The third suggestion presented by Doug Belshaw in “Working Openly on the Web” is to ensure data is readable by both humans and machines. This statement reminded me of a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) workshop I attended a couple of weeks ago. The workshop attendees were advised to make sure any file we upload is also readable by machines. However, this was addressed in the context of how graduate teaching assistants may further accommodate students with disabilities.
Seth Godin argues that blogging is a means to force oneself to become part of the conversation.
Reflecting on all of these points, I have come to conclude that making data readable by machines does not just allow for “network effects”, as suggested by Doug Belshaw, and blogging is not just a platform to participate in the conversation if one so chooses. Rather the idea of “networked learning” allows for any- and every- one to be an active participant in one’s education. It includes those students whose learning needs may otherwise be overlooked by traditional pedagogy.
I was most inspired by Michael Welsh’s presentation of a “scaffolded” final project that makes the process “worth it” for each individual student. I have been in a few classes, both graduate and undergraduate, that have included checkpoints by which my instructors could give feedback for the next phase and the final submission. I’ve found this helpful due to the instructor feedback and that this does not allow for leaving a final project until the last moment. I’ve even experienced not submitting one deadline to my expectations, and it was reassuring to know that I would be able to recover as I progressed.
I am interested to learn ways to incorporate networked learning, “scaffolded” assignments, and ultimately inclusion in my own teaching practices.