Saturday, November 15, 2014

Devotedly Digital: Why I Love Teaching Online

THANKS to everybody who helped me with this; I've posted at Medium now!!!


  1. You say you want to make it shorter. I would start at: "Using a five-point scale, where 5 means strongly agree and 1 means strongly disagree, please indicate your level of agreement with the following statement: I love teaching online."
    Use that lovely image to grab attention.
    I would delete the context altogether and start with your 10 reason answer. They can see context in your profile or with a quick link.
    I would find one unifying example to unpack with each reason to make the text in each shorter.
    And add more images - high quality for medium - may be a digital sticker type illustration for each reason? Check Line Stickers in Giphy for what I mean.
    I have written a few stories on Medium and read many before I wrote to get the feel for it. It is a particular kind of writing. The guy who wrote about Tilde Club is a great example.

    For each reason there is a 'what I don't love' angle: "I far prefer connecting with students on their individual learning paths than in the cattle-call assembly of a classroom" I wonder about staying with bringing alive what you do love rather than what others do that you do not love? It may make it more accessible to those who need to hear the message? They might be less defensive?

  2. I hope this was what you meant when you asked for feedback and ideas? Use what serves and ditch the rest. Good luck with writing the story. Medium is a favourite platform for me. I think the editor is awesome and what I write looks like it matters :)

  3. Oh, yes, exactly, Mariana: THANK YOU. Especially about not making people defensive. I will read through carefully and look for that; I know that what was difficult/frustrating for me in the classroom is not difficult/frustrating for others; it's all very personal stuff, and I will read through and look where I might be making people defensive. I feel defensive ALL THE TIME about teaching online, ha ha, but I don't want to make people feel defensive in return.

    And I am curious about Medium. I will be exploring tomorrow to see what I can learn. There were text-heavy posts in the online learning posts I looked at, but I would like it to look nice!

    My favorite Medium post is this one about learning and tourism - have you seen it?
    The “Touristification” of Education

  4. Thanks, I will read, I can imagine what it is saying by the title :)
    I love Medium and I keep considering making it my only home. I find it interesting to explore the affordances of the different platforms and how one's writing voice (or my voice) changes depending on the space I inhabit online. I am writing about that too.
    The idea I offered about the digital stickers was because it might be nice to associate and memorable image with each reason? And Medium makes it so easy to add anything to you posts and makes it look beautiful.

    1. Mariana, again, THANK YOU SO MUCH. I have reworded this with your comments very much in mind and I feel like it is so much better. I'll spend some time later today pondering what images I can include, but I just want to thank you again. You pried the pointy stick out of my hand, ha ha. I think it is much more positive now, which is how I wanted it to be! Thank you!!!

  5. I love your love for this. If I was to suggest anything, it would be to put under those heading, some tangible/linkable examples of this in action (you have a few general links).

    What I really love is the change in relationship that students have to their "work"/assignments when it goes online in a public viewable space, and/or one that they manage. It is so radically different from the essays that only the teacher reads as an audience. It.Changes.Everything.

    1. Thank you, Alan!!! And what you say is SO TRUE. The students in these classes have been publishing websites since the very first semester, back in 2002. They were using Netscape Composer and publishing in Univ. of Oklahoma webspace. Then OU deleted all of it: hundreds and hundreds of my students' projects gone overnight without warning. Worst day of my teaching life ever. But I've now got a great archive built up again with mostly Google Sites (that the students do with their own Google accounts and, thank goodness, leave online; I am so grateful), and also some other tools students have played with (Wix for example is one some students have liked). This is first year for open blogging in addition to the open websites (I used a private Ning before)... and I am kicking myself for not having done it earlier. The class has been so much better with the open blogs; all upsides, no downsides, very happy. :-)


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