#thatcamp report part 3 (finally!)

Here at last is my final installment of my experiences at ThatCamp.  The conference proceedings will be released on August 1st so you can read more about the sessions there.  Meanwhile, I’ll give my reflections on what I got out of the sessions.

Since the first session day coincided with Bloomsday, I sat in on the hacking session Visualizing Ulysses.  Here is Amanda Visconti’s report on the results so far.  Amanda is looking for volunteers to help with this, so if interested, please contact her directly.

We got done a bit early, so I attended the tail end of Mark Sample’s session on building a better blogging assignment.  Lots of good ideas, some of which I might actually implement this semester!

After lunch, I attended a session on museums and authority.  It didn’t interest me as much as I expected so I utilized the rule of two feet and wandered between a few other sessions before I decided to collect my thoughts for the session I proposed, More Disruptive Pedagogy: Thoughts on Teaching an Un-Course.  Attendance was great, maybe because Mills Kelly was mistakenly listed as session organizer!  As I wrote in my proposal, ”

The idea for this session stems from my experiences and challenges teaching a graduate public history course on the theory and practice of digital history.  The first challenge I face has to do with coverage: what are the most important things that students should know to get a reasonable introduction to the field?  The second challenge regards levels of experience: some students have little or no experience with anything beyond word processing and using an online catalog; others are far more advanced in their skill level (the last time I taught the course I had a student with an undergraduate degree in computer science. Talk about a humbling experience). The third challenge is keeping up with the field and making sure that the course stays fresh and up to date.

So, what I’d like to discuss is — would the un-conference model, in which students decide on at least some of the themes and topics of the course, work for a graduate level course?”  Mills has an excellent post on what we discussed.  I still don’t know if/when I will use the “un-course” idea but the pedagogy of disruption intrigues me enough to pursue it further.

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