Notes Towards Day 7 (Tues, Feb. 7): Present and Future, Writing and Thinking

Anne Dalke's picture

Mr. Trona's photostream, accessed via Cathy Davidson's blog
posting on the Participatory Learning and the Future of Thinking

I. coursekeeping and relevant outside-of-class announcing
how are we doing on names?
(asking, confirming, telling memorable stories....?)

talking about boundaries--see froggies315 and Ayla on Serendip re: "occupation"/
profs as superheroes, and the non-consensual reading of personal stories for class

I have some very interesting/quite related ideas for Thursday's class, our "bridge"
from the first section of the course (on the evolution of academic writing)
to the second (on the emergence of graphic narratives).

Margaret Price, who teaches composition and rhetoric @ Spelman College
in Atlanta, will be visiting the bi-co this week to talk about her book, Mad at
: Rhetorics of Mental Disability and Academic Life. She argues
that the most common conventions and expectations of academic life--
rationality, criticality, presence, participation, productivity, collegiality,
coherence, independence-- intersect problematically with mental disability
(=brain difference); she advocates for all sorts of adjustments and accomodations,
in classrooms, in shared expectations re: writing, assessing, hiring, etc.

So: I've invited her to come talk w/ us (she will join us for class);
I'm assigning you Chapter 1 from her book (in our password protected file),
because it puts pressure on conventional academic expectations from another
dimension--not the web, but the diversity of our lived lives; examining the lives
of "indepedent scholars," she argues for more in/ter/dependent scholarship....

I'm also asking you to read Chapter 2 from Judith Butler's book, Precarious Life,
because it takes what Price calls "disability" and makes it the common human condition:
our shared fragility and need for one another (picking up from what dglasser
said last Thursday about our "coming together through breaks"....)

I will also be hosting a small lunch for Margaret @ Wyndham right after class,
for students who want to talk w/ her about changing the campus climate around
issues of stigma/difference/mental illness, if any of you would like to join us, please do
(and let me know)!

another related event, same day:
Feministing Comes to the Bi-Co: "The Power of Blogging in Social Justice Work,"
8:30 p.m. this Thursday, Feb. 9th, in Stokes Auditorium

story from my other class (which you may appreciate more than they did!) -->
GREAT illustration of Fitzpatrick's saying, @ the end of her chapter on "Authorship,"
that we need to consider the significance of the shift from typewriter to word processer
(= computer is co-writing w/ us, and we need to become literate in markup/computer languages!)

Alicia: reading from our computers often leads to going in and out of multiple websites
which means we are not able to give our assigned readings the undivided attention they deserve

Cf. NYTimes
on the "death of the cyberflaneur," and the "tyranny of the social" on the internet

you can now find your first set of webpapers, linked to from our homepage, @

what was it like for each of you, to publish your work on-line?
(most of you seem to have mastered the trick of creating hyper-links...)
my responses are there too now; I invite you to write back to me,
and to read and comment on one another's work
(Ayla is marvelously modeling this already!)

we're going to do that in person here/now, w/ help from
Davidson and Goldberg's piece on "Thinking the Future of Digital Thinking"--
I want us to use that (in)conclusive essay to reflect on
the current-and-future state(s) of our own writing-and-thinking

pair up to reflect w/ one another about what you did,
and what you learned by doing, your web projects,
in light of what they say about the future of learning:

* AliciaRamiriz on Twitter (as a microblog) and
vspaeth on Tumblr as possible academic blog space

* dglasser on Sleuth (online interactive detective game) and
EGrumer on LiveJournal, as sources for thinking about academic work

* froggie315 and kobieta on the "breaks"/not in their own writing

* KT on reconceiving writing as Confucian/collective,
and leamirella on Tumblr (in both senses)

* Ayla on Wikipedia, and sterrab on science writing

Davidson and Goldberg give an overview of all the ideas
we've been exploring these past three weeks; they begin w/
a "questing state of intellectual loneliness": we are
isolated w/in our disciplines and departments;
social networking apps allow us to create collaborative
learning communities that overcome physical distance

this emerging dynamic--of diverse, distributed, dispersed practices
--is in tension w/ formal, institutionalized education; we have
reached a tipping point, shifting from nationalist to networked forms,
from the civic and technical functions of education (teaching us to be
good citizens; and to prepare us for our professions) to global learning
(both international and intellectually expansive)

education grounded in distributed, virtual, mobilizing social networks,
which responds quickly to change,
* democratizes the production of, access to, and circulation of information,
* makes the shortcomings of public educational institutions more glaring

(how limited they are in space and time), 
* highlights the need to teach students to be "canny" about
reliability, credibility, access, in security, privacy, etc...

* challenges established modes of authority, credibility, individuality, and hierarchy

10 foundational principles to rethink the future of learning institutions,
radically imagining better worlds, better futures (=better links!)-->
1) self-learning (collaborative composition)
2) horizontal structures (lateral, peer-to-peer)
3) collective credibility (judging who to trust)
4) decentered pedagogy (amateur publics collecting data)
5) networked learning (algorithmic, multiplier, synergistic impact)
6) open-source, open-access (freely available, many-to-multitudes model)
7) connectivity, interactivity (net-working the default)
8) lifelong learning (no finality to knowledge production)
9) learning institutions as mobilizing networks (flexibility, interactivity, outcome)
10) flexible scalability and simulation (rewarding collective contributions)

III. write a collaborative response to D&G on the board....
based on what you learned, creating your own web events,
and listening to the process/description of a classmate's experience...
agreeing/disagreeing/pushing back/adding to...?

Us @ the Board....