This is mostly a message to the VCU students in Section 010 of UNIV200 this summer.
But, it’s here for anyone to read.
I suppose, in that way, I’m modeling writing and learning “out loud.”1 We’ll be doing that together this summer.
So, to my students who don’t yet know me, welcome!
Welcome to what I believe will be a fantastic learning experience.
Welcome to an opportunity to engage in “exuberant discovery.” I borrow that terminology from an article in an online journal called Hybrid Pedagogy. That article borrowed the terminology from a neurologist / educator named Judy Willis who used the term in quotes in a book she wrote. I know that because the authors of the Hybrid Pedagogy article used hypertext to link to the source from where they learned of the term “exuberant discovery.” That source is an article in The Washington Post. The Washington Post article pulls quotes from the book. But, “exuberant discovery” is in quotes within the quote2. That makes me wonder if Willis borrowed the term from somewhere else3.
Wonder. There’s that word.
You might have “wondered” why this post is titled “Team Oneder.” Well, there are 6 sections of VCU students in this “Digital Engagement Pilot” version of UNIV200. Each section has an assigned “instructor” and we’ve each given our sections a team name. For my section (OUR section), I was torn between Team Wonder and Team Binary. I liked Team Wonder because I think wonder should be our collective goal, particularly in a course on research writing; I view research and inquiry as acting upon wonder. “I wonder what…” Also, I liked Team Wonder because much of what we’ll be doing this summer is “Wondering Vulnerably in Public.” That link takes you to something Bud Hunt, a colleague/friend/educator in Colorado wrote. My hope is that we can do all exuberantly discover the value of wondering vulnerably in public.
I also like Team Binary. We are section 010 of UNIV200. When I first saw the section number, my first association was binary code. I wondered (there’s that word again) what 010 represented in binary code (extra credit for the first student who discovers what 010 means in binary code and lets us know in the comments section). Additionally, we’ll be reading a handful of articles and essays from those who were early visionaries of computers and computing as we know it today. So, I felt that Team Binary was a nod to those visionaries.
Ultimately, I decided to create a mashup, of sorts, of the two team names. The result is Team Oneder. And, yes, the resultant movie reference clinched the idea. (extra credit to the first student who comments on this post and correctly identifies the movie reference inherent in the name Team Oneder).
This “course”, I’m fairly certain, won’t be like any other course you’ve taken to this point. It may seem messy, and you may feel scattered, especially early on. However, my hope is that you’ll embrace the spirit of wonder and exuberant discovery. In that spirit, I made a little video that introduces you to me and to the course. I tried to break my computer or the Internet in the process of recording it. I wondered if I could…
- Truth is, though, I’ve been at this blogging game a while. [↩]
- Please take note of what I did there. To understand the origin of the term “exuberant discovery” I followed some links and put them back together. That’s essentially what Vannevar Bush calls an “associative trail.” You’ll read about that in the first essay we’ll read together called “As We May Think.” And, you’ll have an opportunity to reflect on your own associative trails as you do research writing in the digital age [↩]
- If you do a Twitter search for the exact quote in the Hybrid Pedagogy piece (and the WaPo article), you find lots of posts and articles that use the quote. None that I could find try to track down whether or not Willis borrowed it from somewhere else and, therefore, put quotes around it. It turns out that if you do a search for the words on the Amazon.com site for the book, you find that she references an Alfie Kohn book or article from 2004, but does not offer a page number. So, it’s not even clear if Willis is directly quoting Kohn. [↩]