Happy Monday! So great to see so many of you “in person” this past week via our online gathering. For those who couldn’t make it Tuesday, here is a link to the archive (we get started around 14:30) and the related google document.
Since it was a small group, I am thinking Tuesday at 7pm might not be the best time — I will send out a doodle poll via email this week to see what might be a better time for everyone. These are not required of an online course, of course, but I do think it’s helpful for us to actually see and talk to each other from time to time so I’ll aim to keep them going every two weeks during this semester.
Also, a response to your great blogs re: annotating … First, you all did a fabulous job. Second, I did get you started in a hard place … ie. an article which is really very crowded with annotations already. Here is a link to the #ed677 annotations; you can look at the most recent if you want to see this group’s thinking, specifically.
This week we will look at another article that already has annotations (although I think less) … and then in a few weeks, we will experiment in a private group with some annotations just of our own. I will also invite you to participate publicly in a few annotation events just getting started later this semester. Finally, if you are into online annotation, we will also try another tool call Now Comment just to see how it compares and what the implications might be.
The week ahead … Read/Watch
As we continue to get started and ground ourselves in the values of Connected Learning — social, equitable, participatory — we will dive this week into equity and what we mean when we talk about equitable learning. A key goal of this course is to support you in designing connected learning opportunities for learners (and/or teachers) that focus on issues of equity. But what do we mean by equity? And how do we get there?
Mimi Ito and Justin Reich say, in the report you looked at From Good Intentions to Real Outcomes, write:
We stand at the cusp of widespread adoption of new technologies that have the potential to both radically reduce or exacerbate existing forms of educational inequity. A concerted push for research, innovation, and joint action around a common purpose of deploying learning technologies in the service of equity could dramatically enhance our understanding of how new technologies can truly democratize education.
And while Nicole Mirra reminds us that connecting learning and teaching is not simply learning technologies, learning technologies – and networked technologies, in general – do have a great impact on the ways that we work, live and relate to each other today, both in and outside of schools. That’s why colleagues of mine from the San Diego Area Writing Project spent some time also inquiring into the smart use of technology in support of equity and have defined equity for themselves as:
… anything that supports the full human talent development of every student, and all groups of students.
Read this related article, Smart Tech Use for Equity, from Teaching Tolerance to learn about their work and a summary of their findings.
Next, let’s read (and annotate!) an article by another WP colleague, Linda Christensen Linda is an editorial board member of Rethinking Schools and is the author of Reading, Writing, and Rising Up, and Teaching for Joy and Justice. This essay was published last year in Voices from the Middle and titled “Critical Literacy and Our Students Lives.”
I try to make my literacy work a sustained argument against inequality and injustice. I want my students to be able to “talk back” when they encounter anything that glorifies one race, one culture, one social class, one gender, one language over another: texts, museums, commercials, classes, rules that hide or disguise domination. A critical literacy means that students probe who benefits and who suffers, how did it come to be this way, what are the alternatives, and how can we make things more just?
Read Critical Literacy and Our Students Lives this week and experiment with the ways you approach this reading and annotation (hypothes.is is again with this article and many annotations already exist) . For example try to keep the annotations on as you are reading it for the first time — what’s that experience like? Where does it lead you? Read and/or make annotations in whatever way is most helpful to you and to others; if you do annotate, use the tag #ed677.
This article was made available for annotation via a 2017-18 collaboration with the National Writing Project & Marginal Syllabus called Writing Our Civic Futures. As part of that collaboration, we also interviewed Linda about her work; this discussion includes teacher Kevin Hodgson whom you met previously, and might be of interest before jumping into the article:
What insights are important here as you think about equity in learning? What questions get raised for you? What are some implications?
Finally, let’s turn to a widely circulated image on the web you might have run into meant to support distinguishing equity from equality .
If you aren’t familiar with it, you can skim this article The Evolution of an Accidental Meme by Craig Froehle.
Then, before you start your make this week, please fully read this blog post which is an important set of reframing by organizer Paul Kuttner that looks at the harmful consequences of deficit-thinking: The problem with that equity vs. equality graphic you’re using.
