We held our first Teaching with Technology Reading Group last semester (Fall 2015) with Michelle D. Miller’s book Minds Online: Teaching Effectively with Technology (Harvard University Press, 2014). The book catalysed discussions about such issues as how to handle disruptive or disengaged student behavior in the classroom as a result of spending too much time on a computer in class. We also talked about the prospects for approving, teaching, and collaborating on online classes at Connecticut College.
We decided to continue with the reading group in Spring 2016 with The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age (Picador, 2014). Library database vendor EBSCO sponsored our reading group by donating copies of the book to all participants. Whereas Minds Online deals with the psychological aspects of learning and teaching with technology, The People’s Platform speaks to a wider audience about social justice issues on the internet in general.
Some of the issues explored include the effects of corporate control of media on the prospects of Net neutrality, the illusion of unmediated abundance on the Web, the dangers of Web personalization, and the troubling persistence of inequality within online communities. Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies, Ariella Rotramel said of the reading group:
I enjoyed having an opportunity to read and talk with my staff and faculty colleagues about not only the content in and of itself, but what the potential implications are for our campus when it comes to understanding our relationship to the online world.
We appreciated having the space to read, reflect, discuss and brainstorm together. If you have suggestions for our next book or would like to participate, let us know in the comments below or contact Andrew Lopez or Jessica McCullough.