Day 8: October 27


Today we begin the second half of the class, which involves bringing feminist pedagogy to bear on social media, like blogs, twitter, facebook and youtube. Our readings for today are intended to get us thinking, in general terms, about the potential value (and lack thereof) of social media. Before we get to our discussion, here are a few announcements:

Assignment is worth 200 points. You can work individually or collectively. Here are some suggested "assignments" (primarily taken from our discussion two weeks ago + open thread):

  1. (The process of crafting a) Syllabus
  2. List of suggested readings + blog/online resources--maybe we could include tips on accessing pdfs + sites where you can find pdfs without needing access through a university
  3. Learning Modules for using fem ped in a variety of contexts
  4. Statement/Manifesto? on critical thinking, media literacy or the purpose/goal of education
  5. Key concepts explained
You can sign up for one of these assignments and determine with your group (in consultation with me--as blog administrator) on how to complete it. 

Now, onto the readings. Here are a few themes from the readings that seem important to this general discussion:

Digital Literacy

  • What is it? 
  • See Feint Left's pedagogical question for this week. 
  • What skills/abilities/tools should be included in our vision of digital literacy? 
  • How important is understanding the technology (particularly form a technical perspective) for our vision of digital literacy? How do we manage our time (for research, for teaching content) while still experimenting with/learning about new online technologies?
  • Where should it be taught? How should it be taught? 
  • How/why is digital literacy important for feminist pedagogy?
  • How central should it be for the feminist classroom? How do we balance it with our other pedagogical aims (see oobserver's pedagogical question for this week)? How does this change depending on the context/our particular classrooms and lived experiences?
  • What kind of digital literacy do educators need? What are the different ways in which feminist teachers should participate in promoting/practicing/teaching digital literacy?

  • See Riddlemethis55's pedaogical question for this week. 
  • How does/should/can attention work in the feminist classroom? In No Angel in the Classroom, Berenice Fisher suggests that feminist teachers need to shift student's attention (away from common sense ideologies/dominant understandings and towards critical awareness/other forms of knowledge) and to ensure that they keep paying attention (when the subject is uncomfortable or they don't want to discuss a reading/topic). How can we balance the need to shift attention with the need to pay attention?
  • In "Designing Choreographies" Gordon and Bogen talk about distraction, capturing attention and keeping attention. How do they understand these terms? How can be productive/unproductive in feminist classrooms? 
  • Gordon and Bogen also offer the example of the urinal and using a slight modification of physical space (adding a picture of a fly) to gently nudge attention instead of commanding it (5). How is our ability to pay attention and the various strategies that can be used to nudge/command/direct our attention affected by our positionality? Do all people pay focused attention in the same way? Who should decide that they are paying attention in the right way? What assumptions about attention, focus, proper behavior are made in this narrow vision of focused attention (see danny's entry and comments). How does Daniels address this issue in Rethinking cyberfeminisms? What do we make of her claim (coming from Domain Error!) that "cyberfeminist writing often assumes an 'educated, white, upper-middle-class, English-speaking, culturally sophisticated readership'" (104)?
  • What about paying attention as techno-mindfulness (Musto)? Musto indicates that she puts a "techno-mindfulness" clause into her syllabi (104). What should this statement look like?  Here's mine: 


In this course, we will experiment with online technologies as a way to engage in feministpraxisTwo key words here: experiment and praxis. While we will devote some serious attention to learning the basics of how to use social media (especially blogging and twitter), our main focus will be on experimenting with these technologies by bringing them into conversation with feminist pedagogies and by pushing at their limits and using them in (sometimes) unexpected ways. The purpose of this experimenting is to critically reflect on feminist pedagogy and social media, while simultaneously engaging in practices of them. Another purpose of our experiments is to have fun, to be inspired, and to find ways to engage with technology in productive (effective, critical and creative) ways inside and outside of the feminist classroom. This class requires that you spend considerable time on our course blog and following our twitter feed each week. This time is not intended to be merely in addition to other readings/assignments, but a central part of our critical exploration of feminist pedagogy.

Could we develop this statement collectively with your students--like johnnyblaze513 suggests in his fem ped example? 

Physical Space

  • How does physical space work in social media? How can we use our physical spaces (classrooms or "public" spaces) in our efforts to teach with/through social media?
  • How should we negotiate online/offline spaces? How do they work against/with each other? Citing Saskia Sassen, Daniels writes: "there is no 'purely digital' or exclusively 'virtual' electronic space; rather the digital is always 'embedded' in the material" (109)--what does this mean/how does this work in relation to social media in the classroom?
  • What challenges do we face with the physical spaces in which we are assigned to teach? How can we work to overcome those challenges?
  • What happens to non-verbal communication in social media? What gets lost/gained when we can't "read" each other's body language/gestures


For the blog as a resource site project I would like to be part of the learning modules category.

I would like to work on number 2: Suggested Readings.

I would like to work on number 2: Suggested Readings.

I've never prepared a syllabus before coz in India the syllabus is decided nationally or regionally and standard textbooks are provided. So, I'd be interested in the process of crafting a syllabus. But I'd really like some help on that as I'm pretty clueless.

Sign me up for Learning Modules, since I suggested it.

I'd be interested in #1 (syllabus). I would prefer to work more on the "process of crafting a syllabus" side rather than actually creating a syllabus. Is that possible?

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