My goal as an educator is to instill active, engaged, critical media literacy. I am influenced by tactical media, which exists at the intersection of media, art, and activism made possible by the introduction of cheap tools previously monopolized by the state and media industries. Emerging in the 1990s with an increased awareness of gender, race, and post-colonial struggle, tactical media began as a challenge to the one-way street of mass media. Programmers, theorists, and activists inspired by an artistic sense of play and the cultural aesthetics of do-it-yourself punk create self-aware interactive media that is synonymous with net.art, hacktivism, open source activity, culture jamming, and citizen journalism.
Tactical media has inspired me to design courses around digital scholarly conventions, collaborative learning, and open-source assessment.
I develop digital scholarly conventionsby integrating research design that allows students to indulge in their already-existing inquisitiveness. This begins with the understanding that today’s students are an online generation that already know how to search out information. I see my role as showing them how to transform their ability to search into re-search (as George Stocking says). I do this by introducing the rigor of scholarly analysis, argumentation styles, and citational standards through digital tools developed for our information-based society (Zotero, Scrivener, Omeka).
I encourage collaborative learning by constructing the classroom as a space for collaborative scholarship. As such, I focus more on the process of learning than imparting specific pieces of information. Essential to this approach are three elements that I take from Arjun Appadurai's globalized theory of education: 1) a spatial analytic of global flows and linkages; 2) subaltern and alternative knowledges that disrupt uncritical cultural assumptions; and 3) democratic forms of representation that challenge the uneven effects of global processes.
Tactical media must be continually reassessed – corporate innovations in interactive, participatory, and personalized media have complicated the picture. But I take it as a challenge, encouraging us to identify new media practices that transform with emerging technology