week is all about firing up the imagination for digital learners. For your posts, please read materials and write about whatever issue (or set of issues) resonates with you the most. Feel free to use Hypothes.is to engage others around specific issues in the readings (especially in the Thomas and Brown selection.) This should be an interesting session, and I am eager to read what you have to say.

Welcome – First Week Blogging Prompt

Dear GEDI’s! I write in great anticipation of meeting you all in person this evening. I am eager to get to know you and to begin a journey of self-discovery, reflection, and collaborative inquiry that will take us not just through the end of the semester, but, if we do it right, far far beyond (perhaps to a galaxy far, far away….).

Once we’ve made introductions and worked through the logistical details, we will talk a bit about connected learning and how we will use the network in this course. After all of that, I hope the following will give you some guidance and inspiration as you set up your blog and formulate your first post:

Blogging guidelines for week one:

Everything is on the table as long as it engages the readings for next week and /or the topic of networked learning. You might want to respond to the readings in the context of the discussion we shared this evening.

You might want to reflect on your current understanding of pedagogy — connected or otherwise — knowing that this might change. Whatever approach you take, know that it will be fine, and that your colleagues will be attentive, interested readers.

Bonus Force Points:

Check out and play with Hypothes.is, an amazingly powerful web annotating tool.

Double Bonus Points:

Read and maybe even add to the Hypothes.is conversation about Gardner Campbell’s article on Networked Learning as Experiential Learning. (If you’re looking for me, my screen name in Hypothes.is is “Laika57”.)

“Much to learn, you still have.” ~ Yoda

Hello and Welcome to GEDI Fall 2017! I am SO excited to get going on this journey with you this Fall. This is my second year GTA-ing for the Contemporary Pedagogy course which is an important part of the Graduate Education Development Institute or GEDI. I have learned a lot from not only taking the course as a student but also being able to GTA for it with two people I respect immensely (Dr. Nelson and Dr. Matheis) and making friends from all walks of life that I would never have met, had I not been involved with GEDI. Developing my identity as an educator, I have found that I get inspired when I am able to inspire others – facilitate curiosity or help them find their fire for teaching and learning. I hope to do the same this semester and am looking forward to meeting you all. My hope is that by the end of this semester we would have gone through a variety of paths and journeyed through some simple, some difficult, and some uncomfortable conversations and as a result will find ourselves having both taught and learned in a manner from which each one of us can derive significance and value. Looking forward to meeting all of you!

The GEDI Journey

I am so excited that today is Wednesday! Not just because we are getting close to the weekend and this weekend is both the Rocky Mountain Showdown and the season opener for Virginia Tech. I am excited because tonight we have the first meeting for Contemporary Pedagogy! I will be one of the facilitators for the class this semester, and I am really looking forward to it! In preparing for the class, I looked back at several blog posts that I wrote when I took the class in Spring of 2016. It was fun to see how my ideas were shaped by the various materials and discussions that we had, and I still remember many of the conversations that we had in that class. In one of the blog posts that I wrote that semester, I wrote a letter to future engineers meant to encourage young people to go into engineering and understand how impactful and far-reaching engineering can be. (A little bit of background may be helpful here: I am a graduate student getting an MEng in Mechanical Engineering and a PhD in Engineering Education and I want to help students as they pursue degrees in engineering). I thought it would be fun to edit that letter now to be a letter to all of you who are starting Contemporary Pedagogy this fall (to see the original blog post, go here). Dear current and future creator, developer, problem solver, educator, world changer: My name is Amy and I love learning about the world around me. I love exploring and seeing new things. I love creating new things and making things better. I love hearing other people’s stories and learning about other areas and cultures and perspectives. And I love helping other people learn about the world around them and achieve their goals. This is why I love being an educator. Before starting a PhD in Engineering Education, I never really thought much about teaching. I had been in many classrooms and had teachers who taught a lot of different subjects in many different ways. But my focus was always on getting a good grade (for more on that, see my blog post here). I have learned so much since then! Learning is about so much more than getting a grade, and educators can do (and do!) really cool things to facilitate learning. In Contemporary Pedagogy, we get to explore and learn about so many topics related to teaching and learning. I am hopeful that we all will learn and grow together in an effort to become better educators. So I encourage you — creators, developers, problem solvers, educators, and world changers — consider what teaching and learning mean to you. For me, it is about helping others, learning about the things around me with the people around me, and changing the world in small but meaningful ways. Sincerely, Amy I am so excited to see what this semester, this GEDI journey, has in store! I hope this experience is as rewarding for you as it is for me!
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