TechTuesday is cancelled today because of the storm, but the Digital Learning Team has an alternative that doesn’t require stepping out into the snow. This afternoon, Tuesday, March 14, at 2 p.m. EST, we warm up our snow day with a Twitter chat about students, protest, distraction, and taking risks. The conversation will focus on Sean Michael Morris’ recent blog post, “Deeply Aggrieved.” With this piece as a starting point, we’ll consider what’s at stake for students in the current political environment and what our responsibilities are as educators in this crisis moment.
Below are a few questions to get our chat going. Read the post, bring your own questions, and join us for this hour-long chat. We’ll be using the hashtag #snowberg. It’s helpful to include it with all of your tweets so that other participants can easily follow along.
Sean Michael Morris is a digital teacher and pedagogue, and instructional designer at Middlebury College. He is known for his work in critical digital pedagogy and social justice, and directs the Digital Pedagogy Lab. In his latest post, published on March 12, Morris reflects on recent protesting by Middlebury students against the presence of Charles Murray on campus, and an opinion piece by Frank Bruni in the New York Times of that event. One reader on Twitter called Morris’ post “the only required reading on the Middlebury protests,” while another described it as a “must-read for all working in higher education — and anyone else with an opinion about what’s happening here.” Morris challenges readers to question some of the increasingly common ways that college students are described– “emotionally coddled,” “distracted.” He also invites us, as educators, to consider what more we can do to show up for our students, who carry into our classes and campus spaces known and unknown adversities of which we may not be fully aware, let alone prepared for.
As the snow continues to fall and the wind blows sideways, the Digital Learning Team at Muhlenberg is looking forward to reading and reflecting on Morris’ post and invite you to join in at 2 p.m. EST.
As educators, how can we better show up for students moving through and with adversity? How can we make our classrooms and community more hospitable spaces?
Morris asks us to critically examine our image of a distracted learner. Who is a distracted learner? What kinds of learners do we have in mind? How helpful is that category?
How can we practice “Zen-like honesty about the state of things” so that our courses and syllabi help students prepare for their future, to solve the crises in our world today? What kinds of assignments and activities might empower them in this work?