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Big ideas and authentic problems: Designing learning experiences with (and without) social media

Session 3
Christina Jenkins, Francesca Fay, Alisa Berger, Mary Moss — NYC iSchool

The NYC iSchool believes that learning experiences should be grounded in solving real problems. How might educators identify these problems and design curriculum around their investigation? We’ll discuss two courses: The Sixteen Project, an anthropological look at coming of age around the world, and #disastercamp, a design workshop for disaster response.

With Michael Wesch's work as a precedent for digital ethnography in an undergraduate setting, The Sixteen Project aims to investigate similar themes with high school students by investigating culture and coming of age from an anthropological perspective. The Sixteen Project proposes new questions about the high school experience. How might learning be more intimately connected to both personal and global questions? How do students engage with other communities and at the same time begin to see themselves as other? How significant is the physical classroom environment when these investigations occur across the globe via Skype, Flickr, Google Voice and Vimeo?

disastercamp asks participants to design creative solutions for disaster response. Inspired by the 2011 Imagine Cup Emergency Response and Crowd Sourcing challenge, this course investigates the extent to which natural disasters are ever natural and looks to design as a methodology for creative problem-solving. Participants engage with each step of the design process as they move toward a final concept that leverages social media and other tools to improve communication and coordination for disaster relief.

Conversational Practice

This workshop will guide participants through the collaborative process of designing their own problem-based courses with this "module" class protocol.

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Presenter Profiles

Christina Jenkins
Christina Jenkins
NYC iSchool

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