Reinvent the class trip.
Description: Class trips can be really difficult to plan, and in our current context unrealistic. Yet, they can be a powerful place for students to engage places, spaces and artifacts into their learning. Class trips can be at any site or space outside the home and campus, not just museums and other designated institutions. On a designated week students are asked to go to an accessible site that is relevant to a course topic, theme or question. You can provide a list of sites and spaces that might be relevant to your course topic and learning goal, or you can ask students to research and locate their own site visit. This can range from visiting a local eatery with historical or cultural significance to a community garden.The assignment asks students to take photographs of their trip and share them with the class. The process can be guided by providing students with a set of prompts and/or questions that frame their site selection and photography. You can also ask them to provide some text to connect the site visit to the course.
Notes: This is a powerful way to practice a funds of knowledge approach to assignment design. Students can tap into their local and community sites and spaces, and share places that are important, familiar and accessible to them with the class. This assignment may not be relevant in this moment of crisis and social distancing. But it gestures towards a future where using digital tools can enhance teaching by making student participation more accessible, more flexible and more responsive. It is also a way to document and archive unconventional spaces of learning across the five boroughs and within the communities of students. Consider how you want them to share and engage with these photographs.