Linked In used to provide a way for us to visualize our network connections in a graphical format. After talking with Bonnie Stewart, recently, about networked pedagogy, I keep wondering how my map has changed since I first wrote this reflection on my network visualization more than five years ago.
Certainly, more of my connections initiate from social media now. I have found more of what Seth Godin calls a tribe through virtual connections, than I ever do in my local community.
When I want to lament about race relations in the United States, I'm just as likely to reach out to my Egyptian friend, Maha Bali, than I am to people I see face-to-face. I find far more challenging and creative teaching ideas through the blogs I subscribe to, than I do in hallway conversations.
I was honored to be interviewed by Lina Gomez for a forthcoming episode of Utopistica a couple of weeks ago. She asked me one question that was incredibly difficult to answer. She wanted to know which Teaching in Higher Ed interview has impacted me the most, in terms of it being challenging and encouraging. I wanted to go with the safe answer and say that I just couldn't narrow it down.
Instead, I shared that it was probably the episode with Ken Bain, since I'm still thinking about how to capture the essence of my courses through a compelling question. His precise challenge to us was to think of the following as we design (and redesign) each of our courses:
Ask engaging questions that spark people’s curiosity and fascination that people find intriguing… – Ken Bain
Also, I made a complete idiot out of myself on the episode, when I read, verbatim, the autocorrected version of The Minerva Prize as “The Manure Prize.”
I decided to create an actual Manure Award that we award annually, to professors who share their failures with the community. The first Manure Award was presented to Maha Bali on episode #100 of the podcast. Others shared their failure stories that encourage us to continue to take risks in our teaching and never settle for safe.
There are so many other episodes that continue to “speak” to me daily in my work. If I would have thought it was appropriate during the Utopistica interview, I probably would have tried to squeeze at least ten episodes into the conversation, that continue to shape me and challenge me today.
Ten Episodes that Shape My Teaching Daily
- Episode 19: Cheating Lessons, with James Lang
- Episode 30: Teaching Naked, with Jose Bowen
- Episode 23: Teaching with Twitter with Jesse Stommel (and more so from what he says about kindness on the episode than even the other magnificent things he had to say about Twitter)
- Episode 71: Flipping Out with Derek Bruff (he competely changed my thinking about the best approach for the flipped classroom / blended learning)
- Episode 72: How to Use Cognitive Psychology to Enhance Learning with Robert Bjork (the most observable differences in my teaching from before learning about retrieval practice to after come from this conversation with Robert Bjork, when I was first introduced to the approach)
- Episode 92: Small Teaching, with James Lang (currently, the most listened to episode)
- Episode 87: What the Best Digital Teachers Do, with Sean Michael Morris
- Episode 118: Teacher Becomes Student Through LIFE101, with Mike Wesch (even though it is a recent one, I already know this conversation is going to continue to shape my teaching for years to come)
- Episode 112: Radical Hope: A Teaching Manifesto, with Kevin Gannon
- Episode 107: Engaging Learners, with Gardner Campbell
The list, above, is not in any particular order. Let's just say I had about 10-15 other tabs open in my browser for consideration. I tried to keep this list as episodes that have observably changed my teaching, versus ones that I think are full of tremendous ideas that I haven't been able to act on just yet.
I am so thankful for all the people who have accepted the invitation to be on the podcast. It is humbling to get to talk to such phenomenal teachers each week.
How about you? What episode(s) has most shaped your teaching?