Blog Post

My "Thinking for a Digital Age" Course: Approved and Open for Business!

I am  excited that my  Tutorial Thinking for a Digital Age--a collaborative, peer-organized, project-based tutorial for  five to seven Duke students (and maybe one or two UNC students) has been approved.    I can't offer this online or virtually but we're keeping track of interested parties and we'll see if the actual f2f students can come up with a way to make a virtual team of distance collaborators (non credit) to play along for the term.   So, if you are interested, leave your name in the Comments section.  And leave contact info there, if you are comfortable with it, or via the HASTAC "contact box" if you are not.  
Thinking for a Digital Age uses a peer-apprenticeship, project-management, collaboration by difference, learning-as-you-do pedagogical model.   I need to hear from potential students (after they read this description and other relevant HASTAC blogs very carefully) by August 15.
TUTORIAL Thinking for a Digital Age
English 195T, English 391.03; also ISIS S 195T and ISIS 295T (and possibly Computer Science and Pratt too)  
Fall 2010
Professor:  Cathy N. Davidson
Ruth F. DeVarney Professor of English and John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute
   Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies
I am opening a Tutorial--a collaborative, multi-disciplinary, multi-interest, multi-skill, multi-generational, project-based, multi-person Independent Study--for up to five or seven students who believe this content, method, and approach can be life-changing and career-making.  Unless you go into this Tutorial with that level of excitement and ambition, it's not for you.   This should be thought of as an immersive experience equivalent to study abroad.   The foreign land you will be exploring in this Tutorial is the future of communication: new modes of collaborative, customizing, multimedia, community-based, customizing exchange, interaction, broadcasting, publishing. You will be studying it and publishing your progress as you do it, as you think about the implications (privacy, security, open access, the open web, intellectual property, etc) of what you are doing. This is contributory, remix, online/offline, peer-apprentice immersive learning.   Learning 3.0.  
I am on sabbatical this year, but I and the HASTAC team are involved in so many exciting projects that I've decided to turn our Fall agenda into a project-based, "peer apprenticeship" collaborative Tutorial (group independent study).   For the right group of students being part of a project-based Tutorial based around these events and projects will be an unequalled opportunity.  
Here is a blog describing what the semester holds:   Read this blog.  And also make sure to read this one on a new pre-professional Masters in Knowledge and Networks we are developing.  In fact, survey my blogs and others on the HASTAC site.   I especially recommend How To Crowdsource Grading (the blog that went around the world and back again).  Explore the site if you haven't before and see what others are doing, in many exciting projects from all over the world.  Check out the winners of the three HASTAC/MacArthur Digital Media and Learning Competitions for some of the most creative learning you'll find anywhere.  

If you like it, if you are up for a challenge, if you think this could bring together everything you have learned so far and shape it in new ways, then drop me an email, send me a resume, let me know why you want to take this Tutorial and what skills you bring to it.  I put the word skills in quotation marks because you define what a skill is.  You might know code.  Or Cantonese.   You might be a Level 80 WoW gamer.  You might be a great graphic artist or a multimedia artist or an electronic musician.  Or maybe you know everything about what makes an iPad sing or Twitter tweet the sweetest. Or you are a cracker-jack Drupal programmer.  Or live for Python. Or you have ideas about what the next "newspaper" will look like or are interested in how online community practices can translate into offline, real world civic engagement.  Or you have ideas about the future of reading, writing, and publishing.   You know the history of the book and want to envision its future.  You know that one of our projects is partnering with Mozilla Foundation on the first annual Drumbeat Festival on Learning, Freedom and the Open Web and you want to contribute all you can to keeping the Web open and have "hackideas" on how to do that. Or you are a tinkerer, involved in the Hackerspace movement.  Or you might have no particular skills that we have names for but you absolutely know that, when you are on a team, the team wins.  You know how to make that happen.  HASTAC's new intern, Anna Rose Beck, majored in BME and is making a career as a singer-songwriter in the rapidly changing environment of the music industry (  Both are relevant to her being selected as an intern with HASTAC.   
Think about what skills and interests you could offer to a group, what leadership role you could play in the various projects we are pursuing.  Here's the pedagogical (game mechanics) theory behind the Tutorial:  the more you contribute, the more you have to offer, the harder you play, then the more you gain.  We are after the Epic Win. 
know what I will be doing for the next several months and what the HASTAC team will be doing.  This tutorial is an opportunity for a core of dedicated students to make the most of these engagements.  You will learn by doing.  You will learn by contributing.  You will be doing research and then designing ways for that research to reach as many others as possible and make a difference in the world.   You will be invited to our team meetings and invited to participate in those meetings and propose agenda items for them.  You will be part of conference planning and participating in several of the events we are hosting.  You will be building resources and projects and communities on line around these set events (again, check out the blog); you will be identifying and rallying a community to contribute to your research.  You will be helping us as we rebuild this year and expand our networking efforts.  How will you do that?  How will you work with a group of other students--graduate and undergraduate and professional school, in different majors, with different skills--to take this singular opportunity and make the most of it, for yourself, for the others in the project, and for a larger community online that will be learning from all you do as you learn?    
Write me by August 15.  I can only take 5-7 students. I am on sabbatical.  I don't want to waste my time.  Or yours.  Or that of the other students in the Tutorial.  Tell me why you should be in this Tutorial this Fall.  



If only I were at duke right now. I imagine you'll keep us posted.


You would be the ideal person for this, Evan.   We're hoping to have networks beyond Duke as partners.  We'll keep you posted, definitely!   And tell any friends you have here about it. 


sign me up