Image result for angry otters

This week I started by reading, “How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation” by Anne Helen Petersen. It put me in my current mood (see otter for reference) which has lingered in decreasing intensity throughout the week. I’m glad writing it was therapeutic for you, Anne Helen Petersen, but I could’ve done without the reminder that despite how hard I work I will most likely never be as financially successful as many before me.

The article did spark thoughts on how our burnout, fueled by many things including financial instability, affects our work as professionals in higher education. Are we more empathetic to our students’ struggles? Or are we less tuned in? Are we more versatile, willing to experiment with new methods of teaching? Etc. Building off these questions, I spent some time contemplating how our perspectives/intersecting identities affect the way we approach teaching and learning digitally.

Digital Teaching & Learning

I currently only teach one course called Gateway, it is in the same spirit as a freshman seminar course. I primarily used Google classroom to communicate with my students outside of our meeting times. In hindsight, I wish I had done a brief survey on how helpful the students found Google classroom. I put up general reminders (add/drop dates, withdraw deadline, etc.) as well as information specific to our class (room change, remember tech, etc.). My student mentor also started a group chat using Whatsapp.
This was my first year really utilizing Google classroom and Whatsapp to interact and communicate with students. There seemed to be a lot less confusion and miscommunication than previous years when I relied on email alone.

I am not sure if I will use any other tools or digital venues next year but this week has opened by eyes to the sheer plethora of options and capacity for creativity. Prior to my experiences in #DigPINS, I did perceived online learning to be rigid and dull. If anyone else shares the sentiment, I would encourage you to explore http://netnarr.arganee.world/.

Until next week, friends!

2 Thoughts to “Salty with a Side of Contemplation”

  1. Anne Helen Petersen’s article also put me in a bad mood after reading it again, too.

    That aside, I’d be curious to know if next time you teach Gateway if you do get feedback from students on how you use Google Classroom what their thoughts are. In my experience it’s not so much WHICH tool you use, but HOW you use it. It sounds like you are posting in Classroom frequently and using it for other useful reminders, so that probably creates a positive experience, but not everyone uses the tool in that way.

  2. Reid

    Opportunity abounds in Gateway for using digital tools and strategies. I appreciate your willingness to keep an open mind about the possibilities.

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