September 3, 2014
Hello fellow Connected Courses participants! My name is lisa. Welcome to my own little domain.
I’ll admit that for as much as I totally enjoy having people over in a face to face sense, it feels awkward at best to open this space up to you all because I’ve been at this blogging game just long enough that if you were to peel back the layers (or rather read the archives) you’d see kind of the equivalent of a drawer that was once meant to hold silverware but now is a mess of odd spoons and Sharpies and lipsticks that I never wear anymore…all stuff that makes me who I am now but not so much company-worthy and slick.
But back to the real reason we’re all here, which isn’t to paw through any of our older internet identities rather it’s for connected courses and openness and all the good stuff that I know as academics we tend to applaud and then promptly ignore in our day to day LMS-entrenched lives. Or, maybe that’s just me.
I’m looking forward to this course for a number of reasons. The first is…legit the people who are leading it are rockstars. Seriously. I follow many of them on Twitter because they’re just that crazy amazing and out of the box in their ability to balance pedagogy and real people. I am hopeful that a small bit of that will rub off on me. The second (slightly less teenage girl brain obsessive) is…I love community, especially the community that comes when people from different timezones or even different countries find commonalities. This course has all the makings of the digital equivalent of Burning Man and yeah…who wouldn’t want to be part of that? The third is…I’m the Senior Dean over a fully online graphic design program and have recently come across this weird phenomenon where students seem to confuse me and attending our program with some sort of magical life redemption and I honestly am trying to find a better way to re-frame the metaphor (since I know myself and I know my staff and yeah…divinity wouldn’t even make the top 20 adjectives I’d use to describe us or our program.) I think that we’ve done a wonderful job (in the States) selling a dream of betterment through education to those who previously never had a chance or the ability to access higher education. That said, as anyone who has successfully navigated to the other side of an educational experience can attest…facts, grades, and all the testable knowledge you pour into your head is really the sideshow to the true learning that is in how to build relationships and generally find the resources you need to succeed at whatever task might present itself.
How to dismantle this weird somewhat edu-cultic myth? No clue. But, I do have suspicion that we need more collaboration and less top down counsel…more real-human conversations and less academic hustle. All of this thinking comes back to connections and connected courses and the courage to live and teach in a way that is open and transparent in all ways…not unlike me welcoming you all to my little domain. Yes, it is indeed a start. For my part, feel free to poke around here a bit. It’s not perfect but it is wonderfully human and totally me. Looking forward to what happens in the next few months.