September 28, 2013
I attended the DML Open Learning Symposium today and saw several inspiring presentations about scholars and activists attempting to use MOOC-like (or not) platforms to expand the reach of the classroom, the school, and media literacy. However, I must admit that top on my mind was not strong presentations by well-known scholars Nishant Shah or John Seely Brown, but rather that of my two undergrad students, Jade Ulrich and Susie Farrell, who were winners of the grant being celebrated at the conference.
Last Spring, these Scripps college undergrads had taken the Beta version of “Feminist Dialogues on Technology,” the DOCC 2013 course that is now being taught at 18 nodal sites across North America. After the Spring course, they both worked on the project over the summer, with funding from Pitzer College. One of their summer projects was to apply for this grant. They did, and won. Compellingly representing the challenges the course offers to patriarchal understandings of MOOCs and other ideas about feminist pedagogy and technology, the selection committee awarded them this competitive grant not realizing they were its students and not its professors.
Taking the course, working on the course, building the course, had educated these young women to be experts on feminist digital culture: Susie works on our Video Dialogues and Jade works on our Storming Wikipedia efforts. Their poise, intelligence, professionalism, and passion as spokeswomen for our larger effort was proof that our course can contribute to modelling and producing feminists who will be the educated, critical, productive builders of the technologies that we most want and need. Brava!