Our class website will be our home. Here you’ll find our most up-to-date schedule; all course reading / screening material (which you can access with your New School login!); and daily agendas with links to the various platforms we’ll use during our synchronous meetings and (occasional) asynchronous interactions. Those platforms include:
- Slack (https://redesignacademy2022.slack.com): this “channel-based messaging platform” is where we can share resources and relevant events and exhibitions, support one another’s individual projects, engage in discussions, reflect on (and propose renovations to) our learning environment, etc. Participation is optional. You’ll find Slack being used in many workplaces, as a home-base for collaborative projects and distributed resource-sharing networks. It’s a good tool to know.
If you’re new to the platform, please check out the Slack Help Center and watch this tutorial video. Be sure to configure your notifications (including all those potentially intrusive dings and emails), and to brush up on the protocols for addressing groups and individuals, sending direct messages, and using threaded discussions.
- Google Drive, Docs, and Slides: I’ll be saving our recorded lectures to Google Drive and sharing my presentations via Google Slides. You’ll be submitting assignments via Google Docs and contributing reading responses via Google Slides, too.
- Zoom: we’ll use this video teleconferencing platform for those real-time full-class meetings when we meet with external guests (who can’t join us on campus), for one-on-one conversations, and perhaps for other purposes as needed. You’re free to join our Zoom room before class officially starts, and to hang out after it officially ends, to engage in informal conversation!
- Others: we might use Mural, Hypothesis, Perusall, Voicethread, Twitter, or other tools if opportunities present themselves. Your groups are also welcome to encourage the class to experiment with additional platforms.
- Course Networks:
- We’ll be connecting on occasion with Rachel Buurma’s and Andy Hines’s “Why College?” class at Swarthmore College, hosted in partnership with the Aydelotte Foundation.
- This class is also part of the New School’s Worldmaking Media Collaborative pilot initiative. This cross-curricular inquiry into worldmaking supports diverse critical and creative projects and research. The Worldmaking Media Collaborative is a platform for shared resources and invites students to collaborate and share work across classes, contributing to a mini-conference and exhibition of work planned for the end of spring ’22. Our central online space will be the WMC website, where students can find and share supplemental readings, instructables, and other valuable resources.
ABOUT THE READINGS, SCREENINGS, AND LISTENING EXERCISES
- I think we can better appreciate the complexity, relevance, and resonance of each of our weekly themes by approaching them from multiple theoretical, historical, practical, and creative directions. That’s why, for each week, I typically put together a mini “anthology” rather than assigning a single definitive text. Each text on that list is there because it has the potential to add a distinctive voice or dimension to our conversation! Yes, sometimes those reading lists might look intimidatingly long – but the total number of pages, or minutes of screening, shouldn’t take you more than five hours per week. That said, if, occasionally, you can’t complete all the readings and screenings, that’s fine; the sky won’t fall. I prefer that you regard these lists as “elective florilegia,” or “candy samplers with no awful cherry cordials” 😉 I hope you’ll at least taste everything in the box because it’s all delicious and/or nutritious, and I’d love for you to appreciate the potential contribution of each ingredient.
Also, I sometimes recommend videos or podcasts in lieu of written texts. I invite you to walk or lie down or sit in a park or ride your Peloton or row a boat while you watch and listen to these materials.
- The inclusion of a particular text does not necessarily constitute an endorsement of it. Sometimes I choose provocative or “problematic” texts because they’re widely cited and it’s good for us to be aware of them, because I want you to exercise your own judgment, and because I’m pretty sure they’ll make for good conversation. In short: you’re not compelled to agree with everything you read! 🙂
- We won’t address all the readings in our in-class discussions. Some readings provide background, some are self-explanatory, some present interesting illustrations or case studies; we needn’t discuss these sorts of texts in-depth – but they’re still worth your time! They can still inform our discussions, shape your own understanding, and perhaps inspire ideas for your own projects!