Liked Reflections on Teaching through the Screen by Sean Michael MorrisSean Michael Morris (Sean Michael Morris)

How is that responding and revising done? Well, if I have any “expert” advice to offer, it would be this:

  1. Change the way you teach. Ask what do you want to know about learners from the very start of your relationship? What should they know about you? What barriers might exist that will inhibit your connection to students and from student to student?
  2. Develop a digital literacy that’s an interpersonal one. Always ask: “Who is not in the room who could be?” Allow time in synchronous meetings and collaborations for connecting and relationship-building. Find back-channel and ungraded spaces for communication, like virtual office or “coffee” hours. Perhaps most importantly, develop empathy for one another in virtual or digitally-inflected spaces. But at the same time, don’t assume you understand the challenges students face. Empathy is best developed by listening.
  3. Imagine your own digital pedagogy. Ask yourself: What counts as digital? What is your overall pedagogical approach, and how does that translate or not translate to digital environments? What is the most important part of your pedagogy that you don’t want to lose when you teach online?

The truth is that education didn’t need COVID-19 to make it necessary to ask these kinds of questions. As educators, we are all always already called to develop a critical consciousness about our work. But the pandemic has brought into greater focus that our assumptions—about what’s been happening in classrooms and behind the scenes and online in education—are less informed than we would like to believe. We don’t get to watch the screen and act like normal, because at every turn there’s a drag queen superstar waiting to remind us that things are not normal, and in order for any normal to return, we will have to invent it ourselves.

Replied to Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed at Fifty (JSTOR)

The Brazilian educator Paulo Freire’s book, first published in English 50 years ago, urges viewing students as interlocutors or partners in the learning process.

I remember being recommended Pedagogy of the Oppressed during my education degree. I was therefore interested in the concern about the ‘Pedagogy of the Privileged‘.

One odd aspect of the book’s legacy—at least in its English translation—is its popularity in contexts in which students are not oppressed. In an article provocatively titled “Pedagogy of the Privileged,” the philosopher Tracey Nicholls, writing in the CLR James Journal (which is named for a Trinidadian Marxist), for a special issue on bell hooks, grappled with the paradox that, because higher education is still so class-segregated in the United States, radical American educators have found themselves teaching Pedagogy of the Oppressed—and its methods—in colleges and universities for the elite, contexts where students may be more likely to be oppressors. While Freire viewed the purpose of education as the liberation of the oppressed, in elite classrooms, Nicholls observes, the challenge for a liberatory pedagogy is to teach empathy and solidarity with the oppressed—who, in many cases, are not in the room.

Liked Technology is not Pedagogy (Sean Michael Morris)

What happens when learning goes online? This is not a question technology can answer. It’s one we need to answer. Teachers, librarians, learning designers, students. Actually good online education comes not from the purchase of another platform, but out of dialogue, out of the will to empower everyone involved in teaching and learning to create together a digital learning that isn’t just instrumental, that isn’t just performative, but that’s authentic, meaningful, and just.

Liked On Power and Climate Change – Will Richardson (Will Richardson)

I worry, however, that we are failing to understand the significance of this moment. I worry that we will wait to begin to address both the intellectual and emotional aspects of climate change until some curriculum writer or policy wonk decides it’s appropriate. And I worry that when we do begin to embrace this challenge in schools that we will do so with a disregard to the larger context of how power relationships in our society really hold the key to whether or not we’re going to solve it.

Bookmarked Ungrading: an FAQ (Jesse Stommel)

I don’t grade student work, and I haven’t for 20 years. This practice continues to feel like an act of personal, professional, and political resistance.

Jesse Stommel addresses many of the frequently asked questions when it comes to ungrading. Three points that stood out were that ungrading is authentic, grading is often at odds with institutional mission statements, and focusing on metacognition and self-reflection helps students manage their own learning.
Bookmarked New Zealand schools to teach students about climate crisis, activism and ‘eco anxiety’ (the Guardian)

While the Paris climate agreement, signed in 2015, urges signatory countries to implement climate education, many countries who made the pledge have not fulfilled it, including New Zealand’s nearest neighbour Australia, according to the science publication The Conversation.

Charlotte Graham-McLay discusses the new curriculum provided to schools in New Zealand to confront eco-anxiety.

The curriculum will put New Zealand at the forefront of climate change education worldwide; governments in neighbouring Australia and the United Kingdom have both faced criticism for lack of cohesive teaching on the climate crisis. The New Zealand scheme, which will be offered to all schools that teach 11 to 15 year-old students, will not be compulsory, the government said.

This is in contrast to the Australian government, which does not believe students should be involved in such debates. There have been various resources developed for schools, such as CSIRO’s Sustainable Futures, Cool Australia, Future Earth, the Climate Reality Project, Climate Watch and Scootle. However, on a whole schools are left to themselves.

Bookmarked Making Room for Asset Pedagogies by Benjamin Doxtdator (longviewoneducation.org)

But both UDL and CSP have more to offer than removing barriers. At heart, they are as Susan Baglieri argues, asset pedagogies: “it’s not only about access. It is not only about barriers.” We also need to recognize “the assets that disability experiences bring”. This recognition is part of a larger political project that goes beyond what Django Paris identifies as “simple notions of resilience” that leave out “the political underpinnings of work for social and cultural change.” We need to “understand young people as whole, not broken.”

Benjamin Doxtdator uses George Couros and Katie Novak’s book Innovate Inside as a launching point to critique innovation, technology and Universal Design for Learning. Although framed as a ‘review’, I think that this post is better considered as an investigation of ‘asset pedagogies’.
Liked Education is not a field for mediocre hopes and mediocre dreams (Sean Michael Morris)

More concretely, I don’t think about rubrics, for example, as they relate to teaching, I think about them as they do or do not make a difference in the world, or do or do not support students in making a difference in their world. If I’m asked why I don’t like rubrics, I might answer that rubrics not only provide a false promise of equity and fairness, but they also pinion the relationship between a student and their teacher, and a student and their learning.

But the real trouble with rubrics is that rubrics are a red herring, a symptom but not the underlying problem. Aspirin for our headache. As a way to navigate the system and process of education we’ve adopted culturally, rubrics can be useful. But they placate us into thinking that the model of learning and teaching we enact is: first, successful, and second, the only model.

Liked To Go Far Enough (Sean Michael Morris)

So to be clear: the Instructure DIG initiative would be impossible if students and teachers didn’t show up to class and use the LMS. Likewise, Turnitin’s very expensive database, would eventually become worthless if teachers and institutions stopped asking students to turn-it-in. We—teachers, administrators, instructional designers–make these platforms not only worth their purchase price, but we make these platforms run.