Reflecting Allowed

Maha Bali’s blog about education

May 3, 2017
by Maha Bali
18 Comments

If You Were an OER, What Kind Would You Want to Be?

Reading Time: 2 minutes

I just had this fun idea in my head… I have been invited to give a webinar as part of UNIR #OpenTuesdays (thanks again Fabio,  what an honor) Tuesday May 9th at 3pm CEST/Cairo time (that’s 9am EDT/2pm UK):

http://bit.ly/OE_SelfasOER
I’m going to talk about Self as OER (the work of Suzan Koseoglu and me) from an Egyptian perspective (this was the topic they chose among those I offered – I had been hoping to be joined by Suzan initially but at the time we couldn’t arrange it; hence the “Egyptian” part)… So I will tackle two main dimensions: what it looks like for Egyptians in general, but more specifically, my own personal journey through openness in this way. A few recent things I have been doing and thinking about will probably influence this session and I am sure more things will happen between now and then that can make me change my mind… But for now, I think I am definitely influenced by

  1. Reactions to my #OER17 keynote and generally things I learned during OER17
  2. Recent #YearOfOpen hangout on open pedagogy and curation of awesome posts by many people. Check all relevant links at http://bit.ly/CurateOpenPed
  3. Recent thoughts on “open on whose terms?” which I just wrote about on Prof Hacker
  4. Recent thoughts on whether digital literacies are generic or context-specific. 
  5. Lots of Virtually Connecting sessions and internal discussions

But here comes the fun part, inviting participation before the event! Please post comments, blogs, tweets or multimedia to #OpenTuesdays #SelfOER from now till Tuesday and I might start curating those (maybe easier if you tag me haha)

If you were an OER, what kind would you want to be? 

I’m thinking about my answer… And one of the first thoughts that came to my mind is… “I want to be an OER that  centers diverse marginalized voices” (inspired by discussions with Suzan Koseoglu, Christian Friedrich, Sheila MacNeill and Rajiv Jhangiani).

What are your priorities? If you were an OER?

Update: Thanks to all who commented or tweeted. Here is the Storify:

May 2, 2017
by Maha Bali
5 Comments

Thumbelina Seeks Entry 

Reading Time: 2 minutes

I write this with a light heart but also deep down I am frustrated. Just trying not to let it get to me.

So today we had a really successful US visa appointment (thank you God). They asked us two questions: have you ever been to the US? (stupid question because the application shows our previous visa numbers and our Texas Driver licenses and Social Security numbers so I am guessing it’s either an ice breaker, or a trick question to check your lying skills or something).  Second question is why we’re going to the US. All good. Visas approved.

With a glitch. My husband and daughter get their visas in a week. Mine is on hold, technically. Because: They need those above age 14 to provide biometric data aka fingerprints (electronically captured) of all 10 fingerprints. 

Unfortunately, I had a wart on my thumb surgically removed a month ago (just before my UK trip, I didn’t realize such a tiny thing would create such a huge wound when removed and the doctor didn’t tell me i had less invasive treatment options and it was painful and I didn’t wanna keep it) and I have a crater in my thumbpad up until today. I need to visit a doctor and understand why it hasn’t healed and what I can do about this.

The first time this thumb posed a problem was upon enry to UK because they ask you to offer two fingerprints (thumb/forefinger) during passport control. We panicked. The guard looked at me calmly and said, “either hand”. And we laughed over our panic. 

Today, I discussed what to do with the visa officers at the US embassy. They were baffled. Never seen that before. Need all 10 fingers. No room for exceptions in instructions they are given. I asked if I could get a letter from the doctor. They asked if it was permanent. God I hope not. But at this rate I wonder if it will heal by July or August. 

The thing is, I am not too concerned about the visa. I assume inshallah we will find a way. Either it heals or I get a letter that this wound makes my thumb unfingerprintable for x weeks.

What I am worried about is entry into the US and starting this conversation again. If my thumb hasn’t healed by then, I mean. Which maybe it will have because really it’s been darn annoying living this way and opposable thumbs? Yeah. Really important functionality. Everything my kid wants needs thumbs. On two fingers. Cutting up fruit. Opening boxes. Needle through thread and sowing clothes for Barbie. 

Sigh. At least it isn’t my dominant hand. At least it’s just my thumb. 

Still, not really concerned. Will see what the doctor says and go from there. Wish me luck! Either in healing or in getting a letter of “unfingerprintable in near future” that they would accept.

