What is "extra credit"? Presumably, it means credit above and beyond expectation and requirement.
But what exactly is expected and required?
Traditionally these parameters are set by an authority figure (e.g., a teacher) who doles out assignments and creates rubrics that set comparative performance benchmarks using metrics such as points, percentages, and letter grades.
In that relationship students are passive consumers: get your work, shut up and do it, accept the judgement of the authority figure, and stuff the paper in a binder/backpack, where it will remain as a private testimony to... what, exactly?
What if you could use your work to demonstrate your mastery and enhance your value in the community? What if, instead of showing an essay to one person, you could share it with a network that celebrates your successes and helps you improve where you need it? What if you could use an academic course to explore the Big Questions you've always wondered about (whether they're related to English or not), or pursue your own path of inquiry, or to create Collaborative Working Groups to create projects and even create business ventures?
Today's digital culture presents opportunities we've never had before. In coming posts I will formally introduce you to Open Source Learning and help you make some decisions about how to take full advantage of the opportunities it presents. In the meantime, with regard to credit & extra credit, think of it this way: every idea you offer the network has value. Your contributions establish your identity and enrich others' thinking. More/better ideas = higher value. In this course your value will be determined by the quantity and quality of your thinking and your work product, so please begin by introducing yourself in a comment to this post. The questions below are designed to help get you started. Please feel free to extend the topics and include your own perspectives and questions.
1. Who are you?
2. Why are you taking this course?
3. What do you hope to get out of the experience?
4. What (if anything) gets you excited or nervous when you think about next year in general or this course in specific?
5. In your life, what do you care enough about to give it your all?* (*this doesn't have to be academic or school-related)
6. How can this course help you achieve your goals and set the stage for a senior year that blows the doors off expectations and requirements?
Be on the watch for more soon, both here and in person. This year's seniors are putting together some live introductory experiences, and we will have a formal lunchtime orientation in mid-May. In the meantime, I look forward to seeing your thoughts here. Mahalo.