Thursday Workshops

Thursday Workshops

Demystifying Ed-tech Algorithms

Workshop LeaderKris Shaffer

Every assignment is an algorithm. Every curriculum is an algorithm. There is no algorithm-free education, only algorithms we don’t know or understand. If we don’t know the algorithm or the ends to which it is employed, it hinders the pedagogical process. So how do we uncover the algorithms hidden in our ed-tech tools? And how do we hack ― or bypass ― the algorithms that run counter to our educational goals?

In this workshop, we will explore the algorithms behind common traditional assignments, walk through an overview of common machine-learning algorithms used by developers, and then critically examine a series of assignments and tools ― traditional and digital ― to try and uncover the algorithm(s) in use and the likely ends to which they are employed.

No existing statistical or computational expertise is required for this workshop. We will work through these concepts on a general level, with a view towards understanding, and then critiquing, their basic principles and goals. The aim of this workshop is to provide participants with this basic understanding, as well as experience casting a critical eye on ed-tech tools that use machine-learning algorithms to deliver a “personalized” “learning experience,” in order to make informed decisions about ed-tech tools. Resources will also be provided for follow-up investigation for participants who want to dig deeper.

Digital Publishing

Workshop LeaderChris Friend

With the proliferation of buttons labeled Post, Submit, Publish, Share, etc., what exactly does “digital publishing” mean today? How does the digital space affect scholarly publishing? What opportunities exist, and what concerns get overlooked?

In this workshop, we’ll break apart the structure and norms of digital publishing, then start playing around with ways to build publication spaces with domains of our own.

Teaching with Bots

Workshop Leader: Zach Whalen

What can we learn about Walt Whitman’s poetry from @WhitmanFML? And what can a parody account teach us about voice, authenticity, or rhetoric in a digital context? This workshop will be a short, hands-on introduction to the world of bots and a demonstration of how to make them. Attendees need not have any prior coding or programming experience, but if all goes well, they’ll leave 90 minutes later with a working Twitter bot of their own.

Read more about this workshop on Zach’s blog.

Inclusive Globally Networked Learning

Workshop LeadersAutumm CainesMaha Bali, Kate Bowles, Paul Prinsloo, and Virtual Facilitators / Guests

How can we build inclusive but critical pedagogies that challenge the framing of education, and especially education technology, as global market opportunity? Three international networked educators will facilitate this workshop, using storytelling to share and reflect on our own and participants’ experiences of learning with strangers across national and cultural boundaries. Together we will explore the complexity of collaborating with others who are from different cultural backgrounds, live in different timezones, and work in different national systems, and hope to begin envisioning a way forward to more inclusive networked learning. Join or watch live / recorded.