Learning from Failure: (DMLCentral Interview Part II)

August 15, 2012

Liz Losh continues her discussion of the FemTechNet effort with an interview with my collaborator, Anne Balsamo

“In an interview that complements my earlier interview with Juhasz, Balsamo reflected on the efforts involved in creating expansive networked projects that engage many participants in different contexts and roles.  The FemTechNet project — which was first conceptualized by Juhasz and Balsamo during friendly conversations in early 2011 — has an ambitious objective:  to create a course focused on the topics of feminism, science and technology, offered simultaneously around the globe by feminist teachers in different locations, supported by a shared network of learning materials, of digital resources, of participants, and of pedagogical activities.  This high-profile venture takes shape as a Massively Collaborative Online Learning Experiment:  it is a feminist manifestation and reinvention of a MOOC.  The risky but exciting “learning experiment” takes form as follows:  During September — December 2013, instructors around the world offer courses at their home institutions on the topic of “Feminist Dialogues on Technology and Science.”  The courses are created using a shared set of learning resources:  a series of eight videotaped “dialogues” among prominent feminist scholars of science and technology; a repository of digital learning materials; asynchronous online conversations; and collaborative activity called “Storming WikiPedia” — designed to write feminism and feminists back into the collective digital archive of important knowledge.  Students can enroll in courses at a particular institution for credit; or they can arrange to take an independent study elsewhere with a supportive faculty member; or they can participate as self-directed learners, or as “drop-in” learners.  The goal is to engage one hundred feminist teachers and thousands of students around the world.”

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