September 18, 2014

I Need Windows (no, NOT the Microsoft kind ha ha ha)

I always worry about "awaiting moderation" comments vanishing into the ether (by accident if for no other reason), so I'm crossposting my comment here. Terry's thought-provoking post is here: very much worth reading!
Iconoclasty 101: Outsiders in Academe

My comment:

In total agreement about A spaces! In the same way that my brain would shut down when I had to teach in classrooms without windows (OMG nightmare!), I feel my brain shutting down in certain kinds of online spaces, most notably the D2L BS course management system used at my school, and also the insanely expensive boondoggle we have built, our very own LMS called Janux. I am so aware of the constraints of those systems and the way they are closed off from everything I love about the Internet that I just cannot function. Just as I was never a very good teacher in classrooms without windows.

Now, for some people, that is not such a big deal, which is what makes human diversity so weird and exciting. I have to believe teachers if they tell me that they don't care one way or another about windows in a physical classroom. And when people tell me they like using D2L, I have to take that at face value.

I don't like it. They do.

So too with other spaces. I really love Google+, but I am well aware that others feel differently.

It took me forever to figure out how to make Twitter work for me - how to find the windows as it were. Now, though, it works. I use Twitter in very limited ways, but I use it every day and, much to my own surprise, I have to say I would miss it if it were gone.

And again to my own surprise, I am delighted by Pinterest and finding all kinds of ways to use it for my classes.

Other people, however, have a visceral reaction to these hosted services, the same as I have a visceral reaction to classrooms without windows. It just feels WRONG to them to have your stuff inside someone else's software.

So, I don't feel that way myself, but I get it.

End result is that I think the best thing we can do is be aware of all the options and share our experiences widely, learning from each other.

So, thank you for this post!!! And I'm looking forward to learning more.

P.S. About agriculture: if they could, plants would run away screaming when I approach. I do not have a green thumb. :-)


I need my windows! :-)

Blessed is he who lives as he wants.


  1. Laura this is not a coincedental post. Thank you for this thoughtful expression. I am just mulling something which is connected to your thoughts and at Mariana's comments about silence. I love the silence I hear now here. Thanks

  2. I am enjoying the silence conversation (ha ha, such a paradox!) ... and just in general for #ccourses there are some GOOD tensions emerging around public and private, hosting and hosted, to LMS or not, silence and noise... the good tension that leads to real conversation, which I really value. So good to learn about other people's perspectives by sharing! :-)

    1. Even more important for me: STUDENTS like Pinterest!!! :-)

  3. My school system just recently unblocked Pinterest and Google+ (for teachers, not for students). Gradual progress....

    1. ENJOY!!!! I really like working with images, so Pinterest is a real pleasure for me. My boards are here: Myth-Folklore and Indian Epics Boards. :-)


If the comment form misbehaves, you can also find me at Twitter: @OnlineCrsLady. (Sometimes convos are faster and easier there in fact.)