[iDC] Bill Gates's latest

VANALYNE GREEN v.green at leeds.ac.uk
Mon Aug 16 14:30:03 UTC 2010

Hi, from someone who hasn¹t contributed in a while.  Perhaps this voice will
seem a bit out-of-place, so I take that risk.  I¹ve followed snippets of the
thread about education and I feel as if I¹m living it out in the UK higher
education system.  

What often seems missing to me from the discussions is the idea of a
Œscene.¹  I¹m not discussing parties, though that may be included, in a
college education.  What I really mean is an environment that is less about
what happens in a course and more about what happens outside the course but
because of good leadership or teaching.  I felt fortunate to have that at
Cal Arts.  One of my teachers (Sheila Levrant de Bretteville), gave us
problem sets where we had to create simultaneous social situations in and
around her class.  This made the teaching less centered on the teacher and a
thousand times more dynamic.  What I wonder is:  how to create Œscenes¹ via
courses that are more dependent on web-based learning?

I use Project Implicit as a starting point for talking about unconscious
bias but there has to be a lot of work done in advance of students taking
the test to make the classroom environment safe enough to talk about their
Œscores.¹   I almost always encourage or have as a problem set the creation
of a blog.  Sometimes this works better than others.  Sometimes,
particularly shy students are liberated into speaking and being leaders in
the class via the web.  We use Facebook to organize events and create
profiles for work done in the course.

The blog activities often do have the effect of creating a scene outside the
classroom, but this notion is far far away from what I think of when I think
of distanced learning and is highly contingent upon time in the classroom.

Gates¹s latest, by way of puzzling out my question.


Oh, and I use your chapter on collaboration, Trebor.

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