When it comes down to it, I could spend hours nailing down all the ways in which MYFest has inspired me for my course next semester. Some of it won’t be explicit in my syllabus. Some of it is already visible in there. Some of it needs to come on soon. Some i am still mulling over.
To SPLOT or not to SPLOT
For example, Yasser (who is with us at MYFest and plans to be in my class next semester inshallah) suggested we use a SPLOT in the course instead of students having individual blogs and me aggregating them. I’m considering it partly because it’s less work for me and the students, but also partly because of the neat way the SPLOT (like this space!) reminds the writer to treat images, with alternative text and citations. This is something I have always struggled with, the culture change of that element takes a long time for students to absorb. But I am also on the fence because I love the idea of students having their own blog, their own space, to do whatever they wish. So I am thinking of making it a choice. They could do either SPLOT or their own blog. Probably! Do they get more credit if they do their own blog? I don’t know yet! Would that be fair? What kind of learning do they gain or lose? Can it be a critical exercise where they justify their decision? Lately the free WordPress seems to have gotten more confusing for students than before. So it may be worth saving the time and hassle.
AI Examples From Daily Creates
OK more concretely. A lot of the daily creates gave me ideas for the algorithms and Artificial Intelligence portion of my course. I used to show students the game QuickDraw (also learned it from ds106 daily creates!) And now I can show them so much more, such as:
Try: Which Face is Real
DALL.E – AI-created images from natural language – safety considerations
GPT-3 Essay writing – OpenAI: https://openai.com/api/ vs QuillBot
And a reading/site from the ethical edtech session on Surveillance: https://www.socialcooling.com/
I got so many cool writing prompt ideas from the microfiction sessions and from Heather and Felecia’s Dark Matter sessions. I also really liked working on the daily curate prompts and seeing those by others, and I think they would be cool to use in class, too, giving students agency to perhaps express themselves in different ways and choose how to reflect each week or so.
Wellbeing and Joy
I got some ideas from Christy Albright’s session related to helping students experience joy, like maybe going out of the classroom and using all their senses to find things that bring them joy. And maybe also more sharing of joy throughout the semester. Right now we do a little of this privately, very little collectively. But why not do more collectively. As an example, one week I tell them to bring a photo of something that delighted them the week before. Why not do this on a more regular basis and not for ALL students, but, you know, whoever has something to share this week? That way, ppl are not pressured to share, and folks having a bad day can still see something joyous.
I have been ungrading for a while but now I plan to introduce it earlier and differently. Have students reflect on their strengths and what assessment means. Also to use a kind of asset inventory like the one shared by George and Rissa in their sessions, one that reminds them they know things, can do things, maybe not necessarily academic things, that have value. And I already sort of survey them on some of it, but maybe answering it in class in small groups can help them appreciate each other better and help with the identity dimension of the class.
Make their own Wild Tea Prompts
I do wild tea in person outdoors and it is fun! Students asked to do more outdoor stuff last year, so this year I am thinking of repeating Wild Tea but having students contribute their own Prompts and I pick some for each time we do it!
I need to stop but there is so much more! Like I plan to try the Radio Garden I learn about from Heather Kretschmer and so so so much more!