FemTechNet – Distributed Digital Pedagogies: Collaborating Across Difference

Here’s my presentation to the Digital Pedagogies Institute at the University of Toronto Scarborough August 14, 2014. Cowan_FTN_DigPed 2014_UTSC


In this paper, I discuss the transformational pedagogical praxes of FemTechNet’s (Feminist Technology Network), DOCC — the Distributed Open Collaborative Course. The DOCC is a multi-nodal structure through which a network of feminist scholars offer a course, “Dialogues in Feminism and Technology,” across many university and college campuses and community-based locales, collaboratively developing course resources, key learning projects (Feminist Mapping, “Storming Wikipedia,” Boundary Objects that Learn), peer learning and professional mentorship through a cyberfeminist methodology. Rather than using digital technologies to reduce the teacher-to-student ratio as we have seen in the MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) mode (the MOOC model is 1 teacher to many thousand students), the DOCC operates through a built network that seeks not to streamline the teaching/learning process by reducing the resources required to offer a course, but to constellate the process and to increase teaching and learning resources. By working across difference (across public and private institutions, across undergraduate and graduate courses, across national/state/economic borders, across professional status and knowledge bases), we are resisting the individualist approach to professional development and learning success, and are designing a digital course structure informed by both feminist educational innovations of the past and contemporary online pedagogical publics (Tumblr, Twitter, The Feminist Wire, Black Girl Dangerous, etc.). Here, I situate the DOCC through cyberfeminist theory and practice and suggest that the DOCC model offers an expansively situated digitality for the undergraduate experience.