What an excellent week — of course, it got a bit warmer, which helps, but it’s been so fun reading your blogs and getting to know each of you a little bit through your design, the story of you interests as a kid, as well as your notes about your current pursuits. I was inspired to write my own blog too.
If you haven’t already, make sure to check out the blog of all of your classmates. Our blogs are now feeding into the shared class blog that I set up: http://spring2018.seekingequityed677.org/. You might want to bookmark this site as it can be your go-to place through the semester. Here you can see all the posts together, in creation order, and you can also click through to each individual blog by following the right navigation links under Contributors.
As we get started …
A note on commenting: There are various ways to comment to blog posts if you want to do so. If the blog supports commenting, you can comment directly of course. If the blog doesn’t support commenting however (Tumblr often doesn’t unless you set it up), then you can make a “comment” on your blog and then link back to the original blog you are referencing (ie. “I like the way that Christina mentioned flow and creativity in her blog on honoring interests and connecting learning”). In fact, this method of commenting via referencing/linking to others work is a key way the “blogosphere” communicates.
And a third way to do it is via social media — for example, when I posted my blog post, I tagged my colleague @poh on twitter with a link to my blog to share it with him. (You will need to share your social media information to do that, of course.)
Read/Watch + Annotate
And, as we keep working on “getting started” while we also dive into another one of the key values of connected learning: participation. This week I’m inviting you to participate in something that may be very new to many of you in relation to your reading and watching online — an experiment in social reading and web annotation.
The invitation is to connect with other educators via an online project called Marginal Syllabus:
This project convenes conversations with educators about issues of equity in teaching, learning, and education. … And it also engages a double-entendre, ie. we partner with authors whose writing may be considered marginal – or contrary – to dominant education narratives, and our online conversations occur in the margins of texts using web annotation.
To facilitate this work, Marginal Syllabus uses a tool called Hypothes.is.
Last year, ED677 and the Marginal Syllabus shared a reading that I invite you to dive into this week as well; The School and Social Progress, a speech made by John Dewey in 1907. Here is how to get started:
- Start with the collection The School and Society, a series of lectures in the public domain by Dewey. Check out this Wikipedia page to get some background and find out more about the context in which he was writing: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_School_and_Society
- After familiarizing yourself with the its context, click on this version of The School and Social Progress. Print out the text if you want or read it online, with or without comments (to turn off comments, click on/off the eyeball that shows up on the right side of your screen).
- Make some notes to yourself off-line in a notebook or something else. Feel free to take your time reading this speech and don’t feel you need to comment on everything. You can use these prompts if helpful: What does this speech make you think about? What questions does this speech raise?
- Then take a moment and think about our context today. …
- Reflect back on what you read this past week from the Connected Learning Design and Research Agenda as well as Mirra’s Transitioning from Conventional to Connected Teaching. What are some of the assumptions about changes in schools and our society today that they mention? What resonants to you and your experience? What raises questions?
- Move onto another speech by John Seely Brown called The Global One-Room Schoolhouse. This animation is based on a keynote he gave in 2012 at the Digital Media and Learning Conference. Again, takes notes for yourself: What resonants to you and your experience? What raises questions?
Okay … ready? Now let’s annotate, online …
- Here’s a screencast on how to use Hypothes.is on the Marginal Syllabus website (created last year; so specific dates are no longer relevant).
- Return to The School and Social Progress and read through noting other people’s annotations and related discussions.
- When you are ready to annotate or comment, sign up for Hypothes.is (check your email, etc. to activate your account). Return to The School and Social Progress.
- Find at least 3 things that you would be comfortable commenting/annotating from the text in public.
Here are some questions that might support you in sharing publicly:
- What is important about the relationships between schools and society?
- How might what Dewey wrote at the turn of the last century still be relevant today?
- What ways does Dewey reflect what John Seely Brown talked about? How does it relate so far to your readings about Connected Learning?
- What does this make you think about in terms of equity (or inequity) in learning today?
And a few things to try:
- You don’t always have to make your own annotation but can instead respond to others here who have already made a comment. Note that when you do, they will receive an email and may then also reply.
- If you refer to content we have read in this class, mentioned that in your comment and make a link to it. That way these become resources beyond our class and others can find/read them too.
- Add the tag #ED677 to your annotations so that we can see all of our annotations together.
- Try responding with not just words, but also images or other media you think might be relevant and of interest.
Next, let’s read a contemporary article by Linda Christensen together. Linda is a colleague from Oregon and editorial board member of Rethinking Schools. This essay was published last year in Voices from the Middle and titled Critical Literacy and Our Students Lives.
I try to make my literacy work a sustained argument against inequality and injustice. I want my students to be able to “talk back” when they encounter anything that glorifies one race, one culture, one social class, one gender, one language over another: texts, museums, commercials, classes, rules that hide or disguise domination. A critical literacy means that students probe who benefits and who suffers, how did it come to be this way, what are the alternatives, and how can we make things more just?
Just recently, as part of a NWP & Marginal Syllabus collaboration, this article was also available for annotation (the link above will lead to you the annotated version).
Linda took part in the annotation as well as an online conversation with other colleagues, including Kevin who you met previously. Check out these resources this week. In what ways do these address equity in connected learning? What questions do they raise?
This time experiment with the ways you approach this annotation. For example try to keep the annotations on as you are reading it for the first time — what’s that experience like? Where does it lead you?
Finally, when you are done here are some related readings that highlight some of what can be powerful about annotation and social reading (again, no need to annotate — just for your interest):
- New York Times Learning Network Skills and Strategies | Annotating to Engage, Analyze, Connect and Create by Jeremy Dean and Katherine Shulten
- Reading as a Social Act by Mia Zamora
- Starting at the Margins: An Invitation to Writing Our Civic Futures @ Educator Innovator
Reflect on your participation in these Marginal Syllabus events and/or shared annotation of a public article. You can write a blog post, or create a video, make a drawing, to express your ideas; post this to your blog. What do you notice in this process? How might “Marginal Syllabus” support you in thinking about connected learning and equity? What are your thoughts on the value of participation in this context? What questions are raised? What are the implications?
As I mentioned in the ED677 syllabus, each week we will each find things — at least 5 things — online to share and reflect on that are about each other’s work and/or the larger field of Connected Learning. I’d like you to start this process this week.
Find things that:
- Your fellow classmates shared or posted;
- That were mentioned or linked to in our shared readings/watchings;
- That you find online and that relate to the topics are are thinking about together.
Have fun with this as if it is a game (because it is!) … for example, if you can get this done by Friday, then find 5 things and call is your “Find 5 Friday” (or use #F5F as a hashtag). If it is Saturday though when you get this, then you can “Seek 6 Saturday” (#S6S). And if it’s Sunday, the “Search 7 Sunday” is perfect (#S7S).
Here is an example from 2014. Notice how Lizzy writes something about each one and then makes a link to where she found if the post is public and online; to start you can use Lizzy’s example as a model.
Please post what you find to your blog.
Just to remind you that there is an online meeting for this class on Thursday January 26 at 7:00pm ET. I know that not everyone can come and that is fine — I will record this gathering for those of you who missed it. We will use Bluejeans for this meeting and I will send you an invitation to attend.
Into the semester: I did hear from a few of you about potential conflicts on Thursday, although it does seem like overall Thursday will work. Therefore I’d like to aim for Thursdays and will plan to record each meeting in case you can’t make it (and we all have busy lives, so come when you can; we will look forward to seeing you).
I will update the calendar to reflect upcoming meetings every other Thursday at 7:00pm ET.
In connected solidarity,