The surprising death last month of New York Times media reporter David Carr was upsetting for many reasons, one of which I didn’t expect until after reading his obituary. Carr had recently begun teaching a media studies course at Boston University. His syllabus, which is posted online at his Pressplay page on Medium (Google Carr and syllabus) is at once a model for best online learning practices, 21st-century research skills, and real world rules for digital etiquette in the classroom.
These a just a few of the nuggets you will find there:
“Evaluations will be based not just on your efforts, but on your ability to bring excellence out of the people around you.”
“If you text or email during class, I will ignore you as you ignore me. It won’t go well.”
“This is a web-based course. We will transparently link to all sources. Failure to appropriately cite the work of others is a serious matter. Work done for Pressplay may not be submitted for another class, and the reverse is also true. Do not use friends or Wikipedia as sources.”
Despite his passing, Carr will still be considered for inclusion this June as one of Tech&Learning’s most influential people in edtech for 2015. His work defines and deciphers the incredibly exciting and confusing changes in the way the world communicates. The now dashed possibilities of him focusing on what these changes mean for students is disappointing, to say the least. And I really wish I could have taken that class.
— Kevin Hogan