FemTechNet: Feminist Activism Through Collaborative Learning Experimentation

Insights from the world's first global Distributed Open Collaborative Course (DOCC), and how it has enhanced 'feminism and technology' thinking and practice.

About The Speaker(s)

Due to technical difficulties with Google+ Hangouts On Air on March 17, 2014, not all participants were able to join this conversation.

  • Susanna Ferrell - Scripps College, Class of 2015; beta tester for the DOCC
  • Alexandra Juhasz - Professor of Media Studies at Pitzer College; co-founder of FemTechNet
  • Anne Balsamo - Dean of the School of Media Studies and Professor of Media Studies at The New School for Public Engagement; co-founder of FemTechNet
  • Elizabeth Losh - Author and blogger; Director of the Culture, Art & Technology program at the University of California San Diego

Resources

Download a PDF of this session's Livestream Chat archive

Share your thoughts via #ReclaimOpen on Twitter

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Articles, Websites, or Videos Mentioned

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Key Questions and Comments

  • (01:44) Background on the FemTechNet Distributed Open Collaborative Course (DOCC).
  • (07:39) What is it about the design of FemTechNet that makes it important for students to be representatives and spokespeople? Why is validating student voice so critical for FemTechNet when you compare it to MOOCs?
  • (12:14) "Openness" can mean many different things to many different people teaching with technology. How do you define "open learning" and why is it important to you?
  • (16:36) Background on collaboration within FemTechNet, cross-disciplinary "team teaching" within the DOCC, and FemTechNet 'conferences'.
  • (21:07) When there are so many different fields and interests and backgrounds represented, it really requires people to pay attention to their ethical commitments of how they engage and how they collaborate across differences...People will engage in argumentation & presentation of evidence differently...
  • (22:38) The trade-offs between openness and safety, and unspoken contracts within open learning.
  • (28:13) What have been some of the biggest challenges that you've faced with FemTechNet, and what were the solutions?
  • (33:53) You had this huge project of creating these video dialogues and then you also have this platform on which you're trying to orchestrate student interactions. You have issues of rich media bandwidth and all of these technical constraints. Do you want to talk about the challenges of creating your own Learning Management System?
  • (38:09) [Advice for others who'd like to emulate what FemTechNet has done] It's best to grow the collaboration organically, to put the idea out there that you are interested in forming a course around an idea, and really network the idea. The FemTechNet effort couldn't have happened without a lot of people joining in because they were personally passionate about the interest.

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