Week 8 – Prof. Oliver Is that Really You?

It’s been almost six weeks since we’ve heard any real word from Prof. Oliver, our digital storytelling historian that was teaching ds106 at the start of the semester with the intention of taking us on a Journey to the Center of the Internet. He had a bit of a rough start, quiet confused about how to get started and then while introducing the right digital tools for the journey, he fell off a mountain terribly injuring himself. Sadly Prof. Oliver spent weeks recovering, not just from the many broken bones and bruised ego, but he had some trouble monitoring the proper therapeutic level of his drug regimen.

I’ve had to teach in his place for a while, so not hearing word for some time I’d written off the good professor. To my surprise, apparently he’s been following along in the class and had a particularly strong reaction to last weeks radio show with students telling educational horror stories. It’s unhinged him and Prof. Oliver I once knew seems to be lost. Lost in the center of the internet? Looking for answers about teaching and learning?

[youtube width=”580″ height=”470″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTnx0U7U73s[/youtube]

He seems a bit radical but apparently he believes students are able to learn on their own, without the professors’ lecture and without assessment. Is he saying students don’t need to go to college? Shouldn’t receive grades?

I may have to go after the good Prof. Oliver and see if I can shake some sense into him. This all sounds a bit too radical.

I hoping to bring messages to him from you the students, whether it’s a message communicated in design, audio, video, or simply written. Post your response to Prof. Oliver in your blog, I’m really hoping we can help him, but I fear it may be too late.








15 responses to “Week 8 – Prof. Oliver Is that Really You?”

  1. irum malik Avatar

    This is very deep. very philosophical thinking. i liked the setting (the dark scene) and your tone and the heavy message this very short video carries.
    i agreee with 99.99% percent of watcho say….

  2. irum malik Avatar

    ALSO….. as they say, “if you have a will, you will find many ways”
    thats what it is. if we will to do something , we can find a million ways to do it….. i simply loved your message….

  3. collin gayle Avatar

    this is great, reaching out in differents ways often gets a message across. This is so well put together it gives me a reason to come back and watch this video, because i think the lighting is incredible, i want to figure out how its done; could be very useful. Really artistic!

  4. Jim Groom Avatar

    “I wept like an unpublished academic!”
    That right there is worth the price of admission alone, this is brilliant! Wow! And you even shaved your head, what a badass!

    1. Ben Avatar

      I was close to tears!

  5. Ben Avatar

    Wow, I need to get back on the ds106 train after falling off a few weeks back!

    I’m not so sure there’s anything deep about this as much as it’s bluntly stripping away the pretense of formalized education. The longer I spend in the school environment, the more I find that the problems we encounter with trying to help students learn have only been compounded by layers of regulation, tradition, and other codified means of making educational practices commodities that we can “buy into”. ds106 is the antithesis of that, there is no “buy in”, no pretense, just community, support, and shared learning experiences.

    I hope the poor Dr. Oliver can escape the crushing blow of realities hammer, and find a way to come back to the light.

  6. Alan Levine Avatar

    Man, that cat has gone to the dark place (where was he when I needed him?).

    What an epic performance a la Dr Oblivion, I shall nominate for a “Groomy” award. If I ever got a chance to teach ds106, I wonder if it would require shaving of the head?

    The horror: “I wanted to tear my notes up”!

    This is powerful balance of the need for institution yet the need to change it radically- it is not either or, not the phony DIYU nor the Ivory Tower of lore, but both: “The students were stronger than we because they could stand this useless lecture and still find a way to learn. They would learn with their hearts, they had the strength, the strength to do that… You have to have students who want to go to college, that at the same time they are able to utilize their innate skills to learn, without lecture, without assessment.”

    Brilliant, Dr Oliver. I love the smell of napalmed assessment in the morning.

  7. Todd Conaway Avatar
    Todd Conaway

    In listening and hearing I hear:

    “No Safety or Surprise, The End”

    One the one hand we have no safe place, no comfort, no home. And at the same time we have no surprise, no wonder, no opportunity for discovery. Sound like anything familiar?

    “Surprise” is often found while pondering the possibilities. Wandering in scary endless night. More wondering and wandering is needed in schooling. More surprise. Higher expectations and challenge. And stuff… I am done.

    I wonder what Jim meant by “Surprise?”

    Wonderful art man! I am inspired. But, ah, not to shave my head. Yet.

  8. Giulia Avatar

    oh. my. genius.
    I have been carousing around with other MOOCs but 4 minutes of this video reminds me that I should never, ever stray far from ds106. How you inspire me.
    Speaking of being inspired, y’know I don’t need to be assessed or anything but I’d like to make some art, damnit, so…uh…what kind of art would you, Dr. Olivier, like us to make?

  9. Wilton Valley Avatar
    Wilton Valley

    I have never been more proud of a professor since Indiana Jones ( and he’s fictional) Nothing like Professor oliver at all…Awesome

  10. Prof. Lockman Avatar

    What an amazing creation.

    Beautiful, powerful, funny, moving.

    Not much else I’m able say – except: thank you for making and sharing this!

  11. Shanaa Avatar

    You deserve an Oscar award for this or maybe a one-man show on Broadway.

  12. jean semilfort Avatar

    what a genius are you! Everything from the decor to the sound the personality are awesome, plus que parfait. Well done!…

  13. […] Oliver made a bold claim that struck our fearless leader, Michael Branson Smith, with a case of baldheadedness: As MBS noted, “He seems a bit radical but apparently he believes students are able to learn […]