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Archive for June, 2008

But we so often forget that we are all students. And that is why I loved this post at Students 2.0.  The only thing I love more than a student is a cheeky, independent minded student who calls it as she sees it.  So yeah–Where IS the student in “edupunk”?  In fact, where is the student in the education “system” at all? And why don’t professors think of themselves as students?  Why do I have to be such a good salesperson to get folks interested in changing up the classroom?
The thing is, I know Jim Groom, and I know that the work he is doing will eventually empower students IF professors get inspired.  Right now, the tool of choice, Blackboard, is a classically patriarchal, instructor-centric tool.  Instructors leave little knowledge nuggets there for students to find if they can.  It isn’t now and has never been a tool  useful for creating community in (and out of) my classroom.  And learning communities are what it is all about.  Jim’s work with the gang at UMW has given me the inspiration I needed to piece together my own tools for the classroom with blogs, wikis, etc.  But most of my students have  never blogged!  For years now I have been waiting to see when that tide while change.  But maybe it won’t.  Now on my campus people are trying NING,  which more closely resembles the  student favorite, Facebook. It seems like just a tool change, but it isn’t.  A group on the Ning lets you do fundamentally different things than Bboard does.

To tell the truth, I’m not in this to use the latest tools or make history as a cutting edge technology user.  I’m in it to remind people of the importance of their own voice.  I want students to know that, contrary to what the system has taught them thus far, they have within themselves  stories that need telling and creations that need sharing and knowledge that needs pooling so it can contribute to progress.  I see them every day pushing the boundaries of what we know about relationships and community on their phones.   I see them editing Wikipedia.  I see them making and sharing videos on YouTube.  People like Jim are trying to say: Hey, we could do this classroom thing so differently!  But I want to say “Who needs a classroom?”

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fiction first

I have this theory: fiction paves the way for reality. Will we be able to thank Philip Pullman sometime soon for freeing us from the burden of passwords and ppin numbers? A pair of scientists say they can make it happen. Daemon credit cards or not, I want to thank him for writing such amazing stories.

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