Blog for the course offered at Teachers College, Columbia University during Fall 2005

Sunday, December 11, 2005

In preparation for landing...

Although it might feel like your projects for this class are far from being completed, it's time to start thinking about wrapping up the course. Let's review where we stand and what you need to do in these final two weeks.

DPSC Wiki: At this point, I would suggest that you focus your collective efforts on editing and formatting the wiki so that it looks nice for when we present it to the rest of the world.

Issue Entrepreneurship project: I would assume nobody feels like they have completed their IE project, but as I've been saying all along, that is not the point. You will not be graded on whether you completed your project or not, but on the quality of your thinking regarding the application of social software to your selected cause (as demonstrated on the IE updates you have been posting on your blog). The syllabus calls for one final update and reflection, so I expect to see something that summarizes your efforts and the lessons you have learned from this specific exercise.

Additionally, it's time to start thinking about evaluating what you have learned as a result of taking this class. The syllabus calls for a post on 'final thoughts.' I think this is an excellent opportunity to go back to the questions I identified at the beginning of the course:
  • What is 'social' about social software?
  • How is the notion of community being redefined by social software?
  • What aspects of our humanity stand to gain or suffer as a result of our use of and reliance on social software?
  • How is social agency shared between humans and (computer) code in social software?
  • What are the social repercussions of unequal access to social software?
  • What are the pedagogical implications of social software for education?
  • Can social software be an effective tool for individual and social change?

Here's what I want you to do: Answer each question using one sentence only. Alternatively, you can write your reply in the form of a hayku (obviously in English, not Japanese, and I don't care about the exact number of syllables). The reason for this format is that I want you to spend more energy synthesizing than writing lengthy responses. Don't over-think it --go with your gut (hence the Zen suggestion of the hayku)! Post your responses by Dec. 18 on your blog, and we will discuss them during our final session. [You'll notice that I have omitted the last two questions from the original list because I think you are addressing some of those issues through the Design Patterns wiki.]

And speaking of the final session: I am assuming all of you will be attending our meeting on December 20, the last day of the class (usual time and place: 1PM-2:40PM at GDH 177). The agenda for that day is to fill out the official TC course evaluations (10-15 minutes), and then to spend the rest of the time discussing each other's final reflections. With your permission, I will be audio recording this discussion, as it will help me put together my final report about the class. As part of this conversation, we will also discuss any suggestions you might have for improving the course.

The last thing I will expect you to do, immediately after our session on December 20, is to send me an email telling me what grade you think you deserve, and briefly explaining why. I want you to do this as a form of self-evaluation. I will then reply to that email at a later point with your final grade and my own comments about your performance.

If you have questions about any of this, please let me know.


Anonymous shirley said...

I'm so impressed by the thought that has gone into the haiku responses that I'm putting some examples on my blog - thanks for the inspiration!

7:51 AM


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