Disrupt, Innovate, and Percolate…

I love any article that wants to bring up disruption to recreate, and bring back innovation. I’m a fan of Fernando Pessoa whose book on Disquiet has motivated much of my creative and intellectual work. Disquiet and disrupt are similar in philosophy. To do things without worrying about how neat it is offers a lot of freedom to create.

I have to do a little more research on LMS, but I imagine they are something along the lines of Blackboard, or Angel that is used in schools? I find these tools utterly useless and try to stay away from them in my courses. I have had a rather reckless, let’s use what is for free on the internet, attitude but since sitting and reading in this seminar, I wonder how that information is being used. Although, I believe my students to be much smarter about how they present, use and post information on such systems. I’ve said this in the meeting but I’ve loved using Prezi, Youtube,VoiceThread, and even instagram as ways to get them to think about the material we are researching, analyzing and presenting in class.

This article was so clear and broke down the history of this system in a way that helped me see what has been happening in education. To be honest, I’ve always gone on my own route and as an independent publisher and cultural curator, I’ve used the mediums that are in the real world, so to speak. In this way, we have connected to authors through twitter or tumblr and shared what we have been as a class saying about their works. This was tremendous fun and the reason why we should be doing digital online work that is not private, and controlled. Of course, this choice is in the hands of the student.

Potentiality: “This is the idea that within the use of every technical tool there is more than just the consciousness of that tool, there is also the possibility to spark something beyond those predefined uses.” This was perhaps the most powerful section of this article — finding the potential is key to learning in an open web learning atmosphere. I have so much more to think about in this field.

This article was a great way to break it all down without getting overwhelmed by the tech talk. But thinking of technology as educators. I’m curious about this freedom to innovate and how much mistakes are allowed to be made, particularly in an educational setting. I am all for working outside of LMS but I cannot help but think for copyright reasons that these settings are useful for collecting a knowledge database that students can benefit from. I am thinking here of the quotes collecting work I do with my students on blackboard and how useful it is for them while writing larger essays. But not sure if we are allowed to quote so much from a text, or even have poems to annotate as we have been doing. I suppose that can be replicated in a private blog setting and still find a way to avoid Blackboard.

I feel like my response is just thinking out loud. I am reading analysis of this work I’ve been doing for years for the first time and to be honest, I feel like I keep thinking “Wow” after each line. I appreciate the guidelines and breakdown of how technology and critical thinking works in a classroom. I am reluctant to give up class time. I feel like there is so much we accomplish in discussions and presentations but the Randy Bass essay is very helpful in thinking about how much time can be used even more efficiently or creatively through online time, collaborative or alone research work.






7 thoughts on “Disrupt, Innovate, and Percolate…”

  1. In an ideal academy, MOOCs would not need to exist. Instead there’d be plenty of keen, unhurried facilitator-teacher-coaches (FTC) for all unhurried students thirsting for knowledge, eager to think critically. We’d have no thought for money, rent, other jobs, time, aches, hormones. I can imagine a supportive academy that can personalize LMSs at the whim of FTC and bright actively-engaged student (BAES) each with a personal tech shadowing us to fix and implement ideas on the spot. The reality of today’s growing “adjunctified”, budget-constrained, working student-consumer academy is messy.
    While reading Bass and Groom and Lamb yesterday, I painfully realized some of the panic my students must feel. Though I fully understood the readings, I needed time to digest the implications. Not used to actually using all the terminology, I needed more than the time allotted to congeal and shape my thoughts. I ached for real-life, sit-down brainstorming time with others, and not on sometimes intimidating Skype. I needed a nap. I feel your pain, students.

