Wrapping up – Our Greatest Hits

As another semester of Grad 5114 (#GEDIVT) comes to an end, we present the final edition of our web digest. In the “Greatest Hits” section below you will find a collection of posts representing our best work on the topics we explored throughout the semester. These posts were chosen by the learning community as a whole and curated by the teaching team.

On behalf of the teaching team, I want to thank everyone for a terrific semester and wish you all the best for a wonderful summer. Use the force to cultivate curiosity, and please stay in touch — you can always find us at #gedivt.

Week 14 — Connecting the Dots

As we race toward the end of the semester, please take some time to reflect on the readings for our final unit (week 14). The articles by Parker Palmer and Dan Edelstein are especially relevant, and if you are only going to read two more things for this class, please, please, please let these be the pieces you choose. Think about how you will connect the dots from this course and your broader curriculum to become the “New Professional” Parker Palmer invokes here:

The word “professional” originally meant someone who makes a “profession of faith” in the midst of a disheartening world. That root meaning became diminished as the centuries rolled by, and today it has all but disappeared. “Professional” now means someone who possesses knowledge and techniques too esoteric for the laity to understand, whose education is proudly proclaimed to be “value free.”

The notion of a “new professional” revives the root meaning of the word. This person can say, “In the midst of the powerful force-field of institutional life, where so much conspires to compromise the core values of my work, I have found firm ground on which to stand—the ground of personal and professional identity and integrity—and from which I can call myself, my colleagues, and my profession back to our true mission.”

Thank you all for sharing this semester with me and for your collective efforts to explore what teaching means in the changing landscape of the 21st-century higher education.  I look forward to reading your final set of posts.

Image: CC0 Public Domain

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”.)

1 2