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... an interesting list of educational practices that we abhorred.
Richard Selfe

This past October 9th, I was introducing some new graduate students and faculty to MOO technology by having a discussion with some volunteers from around the net. We began by revisiting the issue of whether technology, in particular networked communication technologies, could really solve educational problems. An answer to that question was deferred until we could define what we meant by "the real problems of education." We generated what I thought was an interesting list of educational practices that we abhorred.

AheaP says, "[T]here are ways of making this technology stuff just as effective as f-2-f without making it an assembly line."

AheaP: [I abhor] stuff that removes human interaction.

Lu says, "I abhor a talking head on TV."

LindaR says, "assembly line, non-collaborative, fill-in-the-blanks ... and more."

Lu says, "I abhor a non-humanitarian course without a real-time conferencing component."

AheaP abhors drill-n-practice.

KarlaK abhors decontextualized learning

Snickity says, "I, in fact, would find any course detestable that did not include student teacher contact. I mean real-time contact."

winston says, "And what kinds of teaching do we abwhore? How do we maintain virtue in this process of moving to the hot new technology?"

Barry says, "I abhor a course that does not encourage critical, witty writing."

rselfe says, "I abhor teaching that assumes that the students have little to add to the content of the course."

Each of these abhorrent practices creates what I would call an educational vacuum that we might use technologies, defined broadly, to fill. The Kairos  project, I believe, can provide some remedy for several of these abhorrent practices, but I will focus briefly on the last one: the educational practices based on the assumption that "students" have nothing to add to the content of their own education.

Kairos  provides some rememdy by providing interactive publications in a hypertextual form that, in turn, will allow readers to respond to the h-text, add value, emphasize useful connections unnoticed by the original author, .... If the hard working crew behind this project can keep the process of participation in the Kairos  h-texts open enough, the value added to each h-essay will come from contributors based primarily on their effort and interests. The "student," the reader of the h-text, will add, that much more easily, to the knowledge of the community. I want to participate in projects that encourage goals of this sort.

  • Send mail to Richard Selfe
  • Back to the front of Pixelated Rhetorics
  • See Dean Fontenot's contribution
  • See Jeff Galin's contribution

    Kairos 7.3
    vol. 1 Iss. 1 Spring 1996