Or, you know, it would be nice not to get fingerprinted that often in my life. Aren’t 9 fingers enough anyway? 

April 28, 2017
by Maha Bali
7 Comments

Should The World Dispose of Simple Majority Voting?

Reading Time: 1 minutes

I’m not anyone whose views on politics you should listen to – so this is likely to be a naive post that someone knowledgeable has discussed more maturely. But here goes.

So many important decisions in the past few years in politics, worldwide, have been decided by simple majority votes. The problem is that so many of them had 51/49 or similarly close votes.

What this has resulted in (think Brexit, Think recent vote in Turkey, think Morsi/Shafik) a polarized society where pretty much half the population disagree with a decision they now need to live with. We also know how deeply polarized the populations are on these particular decisions, so it’s not just the numbers but the depth of the divide.

What if a result of 51/49 required people from both sides to sit together and negotiate, either finding a middle ground or convincing the other? This, I know, sounds naive. But what currently happens is… They pretty much continue to ignore each other and animosity festers.

Just saying.

I know fewer decisions would get made. But a delayed decision with a good process is probably better than a bad decision. 

Shrug 

April 27, 2017
by Maha Bali
0 comments

5 Reasons Why e-textbooks in Egypt Would Be Inequitable 

Reading Time: 2 minutes

I just read about the decision to stop printing Egyptian school textbooks and instead replace them with digital ones. I suspect these won’t be better quality than existing hard copy textbooks (though I read they might be) so I won’t discuss that dimension. I also need to clarify that in Egypt the ministry-issued textbooks are what curriculum is centered on. I don’t like that, but that’s how it is. There have been objections to this based on equity, but not all have been specific. Here are mine

  1. The idea that all households have electronic devices is problematic. While many low income households have mobile phones, at which age is a school-age child given a mobile phone? I suspect not at age 6. Also, if these households have a computer and 5 kids sharing it, and all have an exam this week, who decides who gets to review materials online? I suppose families will make choices based on the elder child, maybe? So ageist sibling inequality could occur
  2. The cybercafé argument is moot. I learned from teachers in public schools that while boys are often allowed to go to these cafés (which aren’t free of course), girls are often not allowed to go. Hence, gender inequality will occur.
  3. Different people have access to different devices. It is rare that any learning material performs equally well across all devices. Most things work best on a computer and behave slightly differently on tablets and mobiles, and behave differently on iOS vs Android, for example. Therefore device inequality can occur (where people with better economic means can afford the better devices or the ones that suit them better – I prefer reading on an iPad for example – and can read more comfortably).
  4. Infrastructure differences are not negligible. If some areas of Cairo (let alone rural areas) have not only unreliable Internet connectivity but even electricity, then how will a household with multiple school children manage? (CDs not a solution for households that don’t have computers). Even differences in maximum possible internet speeds (even in some affluent neighborhoods, because of underlying infrastructure) means what takes one student an hour to do may take another student 3 hours. And that’s not equitable. Some people can’t afford to pay all this extra electricity even if they have it available. 
  5. Suggesting that school labs become better equipped so people can access these from school is not a solution. Who gets access to these labs, for how long, and at what times? If after-school times are offered, which students can afford to stay that late? Imagine the older girl who helps at home with babysitting or cooking, for example.

I won’t comment on differences among people’s comfort with reading on screen (especially if you cannot annotate/highlight) because my initial argument is about equity of access, which precedes other arguments.

Sure, as argued, maybe this will help channel more government funds to improving infrastructure. But these decisions cannot be taken retroactively. Fix the infrastructure first and ensure all children have access to dedicated devices at home before making such a decision. I have read that the plan is to provide students with tablets. I do not have sufficient information to know how providing a tablet per student could possibly be cheaper than printing textbooks. But I am willing to listen to a proposal. Maybe even one where textbooks are no longer the center of the curriculum.

April 27, 2017
by Maha Bali
0 comments

Whom Do You Listen To? And Why I’m Hoping to Go to the US This August

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The only way to make borders meaningless is to keep insisting on crossing them – Lina Mounzer

Do we really listen to each other? Do we really listen to perspectives different from our own?


flickr photo by Theophilos shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) license

Look at your Twitter and Facebook network. How many people in your Twitter timeline look different from you? How many truly have different perspectives than you? And when you read or talk to someone whose perspective is different from yours, are you truly being “open” to possibly changing your mind, or at least, understanding a perspective different from your own? How much capacity for empathy do we have, for ideas and people whose worldviews are very different from our own? How much hospitality do we have in ourselves, beyond mere tolerance, for this kind of difference? Are we are of the ways in which our power and our privilege versus that of others influences our conversations and our interactions? How is this digitally mediated, and what is the potential of the digital to promote or hinder or distort this? How much power do we have to disrupt and circumvent and resist the ways in which tools may try to distort our social experiences online?

