Teaching and Learning

@dkernohan Visited My Class Yesterday

This summer I’m teaching a York College class  for teacher education students about integrating technology in the classroom. And one of the first assignments asks the students to watch Michael Wesch’s video A Vision of Students Today and then blog about their college experience so far. One student described hers as “not terrible but having a lot of incomplete pieces.” She wondered how she might be able fill that gap and included this image of an incomplete puzzle portrait. REALLY DEEP QUESTION RIGHT?

And while reading this student’s post a tweet from David Kernohan popped up:

The comic is a remix of Neil Gaiman’s graduation speech to the University of the Arts class of 2012 delivered two weeks ago. Here’s the first frame of the comic:

You should definitely read the rest of the comic (there’s advice for what to do if your cat explodes) and watch Gaiman’s speech which asks you to respond to the stresses of life by making ‘Good Art.’ And if you believe anyone can be an artist, a good one mind you, then the answer is in being creative right? So I responded to the student’s post including that link and message.

How cool is that? Someone in England helped me respond to my student’s post. It’s as if David Kernohan were in the classroom helping me teach.

And how did David come to be in my classroom? He showed up serendipitously because I’ve been slowly building connections with peers through my blog and twitter account over the past year-and-a-half. These are connections that didn’t exist before, and the opportunity to learn, to reflect, and to share with them didn’t exist before.

Finding that cool group of people to hang-out with online has taken time, and I was lucky to discover the CUNY Academic Commons and DS106. There are so many great people I have met through these spaces: Matt Gold, Jim Groom, Mikhail Gershovich, Luke Waltzer, Boone Gorges, Chris Stein, Giulia Forsythe, Alan Levine, GNA Garcia, Scott Lockman, Rowan Peter, Tim Owens, Martha Burtis, Zach Dowell, Todd Conaway, and on and on… These connections have helped me rediscover my interest in remix culture starting with my first blog on the Commons about old artwork and making so much art dammit! for ds106.

And most importantly I’ve totally bought into Gardner Campbell’s call to narrate your process. I struggle at it – I’d always rather make an animated GIF than write – but I’m a better teacher, artist, learner, and everything else for it.

Oddly this is something I’ve wanted to write about for awhile, I have a least a couple draft posts never published that attempted to talk about this stuff. So thankfully I have this one out now. And thank you, thank you, thank you, to everyone that’s been so awesome in the past year as I’ve ventured into blogging and tweeting and everything else. YOU ALL RULE.

7 replies on “@dkernohan Visited My Class Yesterday”

Nothing can generate more goodness that a small but powerful dose of serendipity; I believe it liberates or at least anoints the machine of creativity that Gaiman describes in the speech the comic is based on- I too saw @kernohan’s tweet and ended up absorbed in the video

This is going to be something I roll into future versions of ds106, but more so, my life.

I watched the video later that afternoon too, loved it. I have to re-read the Sandman series, I think made it through the first three trade paperbacks (then ran out of money to buy the other seven – I was in art school at the time). It was amazing.

These kinds of moments are what demonstrate so powerfully the potential of open ed. Fantastic.

It has been so excellent to see you flourish as you’ve become connected to the DS106 community. Many thanks for feeding some of that energy back into the CUNY Academic Commons!

Thanks so much Matt, you’ve been a wonderful guide and exemplar of what’s possible when you foster a community to create and reflect in the open.

C-Box has the potential to be something really special and looking forward to what’s to come.

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