It's Diablogical!
A Collaborative Diablog on Feminist Pedagogy
SLP’s thoughts on online quality

Hi KCF! Thanks for getting us going on our second diablog for the summer. I have lots of different ideas running around in my head about this one and am finding it difficult to focus my thoughts (too much coffee? the crappy weather? the fact that RJP’s camp was canceled for the week?). Anyway, here are three, somewhat snarky, thoughts:

  1. Is the author suggesting that using online/social media technology in the classroom is just something we have to do in order to compete in the marketplace for students? That we only use blogs or twitter because we need to pander to students’ need for instant access? And that there aren’t interesting, intelligent, creative, and critical/”rigorous and serious” ways to use blogs and twitter to engage with the material? When I post all of my lectures, syllabi, handouts, and announcements on my course blogs and as link announcements on twitter, my primary motivation is not how to look cool, seem relevant and to make sure that my students “love” what I teach (to be fair, the author is only making one of these claims. However, quite frequently educators connect using social media with the need to seem “cool” and “relevant”). And, I’m not having a moral dilemma about accessibility/mobility/flexibility vs. quality. As we have discussed before on this blog (at least, I think we have–I can’t find it. I know we have listed easy/hard as a binary and that’s partly what I’m thinking about here), increasing access does not have to mean that we decrease the level of serious engagement. In trying to make my materials more accessible, I am also providing more ways for my students to challenge themselves and to engage in more (and often, deeper) ways with course materials/ideas/fellow students.
  2. Is the author suggesting that *all* students are using social media and have/use/embrace these devices in the classroom? Admittedly, I have a somewhat limited perspective, having only taught classes using online technologies in a small dept. to mainly white students in a research university in the midwest (wow, could I have phrased that in a more awkward way?). So, my thoughts are not representative (not even close) of all college students. However, in the 17 classes that I have taught using blogs and the five classes that I have taught using twitter, a huge number of the students are freaked out by and/or hostile to having their course materials available online. I have to devote a lot of attention at the beginning of the semester to easing them into going online. I wish more of my students wanted to use twitter or blogs at the beginning of the semester.
  3. I don’t like using instant netflix as the model for understanding how to make class materials accessible across devices. While I really appreciate how instant netflix enables me to watch a lot of quality movies (see what I did there? KCF, I agree with your critique of the author’s suggestion that instant netflix has less quality than netflix), I strongly dislike the interface of their website and ipad/iphone app. The way netflix has set up the various categories and recommended films severely limits what programs I have access to. They filter their programs, placing certain (often super crappy, straight to netflix/dvd movies) at the front of the list and burying the movies I’m probably looking for on page 11 (or not even listing them at all on the app). This filtering of materials (by highlighting films they want us to watch or that they think we want to watch based on what we’ve previously viewed) makes me think of a new book that I wrote about on my trouble blog: The Filter Bubble What the Internet is Hiding From You In providing more access to my students, I don’t want to “streamline” their experience and develop even more effective ways to tell them what I want them to know/learn/believe. I want to give them access to more ideas and other voices and experiences.

In terms of your question about whether or not streaming instant netflix falls under fair use, here’s what I found at a Butler University FAQ. Bottom line: No, it doesn’t seem to fall under fair use.

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