Me: What do you like to read? Students: Tweets
Me: What do you like to read? Students: Tweets avatar

Sorry for such a long post. 

Equity and Accessibility (Warnock Ch 7): 

Warnock touches upon some important points or reminders here, including making texts available much earlier before the semester starts, especially when not using a traditional textbook. Even if/when I use a textbook, I give them a heads up so that they can get it through amazon or other cheaper sources and links where they can get other/cheaper editions, or give them options to get the e-book version, make copies, print out the pdf, etc.. Giving them different formats and time benefits distance learners, especially, but also our students who are waiting for financial aid.  I think this also relates to giving them the syllabus and a welcome/hello letter in different formats before the semester starts as well.  

Multimodal texts: I like the idea of this and definitely incorporate this to supplement textual analysis, but I think it’s important to be mindful of WHEN to use these and to also make sure they are accessible in terms of browser support or captioning.  I don’t like to use these up front in case of giving too much away that would lesson their “cold” analysis and original thoughts and inquiries, but maybe after their own analysis, to validate their thoughts, or get them thinking about the text in different ways as more supplement rather than scaffold. 

Library Equity: I never really thought about this until some of the colleges I work at started having these equity minded library workshops.  I usually have them start getting their feet wet with our library databased early in the semester with low stake exercises.  This kind of reminds me of my first class as a grad student when my professor made us look up a word in the real Oxford English Dictionary.  I was shocked that a dictionary was a dozen volumes long when I was used to the one book dictionary and that this one had the complete origin and history of every word.  I was sort of in shock, enlightened, and overwhelmed just from this one exploration and assignment.  This is what a lot of our students feel like when exposed to our library databases.  Some of them do not even know how to access it from the school’s website, which as we all know is like two simple clicks of the mouse.  A lot of students do not know what is available to them, the huge advantage of having a wealth of vetted knowledge at their disposal, or how to navigate those resources, to use more focused words and the huge difference an extra word in the search parameter can make or using the AND/OR in the searching.  I think it’s incredibly valuable to teach this early in the semester, again, with low stakes assignments, or schedule a library orientation early on. Something that I did not think about is using the library to double check the copyrights and open resource status of the materials I use – this is something that I will definitely start doing.

 

Conversation and Writing (Warnock Ch 8 & other)

I almost annotated everything in this chapter. Some of the things that I didn’t really consider is how online students have an advantage in their discussions with writing/message boards vs. a f2f class.  I always assumed they had a disadvantage not having that f2f interaction and that message boards tend to be more dry and not as vibrant or rich as in class discussions, but Warnock certainly enlightened me on several advantages such as online students given more time to digest and express their opinions, messages as practices to refine their writing skills, developing coherence and support within their discussions, etc… 

Something that I continue grappling with is my role in the discussion board.  I usually just let the students be in charge of the forums with me just being an outside facilitator with minimal interjection. I do, however, have very explicit rules/rubric for them to follow to solicit the best discussions possible.  I usually only comment regarding following instructions or not, and maybe length of content, instead of accuracy of content.  Like Warnock suggests, I let them freely “roam.”  Like Warnock says, if I go too in depth in responding to every student’s primary and secondary posts, a teacher can drive themselves mad and preoccupy all their time.  Instead, I use announcements to address all of the students’ discussions for that particular assignment, since most of the discussions have a common thread and can be applied to most, if not all the students at once.  Again, this balance or my role(s) is something I’m still constantly experimenting and grappling with.  

One idea that I really liked from Warnock is the idea of using the message boards as part of other assignments. Right now, I use them as an extension of every individual homework assignment for the pedagogy of using your own brain first, then multiple brains (collaborative learning), and then the collective brain.  I never thought about using the message boards as part of a larger or meta assignment later on. 

Annotated bibliography: I am fascinated with the tools of Perusal and Hypothesis and the whole realm of annotation technologies.  I thought the annotations of The Talmud in that video discussion were fascinating in that the commentary and meta commentary went outwards surrounding the text in a 2-D way.  This instantly made me think of how helpful it would be in annotating my favorite book  House of Leaves in this way. Collaborative annotating is something I will definitely start incorporating in my class and I think is a great way to pair with how I use Google Docs as a collaborative prewriting and outlining tool already.  Besides that, I’m going to the gym right now to start listening to those Podcasts in Teaching in Higher Education