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FemTechNet: The first DOCC,* a Feminist MOOC


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FemTechNet is a network of international scholars and artists activated by Alexandra Juhasz and Anne Balsamo to design, implement, and teach the first DOCC (Distributed Online Collaborative Course), a feminist rethinking of the MOOC. The course, Feminist Dialogues on Technology, will be offered in fifteen classrooms, at least one in every continent, in the Fall of 2013. This project uses technology to enable interdisciplinary and international conversation while privileging situated diversity and networked agency. Building the course on a shared set of recorded dialogues with the world’s preeminent thinkers and artists who consider technology through a feminist lens, the rest of the course will be built, and customized for the network’s local classrooms and communities, by network members who submit and evaluate Boundary Objects that Learn—the course’s basic pedagogic instruments.

FemTechNet invites interested scholars and artists to join this project and help build this course. In this seminar, Alexandra Juhasz and Anne Balsamo discuss how this innovative project got started, explore the model of distributed online collaborative courses, and lead a discussion of how FemTechNet or similar courses might fit within the liberal arts curriculum.

Alexandra Juhasz, Professor of Media Studies, Pitzer College, and Anne Balsamo, Dean of the School of Media Studies, New School for Public Engagement (New York).

Published in: Education

FemTechNet: The first DOCC,* a Feminist MOOC

  1. 1. FemTechNet The First DOCC,* a Feminist MOOC Alexandra Juhasz, Professor of Media Studies, Pitzer College Anne Balsamo, Dean of the School of Media Studies, New School for Public Engagement (New York). NITLE Seminar, October 4, 2012* DOCC: Distributed Online Collaborative Course
  2. 2. National Institute forTechnology in Liberal EducationOnline SeminarSpeakers:Alexandra JuhaszProfessor of Media StudiesPitzer College, Los AngelesAndAnne BalsamoDean of the School of Media StudiesNew School for Public Engagement, New YorkEvent Hashtag: #FemTechNet
  3. 3. FemTechNetA global network of scholars and artists who workat the intersections of feminism, science and technology Key Objectives •To develop innovative uses for digital technologies that serve important cultural and social needs •To involve women and girls in discussions about the history of feminist engagement with technology •To demonstrate feminist contribution to technological innovation •To contribute to the digital archive of the history of technology
  4. 4. Initial CommitmentsKey Challenges •Cultural ignorance of the general history of technology and science •Wide-spread ignorance of the historical relationship between women and technological innovation •Lack of understanding about the contribution of feminist theory to technocultural innovation •Authoritative structure of institutionalized MOOCs •Persistent difficult in engaging women and girls in STEM fields & projects
  5. 5. Initial CommitmentsKey Opportunities •Extensive global network of feminist experts in science and technology •Deep history of innovative feminist engagement with technology •Cross-disciplinary dispersion of feminist expertise •Feminist design thinking •History of innovative pedagogical practice among feminist teachers •New digital technology infrastructures
  6. 6. DOCC: An Alternative MOOCDistributed Online Collaborative Course Key Objectives •Recognize and engage expertise DISTRIBUTED throughout a network •Understand Learning as a MIXED-MODE and BLENDED experience •Design using COLLABORATIVE peer-to-peer process •Collaboratively create the HISTORICAL cultural archive •Collaboratively EXPERIMENT in use of online pedagogies
  7. 7. Feminist Learning Design2013 DOCC: Dialogues in Feminism and Technology Approaches the creation of a MOOC from the perspective of feminist STS and media arts Ten Week Course: September – November, 2013 Ten – Twelve VIDEO DIALOGUES Shared Learning Materials: BOTLs Collaborative Learning Activity: STORMING WIKIPEDIA Differential Participation: NODAL classes
  8. 8. Feminist Learning DesignVIDEO DIALOGUES Archive Body Difference Discipline Ethics Labor Machine Place Race Sexualities Systems Transformation
  9. 9. Feminist Design ThinkingBoundary Objects That Learn: BOTLs Approaches the creation of LEARNING OBJECTS from the perspective of feminist STS Learning Objects as BOUNDARY objects: “abstract or concrete frameworks that are adaptable to different viewpoints yet robust enough to maintain a provisional identity over time and across different worlds” Learning Objects that LEARN:. learning materials that are transformed through use when participants annotate materials based on experience and context Harding: Standpoint Theory Haraway: Refraction Theory and Subjugated Histories Star & Greisemer: Boundary Objects and Translation
  10. 10. Feminist Design ThinkingDifferential Participation: NODAL CLASSES NODAL CLASSES: > Fifteen “embodied” courses Independent Studies Self-Directed Learners Drop-In Learners Ad-hoc Instructors Peer-to-Peer Discussion
  11. 11. DOCC: 1st Iteration ScheduleDialogues in Feminism & Technology Fall 2012: Networking, Fundraising, Wikipedia analysis Spring 2013: Beta Courses Spring 2013: Prepare Video Dialogues Summer 2013: Material Preparation, Instructors’ Workshop Sept – Nov 2013: DOCC Launch
  12. 12. DOCC: OpportunitiesHow You can Participate Join the listserv: (join from pull-down list “register”) Teach a NODAL course Help architect the technological infrastructure Contribute BOTLs Fundraise Publicize the effort Extend the network
  13. 13. Thank YouDiscussion Anne Balsamo: Alex Juhasz: Background and MORE information: documents/femtechnet-faqs/ dialogues-technology-part-i dialogues-technology-part-ii