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Mapping What's Not On the 'Net

Mapping What’s Not On the 'Net:
Complexifying the Classroom in the Age of Globalization
Anne Dalke, Alice Lesnick and Susan Sutton, Bryn Mawr College
Google Doc

Internet Traffic Map (from Map of Science)

5th COIL Conference on
Collaborative On-Line International Learning
3:15-4:15, April 3, 2013
Global Classroom (A), SUNY Global Center
Our Google Doc

"The vitality of our teaching derives not from the recitation of what is
certain but from the explorations of questions that are still unsettled and raw"
(Gerry Canavan, Some Preliminary Theses on MOOCS).

Please open our Google Doc,
and feel free to begin editing-or-commenting,
as thoughts arise.

I. Anne invites participants into a conversation,
beginning with a video:
Wife # 2 (1:46-7:10)

Please go now to our Google Doc,
and wr
ite your responses to what you have seen and heard:

What questions do you have for our teachers here?
What would you like to say to them?
What would you like to understand better,
about their life and work?

(For example: what are they organizing for?)
What kinds of things do you need to know,
in order to understand what they are saying-and-doing?

What might you tell them, about your own life?
What stories might you have (about access, language
acquisition, freedom, gendered roles, schooling,
hopes for yourself or your children...?) to lay alongside theirs?

This documentary video represents a familiar instructional technology,
so well known as to be naturalized…
Now, we listen to other voices,
speaking to us in other modalities
(via text, phone, email, Skype, image, and help from a friend: thanks, Safianu!)

What are your hopes and dreams for girls, women and education in the North? 

In the North, if a girl is educated she can help the mother financially and when a woman has education she can also assist the husband and help the children to also have education. But our problem has to do with poverty. Because it has denied a lot of girls and boys access to education. Another problem is lack of family planning where a couple has too many children they can actually take good care of. (Mma Shara)

For many years, women in the north have largely depended on fetching firewood to cook and sell some for their livelihood which has always been woefully inadequate. So it is good to see some NGOs now trying to help our women folk with knowledge and financial support in terms of loans/revolving fund. (Mma Zara)

Yes. A lot women who were privileged to undergo some training at here at the Simli Center some years back are now able support themselves financially somehow and also able to pay the school fees of their children to attend school. So we see that when women and girls are given education they can support themselves and their families as well. (Mma Rahi)

Does or could technology (phones, laptops, desktop computers) a role in these hopes and dreams?

Computers and phones are critical in the life of our girls because it helps them to learn more and also talk to other people who are important to them and can help them but are not readily available at a particular time. It  can also inspire other girls who are not interested in education to want to learn because it is both fun and education and I believe every young girl and woman will like to be part of it. (Madam Kola)

People who have much knowledge in computers should also be engaged to give lessons to women who have not been to school in their early years so that they can also be part of the modern day life. Some of our mothers who haven't been to school are also using mobile phones to make and receive calls and sometimes they are also taught to play music and tune in to radio on their mobile phones so this means that when computers and mobile phones are available to women and girls also they can take advantage of these modern gadgets. Some people don't have these things because they cannot afford them unless somebody will have to give it to them as gifts. (Mma Zara)

What inspires you to keep hoping and dreaming?

Looking at my parents being so poor I wish I will be different in terms of financial status. There are so many things parents wished they had like a tractor they can use on their farms but because of poverty and lack of education they are not able to get those things. Almost all the tractors that you see on the farms during the farming season are owned by educated people who sit in offices and are also into farming. This also is telling everybody to learn especially girls and women who are mostly the vulnerable.  
When I also look at the few women in higher positions who have power over the  men working under them, it inspires me to want to learn more so i can become one of them.
Right now it is men who are dominating in the higher offices of this country and women are more in terms of numbers so I think this must change.(Rahi)

Beginning with these images and voices, we ask what happens when
we try to learn from teachers
living in a North Ghanian village,
not through a stabilized academic curriculum,

but in a different way...

What could we do to further enable
access between-and-among us?

How can we structure a situation in which
teaching goes in both/multiple directions?

How might we more acutely and imaginatively hear what others are saying?
How can we avoid seeing others through a dominance narrative,
through preexisting stories that tend to erase them?

How might we also acknowledge the limits of our hearing, of our understanding?
How can we structure scenes of dialogue and pedagogies that respect
unknowability and yet also move everyone's learning forward?

How can technology help us with this?
What new structures and on-line unmediated spaces might contribute
to the sort of dialogue that recognizes fundamental differences/alterity...?

How do you connect your responses to these various images, words and sounds
to your larger understandings about how global learning takes place?

You are welcome to continue writing your answers to these questions--
and of course to keep asking further questions!--on
our Google Doc, but let's also take a few comments here, now,
while we keep that back channel open...

II. Alice gives Ghanian (and Danish) context in relation to "complexifying the classroom:"
these media showcase women teaching and learning,
and raises a lot of questions, like
what do they usually mobilize for?

The interview responses, and the process of gleaning them,
showcase women's awareness of the
 the way forward. 
"We Africans have a lot to look after"
--Ghanaian colleagues looking after family, community, history.
-- "Titagya" means "We are changing."
Changing character of education:
openings into child-centered, interactive approaches.
-- "Visionary Literacy" (Connie North, 2009): Tracing the way forward

III. Susan elaborates on the anthropological and institutional dimensions of this dialogue

What falls away in the rush to categorize?

Which is the better model of culture?

What makes for a good conversation?

IV. Anne pulls down some of what’s just gone up here:
what does it mean to map what's not there?

We used this on-line space as a real place to engage the unknown,
to access y/our thoughts/words/questions, which are/might be
controversial/conflictual/multi-literate, otherwise unspoken.

We have taken some risks in doing this:
* marking/marring our presentation by some of the
very gaps/partialities/appropriations we caution against
(for example: representing our partners in a format that is
not really accessible to synchronous dialogue...)
; and

* not knowing where this conversation would go.

Developing an on-line identity is always a risk:
we are always going places/getting involved where we didn’t mean to...

So: how can we co-create this process of learning from one another
in ways that are respectiful both of our own precarity (complexity, unknowability, and yes, privacy)
and that of our partners....?

We have tried to do this reponsibly (in part,
by acknowledging the limits of what we are doing);
if we are not responsible in our risk-taking,
we are just teaching that it’s intolerable...

Keeping our google doc open as we went on
models incompleteness: we can’t ever catch up with
what we are saying/thinking/learning....

Some of our conversation is now on our Google Doc,
accessible through our "digital ecosytem," Serendip Studio:
How might you take this into further on-line discourse?
Is there anything here you would tweet/add to a listserv?
What other spaces do you use for dialoguing...?

How do your responses to these
various images, words and sounds
connect to your larger understandings
about how global learning takes place?
CYA-12StepProgram.doc28 KB
CYA-TopTenForCulture.doc29.5 KB
Dalun Overview (Yussif Abdul-Hafiz & Alhassan Sumaila, 2013).doc64.5 KB


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