— DML Research Hub (@dmlresearchhub) December 2, 2014
On Monday I hosted the first of two Connected Courses sessions this week that focuses on actually building a connected course. This first session was titled “Connected by Design,” and I was joined by Jaimie Hoffman of CSU Channel Islands, and Kim Jaxon, Danielle Astengo, Jeremy Wallace from CSU Chico State. All of the participants spent time designing a connected course this semester, so we figured it would be a good kickoff event to actually share what we’ve done.
I took the first five minutes to talk about ds106, blah, blah, blah, and then Jaimie Hoffman shared some of the amazing work she has done building five different classes using a WordPress syndication model (which all of the examples utilized, but we’ll explore an alternative during Friday’s #ccourses session when we talk about the IndieWeb). I was particularly taken with Jaimie’s use of the Class Blogs plugin to create this brilliant example of an aggregated course blog.
Kim Jaxon is a tour de force, and she brought Jeremy and Danielle—two of her graduate students—into the discussion to frame the work she has been doing building a culture of experimentation through course design in her own pedagogy. In fact, the discussion quickly moved from discussion of tech and design to issues of teaching and learning that connected courses help us rethink. For example, Kim’s Reading Literature for Future Teachers is focused around a connected courses site that is a book club for eighth graders that her college students read and blog alongside. It’s a hub for the class environment that bridges these worlds and shares beyond them both.
Danielle and Jeremy were awesome because they were collaborating to build their own connected course around a literature class, and the coolest part is the fact they were doing it together. They reminded me one of the most important elements of my teaching after #ds106 open and online—I haven’t taught alone since. I’ve taught every class since Spring 2011 with either Martha Burtis, Alan Levine, or Paul Bond. It’s changed some of my basic ideas of how I teach. Next semester, there will be four of us teaching ds106 together, one of them a quite brilliant UMW undergrad who is just finishing it this semester. That’s what connected means to me, the possibility of moving beyond an isolated vision of the course as a hermetically sealed delivery experience. I want it to be collaborative, cooperative, and de-centered. I want it to be like the web.
Although, this is just like my opinion, man, Mark Ulendo has a post-hangout party post that does an even better job getting at the conversation.