Just yesterday I discovered the site Hybrid Pedagogy (@HybridPed) – “a digital journal of teaching and learning” – and I’m already hooked. As I was starting to explore their site, I found out that they were hosting a live chat on Twitter over my lunch hour, under the hashtag #digpded. Using Hootsuite - my social media dashboard app of choice - I quickly created a stream to pipe these tweets into my browser, giving me a way to fully engage in the live chat. Boy did that hour fly by!
If you’ve never engaged in a live Twitter chat, it’s an experience. If there are a good number of people on the chat, things happen very quickly, and threads of conversation quickly branch out from the start of the conversation, which in this case was the question from @HybridPed – “What is a learner?” – WHOOSH, you’re off! One participant commented on how stressful the experience was, and I said there’s a certain amount of surrender that’s beneficial to accept in these frenetic conversations. Just let it wash over you. It’s also an interesting experience in reading, since you have to use your rational faculties to try and piece together the strings of conversation flying by you at 140 characters per tweet/per second.
In the course of the chat I favorited a few comments. (Note: These don’t follow each other…)
- @petradt: Iteresting how summative assessment immediately dominates pedagogical discussion. In my dream world, only formative assessmt. #grrrr #digped
- @petradt: @allistelling Totally agree. Also, some students find teachers disingenuous if they pretend 2 b just one of them.Acknowledge power. #digped
- @writingasjoe: @vrobin1000 Heck. What if the system didn’t ENCOURAGE passivity. #digped
- @slamteacher: @HistoriErin We need to reframe failure as something productive. Take away penalties. #digped
And I had this nice exchange with one of the organizers, @slamteacher:
@slamteacher: @petradt @bonstewart It’s a conversation, not a silent auction, I think. We have information they don’t, and vice versa. #digped
@DistanceEd_EMU: @slamteacher And I think “information” shouldn’t be the only thing teachers would want to impart… #digped
@slamteacher: @DistanceEd_EMU Agreed, of course. Short-hand for all we bring and all they bring to the table. #digped
@DistanceEd_EMU: @slamteacher So both need to be ready for learning as “let me show you a more excellent way” -? #digped
@slamteacher: @DistanceEd_EMU Yes please! That sounds like the perfect opener to a semester. #digped
In the course of the chat, I also picked up a link to this intriguing-sounding e-book: Teaching As a Subversive Activity [PDF] by Neil Postman & Charles Weingartner.
The threads I latched on to had to do with education-as-formation (and not just the transfer of information), as well as the constraints and norms that institutions and institutional cultures put on teaching, for better or worse. We also talked about culture change, and how activist/revolutionary teachers will have a hard time changing the systems in which they work overnight (they won’t change overnight). This reminded me of sociologist, James Davison Hunter’s propositions about culture and culture change from his book, To Change the World:
- Culture is a system of truth claims and moral obligations
- Culture is a product of history
- Culture is intrinsically dialectical
- Culture is a resource and, as such, a form of power
- Cultural production and symbolic capital are stratified in a fairly rigid structure of “center” and “periphery”
- Culture is generated within networks
- Culture is neither autonomous nor fully coherent
Looking forward to tracking with this group again in their next chat!