All posts by Maha Bali

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#LendMeALaptop


My iPod Will Not Crash Your Airplane flickr photo by cogdogblog shared into the public domain using Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication (CC0) 

Last week, I was getting annoyed with white Americans worrying over their smartphones potentially getting searched or confiscated at US airports. Poor them. Because they’re so likely to get searched, and as a result of that search to get surveilled. I shrug. I don’t think anyone needs my smartphone or laptop to surveil me. I’m pretty sure it’s easi…

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Why The Open Keynote Is Still Open

dome with open top

“Is your keynote ready yet?” asks my mom, about my upcoming keynote at OER17. She never used to check if I finished my homework at school, and of course she knew NEVER to ask about my progress on my PhD dissertation back when. This one’s caught her attention, though. And no, it’s not “done” yet for several reasons. And I wanted to share these here on Prof Hacker because I thought it might have relevance beyond my personal experience, and to ask how other people’s keynote processes were (includi…

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Open Thread: What’s Your (Digital) Activism?

Child in front of a machine

“My silences had not protected me, your silence will not protect you” —Audre Lorde

“There’s a difference between a sort of silence of complicity and a silence of listening. I think it’s important that we differentiate and disentangle the two.” —Clint Smith on Teaching in Higher Ed podcast

“the internet gives us new ways of being political actors and activists, and they are brilliant, so long as they don’t become ends in themselves.” —Helen Beetham

I started writing this post but got influen…

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Reflections on Structurelessness

tangle toy

This post is inspired by an article called The Tyranny of Structurelessness by Jo Freeman. Thanks to Gardner Campbell for sharing it while collaboratively annotating an article for the #OpenLearning17 MOOC. Freeman’s article, originally written about the women’s liberation movement, can be repurposed with a focus on academia: on our classrooms, our institutions, our conferences and gatherings.

Structurelessness does not prevent the formation of (informal) structures

Jo Freeman writes:

“to striv…

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The Privilege to Write

Girl and boy writing on Blackboard

[This article is co-authored with Chris Gilliard.  Chris (@hypervisible) has been a professor for 20 years, teaching writing, literature, and digital studies at a variety of institutions, including Purdue University, Michigan State University, the University of Detroit, and currently Macomb Community College. He is interested in questions of privacy, surveillance, data mining, and the rise in our algorithmically determined future.

The article is also inspired by public and private conversations…

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Salam for Helplessness

Palm tree during Cairo sunset

“Are you coming to the US this summer?” people have been asking for months.

“If they let me in, inshallah,” I have been responding. Long before this week happened.

I know. You’re a good person. You care. You’re feeling enraged. And helpless. The rage may rise and fall, but the helplessness is a constant struggle. I know that feeling. Not every person can march and strike and stand in solidarity and advocate day in and day out. So here are some ways to get through this by focusing on what you ca…

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Pedagogy of Imperfection

Imperfectly shaped strawberry
[This post is co-authored with Autumm Caines and Rebecca J. Hogue. Together we are the co-directors of Virtually Connecting.]

They say perfect is the enemy of done, but there may be more value to imperfection in pedagogy than just getting things done. Learning is an imperfect process and the situation is few and far between where we see someone getting it perfect the first time. Many times perfection is a self-defined construct that we ourselves cannot even precisely articulate, though we know …

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Listening to Student Voices at Academic Events

students at MUN with headset

We rarely ever have student voices represented at academic conferences and events, and yet, when they are there, I often hear faculty and faculty developers feeling there should be more of these. I am talking about undergraduate students, not PhD students who have careers and present at conferences in their professional capacity. I have been in several conversations recently (mostly via Virtually Connecting at OpenEd16, OLC Accelerate and a missed conversation with David Wiley after OpenEd16). …

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Are You on Mastodon Yet? Social Network of Our Own

Mastodon homepage

Have you heard of Mastodon.social? Several of the edtech/digped people started appearing there over Thanksgiving weekend, thanks in part to this article, touting Mastodon as the open source alternative to Twitter. According to their “About” page:

“Mastodon is a free, open-source social network server. A decentralized alternative to commercial platforms, it avoids the risks of a single company monopolizing your communication. Anyone can run Mastodon and participate in the social network seamle…

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On Digital Literacies

This post is co-authored with fellow Prof Hacker Lee Skallerup Bessette and Autumm Caines, Associate Director of Academic Technology in the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching at Capital University in Columbus Ohio, and co-director of Virtually Connecting. Caines blogs at autumm.edtech.fm and DigCiz.org.

 “Buying into a system doesn’t automagically make you, or a University, digitally literate or creative” — Sheila MacNeill

The New Media Consortium recently released a Strategic Bri…