What’s on our minds: How current events can help inform our approach to teaching and serving students

Reinert Center typeset_icon_2014_solid_082214by Chris Grabau, Instructional Developer, Reinert Center

With the recent events in Ferguson, many educators have been looking to find useful resources to help teach about race, racism, inequality, and justice.

In response, Marcia Chatelain, a historian of African-American life and culture at Georgetown University, created the Twitter hashtag, #Fergusonsyllabus. Since the hashtag’s creation, there have been hundreds of ideas shared by educators across many disciplines.

Rebecca Schuman, education columnist for Slate.com recently wrote a piece about the #Fergusonsyllabus hashtag stating, “The immediacy and importance of the Ferguson syllabus is another useful reminder that the academic world and the so-called ‘real world’ are actually the same world (2014).”

Over the last few years, many other hashtags like the #Fergusonsyllabus hashtag have helped establish Twitter as a useful resource for educators. More importantly, the use of the hashtag serves as a subtle but significant reminder for how educational technology can provide learning experiences interconnected with current events.

There are many education-related hashtags available to provide educators with a useful destination for dialogue, resources, and ideas. Below are just a few examples of hashtags where users can share ideas and resources, as well as help connect educators interested in the same discipline or topic. Although there are many hashtags devoted to a specific academic discipline, below are a few related to pedagogy:

  1. #ntchat (new teachers)

  2. #highered (regarding higher education)

  3. #stem (science, technology, engineering, mathematics instruction)

  4. #flipclass (flipped classroom teachers)

  5. #blendchat (blended learning)

  6. #edtech (educational technology)

  7. #digped (digital pedagogy)

  8. #Education (general education news)

  9. #phdchat (resource for PhD students)

  10. #pedagogy (teaching strategies)

To learn more about the #Fergusonsyllabus, visit the following articles:

Chatelain, M. (2014). How to Teach Kids About What’s Happening in Ferguson. The Atlantic. Retrieved 8 September 2014, from http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2014/08/how-to-teach-kids-about-whats-happening-in-ferguson/379049/

GONCHAR, K. (2014). The Death of Michael Brown: Teaching About Ferguson. The Learning Network. Retrieved 8 September 2014, from http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/09/03/the-death-of-michael-brown-teaching-about-ferguson/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

Schuman, R. (2014). The Birth of the #FergusonSyllabus in American Colleges. Slate Magazine. Retrieved 8 September 2014, from http://www.slate.com/articles/life/education/2014/09/ferguson_and_college_education_sociology_and_history_professors_teach_the.html?wpsrc=fol_tw

Van Noorden, R. (2014). Online collaboration: Scientists and the social network. Nature, 512(7513), 126-129. doi:10.1038/512126a

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