Friday, October 28, 2011

Transforming the world, one platform at a time: Hutchison, Gazzola, Jerskey

In Fundamentals of Career Advancement, the class is completely online. (David only knows what they look like from their avatar (and e-portfolio! he lurks!)). David is using the revolution at Occupy Wall Street to get students to think about how what's happening in the world today will affect their careers and their lifetime earning potential.
This is a nice segue to Judith's goal of integrating career planning into course content. (Judith is herself a LaGuardia alumna. She's Director of the Career Development Center. (more on that later.) Her overall goal is to help students make the transition from working class to middle class. One distinguishing characteristic, for example, is that these students are often the first in their family to attend college. She gets them to ask: What is that world like? How can we use the academic world to prepare them to be self-actualized, to have the self-efficacy and knowledge and skills to eventually have autonomy over the direction of their lives.
Maria's platforms, including Google Docs and Google Spreadsheet allow students to access the information more easily than either paper or even Blackboard. The platforms make students more technology savvy, which is important for their academic and career success (Maria would call this technology literacy). The platforms promote academic, linguistic, and technological literacies. These literacies are essential for the 21st century citizen! These platforms mimic the learning community in which the students are participating, but also the real world digital communities that they will surely move into as they advance in their academic, professional, social, and political lives.

7 comments:

  1. Since we are discussing community, I would be interested in hearing more about whether an online class allows students for a sense of community and if there are any activities one can use to promote community among students.

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  2. I'm curious about what it's like to have a class of students that you've never met. I find FB to be a great supplement to in-person interaction and can't imagine not having any contact at all. I imagine it's harder to create a sense of community but that's definitely my bias -- maybe students don't miss the face-to-face as much as I would.

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  3. Do you find that when students comment on each other's ideas, having never met in person, that they are more honest?

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  4. I second Luke and Michelle's comments here.

    I'm inspired by the OWS theme and wish I was bringing it in more directly with my classes (besides projecting Twitter with the #Occupy hashtag).

    I would love to find a way to bring more Google stuff into my assignments, including spreadsheets...though first I'd have to figure out how to use them myself!

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  5. Having taught online now for almost 8 years I find you need to develop assignments that allow students to get to know one another. I also much like in blogging encourage them to comment on the work of others.

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  6. I have always, always loved and advocated for Google docs. Blackboard goes down but Google, well, NOT!

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  7. The coolest thing here is getting students to see the world of opportunities and social upward mobility a college degrees can offer and the added sense that many of their peers are riding the very same wave. Great job Judith!

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