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In the Spring 2011 semester, I’m teaching a fully online, doctoral-level course called The Politics of Education.  I have designed the course as an open course, though I don’t know if it qualifies as a “Massively Open Online Course” (a MOOC; described nicely by Dave Cormier). The course is “open” in at least three ways. First, it’s open in that everything we do in the course is public. The two main spaces we’ll be working in are our Google Site and our Posterous blog.

Second, the course is open to anyone who would like to enroll and earn three credits through the VCU School of Education. If you are interested in this option, please be in touch and I will get you all of the information you need.

Finally, the course is open to your participation. You can be involved in at least the following ways:

  1. The students enrolled for credit will be reflecting on the readings (that they choose) and other information shared through various channels (Diigo, Twitter, etc.); they will be doing it on our Posterous blog. Please consider subscribing to the site and/or commenting on posts. I expect less than a dozen credit-seeking students in the course, so the Posterous site becomes a multi-authored blog with weekly themes. Your participation as commenters would be greatly appreciated.
  2. I will be hosting semi-regular “webinars” or virtual roundtables through Wimba Live Classroom. Those will be open to the public, and you are welcome to “attend” and participate. I’m still finalizing the schedule, but it will be posted on the Google Site. I will also announce the events on the Google Site, the Posterous blog, and on Twitter.
  3. Based largely on an assignment by Michael Wesch, students get to choose which articles they read (about the topic of the week and within certain guidelines) and then fill out a form that summarizes/synthesizes the article. The form generates a database that becomes searchable, sortable, etc. The database gets updated real-time and is embedded into the Google Site (it’s currently populated by summaries generated from students who took this course last time I taught it). You are more than welcome to use that form to add to the database if you read an article that’s relevant to a course on the politics of education.
  4. We’ll be using #adms707 as a tag in Diigo and Twitter. If I can work out the kinks, all of the course-related RSS feeds (blog, Diigo, Twitter) will show up on this page on the Google Site. You can follow the hashtag on Twitter in whatever way(s) you follow tags, and if you’d like to join our Diigo group, let me know.

Other ways to participate may surface; I’m trying to be flexible about the design of the course. The course begins next week (the week of January 17, 2011).

To whet your whistle, I created a little video introduction to the course: