Editors’ Choice: Feminist Theory, Online Action, and Networked Learning

“It’s not just about studying and learning,” says Pitzer College student Susanna Ferrell. “It’s also about activism,” adds fellow student Jade Ulrich, both of whom were beta testers for a Distributed Open Collaborative Course (DOCC) about “Dialogues on Feminism and Technology” that started with Pitzer, University of California, San Diego, and Bowling Green State University students and spread to 18 colleges and a worldwide community of online learners. (Ferrell and Ulrich presented at the experiential learning conference in San Diego, January 2014.)

As Ms. Ulrich noted, participants in DOCC 2013 did not just view the texts and respond to keyword dialogues, blog, and collectively aggregate knowledge repositories — they also acted upon feminist principles by wikistorming — making sure (through active editing and authoring) that Wikipedia articles acknowledge technological accomplishments of women. Connected learning generally grows from an enthusiasm that springs from a personal interest in a topic, along with shared purpose among learners. When that shared interest and purpose is feminism, experiments in open, collaborative, networked learning can include activism, much in the way action research seeks ways to solve social problems.

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This content was selected for Digital Humanities Now by Editor-in-Chief Lindsey Bestebreurtje based on nominations by Editors-at-Large: César Viana Teixeira, Ester Rincon Calero, James O'Sullivan, Dana Bublitz, Beth Secrist, Amy Williams, Elizabeth, Michael Simeone, Dale Russell, Aisha Clarke, Raymond Maxwell, Sarah Canfield Fuller, Andrew Hyde, Laurie Allen, Alexander Czmiel