David Axlyn McLeod, PhD – The University of Oklahoma
CSWE APM.2013 A New Approach to Teaching Social Policy: Student Perspectives on Digital Activism
“We are living in the middle of the largest increase in expressive capability in the history of the human race.” – Clay Shirky, Here Comes Everybody
Digital technologies (particularly the web) have radically changed the ways we access, distribute, and CONTROL the delivery of information.
The information exchange is changing… From This (Information Scarcity)
To This (Information abundance)
& so is education
So what can we do to help distinguish how students access, interpret, and disseminate information in the digital age?
We can make it a part of our learning spaces.
Chickering and Gamson
Student Generated Content is an educational strategy that represents an intentional shift of the student’s role from content consumer to content producer, and results in products of lasting value to the individual student, other students in the class, a larger community, and society (Sener, 2007; Lee & Mock, 2009).
Blooms Taxonomy & examples of digital tools found at each level
Be Careful (Thoughtful)! While all these tools are interesting and hold great potential, the point here is not to teach because of a tool! It’s incredibly important to develop your learning goals and objectives first. Then find tools to help you achieve them.
Some of the digital tools I’ve used to both make the most of the 7 principles in Project710
A free and open access platform for content creation and distribution (as many possibilities as you have imagination for)
Ex. http://project710.blogspot.com/ <-‐‑ look under student projects
Social Media -‐‑
Facebook, Tumblr, Google +, Twitter or others (can be used in public or private/closed ways to improve student engagement and instant or searchable sharing) Making it very easy for students to distribute content they find away form class time. Encourages learning during non-‐‑class time.
Media Production -‐‑
I wanted students to gain experience addressing social policy by capturing the attention of stakeholders and the larger community.
Host on www.youtube.com, iMovie or Windows movie maker to construct
“Re-‐‑wiring the web” these are tools that help you aggregate specific content to a specific place on the web. It helps you organize distributed content
Teach 1st. Tools 2nd
Stud Fee ent dba n=2 ck 6
Additional Student Feedback “Course lacked focus and direction and did not live up to its intentions. Taught a very narrow view of what 'change' means. Class lectures lacked depth or substance, leaving classroom discussions at a more appropriate level for a 100 level freshman course. Course did not live up to the standards of the university and was a waste of time and money. Independent learning without direction or focus is free, I shouldn't have to waste time or money in the process. Plus internet activism is an ineffective tool for community change and shouldn't be promoted as a valid form of community or policy engagement through a social work graduate school.” (SE)
Students wanted more
In ONE word describe your experience in project710. n=6
issent d e v i t e of ac 1 voic
• Time in class and engaged in discussions (n=5) • Advocacy to create more creative learning activities in other courses • Structure (n=3) o Expressed some anxiety over having the freedom to create their own topic areas & what that meant for course expectations o Students expressed stress over where their “grade” would come from • Individualized Feedback on student projects prior to due date • Nothing – Loved the course – no suggestions (n=3)
Creative - Uncommon – INSPIRED Enlightening - Worthwhile - Empowering
Student Feedback to the question, “In one sentence or so, what made this educational experience different than other more traditional lecture based classes you’ve taken?” n=6 “It was a collaborative teaching effort in which we learned from our instructor but also assumed communal responsibility in educating others through our weekly blogs.” “Thinking outside the box. Social work education is WAY more than sitting in a lecture. It is about doing. Exploring and executing your passions! LOVED this type of class.” “I was able to convey my thoughts in a expressive manner.” “Being provided an opportunity to learn in a way that was proactive and personally meaningful allowed me to become excited about a subject that once caused me great distress in the past!” “Project 710 trimmed away any waste of time and energy and got to the educational purpose in an effective, efficient and engaging way.” “This class actually enabled me to exercise my creative muscles, and work on a project that I wanted to work on around a cause I was actually interested in and passionate about. I didn'ʹt realize how much my creativity had been stifled in this program until I got to do this project.”
David Axlyn McLeod, PhD, MSW University of Oklahoma Assistant Professor | Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work Assistant Professor |Women’s & Gender Studies Affiliate Faculty | Center for Social Justice ZH 305 | 405.325.4647 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.damcv.com | @mcleodda