    It’s like learning a 2nd or other language. As linguist Stephen Krashan discusses, we need lots of listening first, lots of reading second, lots of writing third, then finally utilizing it all together in immersion with other learners, FTCs always practicing, back-tracking, unconcerned about errors or failing. We need time for unhurried critical thinking.
    I do hybridize a bit. I use videos and photos and other materials from the net in class. I use Blackboard to especially to for Discussion Groups, lecture and study material folders and e-mail and announcements. My use of VOCAT has been tremendously received. So many of my students report these uses have helped them to make adjustments and succeed. Of course, I have happily witnessed it. All of these have great promise for peer help, self-study, self-assessment and reflection. However, the folders and Discussion groups have be underutilized by those most in need of help, many of whom are reluctant because they don’t receive “points” for using them.
    I don’t want hybridization to turn into make-work or a silver platter of fun ideas. Rather I believe it should be to enhance acquisition of learning and application. I truly need tech experts to implement my ideas for appropriate and student-appealing out of class study and discussion groups on, for example, work on Language, Ethics, Argumentation, Organization and Outlining, I need help with restructuring, streamlining to accommodate hybridization without adding workload for my students or me, which will broaden engagement and collaboration without straining the soul. Of course, we need Admin to reconsider budget cuts and consider adjuncts as worthy and intelligent facilitators, as students as scholars rather than consumers. (I know a school where the adjuncts had to train the grad students only to find out the plan was to replace the adjuncts. Which only serves as a warning to grad students.) We’re all in this together to build life-long learners and thinkers.

    1. I truly need tech experts to implement my ideas for appropriate and student-appealing out of class study and discussion groups on, for example, work on Language, Ethics, Argumentation, Organization and Outlining, I need help with restructuring, streamlining to accommodate hybridization without adding workload for my students or me, which will broaden engagement and collaboration without straining the soul

      This is exactly the kind of structures we are working hard to create. We have to be honest that there is an increase in workload at the front end, but that it can (potentially) pay off on back end via streamlined communication practices and more opportunities for engagement. The process has to be faculty-driven, and in fact the educational technologists often play the role of facilitator/coach. We’ll need to see what your assignments are, how they flow together, what kinds of interactions you want to engineer; and then we can help design processes to realize them. Please keep this in mind as the work in the Summer Seminar becomes more focused on your course!

  2. Hi Zohra, just a short note to say that I loved reading your post because it modeled a kind of writing I think we all hope to encounter when we use blogs in our classrooms (and outside): you write with an excited, casual but informed tone that explores and remains open to new thoughts and future engagements. Getting students to feel empowered in this way, to get excited, to play around, to think out loud (and even in public) — these are some of the things I hope that hybrid learning and multimodality can help encourage.

  3. Hi Zohra: I enjoyed your post as well, and recognized in it some of my own anxieties (and Carol, I hear you on yours, too, especially on feeling like I’m a student when I learn new technologies, which experience has radically changed my pedagogy) about web-enhancing and hybridizing my classes. It is exciting and fun to being in new tools. I think that the fast-pace of our contemporary learning environment–for better or worse–means that students benefit from being confronted with some confusion and being guided through it. But! We do give something up. And what are we willing to part with? This becomes a crucial question when designing hybrid/online courses.

  4. Zohra, I was happy that you brought up the issue of tech talk. As Carol and others are talking about above, too, the kinds of innovations we’re reading about here can be extremely overwhelming. And I frequently feel overwhelmed by the tech talk itself. I think we need to acknowledge that talking about technology in the ways that these articles do involves a whole set of vocabulary, just like in any academic or other kind of discipline. Even those of us who grew up, more or less, with the Internet, may not be well versed in this vocabulary. There were plenty of technology words in the Groom and Lamb that didn’t mean anything to me, before I looked them up. And I think this is an extremely important point to consider. How can technological innovation that is open, strategic, and empowering, happen across the university if the tech talk that shapes much of the relevant writing addressing it isn’t universally accessible? My hunch is that the answer involves a combination of educating teachers in this vocabulary while also finding more universally accessible ways to write about technology.

    Maybe we all need to learn how to talk tech? To some degree, I suspect so. But is this realistic when we think about the wider body of Baruch College faculty (full time and adjunct)? Is there a danger of ed tech developing almost exclusively in the world of liberal arts and never making it over to realm of business where most Baruch College students do their majors?

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