Breaking Barriers of #ConnectedLearning- Reflections on Maisha Winn

Greg McVerry

Greg McVerry is a teacher, researcher and scholar at Southern Connecticut State University.

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3 Responses

  1. Mark says:

    Hi Greg,

    You said “we should worry first about community and civic readiness. Then, and only then, will college and career follow for those who have been robbed of their agency and culture.” I couldn’t agree more, and I believe that this also echos a long tradition of liberal arts in American education (from a time when “liberal” was not a common insult). We could talk a lot about how we came to be at this point and who is to blame for it but prefer to move forward with the tide on this one. I was really inspired by your descriptions of intertextuality in popular youth culture – which is just one of a tapestry of marginalized cultures that make up contemporary America. I’ve only just started thinking of connected blogging as an expression of that. We’ve discussed commenting and cross commenting, however, some of the most compelling examples I’ve seen are blog posts that are themselves comments on numerous other blog posts, using hyperlinks to create organic pathways among numerous contributors. This form of referencing and cross referencing is a writing skill that is probably not taught and this reminds me of Howard Rheingold’s remarks about the rhetoric of tagging – another manifestation of intertext.

    Recognizing others is likely to be one of the most powerful ways to draw people into a widening conversation on whatever interests or is important to them, and this widening circle of activity can, as you say, help all of us reclaim our agency and our right to speak and to act in a public sphere that is increasingly suppressed and denigrated by “his master’s voice”. Working with youth cultures is also key since these cultures are naturally critical and in a constant state of re-formulation.

    For teachers in the K-12 sector, and for English teachers especially, the great challenge is to make what we are doing relevant to what people want and feel that they need. Too often, English instruction in particular has a disabling effect on students, convincing them that they cannot communicate effectively even if they try, and that if they try, they have nothing to say worth listening to anyway. So, we are back where we started: how do we use education to empower people, restore lost agency, and validate cultures.

    • Greg McVerry says:

      Awesome stuff. I would just take this comment and make it an entire blog post.

      Recognizing others is likely to be one of the most powerful ways to draw people into a widening conversation on whatever interests or is important to them, and this widening circle of activity can, as you say, help all of us reclaim our agency

  2. Maha Bali says:

    Love how you managed to bring so many different important concepts into one blogpost. Still absorbing it.

    Btw Mark Johstone has perfected the art of the blog-like comment 🙂 i hope he keeps them all somewhere safe

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