Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Juxtapositions #37

So here's a strange moment. I'm currently enrolled in an informal seminar course called Plato's Republic. There's a teacher at our school who has taught the course for many years, and each year he offers a special section for interested adults—parents and teachers mostly. He'll be retiring at the end of the year, and I wanted to get a chance to take the course and go back into Plato, whom I had not read since college. We're meeting in a traditional classroom around a traditional table reading a physical book written something like 2400 years ago (I just doublechecked the date, not through Google, which might have been easier, but, for old times' sake, in my twice-rebound copy of Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia, which I bought in 1965 and have been using ever since—most often, I must confess, to find answers for crossword puzzles), and we're having actual honest-to-God real-life three-dimensional conversations about timeless issues like the nature of justice.

So this evening I place my Plato on the table, turn to my computer, and here in my Google Reader inbox I find a post from Ken Ronkowitz which features this video, the introductory lecture from a Alexandra Juhasz, a college professor who is teaching an online course about YouTube, on Youtube:

I'm not sure what all of this means. I think that Alexandra Juhasz is embarking on a very interesting educational odyssey, the results of which is going to be much less predictable and impact a whole lot more people than our quiet little seminar over The Republic. Interesting times.


Lindsea said...

This post really sparked my interest, especially the part about the youtube class. Now that there are new online resources being developed, it seems like teachers are taking advantage of those resources, and adding new dimensions to classes. Alex's class about analyzing youtube and having students submit their projects, etc via youtube reminds me of the use of blogs in English. I remember last year in Mr. Watson's class when we had to post our Poisonwood Bible reflection, and other various homework assignments onto our respective blogs. It brought a new dynamic to the class because we were able to read and comment each other's homework assignments, and also carry on discussions outside of class.

This definitely relates to the Ka Wai Ola, also. It makes me wonder if we couldn't add new depth, and reach a broader audience using blogs, or youtube, or some other internet tool. Any thoughts about this?

Poets Online said...

Check out her latest video (Summary of Learning) on the results of the class