Tag Archives: pedagogy

How I deal with pronouns in my classes

This post is in response to a recent New York Times article by Elizabeth Reis. The article, “pronoun privilege,” argues against having people say their name and pronouns when they introduce themselves in class. Reis writes:

I find the exercise discomfiting, but not because I don’t want to know the students’ pronouns. It’s because this ice-breaking ritual, in my experience, is easy only for those for whom the answer is obvious. It can “out” or isolate others, particularly

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a model for designing the ELA classroom in support of “literacy science”

You guys, I think I have a model to show you.

This makes me extremely happy, because as I’ve explained (more than once), I’ve struggled mightily with the very concept of modeling. I’ve also struggled with representation. The purpose of designing this model is to show my take on the role of new technologies in educational environments. But articulating a theory, even a working theory, about the role of technologies has been such an insurmountable challenge for me–which … Read more

technologies as sleeping policemen: or, how I learned to stop worrying and…

Nicholas Burbules and Thomas Callister worry for us. Or, at least, they were worried, over 10 years ago when they offered up their take on new technologies in a paper called The Risky Promises and Promising Risks of New Information Technologies for Education. Among their concerns: that too many people adopt a “computer as panacea approach” to new technologies. This is uniquely problematic in education, they argue, where

(r)ather than acknowledge the inherent difficulty and imperfectability of the teaching-learning endeavor,
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putting some trust in “those little bastards”

Over at the Chronicle of Higher Education, H. William Rice has posted a thoughtful opinion piece titled “Don’t Shrug Off Student Evaluations.” (The piece is locked to nonsubscribers; because I’m all about open access, I will helpfully link you to a free version here.)

Rice, a long time higher education faculty member, describes a pair of colleagues who took distinctly negative approaches to the notion of students evaluating their professors: One, whom Rice describes as “an elderly faculty member,” … Read more

why I chose openness: David Wiley, I’ve completed my homework assignment!

In a recent post on his blog iterating toward openness, David Wiley makes a request of all adherents to the “openness” movement who read his blog:

Without any special authority to do so, may I please give you a homework assignment? Would you please blog about why you choose to be open? What is the fundamental, underlying goal or goals you hope to accomplish by being open? What keeps you motivated? Why do you spend your precious little free

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how to think like a good {fill in the blank}

“The message of Wikipedia,” writes Michael Wesch, “is not ‘trust authority’ but ‘explore authority.’ Authorized information is not beyond discussion on Wikipedia, information is authorized through discussion, and this discussion is available for the world to see and even participate in.”

This comes from Wesch’s January 2009 Academic Commons article, “From Knowledgable to Knowledge-able: Learning in New Media Environments.” The piece is part of an issue dedicated to exactly this problem: How do we teach and learn in a cultural … Read more

putting the “our” in “open source”: on the dearth of women in the open source programming movement

In case you haven’t seen it yet, I wanted to link you to Kirrily Robert’s keynote at this year’s O’Reilly Open Source Convention. Robert’s keynote, “Standing Out in the Crowd,” focused on the dearth of female developers in the open source movement. She offers this image from the 2008 Linux Kernel Summit:


Image credit: Jonathan Corbet, lwn.net

Robert writes:

This is a normal sort of open source project. I’ll give you a minute to spot the women in the picture.
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some thoughts on Sakai 09: here’s the church, here’s the steeple, open the doors…

I’ve been liveblogging day one of the Sakai 2009 Conference in Boston, MA. One key theme in all of the panels I’ve attended so far is this:

We (designers, programmers, educators, faculty, administrators, students) need a shared language for talking about open education, open technologies, and Sakai.

Which makes me wonder: Why is there such a dearth of faculty and, specifically, education faculty at this conference? My sense so far is that the majority of the 500-odd attendees of this … Read more