All of these are questions I hope to be discussing soon – both in the upcoming Digital Pedagogy Lab Institute track I’m co-teaching with the wonderfully sensitive and generous Kate Bowles (Networked Learning and Intercultural Collaboration – read more about it here) … and in my class next semester focusing on digital literacies with an intercultural focus. Both of these have an intercultural focus. Because I believe that whereas the digital enables global communication, we need intercultural literacies (sometimes called competence, sensitivity, maturity, etc. but I just thought literacies now might be a cool term) and we need digital intercultural literacies – the digital and the intercultural, together, to be able to truly learn from and with each other online.

I just finished up my US visa application last week and have my visa appointment next week. I’m hoping to cross that border because I’m hoping to make a difference as a Muslim woman in Fredericksburg. I’m also giving a keynote with the wonderful Chris Gilliard which I’m truly looking forward to.

Both Kate and Chris are among the people I learn from and with constantly and their voices are voices that need to be heard in this world where the politics are so polarized and divided and where it seems no one is listening to anyone else.

There is no event I’d rather be this year than Digital Pedagogy Lab Institute – it’s part of my activism and the activism of so many people there. With keynotes by Chris/me, but also the important work of Sara Goldrick-Rab and Adeline Koh, and tracks on Critical Instructional Design by Amy Collier and Amy Slay, and one on Domain of One’s Own led by Martha Burtis and an intro to critical digital pedagogy by Jesse Stommel and Chris Friend. And if you can’t make the August 7-12 institute in Fredericksburg, there is one preceding it in Vancouver, Canada – with tracks on Critical Open Pedagogy by Rajiv Jhangiani and Robin DeRosa, and one on Digital Literacies led by Bonnie Stewart, and one on Writing About Teaching led by Sean Michael Morris and Jesse Stommel – and with Rusul AlRubail as one of the keynotes!

I don’t wanna feel helpless with the way the world seems to be moving… and this institute is the place I hope to be to make a difference and to have important conversations with people onsite and Virtually via Virtually Connecting.

I hope I’ll see you there… hopefully inshallah the visa comes through!

April 26, 2017
by Maha Bali
1 Comment

Lesson Plan idea: Terms and Conditions

Reading Time: 2 minutes

So of all the million things on my mind today, this is the one I will blog.

Lesson plan on Terms and Conditions

I remember a while ago Jade Davis wrote about something like that. On DML? Will link to it when I find it. Jade shared it. Here it is.

I read today Jason Jones writing about how Unroll.me, a tool i had never heard of, turned out to be selling people’s data to Uber

Then Christian Friedrich shared this post by co-founder of Unroll.me defending her co-founder from personal attacks, and in the process reminding us that tech folks really expect us to know what’s in the “terms and conditions” – if it’s free, we are data. We kinda know that (some of us) but it doesn’t really hit you all day long. Ok maybe Chris Gilliard, Kate Green and Audrey Watters think about it all day long. Maybe Autumm Caines and Paul Olivier-DeHayem Maybe they read Terms and Conditions of every little thing (I mean hey, turns out those little Facebook quizzes were used to collect data that resulted in voter profiling – i may share that article also). Who knows? I have a colleague who does. I probably should but I don’t, honestly. I don’t think Terms and Conditions are meant to be read and that’s their point. I might start trying, though.

Anyway, I shared the idea of using that post in a class before reading Terms and Conditions together with Jade Davis and a few others. Jade had the good idea to save article as PDF lest it be removed later. Smart academic!

And Christian then shared this podcast about Uber CEO which begs the (important) question – do we care who the ppl behind our apps are? Do we care about their ethics?

And i think of yesterday and Jim Groom. He was helping me out with some stuff related to my website. I told him shared hosting is such a big problem. I trust him and Tim and Reclaim (have finally had support from Meredith as well!) and Jim just took an hour of his day to help me sort out some stuff on my site. Which other hosting provider would do that? None, I assume.

I also had a small hypothes.is issue that would arise from the small change we made to my website. So I emailed them and Jon Udell got back to me immediately (well timezone-wise immediacy as in when he woke up) and told me they would do it.

