“Technology Central in Birmingham”
Greetings from the Deep South. Erik and I are traveling for 16 days with the 2009 iteration of Drs. Hattery and Smith’s “Social Stratification in the Deep South” experiential summer course. This year there are 19 students, 13 from Colgate University (where Hattery and Smith taught this past year), 5 from Wake Forest and 1 from NC State. Our role on this trip is to deliver the technology that makes the course interactive to our virtual audience and to document the course activities through video, still images, and audio. As you probably know already, our “course shell” is a facebook page, coupled with a twitter feed and flickr. We have been kept busy, particularly with our “just in time” learning on video editing. Barry, we miss you!
We have been in Alabama since Sunday and the course focus has been on Civil Rights issues and history. This morning, after we spend the morning at the South Poverty Law Center, we will get back on the bus for a 7 hour ride to New Iberia, LA. We will spend the next four days there in our service project, helping with the reconstruction of a diner damaged by Katrina and subsequent storms.
Thus far, we are totally impressed with the student engagement with the coursework. The students are sharp and enjoy initiating discussions on the wide range of issues that have been introduced in the first few days. On the first day, a spirited discussion was interrupted by a lunch stop. After we started back on the road, the students asked to resume the interchange and continue exploring the topic. As Lynn can attest to from last trip, usually, post-lunch riding was a prime time for an afternoon nap!
We invite you to keep an eye on our facebook page and see the activities that take place as the trip evolves.