Taken from the reading with a few of my thoughts or book notations underneath in italics.
“…pedagogical principle-that students should be encourage to be active participants in the construction of knowledge-combined with a pragmatic and ethical one-that it is incumbent upon educational institutions to support students in developing literacies and competencies that are appropriate to the technological and social environments in which all now work” (106).
Initial thought here was exactly where would the balance be struck in developing these literacies. In the instructor’s exhortation that the individual student drive toward experimenting as a means of social development and practice beyond the university’s umbrella, where would the instructor stand in the giving and/or controlling of course direction/information. How do you draw the line between information and competencies which need to be taught, and the hope that a student will develop these appropriately. In this instance I am wondering what the best level of instructor push and pull, from chapter nine, might be.
Additionally, this ideal of the self driven student (in terms of content and learning creation) and or student driven courses reminds me of a pedagogical brainstorming session I was part of while in the education program. The majority of my peers thought it was a great idea to have the students make the rules in their classrooms as well create a framework in which the students might drive the direction of the course. My thought was that I wanted to teach in the high school grades…I pictured 1) potentially struggling and/or just plain crazy classroom discipline procedures and more importantly 2) the potential to miss or gloss over information which I might deem as important.
“However, with this comes an expectation of greater intellectual and creative autonomy on behalf of the students, an expectation for which they are not necessarily well prepared at first, and which can take them by surprise” (107).
I hadn’t thought of that, but there is something to consider here in terms of audience and student perception of grading expectations. I have spent more than a few course days explaining to students that the patented five paragraph essay they had ground into their heads in high school wasn’t the only, or even the best, option; while also driving home the need for concise wording and thesis driven exploration of a topic. Yet here, if I was not aware of the impending mixed messages, I would be asking for personal, and yet academic exploration of a topic. You mean you can even use “I” in these posts?
Also, each of the issues and concepts of what would most plausibly work in online blog courses (weblog hub for instance) brought up here, and in chapter ten, can be easily applied to this course’s construction. How convenient, I have a good example.
“…existing speech genres (conversation, debate, personal storytelling) need to be articulated with ossified academic writing genres…” (108).
I generally treat many academic papers as a conversation, though on a broader scale, in which I enter into the debate. I am going to take this as the author implying that the colloquial style is to be merged. As to a conversation-couldn’t agree more.
“That is, if students were required or encouraged to keep a Weblog for the duration of their degree, rather than starting and then dropping individual course Weblogs one by one, it seems more likely that they would treat their Weblogs as authentically social spaces that are more meaningfully representative of them as individual learners, community members, and cultural citizens, thereby increasing student engagement with, and ownership of the learning process” (111-112).
Though it may be an unfair, my first response to this idea comes from my ingrained dislike of D2L. As an undergrad I found that the system was consistently down, which made deadline impossible. Also, I figure that most universities would want or push for these online communities to be engaged within the universities online web. Which brings me to D2L’s president and CEO apologizing for a recent widespread system outage. I know my drive to grow an online avatar of my personal thoughts under an academic rubric, possibly for future consideration for employment or graduate school, would be heavily doused with a pessimistic expectation of a system wide loss of info. Now that I think about it, I have two online applications for different school districts that I spent hours on which no longer exist. Just gone. Additionally, has anyone ever looked back on any of their old textbooks? Are you sure you want to broadcast fledgling (or in my own situation, completely off) attempts at understanding into public’s eyes. Or as Floppypenguin’s frogman gif from Imgur would put it.