Ok maybe those aren’t part of the lesson plan. Or maybe i tell those stories (I also like the Haikudeck guy but that’s another story. Not everyone builds relationships with their vendors or have relationships with vendors that precede their client status).

But I digress. Kind of. Coz we can read the hypothes.is terms and conditions which are honestly quite readable and how easy it is to sign up w/o giving away all ur data…vs reading, say iTunes terms and conditions. Or uhh Facebook. Who have simplified little mini courses to teach u how to manage ur privacy settings. And stuff

This all (searching for Jade’s article) led me to down a rabbit hole where i saw several great articles by her for my class so now I might ask her if it’s ok for my students to tweet her or something during the semester next fall.

April 24, 2017
by Maha Bali
0 comments

Digital literacies course – update: let them choose

Reading Time: 1 minutes

So a quick brainstorm on my upcoming digital literacies course.. Is that I think after covering certain dimensions of theory/ideas with students, I can ask them to break up into groups of 4 where they do the following (coordinating topic around a theme of their choice to teach it to the rest of the class)

  1. Two students work together to find a suitable article to explore the theme
  2. One student finds a suitable video or other multimedia to include 
  3. One student finds or develops an experiential activity to explain or explore the theme 

And maybe all students submit their plans on their blogs on the same date (for feedback?), then we take 3 or so class sessions for them to present to their colleagues.

Still unsure if I would give them a list of themes, but I think after exploring different dimensions of digital literacies themselves, they may come up with their own list to choose from, and perhaps groups would be formed around themes of interest rather than around personal friendships?

April 21, 2017
by Maha Bali
9 Comments

Curation of Posts on Open Pedagogy #YearOfOpen

Reading Time: 5 minutes

In preparation for Monday’s Open Pedagogy Hangout (see announcement here – includes list of guests and YouTube watch link) I thought it might be useful to roughly curate some relatively recent work on the topic. I am hoping folks will help me fill in the gaps – as some already have! I will basically list authors here and only highlight something small to give an idea of what the posts are about.

  1. The #YearOfOpen website itself has so far posts from 6 different people with a range of Perspectives. If you see mine, it refers to a spectrum of practices that I consider to be open pedagogy and I refer to work by Catherine Cronin, Viv Rolfe, Robin DeRosa, Rajiv Jhangiani and Samantha Veneruso. If you open David Wiley’s (defining it with respect to 5Rs), you will see recommendations to look at previous posts of his on the topic, which provide background on why he defines it this way. He also has a follow-up post (published today) where he reflects on difference between open as in open web and how he was looking at open
  2. Martin Weller who defines this “Open educational practice covers any significant change in educational practice afforded by the open nature of the internet”. I don’t know if this debate Martin refers to between Downes and Wiley tackles this question.
  3. Jim Groom who says “there is an attempt to define it in order to start controlling it” And he says “I am not too concerned if #ds106 is understood as open pedagogy or not, because as soon as it is a choice between awesome and open, I will choose awesome every time” (I agree, but it’s such a privilege to not need a label to give credibility to what you do, eh? Even as most of us do this work on the margins already anyway)
  4. Josie Fraser whose post reflects on many things, but additionally asks why we aren’t using the term “open heutagogy”?
  5. Clint Lalonde who finds student work that isn’t licensed openly to still be part of open pedagogy
  6. Catherine Cronin and Frances Bell blogged about their panels/presentations with others like Laura Czerniewicz, Sheila MacNeill and others) on critical Open Educational Practices at #oer17.
  7. Hot off the press: Sheila MacNeill 
  8. An important article Sheila references and is mentioned in the YearOfOpen article by Robert Schuwer is 8 Attributes of Open Pedagogy by Bronwyn Hegarty
  9. Suzan Koseoglu channels bell hooks and writes a powerful post on the philosophy and spirit of open. #mustread
  10. Tannis Morgan digs into history of the term Open Pedagogy. Also this, after #oer17 which lays out so many different facets of open and questions the centrality of content to pedagogy altogether (agreed!)
  11. A favorite of mine from Jesse Stommel: Open Door Classroom
  12. Rajiv Jhangiani on Definitions vs Foundational Values
  13. Samantha Veneruso connects open pedagogy to complexity (Cynefin framework) and suggests open pedagogy can only be known retrospectively based on how it’s practised.
  14. Karen Cangialosi has more questions than answers
  15. Jim Luke thinks this through and decides “Any production process uses resources, but the resources are not the essence  of the process”
  16. Lorna Campbell reflects on how the use of the term “pedagogy” rather than “practice” distances some of us involved in education who don’t teach (also echoes what Josie Fraser had mentioned). Hearing this several times this week is making me think a lot
  17. Frances Bell on Ground Zero approaches to open and how we could broaden our perspectives, look back and look around, because by excluding work/ppl based on narrow definitions, we lose opportunities to learn from each other.
  18. Posted by Sukaina Walji for ROER4D,  a post by IDRC Senior Program Officer Dr Matthew Smith from March 2016: Open is as Open Does. He writes “requiring that narrow, technical or legal definitions are used may actually hinder our ability to really understand the important stuff, i.e., the “open practices” — sharing, reuse (5R’s), and collaboration that these legal and technical characteristics are intended to enable. OER by themselves don’t do anything – they don’t have an impact just sitting in the cloud or on someone’s Raspberry Pi. It is only when they are used in particular ways that change can happen – and it is this change that motivates most people interested in “open” in the first place”
  19. Catherine Cronin “Opening Up Open Pedagogy” – great round-up of different ways open ped and OEP have been used 1972-2012.
  20. Robin DeRosa Quick reflection ahead of the #YearOfOpen hangout
  21. Javiera Atenas on how her trip to Palestine changed her views on OEP
  22. Remi Kalir on Marginal Syllabus as OER/OEP “how are everyday digital spaces transformed into open learning environments?”
  23. Let me know if I missed something recent and important or an oldie but goodie that adds a different perspective

