Tuesday, April 30, 2013

this course has been hacked: yay!

(my t-shirt from OSCON)

Often you can tell how old a person is by the way she uses language.  For example, people who grew up in Aulde Analog Times generally associate the word hack with definitions (such as "sharp cough," "cut with unskillful blows," & "illegal/unauthorized computer access") that do not describe what we do.

We make connections and facilitate conversations that help people learn.   We build, evaluate and modify tools and media to make them work more effectively for our purposes.

You know how they say, "[So'n'so] just can't hack it?" Well, we can.

And Brenna McNamara is leading the way.  When word leaked out that a new Open Source Learning community is forming, Brenna and others started creating blogs to curate their learning experiences.  In the process, Brenna noticed that I didn't require Blogger, so she asked if she could use Tumblr.  I said yes.  You can also use WordPress, and I'm open to more suggestions that suit our purposes.  As you move through your paths of inquiry you will learn about many tools for collaborating and sharing your ideas online.  Your hub should be some sort of blog on which you can include text, pics, video, and other media.  As we get acquainted we will also explore portfolios, etherpads, mind maps, etc.

There are multiple benefits to using shared platforms--it's easier to figure things out when you know others are working on the same challenges, for starters-- but ultimately you are in charge of your own learning, and that includes making choices about where and how to curate your work.  This can be difficult, because most of you haven't been allowed, encouraged, or empowered to make these sorts of decisions up to this point.  But students who can't think for themselves after they graduate are like veal at a rodeo, so start now.  Take a lesson from Brenna and begin thinking about what you really want to achieve in this course of study and how you want to share it with the world.


  1. I love hacking everything! Its awesome. Makes projects and class more fun!

    1. Hey are interested in doing book club over the summer. I know you are going to be gone but we can always Skype.

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