As our everyday experiences become increasingly mediated by electronic objects, we must begin to think more critically about the impact of these objects upon our daily lives. How do they connect and disconnect us? What do they provide and deprive from our everyday experiences? Most recently, my practice focuses on the social impact of emergent technologies. Whether I'm using solar panels to generate electricity from video projections, or using drinking glasses as a means for techno-social interaction, through the alternative use of the electronic objects, we can begin to question and improve our understanding of these objects and the way we interact with them and each other through them.
I am interested in exploring new ways in which we can connect people through technology. I have been using and misusing; assembling and disassembling electronic circuitry in order to question current social paradigms. Through the use and misuse of popular platforms, and through the combination and recombination of emergent and existent means of communication, we can develop richer and more meaningful ways to interact.
At the core of my pedagogy is the pragmatic goal of providing students with the tools, methods and theoretical framework that will lead them to be successful practitioners in the field of media study and related disciplines. As an educator, it is also my role to proffer an open and inspiring environment in which students feel comfortable asking questions and testing out their newly acquired skills. Without an understanding of the critical and conceptual basis for specific applications, and without a welcoming learning environment in the classroom, the educational process is incomplete.
As a teacher, I believe that I, myself, must always be engaged in the process of learning. I feel that it is important to not only be receptive to cultural and technological changes and emergent ideas, but to also be receptive to the needs, interests, and concerns of the students. In order to effectively present curriculum, it is important to gain an understanding of their perspective and relate it to the subject at hand. I find that by responding to and explaining information to students within the context of their own experiences, they are able to take a more active role in their learning.
I facilitate a learning environment that encourages collaboration over competition. Working together in pairs or in teams on both projects and in class discussions results in more meaningful learning experiences. Each student has a unique set of strengths and experiences which, in a collaborative setting, can contribute to a richer and more qualitative learning environment. For example, in an interactive design assignment that requires both aesthetic sensibility and programming skills, pairing a student who has more experience in graphic design with a student more proficient in coding, creates a situation where each student can learn from each other's strengths.
I believe students should be graded on both effort and actual gains in their learning. If a student does not do well on an assignment, I will always give them a chance to revise and resubmit for an adjusted grade. Even though lateness is something that should be strongly discouraged, giving exorbitant penalties on late assignments discourages students from completing an assignment, and ultimately detracts from the fundamental goal of learning.
Educators must take on multiple roles. In addition to simply teaching the curriculum, they model learning skills, interpersonal communication, and social behaviors, they serve as advocates for their students, and they empower these individuals to embark on their own paths. These roles are not easy to undertake. I am devoted to the practices, theories, and histories of my subject area, and to the academic progress of my students.