NOTE: A comment from Gardner Campbell ended up on the other post, announcing the hangout, and copying the comment didn’t work for me so I’m copying the text here):

from #openlearning17 for you and others to consider.

Two from Amy Nelson (Virgina Tech:
“Connected Learning & Integrative Thinking: Teaching History at Virginia Tech” (YouTube tour of her open pedagogical practices within a connected learning framework): http://openlearninghub.net/syndicated/redesigning-liberal-education/

“Redesigning Liberal Education” (Interview for #OpenLearning17 in which Amy offers a briefer high-level overview of her thoughts on open pedagogy and connected learning): http://openlearninghub.net/syndicated/redesigning-liberal-education/

My own post “Openly Dedicated”: http://www.gardnercampbell.net/blog1/?p=2718

Sue Erickson, a librarian and member of the #OpenLearning17 steering committee, shares her thoughts on open pedagogy in a library context in “Open Pedagogy Praxis”: https://sueerickson.wordpress.com/2017/03/17/open-pedagogy-praxis/

Meg Mulrooney (James Madison University) wrote an inspiring post on her practice as well as what she’s learning from the entire #openped community, including the #OpenLearning17 cMOOC: “It’s A Real Thing: Open Pedagogy”: http://mmulrooney.net/2017/03/15/its-a-real-thing-open-pedagogy/

And one more from me: “Connected Learning: A Personal Epiphany”: http://www.gardnercampbell.net/blog1/?p=2710

Posts After the hangout

  • Alan Levine (not really about open ped but inspired by hangout to let us know difference between porous and permeable and a really useful post)
  • Sheila MacNeill As we all struggle with increasingly closed political environments we need to fight for open conversations and sharing of ideas and practice.  These are things that don’t need to be openly licensed but form an increasingly important layer around, above, below, alongside licensed OERs.”
  • David Wiley, Wandering through the open pedagogy maze
  • Karen Cangialosi shared this student blogpost. Student goes by Miranda D. @thechcexplored
  • I had to add this work of art to U of Edinburgh grad student Clare Thomson: it’s a “trial” on open in which she recies some of the most important arguments in the past few years and refers to the Open Ped hangout. MUST READ. Creative, fun, compelling and ALSO very informative! Here it is
  • Simon Ensor also wrote an incredibly poetic and deeply insightful post on open pedagogy. Must Read. 
  • And David Wiley suggests a new term OER-enabled pedagogy to refer to a subset of open pedagogy that (as the name indicates) is enabled by OER/5Rs. This approach leaves room for other definitions/understandings under a broad umbrella while still allowing those who wish to be specific to have a specific term to use).

Thanks to everyone who has been pointing me to their blogposts and those of others – this list has grown significantly since I first started it. It is notable that many of these posts also have really insightful comments and I’m too overwhelmed to curate those.

