FemTechNet, a network of scholars, artists, and students working on, with, and at the borders of technology, science, and feminism, has a great deal of experience thinking about pedagogy and technology. We have produced real intimacy, vibrant classes, and insurgent pedagogy since 2012. The principles of our signature Distributed Open Collaborative Courses (DOCCs) are crucial (see below). In this time of crisis, we believe we need to think again, drawing the most power possible from the radical knowledges, tactics, and commitments of feminist pedagogies of past experience.
We write while schools, colleges, and universities have closed in a cascade of fear and also care in the hope of minimizing coronavirus infections. Mandated social distancing is critical, but difficult emotionally to sustain. At the same time, almost all campus authorities are requiring that classes be moved to an “online environment” to maintain physical distance. Most institutions are offering complicated, highly corporate, and narrow advice about how to teach online. While rapid conversion to standardized and detached Silicon Valley-type approaches is the prominent option, we have learned how quality instruction takes time, connection, careful planning, collaborative approaches, and local know-how.
Published in FemTechNet, March 28, 2020