[I have Hypothes.is enabled as a plug-in here so feel free to annotate. You may also find this on my Dropbox site as well where you can comment and add to it.]
I teach three sections of Writing in the Disciplines every MWF,. This is a junior level general education course that gets students to research, write, and share in their own major/discipline. The assignment below was my first strategy in bringing participatory culture to this writing space. I am trying to open up and make richer the normal, one-sided space that is the traditional classroom. I admit that I am the one creating the channels, but it is my job to encourage my students to adopt, adapt, or create new and better ones in the service of the goals of the course. And what are the goals of the course? To create useful “writing” for others in your discipline or others interested in your discipline. I am making this as broad as possible and I am equally sure that you will not find that in the course description or in the syllabus. I told my students that this falls under the idea that the map is not the territory. The syllabus is the map, but nowhere in it will you find the energy that animates the territory.
The first task below is my way of tapping into their interests first. Or as Whitehead would call it, their ‘passions”, the romance of curiosity. Precision (skills/techne) and generalization (application in other spaces) follow with continued aid if needed. In this case we are moving from exploring/annotating a single article with the entire class, then toward one of the ideas they are curious about, then finding an article about that curiosity, then annotating that article with Hypothes.is, then sharing it with class again. The path is basically seek, make sense, share, rinse, repeat. All of this is in the larger pursuit of the passion they have in their discipline. Without that ‘romance’, the processes that follow are utter drudgery and the products that emerge are junk to be buried in the cloud landfill lost and good riddance. I guess that at least has the benefit of not murdering trees for paper.
Here is the Friday assignment:
1. Bring 10 ideas/concepts/things that you are curious about to class on Friday. Make sure at least five of them are from your major/discipline.
2. Sign up for Remind and get app for phone. You can go to this link: remind.com/join/e8888k
3. Sign up for Vialogues here: https://vialogues.com/ Once you have signed up and signed in go to this link: https://vialogues.com/vialogues/play/27163/ Play around with the video, comment and reply, share and play some more.
4. Sign up for Hypothes.is: https://hypothes.is/ Here is the “practice” article I showed in class: http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2016/01/what-classrooms-can-learn-from-magic/425100/ Remember you have to use the Chrome browser if you want to use Hypothes.is to best effect. If you have difficulty, please note we will be practicing this in class on Friday.
Here are some of the side channels we will be using:
Remind: see above
Email to all students en masse via Gmail.
What will emerge? Stay tuned for reports because I can’t read that crystal ball.