Suzan Koseoglu suggested on Twitter that we have a Google doc for people to curate notable comments, and that sounds like a good idea! So here is the Google doc shortlink: http://bit.ly/CurateOpenPed where you can

  • Insert useful links
  • Enter notable quotes/comments
  • Enter questions about open pedagogy (I’m not sure if we will have enough time to go through all of them during the hangout, but the conversation doesn’t have to end at the hangout).

It’s an open document – feel free to do whatever you like with it and it can live longer than 24 hours if needed 🙂

April 20, 2017
by Maha Bali
6 Comments

What is Open Pedagogy? #YearOfOpen hangout April 24

Reading Time: 2 minutes

What is Open Pedagogy? Who gets to define what open pedagogy is, and how does that affect all of us who call what we practice “open pedagogy”?

I was invited to submit my answer to that question by the OEConsortium for #YearOfOpen a while ago, and I submitted it before my trip to London to OER17. During #OER17, my response, as well as others’, was published here.

My feeling was that

  1. A discussion among open pedagogy advocates and practitioners was needed beyond these statements
  2. More diversity of voices on the matter are needed
  3. David Wiley’s contribution is controversial imho and I wanted an opportunity to discuss a variety of approaches. Hence the hangout I am announcing here

I have lots of complicated feelings about this topic, and I have invited a bunch of  (relatively) diverse folks to discuss this topic as part of #YearOfOpen (thanks Sue and Mary Lou for giving their blessing and being part of it)

The session is scheduled for Monday April 24 at 4pm EDT/8 GMT/9 BST/10 Egypt/South Africa time

You can watch here and participate via #YearOfOpen hashtag on Twitter (hangout will livestream to this link and be available as recording afterwards).

Discussion on definition of open pedagogy will involve:

David Wiley, Catherine Cronin, Robin DeRosa, Sheila MacNeill, Sukaina Walji, Viv Rolfe, David Kernohan, Mike Caulfield and me (Maha Bali). Joined by Sue Higgins and Mary Lou Forward from OEConsortium

(note that there are a few people I invited who declined for various reasons, and a lot of people I would have liked to invite but the hangout filled up – using a space that allowed larger numbers of people was an option, but any larger and we probably won’t be able to really have a deep discussion – and the livestreaming of GHO allows people to watch and tweet along even if they’re not inside the hangout itself)

If you have suggestions for activities or questions to do before this session is scheduled, please post them in the comments.

April 15, 2017
by Maha Bali
2 Comments

Possible Class Activity on Empathy 

Reading Time: 2 minutes

I’ve never properly studied empathy, though it’s a personal and research interest of mine. I think and write about it a lot, observe it, occasionally read around it, but not properly. I should remedy that.

In the meantime, this article I heard of through Audrey Watters’ newsletter is haunting me…and inspiring a class activity possible for my digital literacies course next semester inshallah. Possibly an activity across the globe?

So the tagline for the article is amazing:

“If you walk in someone else’s shoes, then you’ve taken their shoes”: empathy machines as appropriation machines 

And it’s about how VR empathy machines are more appropriation than building empathy and also, more importantly, this:

Do black people want you to feel better about enslaving them, or would they prefer safety and resources and equal treatment in the eyes of the law? Do Syrian refugees want you to appreciate their resilience, or do they want political justice and stability and to return to their homes?
If we want to empathize, we must always question who really “benefits” from our “””empathy”””. But VR empathy machines, especially slick UN-sponsored empathy productions built to milk donations from millionaires at Davos, definitely do not foster any kind of that critical reflection.

Sooooo

Here’s the idea of the class activity 

  1. Play some narrative games that foster empathy like I do in my games class. SPENT (poverty), BBC Syrian refugees game, Depression Quest. These can be played openly with students Tweeting or blogging their reactions
  2. Read this article and reflect on it OR watch the TED Talk before reading the article THEN reflect THEN read the article. Not sure. 
  3. Some collaborative annotation maybe?
  4. Students design their own attempted empathy machines (e.g. digital narrative games) OR develop some other digital means of spreading awareness and spurring people to action on a cause they feel strongly about

I’m particularly haunted by the comments in the article as well, especially a couple of Muslims in there, so students in my context might feel some resonance. Or not, I don’t know. I can’t put my finger on exactly why this article and its comments are haunting me, so I may need further reflection…but noting this brainstorm here.

Huh. This activity could work for my game design class this semester too, but it’s trickier… 

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