The Really Big One: A Course In Educational Technology for Fall ’15

So I’m running a course this fall, and those on fedwiki are welcome to participate.

The way the course works is this. For the first half of the class my educational technology students will be investigating the nature and impact of the coming Cascadia subduction zone earthquake. They come from multiple disciplines so they will use those multiple lenses to look at the problem from scientific, historical, and sociological angles. Wherever that leads them is fine, as long as they explore it with passion and rigor and can show some connection to the topic.

We’ll start with the New Yorker article as our starting point, and then branch out from there in typical federated wiki fashion.

We’ll be posting the results of our research on federated wiki, where other classes and people can expand on them or extend them, revise them or refute them.  We hope at the end to have an interesting collection of explanations of the underlying science and sociology of this coming disaster.

The second part of the course is probably less interesting to you all, but having participated in this event, the students will do action research with local schools to find out from practicing teachers what it would take to make a module like this viable in a grade 9-12 setting. They’ll compile that into a report presented at the end of the class.

In any case, if you wanted to use federated wiki and were looking for a collaboration project to do that with, this might be your chance. I’ve uploaded the shadow syllabus for the course here. The subject is cross-disciplinary enough that I can imagine almost any class, from physics to women’s studies, contributing to the project.



6 thoughts on “The Really Big One: A Course In Educational Technology for Fall ’15

  1. Mike, I’m a high school physics teacher (and former geophysics undergrad who loves talking about earthquakes, science and the human intersections between them all) at a Seattle private high school. I’m really excited by what I’m reading here, though I don’t know what exactly to do with it. When you get to Phase Two, though, maybe I could help?

  2. What a fascinating project Mike! I am not in a position to contribute with a class but will watch with interest. A few years ago a student group did a project for me in the development and use of software and services in natural disasters. I learned a lot about tensions that emerge in communication and sharing information in a context of damaged network and power infrastructures.

    • Hi Mike,

      Seeing Frances’ reply helped me remember that I hadn’t responded to this post like I intended, and I agree this is a fascinating project for your students. I’ll participate in both segments of this class because I’m curious about three things. 1] It’s the federated wiki in an actual class of students which is something I don’t have access to you yet, but really hope to someday. 2] I really disliked hypothetical scenarios for assignments when I was pursuing my education degree. Sometimes it’s really tough for teachers to create assignments that connect to the real world of teaching. I get it, but that attitude stifles creativity and belittles future educators. My best work, I think, came from teachers who let me pursue my own interests as it related to my future as a teacher/citizen. This class does both for students. 3] I’ve been researching fire lookouts in Washington this summer, and this NYer article got me thinking about outdated technology, natural disasters, and history. I’ll blog soon about these fedwiki pages I’ve created this summer to provide context should your students or anyone else be interested.

      I think 1 & 2 are the educator in me, and 3 is that pesky writer who thinks the federated wiki hung the moon. Feel free to use any of my pages to teach your students what *not* to do with the form!

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