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Educator, instructional technologist, tinkerer, musicmaker, hauler of bootstraps

Grant Potter

cc: @sleslie “We have the collections, we have all the materials that students need to study, we have a space that is not dissimilar from a campus ...”

Grant Potter “provided Amazon with elaborate breakdowns of the number of students who graduated from Colorado from 2014 to 2016 with degrees in computer engineering, computer graphics, information technology, tax law and human resources management.”

Grant Potter

All I Know Is What’s on the Internet

As much as the advocates of information literacy at libraries and universities hope to be arbiters of truth and facilitators of knowledge, with a unimpeachable mission of social justice guiding their practices, their micro actions over the past few centuries have too often been tangential rather than negotiated with or in resistance to the dominant hierarchy. The result is a system that, by and large, reconciles pupils to the existing order, first in deference to an aristocracy of power and now to the sovereignty of the market.

So rather than develop localized standards, with librarians and instructors working in collaboration with those seeking information, developing together shared social standards for knowledge in their community, colleges and libraries have ceded control to content publishers, who impose their hierarchical understanding of information on passive consumers, leaving institutions to only exhibit and protect the information. In this, they have excelled: Access to the world’s most prestigious research journals is a website away, although that website is behind both a tuition and a journal subscription firewall. The best teachers in the world offer the best courses in the world for free through networks of classes aimed at democratizing education, as long as the students are essentially autodidacts. Although shrewd advertising promotes the college experience as personalized and connective, schools and libraries have joined the historical arbiters of culture as mausoleums.

To remake education into a space of social justice rather than course-by-course “all you can consume” content buffets, faculty and staff would need to acknowledge and address these structural issues. Instead, educators doubled down on control, promulgating top-down information-literacy rubrics.

Grant Potter "If you pretend like student loans don’t matter, you don’t just get investors’ interests wrong; you cannot fully grasp what most students’ lives (past and present) are actually like."

Grant Potter

Grant Potter "At its best, the Internet is a platform for teaching and learning, collaboration, and interaction among students, faculty, researchers, library patrons, local communities, and the world."

Grant Potter "we sought, where possible, to explore aspects of ‘confidence’ (or the lack of it) in the use of technologies by everyone engaged in higher education (students, academic staff (faculty), technical, support, and administrative staff)."

Grant Potter "in their everyday adoption and use of digital technology, universities play an important role in acculturating students and university workers to a certain type of mentality towards everyday software that significantly contributes to the training of the popular imagination in how software should be developed, governed, and distributed and what interests it should serve."

Grant Potter

Towards Dialogical Student Publics "The fact is institutions already spend millions on digital infrastructure with estimates that global ed tech spending will reach $252 billion by 2020. It may be far fetched to think that some of those resources might be reclaimed for a humanistic and participatory approach to digital technology within the classroom and beyond. But if the point of these technologies is to prepare students to critically understand and act in our digitally-mediated world, then it seems that it is also our duty"

Grant Potter