The combination of podcasts plus discussion board seems to be working well for some students, but I have about eight students who have yet to participate. Our students are overwhelmed with all the changes. Some have contacted me to say so. I think most instructors are using Zoom to conduct pretty traditional synchronous classes online. That means that students, who are usually taking five classes, are using a lot of Zoom. My asynchronous podcast and discussion board model give them more flexibility, but is different.
There are always students who are reluctant to express themselves in class. Some are also reluctant to express opinions on a discussion board that other students can see. I think this is part of the problem. I emailed the non-participants today. I will follow up.
Here are this week’s story podcasts. I try to do them in such a way that you could get something out of them even if you have not read the story, but if you want to read the stories, they are in the collection The Secret History of Fantasy edited by Peter Beagle.
“The Edge of the World” by Michael Swanwick
This story asks the question, “What if the Earth were flat and had an edge?” A group of teenagers climb down the cliff face of the edge of the world.
“Super Goat Man” by Jonathan Lethem
A story about a third-rate failed super hero who is also a college professor.
“John Uskglass and the Cumbrian Charcoal Burner” by Susanna Clarke
A very funny short story set in the same world as Clarke’s fantasy novel Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.
“The Book of Martha” by Octavia E. Butler
If you had god-like power to make humans better, what would you do?