Dear Habermas Logo and Link to Index A Jeanne Site

Comments on Virtual Community Paper

Creating a Virtual Academic Community

California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Latest update: March 26, 2000
E-mail Faculty on the Site.

On March 26, Kelly Peroutka (Andrichik), UWP, wrote:

Your paper on dear habermas was very interesting.  I had no idea that this was started so long ago, and it feels neat to be part of it.

I do think that beginning with these ideas as an adult is not as helpful as it may be if started in childhood.  Giving children choices of how they want to do homework would greatly improve their wanting to learn: some learn better visually so they can illustrate or speak a presentation, some learn better by writing.  If when I was younger I had been given the choice of which way to do my homework assignments, it would have made school much more enjoyable, because I would have been bringing a part of myself and my strong points to share with the teacher and classmates.

This in turn creates more problems for the teachers because they have to create a different way to assign grades and explain to the parents about what learning really is.  This could work in a very positive circle, in that the students are eager to express themselves their way in school instead of feeling that nobody understands them, and they feel the need to join a gang or express themselves on the streets in negative ways. 

Just as you have learned from your students, so many teachers at the elementary and secondary levls could learn from theirs.

Kelly Peroutka (Andrichik)

On March 26, Susan answered:

We had a couple of interesting responses from this paper. Some applauded what we were doing, but found it too labor intensive ("must be a labor of love"). They were searching to use the web and other classroom technologies to lessen their face-to-face interactions in the classroom. Of course, our purpose is to figure out where real learning goes on and how to instill the joys of learning within our students; whereever their interests take them. Some of the professors in this session wanted quick and easy ways to teach so that they could be freed up to do other things. They were amazed at how much emailing we did with our students. It made jeanne and i wonder where learning technology was headed, and certainly not in the direction we were going.


On March 26, jeanne added:

Nice to meet you, Kelly. You're right about it's being neat to be a part of something that's grown like this, from the time of mainframes and cardpunch machines and mechanical calculators to the day of pc's and MACs. Sometimes we forget to take the time to spell out this long history. I'm glad we put it all together for the conference in New Orleans.

And Susan forgot to tell you there were some really neat professors in our session, who frequent Dear Habermas and took the time to tell us that they think we're going in the right direction. It's neat seeing that phenomenon, too: lots of people who really do care about thinking critically and developing public discourse skills. Why, one professor is going to send us her work, and another has asked to link to his site.