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“My views are just one perspective. Their voices are just as valid to be heard as mine. By the end of the term my voice is seen less and less,” said Scott Huette.
The voices Huette refers to are his students who are required to blog regularly in his “Art & Human Values” class. Huette and other professors around the university are using social media to enhance the education process. Instead of a strict one-way communication model where the professor speaks and the students listen, certain social media tools allow the class to become much more of a give and take between student and professor and even between students and their peers.
Huette’s class is online and he uses social media as a platform for community discussion and recognition. The first week of the term, students enrolled in his class are instructed to set up a blog on a topic of their choice. Throughout the term, students post weekly assignments to their blog, addressing all aspects of social issues, from food and culture to differing human values.
“I believe that students get more out of this class by clarifying and bouncing ideas off one another. All perspectives are valid,” said Huette, an instructor in the arts and administration program and AAA office of professional outreach and development for students.
There is an initial learning curve regarding the technical aspects of using a blog to share content, but Huette views this as part of the course content. It is a small hurdle to overcome in order for students to share their course work to a large public audience.
Blogs have proven their legitimacy in Huette’s online class, but he emphasizes the importance of maintaining structure so not to lose focus on the course material.
The AAA Voices project is a message-sharing installation meant to stimulate discussion and give voice to hidden opinions, identities and values. The installation outside of 206 Lawrence Hall invites participants to interact through material, light and shadow. Pushing a canvas scrim shifts the soft shadowed questions into sharp legibility.
Students, faculty and staff can leave their answers by writing on cards or by typing into a computer projection.
Other parts of the installation engage the audience to leave their mark by transforming moire patterns, reshaping twistable components, directing light and customizing paper dolls.
The installation was created by Architecture students Erik Hegre and Matt Linn under the supervision of Associate Professor Nancy Cheng, assisted by Daniele Cohen, Jocelynn Gebhart, Stacy Hsu and Phil James.
The work was supported by the AAA Equity and Diversity Fellowship, McKenzie Scaffolding and Mac Industries.
AAA community members are invited to contribute their thoughts from Monday May 11 to Friday May 22, 2009.
Meet the contributors on Monday May 18, 2009 at 5:15pm at the installation outside of Lawrence Hall. Light refreshments will be served.