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ds106: teaching an ethos

My final paper is proceeding apace. And by “apace” I mean WHY DID I SIGN UP FOR THIS LAST SEMESTER? What made me think this was a good plan? DEAR GOD I GRADUATE IN TWO MONTHS!

Panicking aside, I’ve made some decent progress on sorting out how I want to conclude my paper, and how I’m going to get there (kudos to my adviser Dr. Whalen for all the awesome conversations in that vein).

First and foremost, I think that for the purposes of this paper I’m going to define online learning as a branch of edtech. It makes a lot of sense to me: anything that happens on the internet is facilitated by technology, which, to my thinking, makes online education a function of educational technology. Therefore, when I use to the term “educational technology” or “edtech,” I’m also referring to online courses, open and otherwise. I hope to use “edtech” as an umbrella term, and then narrow my terminology when needed, such as when I’m referring to open educational resources or massively open online courses in specific. Then again, if that usage is completely wonky in the actual edtech/online ed world, I’d love some feedback so I’m not producing a paper that’s unintelligable.

I think one of the struggles I’ve been having in trying to pin down where I want my paper to wind up is that, as usual, my focus wasn’t narrow enough. I’m not going to be able to make large pronouncements about The State Of Edtech with this project, no matter how much I feel like that’s what I should be doing. What I can do is narrow my focus back down, like I keep talking about, and bring things back to ds106. Finally. After about three blog posts insisting that’s what I was going to do.

“Let your heart kindle my heart”

Embarrassing confession: I spent a full five minutes crying into my keyboard while attempting to complete the Movie Scenes that Changed Our Lives assignment, all because of ONE CLIP from “A Little Princess.”

Just FYI, if you were not a little girl who grew up in the late 90’s you might not quite get what this movie does to me, but… oh man. Does it ever. In my commentary about the scenes I chose I wanted to let it play out without me babbling over the gorgeous music, so I’ll go into that later. Meanwhile, here’s me rambling about some of my most-loved film and TV moments:

Ami Mizuno presents: Sailor Moon and the Gender of Power

Ami's TED Talk

I watched the most incredible TED talk last night. It was led by this super-intelligent Japanese high school student named Ami Mizuno. She was talking about the superheroine group the Sailor Senshi and how they reflect a more feminist, egalitarian and shame-free view of femininity, especially in the ways that femininity relates to literal power and personal agency.

Needless to say I was floored.


Our assignment this week was to create an animated gif image that showcased part of a favorite (or least favorite) movie. If this works, I’m…