Welcome to the 5th edition of this experimental, exploratory and inventive course! At the onset of our time together I want to quote the formidable Nina Simone and say to you all that “it’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, and I am feeling good.” I share here the words of Amanda Gorman, whose call for hope, unity and resilience in a time of division, is just the right invocation for the #netnarr, 5th edition:
There is change in the air, and there is a visceral sense of relief, as we press our collective “reset button” and move into the cloudy and murky future together. This past year has been so full of challenge, how do I even start to address it all here in this welcome post? I think it is safe to say that the global pandemic (which continues to rage on with force) has upended just about everything we know. This painful truth (and all that has ensued in it’s wake) demands a certain reconsideration of our responsibilities to ourselves and the communities we participate in. We will set out on that task together. We will think and create and question together.
We have a class hashtag (#netnarr) on twitter that is already well-established. If you look at #NetNarr’s history, you will see a lively debate between students, scholars, artists, digital alchemists from a world called #arganee, and even bots.
What is this tradition that has come to be known as #netnarr? “NetMirror: The Post-Pandemic University” will be an open (online), connected (networked), co-learning (participatory) experience. As a new iteration of “Networked Narratives”, it already has a reputation of pushing way beyond the boundaries of the “traditional classroom”. Learning in “Net Mirror” will never be a passive activity (i.e. something that happens to students). In the “old school” model for learning, what you learn and how you learn it is decided by someone else, without considering what you care about, what you know already, or what you want to learn. Part of the idea of an open class comes from giving you the opportunity to influence the course. Net Mirror is in part, about what it means to write in a globally interconnected world. Your individual interests and ambitions should be a central part of what we do in this course together. What do you want to learn during our time together? What do you want to make during our time together? I offer these questions to you at the start in earnest. Keep them in the forefront of your mind as we start this journey together.
The intended outcomes of this course are quite explicit: We will be producing public scholarship and public conversation about the future of learning (and our hope(s) for our collective future). We will take a hard look at the challenges ahead. And we will produce another special issue of the online journal that emerges from this unique course.
During our first meeting, we will get to know each other a bit, and we will discuss the plans for our time together. And I am quite sure that our Net Mirror collaboration will be an important moment in your overall learning journey.
Welcome to “Net Mirror: The Post-Pandemic University” (#netnarr, 5th edition)!
See you soon,
Dr. Mia Zamora