Saturday, January 8, 2011

Goals for Spring and Reflections on Others Comments

1. Planning to refine Pearson Mini-Ning to work for group projects or find new platform--maybe wiki? I like idea of students composing profiles and critical highlights of the authors we are reading--like the way Corbett does; would welcome feedback about effective platforms--am browsing to see what others are using. Still a Ning afficionado but with reservations, concerns.
2. Goal 1 is related to goal 2: really like Luke's comment that we get to teach to others and students need to do that too--all related to voice and ownership: traditionally I have had students do group presentations on the authors in class--goal would be to make this a combo (hybrid) in class-online presentation and to think about how to get them to respond to each group's presentation in the online site.
3. I want to make the move from in-class close reading to research more seamless--agree with Ann and Rich (point a to point b--web activities to research) that this is difficult so a question would be, how can we make the online area a powerful and effective space for starting to love research? My biggest success this Fall was with hate crimes research--they really dove in, even writing to relatives of victims, journalists and received some responses which made them proud! So the goal would be consonant with Jason's comment that the wants students to experience the joy and rebelliousness of intellectual life. I want them to experience ownership and to lose the sense of being overwhelmed by the very word RESEARCH. Have partly achieved this by having them do collaborative research but want to develop more focused (staged) online ways of doing this.
4. I think we are already doing good work in terms of moving students, as Dr X says, from self-centered isolated learners to recognizing their learning counts to others--in this context I am eager to redo a failed project (for reasons external to our efforts) where her Shakespeare students comment on my Eng 101 class's dramatizations of scenes in the cluster--but it will have to wait till Fall when I teach Othello.
5. I am extremely happy with the way blogging on Ning worked with my more advanced class (World Lit in English)--students (as Luke frames it) saw themselves as writers and critics--they applied concepts studied in postcolonial theory to texts and films with gusto and talked to each other, argued--in many cases something that started as a blog response ended up expanding into an essay; I commented on this in class and encouraged it--more of this going forward.
6. the big question for me will be how to find colleague/students to interact with my novel course--theme is family disturbances: secrets, lies, love, loss, redemption. More about that in February 4 posting.
7. Finally, I want to learn more from others in this group about best (and easiest to use) technologies (best and easiest might be an oxymoron); special shout out to Rich: I got a Nook too and want help cracking it!--and am both thrilled (the reading part) and frustrated: can't get as many current texts as on Kindle--and am APPALLED at the number of "cheat" pamphlets B and N has for sale--for example you cannot get Love in the Time of Cholera on Nook but you can get several crappy plot summaries--this spells great danger and means I may have to buy and read them! YUCK I went to B and N to complain--guess what they said: publishers are losing so much money on e-texts that the cheat books are the only way to make money! HELP! This is really serious!
8. Finally, finally I am really excited about SPONTANEITY--that is the way students find new ways to interact and the way our group discusses and shares strategies that help me make leaps in my own thinking about pedagogy.

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