Starting with the syllabus, I quoted Juliet Shor from a 2013 webinar called Connected Learning As Pathway to Equity & Opportunity:
New institutions and new practices, as they arise in a highly unequal and stratified society … will take on those inequalities unless they are actively combated.
This week’s make is meant to support us in imagining how we might get into this fight for equity. We will be using an alternative image/remix of the Equality/Equity graphic and following the questions of a related making project titled #The4thBox from the Center For Story-based Strategy and Interaction Institute for Social Change.
Read through the why and how of the #The4thBox and after doing some reflection about the key questions here, make a 4th image of your own. Use it to discuss the importance of not just telling a different version of the same story, but of actually changing the story (by challenging assumptions).
Questions from this project include:
- What other story could be revealed in this setting?
- What other “psychic break” could you make up?
- What other underlying assumption here could you challenge?
- Who built that wall in the first place and/or who took it away?
On their website they have paper cut-outs and a digital remix version. Feel free to add and use other materials and imagery.
I also encourage you to bring in resources from our last few weeks of class so far; for example, drawing from our previous readings, what would change if we took seriously the interests of the kids? How might, in the words of Dewey, the matter at hand be of “immediate and personal concern, even to the point of actual participation?” How do social interactions fit in here? Where are the kids own stories? How do social and network technologies support human potential, or not?
Below are a few resources that may support your thinking about equity in education in particular (feel free to suggest others too in your blog posts or Find 5s this week):
- “Equity” in the The Glossary of Educational Reform
- Teaching at the Intersections, Teaching Tolerance, Summer 2016
- Unboxing Equity from Teacher to Teacher Exchange
- The Equity Line: A Blog by Education Trust
- #EduColor: A Movement Not a Moment
Share your #The4thBox creations and then reflect what you made and why you made it on your blog. If you aren’t comfortable doing that, I have also set up a discussion in Canvas as alternative sharing option — you can choose.
This week we are going to start our “Find 5” process – and we will continue to do this throughout the semester. Here’s how it works — each week we will each find at least 5 things online to share and reflect on that are about each other’s work and/or the larger field of Connected Learning. Create a post on your blog where you can share these 5 things with a short description of what you think is interesting about it.
What should you find? Try find things that:
- Your fellow classmates have shared or posted that you think are interesting;
- Ideas from our shared readings/watchings you think would be interesting to others too;
- Resources, posts, etc. that you find online and that relate to the topics are are thinking about together (for example, this week maybe you can think about how can you connect to other educators working to build equity in their classrooms/learning spaces).
Have fun with this and maybe even challenge yourself as if it is a game … for example, if you can get this done by Friday, then find 5 things and call is your “Find 5 Friday” (or use #F5F as a hashtag). If it is Saturday though when you get this, then you can “Seek 6 Saturday” (#S6S). And if it’s Sunday, the “Search 7 Sunday” is perfect (#S7S).
Here is an example from Learning to Connect who participated in this course in 2018: Seek 6 Saturday #s6s. And a tech tip: When making links within your Find 5s, try to make hyperlinks instead of posting the messy/impossible-to-read link itself. Here’s a digital writing 101 tutorial how.
Note: If what you found is actually not public (ie. you found it in our Canvas discussions for example) please respect its privacy and respond to it privately/in Canvas and not via your Find 5s. Thank you.
Twitter Chat Option
According to their website, EduColor “seeks to elevate the voices of public school advocates of color on educational equity and justice. We are an inclusive cooperative of informed, inspired and motivated educators, parents, students, writers and activists who promote and embrace the centrality of substantive intersectional diversity.”
Educolor hosts a newsletter that you can join as well as a monthly twitter chat. This month’s chat is on January 31st if you are interested (please note that these are very active chats – if you are new you might decided to just follow along and note how people are doing this):
— EduColor Movement (@EduColorMVMT) January 22, 2019
And, In case you are curious about twitter and don’t know where to start, here are a few links that might be helpful.
- Twitter’s Getting Started with Twitter guide
- Hashtags, Twitter Chats and TweetDeck for Education by Sue Waters
In Connected Learning Solidarity,