How Open Pedagogy, Affinity Spaces, and Badges connect.

I found the order in which the modules were presented in this class really built on each other. Learning first about Open Pedagogy provided a foundation to help understand affinity spaces. Open Pedagogy is about sharing knowledge, and affinity space is where it happens. It is the perfect recipe for co-learning.

There are many examples of this concept. Twitter is a perfect example. I had the opportunity to connect with educators through twitter this week. I also read through a transcript of a live chat where so much co-learning was happening between educators. In true affinity space fashion, it was obvious that educators from all backgrounds and levels we welcome to join and contribute. It was amazing to see something that I had just learned about take place right in front of me.

The concepts of badges does not necessarily fit into all affinity spaces, but it does add an incentive for participants. Affinity spaces that allow participants to earn badges, gives members a tool to measure their own development. Take an app like “Untapped” which was created for the craft beer loving community. You can log beers, share about exclusives, search beers by venue, and earn badges. I am not an active participant, so I can’t speak to what the badges mean. That said, I have friends with over 1000 badges. If I had a strong desire to learn more about craft beer I would be able to easily identify someone who likely has a great deal of knowledge based on the badges they have earned. The same happens in the video game industry.

Overall I find it interesting to understand how these concepts connect with one another.

This week in EDU522 we learned about Open Pedagogy. There isn’t one clear cut definition of Open Pedagogy, but instead varying interpretations among educators, and how they view “open”. Robin DeRosa describes how he used Open Pedagogy to teach his college first year seminar class in his blog Extreme Makeover: Pedagogy Edition. His focus was to make the course very student driven. As a first year seminar instructor myself, I can appreciate that concept. He provided the class with the learning outcomes that were outlined by the faculty, and allowed the students to collaboratively determine (and create) their learning outcomes. I think students should decide the learning outcomes for a course like that. I plan to run a similar exercise with my students in seminar this fall.


The Power of Positivity in Education

At the collegiate level, one of my passions is working with students who have not tapped into their full academic potential. Sometimes this is a result of an undiagnosed learning disability, but I also find that many of the students I work with haven’t had positive experiences in the classroom, which has resulted in a lack of confidence. As educators, it’s incredibly important to understand just how influential and instrumental we can be in the educational (and often times personal) development of a student. That is an incredible power.

One of the reading in Module 1 that I found most inspiring was “I’m Autistic. Here’s what I’d like you to know.” written by Ryan Boren. There were several things about this piece that stuck out to me. One was how it was written from an Autistic person’s point of view. I felt like I was listening to one of my own students on the spectrum articulate all of the ways they think differently, and how I could support them.

The biggest take away for me was the chart Autism: The Positive


This is how I model my teaching style. I work with students individually to help them navigate their learning challenges, and find their strengths. I use my “power” to teach with positivity and encouragement.