Putting in the Work
by Julie A Wilson — Allegheny College
January 27, 2013 – 23:09
Nearly three years ago, I co-founded teachingmedia.org with Tony Nadler. The site was constructed to host a wide array of teaching resources (clips, readings, discussion questions, assignments) accompanied by brief explanations of how they have been used in the classroom. To build the site, we spent countless hours learning Wordpress, thinking about organization, and experimenting with design. Ultimately, our main hope was to harness the powers of collective intelligence to lessen our teaching loads while invigorating our classrooms with fresh ideas and material.
We believed—and still believe— that Teaching Media has the potential to transform teaching, converting what is often experienced as thankless and solitary work into a dynamic collective endeavor. Realizing this potential however requires work on the part of the Teaching Media community. This work includes, at minimum, learning to use Wordpress and re-formatting one's favorite teaching materials for on-line publication. Of course, given our broader labor conditions these days, such little, tedious, and unacknowledged tasks might appear annoying, even daunting, not worthy of our time. Consider though the potential return for the community on these small, individual investments: an open, organized yet sprawling, searchable archive of our best ideas that can constantly inform and enliven, both enhance and reduce, our work as teachers.