I’d like to introduce myself. I’m Kei, a writer, artist, and programmer, and I submitted a proposal for unMonastery in Matera 2014. In response to a few questions I’ve received regarding my application, I am posting the answers “out loud,” hoping to initate a dialogue around the project’s viability.
While I will answer specific questions below, a project outline and excerpted questions from my application can be read here: http://pastebin.com/zxTA3ixz.
The computer science course I propose would ideally, I think, have between 4-10 students. I set 10 as the limit because it is the largest number of students I have taught independently that still provides a substantial amount of individual instruction. If more than 10 individuals take interest, however, I would brainstorm how to reorganize lesson plans so as to maximize my availability as an instructor—as well as, hopefully, recruit interest from fellow unMonasterians.
As far as finding students for the course, I would first look to techniques I’ve employed as an independent tutor to find students: postings, including flyers at local institutions as well as on online, social platforms, and word of mouth. Since I’ve been following the unMonastery co-design sessions, it seems Matera residents and unMonastery collaborators meet the project with enthusiasm, so I would like to use the “institution”/ project as a means to make personal connections in the community and cultivate interest for the course. In the past as well, I have often shown “samples” of my own work as viable projects to be completed within the course’s timeframe—often one of the most successful and encouraging means to find interested students.
As I would love to find students through community bonds, I would have to communicate using my basic knowledge of Italian. So, unfortunately as I’ve stated in my project proposal as one of the greatest challenges, I would teach the course in English—the language in which I learned to code. The course would expect a certain degree of fluency.
Of course, I am making these challenges and these questions public, so that others may be able to improve upon them, offer assistance, or utimately, raise further questions.