of Dr. Steven L. Berg

Collaborating with a Student

Collaborating with a student concerning teaching Guns, Germs, and Steel in early American history is exciting.  I suspect that given his contribution that the class will go even better than if I had picked a topic myself (which is something that I have been unable to decide upon).  The fact that I have neither seen the documentary nor read the book on which it is based could prove to be a benefit.

Because he will give his presentation on either the second or third day of class, it will underscore that I am serious about student contributions to the course.  Furthermore, because the topic has been student generated, I would assume that students will be more inclined to be excited about the topic than if I had chosen it.

Although I do not know the student with whom I am collaborating, I am impressed that he is not afraid to voice his opinion.  I had made the suggestion that we break the class into thirds and that each third watch one section of the documentary.  In response, he argued that part two is most appropriate for early American history and that we should use that.

I look forward to our continuing conversation.

“Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends.”  The image is “Period G” by Meredith.  I think it would be fun to play with this technology, but I am not sure exactly how I might use it.

I read Venessa Miemis’ “How Will We Collaborate if We Can’t Trust Each Other?” published in Emergent by Design (8 January 2012) in which she quotes Stowe Boyd:  “There’s no natural reason that we’re all gonna come together and sing kumbaya just because we’re using the same social tools.”  I’ve decided to follow her blog.

I posted “Student Centered Film Class” in the Film Studies blog.  One thing I had not considered as I began creating class blogs was that I needed to post something in each blog to get it started.


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