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Five Ways to Be Part of “Mapping the Futures of Higher Ed” #FuturesEd

Mapping the Futures of Higher Education” is a series of courses at the Graduate Center and throughout the CUNY system.  It is also a collaborative, peer-driven movement to rethink the best ways of learning for higher education–and YOU are invited to participate.  Here’s how:

  1. Sign up for the Futures Initiative Group on and you will receive updates and public notices and opportunities to share your ideas and syllabi and “pen pal” ideas for your students.  We will have a number of livestreamed (with chat and live tweeting) Open Sessions to which you are all invited.
  2. If you are in the CUNY system, sign up for our Academic Commons group and you will see almost daily updates about what we are doing and how you can be part of it.
  3. We will be creating a “CUNY Map of New York” to show how much public education returns to the city as an investment, a resource, a future.  We invite ALL of you to engage your students in creating an intellectual cartography of your world, how your university (public or private) serves a community (however defined).  And post the link so others can see it to.
  4. Share your teaching ideas and learn a few tricks too! Soon HASTAC will be publishing The Pedagogy Project, a 2014-2015 project of great pedagogical praxis that takes us far beyond an assigned reading and then a lecture or a discussion, where some subset of students talks all the time and another subset sits silent.  That’s a parody–but it is also statistically true.  Research suggests that, if 20% of class members talk in a seminar, faculty perceive it as closer to 100%.  Of course we do!  It is awful to hear the silence in a seminar room.  This course is about all the engaged, enhanced, and sometimes adaptive ways of learning, peer learning, collaborative learning, constructivist learning, Think-Pair-Share “interactive” learning designed for full intellectual, social, emotional, and civic engagement.
  5. Watch and participate in our Open Sessions.  We’ll be announcing those here.

The point of “Mapping the Futures of Higher Education” is for the Graduate Center students in the class to leave with a battery of great pedagogical techniques that inspire and enhance learning.  We all can learn, everyone is invited.  We are looking for the best ways of learning for all students, in all fields.  This is not just for the .03% in the “top ten” universities, not just those in elite research universities, but also for the 50% of all current students taking at least one course on line and for the 70% of students who are not traditional, four-year, 18-22 year old students.

On the other hand, the .03% of students at the most elite universities are the most likely to be learning in conventional lecture halls and conventional seminar classrooms.  There is nothing intrinsically wrong with lectures and seminars–they are great for inspiring, modeling, giving an overview.  They are a very pleasant pastime.  They happen to be pretty poor for actual retention, for applicability of the knowledge beyond the classroom, for moving from critical thinking to one’s own creative contribution, and on and on.


Mapping the Futures – Tentative Course Schedule


Week Date Activity Notes
1 Feb 3 Introduction Cathy & Bill
2 Feb 10 Mapping FI Fellows; livestream
3 Feb 17 Group 1
4 Feb 24 Group 1 recap/eval
5 March 3 Field trip or open session If open session, then livestream
6 March 10 Group 2
7 March 17 Group 2 recap/eval
8 March 24 Group 3
9 March 31 Group 3 recap/eval
10 April 14 Open session Livestream + reception
11 April 21 Group 4
12 April 28 Group 4 recap/eval
13 May 5 Open session Invite undergrads
14 May 12 Project displays Livestream + reception


Additional items to consider:

Feb 19: Jen Jack Gieseking will give a public talk on mapping

[Date TBD]: Field trip to NYPL to view map collections and exhibits, such as this one by Graduate Center Professor Lev Manovich:

[Dates TBD]: The Futures Initiative will co-sponsor other talks, workshops, and open sessions throughout the semester. You are welcome and encouraged to join us for as many as you’d like.

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