We’re holding an unconference!

The Metagogy Unconference for SUNY Geneseo faculty and staff will take place March 24-25, 2017, in Doty 302E and surrounding rooms. Register here.

Update: Activities begin at 9:00 a.m. on March 24.

What’s an unconference?

From THATCamp (The Humanities and Technology Camp):

The shortest answer is this: an unconference is a highly informal conference. Two differences are particularly notable. First, at an unconference, the program isn’t set beforehand: it’s created on the first day with the help of all the participants rather than beforehand by a program committee. Second, at an unconference, there are no presentations — all participants in an unconference are expected to talk and work with fellow participants in every session. An unconference is to a conference what a seminar is to a lecture; going to an unconference is like being a member of an improv troupe where going to a conference is (mostly) like being a member of an audience.

So this is going to be about technology?

Not necessarily. The Metagogy Unconference will provide an opportunity for SUNY Geneseo faculty and staff to share and discuss innovative pedagogical methods. These needn’t involve digital technology at all. What we’re borrowing from THATCamp is the unconference model, not the emphasis on technology.

How will it work?

Participants will convene in Doty 302E (the digital seminar room) on March 24 (time TBA — watch for details) to create the schedule based on sessions that have been proposed on this website. (See below to learn how to propose a session.) Sessions will run through the end of the day on Friday and, if desired, into Saturday. There will be a keynote presentation on Friday by Matthew K. Gold, Associate Professor of English and Digital Humanities at CUNY Graduate Center.

Update: Professor Gold’s presentation is titled, “Open Teaching: The Promise and Perils of Networked Digital Pedagogy”

So this is going to be about the humanities?

Not necessarily. All disciplines are welcome. The focus will be innovative pedagogy, not the humanities or technology.

How do I propose a session?

The easiest way is to use this simple form to propose your session. We’ll post it right here where participants and prospective participants can see it, and we’ll attribute the post to you.

That said, the best way is for you to post it here yourself. To do that, begin by creating an account on the English @ SUNY Geneseo network. Once you’ve created your account and logged in, join the group Metagogy. As a member of the group, you’ll now be able to post here.

To post, click +New in the black ribbon at the top of your page. (You’ll only see it if you’ve created an account, joined the group Metagogy, and logged in.) Write a post proposing your session, clearly indicating, in the body of your post, which of the three session types below applies to your proposal:

  • Discuss a topic: Propose a topic for informal discussion, such as “The Place of Diversity in the Science Curriculum” or “The Challenge of Assessment in the Humanities.” By proposing a discussion session, you’re also signing up to be the discussion facilitator.
  • Share a skill: If you have expertise in, say, a particular pedagogical method or software application for teaching, propose a session in which you share your expertise. Remember, though, that the session should not be a presentation. No shiny powerpoint with screengrabs and bulleted lists! Your session should be hands-on and give participants an opportunity to try whatever methods or tools you’re sharing.
  • Build something together: Propose a session in which participants work together to create a tool for assessment, a certificate program, a general education curriculum, a platform for online discussion, or something else. The aim in this kind of session should be to move beyond ideas to some kind of concrete, if rough, deliverable.

What if I don’t want to propose a session but just want to attend?

No problem! Your active participation is the important thing. Come ready to discuss, learn, or build. That’s all we ask. Well, that and one more thing: please consider registering, just so we know that you plan to come. (If you don’t register, you’re still welcome at the unconference. Registration is purely for planning purposes.)

I need help!

Still unsure how this works? Having trouble posting to the site? Open a new discussion thread in the Metagogy discussion forum. Be sure you’ve joined the group and are logged in before you try to post. Or email contact-at-sunygeneseoenglish.org.