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Recent Comments on Public Documents

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Nov 28

this is such a good point. being interested in art myself, and have always had an interest in it- it was so difficult to find educational support for pursuing those interests. I was also told it was only a “hobby” and it would never amount to anything because it wasn’t math, science, or technology-based, essentially not 21st century enough. It wasn’t until I was able to gain some independence and pursue this interest for myself in college. not all interests that students have will be based in video games, or computers, or engineering. that doesn’t make those interests any less valid and more artistic and creative inclinations need to be just as valued and celebrated.

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Nov 28

An important design consideration is that while technology is ubiquitous in work and play, not all technology or access to technology is equal. As we saw during the pandemic, we had students who tried to complete their semester from their cell phones because they did not have reliable internet on their second-hand laptops. Furthermore, we had instructors who lacked the comfort with LMSs who tried to conduct instruction via email rather than learn how to post an assignment online. These barriers disproportionally hurt under-represented students. While the technology is a valuable tool, the onus should be on instructors and institutions to ensure that students have equitable access to the tools they need to be successful. It is also worth noting that an affinity network does not have to be an online environment, and in some instances could be of more value taken back into the “real world.”

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Nov 28
In community college, she took a ceramics class just for fun, but her professor recognized her interest and skill and encouraged her to join a group of students who make pottery and sell it in the school’s craft fair. She never thought about selling her work prior to this and never had the connections to do so. She ended up making more money than she envisioned and now sells pottery as a side gig. It is important for us as educators to be that bridge, especially for young students who may not realize that their interests and talents can help them in both academic and professional settings.

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Nov 28

My university, like many, is exploring ways to improve student’s sense of belonging as a means to improve retention. However, many of the ways the university is pursuing an increased sense of belonging is through “traditional” forms of belonging, such as increasing residence life activities and attendance to sporting events. As the authors discuss later in this chapter, that while these traditional initiatives increase a multi-generational bond, they still fail to reach those students who are not driven by sports or the arts or who do not live on campus. For campuses to truly succeed in outreach, they are going to need to be open to different activities than they may recognize as valuable.

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Nov 28

For as much as we discuss being a community of learners, many of these discussions are still framed in a transfer/acquisition model, where the instructors are the experts and are solely responsible for connecting students to the affinity network that “matches” their curriculum. This book sheds light on what young people are doing independent of the “deposits” instructors are making in their academic banks. The idea of being more intentional with the design of curriculum around affinity networks will only be as successful as educators are willing to relinquish some of the control and be open-minded to the untapped expertise within their own classrooms.

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Nov 28

There have to be ways we can combine formal schooling with more free time. Allowing the children to have free time to explore their interests is the only way to combat this. This can’t be done solely as an extracurricular. It needs to be integrated into the student’s day.

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