CD Club Pedagogy?

One weekend ago, I had the fourth cycle of the CD club I organize. It rocked. (You can read about a previous cycle here.) The general idea: a group of 10-15 people meet up at a local watering hole and bring a mix cd they’ve created around a theme. In fact, everyone brings 10-15 copies of their mix, and when we’re all gathered, we exchange them.

The end result: you get 10-15 cds filled with really good music.

The last four themes were:

1. No Theme
2. The Academic Colon: A CD About Some Aspect Of Education
3. Time Travel
4. Stages Of A Relationship

(You can see the tracklistings for each of my four CDs here.)

There is something really awesome about this set up: the work you put into creating and reproducing one thing comes back to you ten fold. And you get to — and want to — engage with everyone else’s work.

Is there any way to harness this model of intellectual exchange in the classroom? To reverse engineer it?

The two key points:

The object needs to be coveted by all participants (e.g. carefully crafted CDs)
The object needs to be easily reproducible (e.g. copy CDs)

Ummm. The best example just popped in my head: VALENTINES DAY CARDS IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL!

Or a slight variation:

Can we come up with an single large entity that students individually contribute to? So students have ownership in it?

So in the mix CD example: if every person chose a song on a theme — and we made a CD — we’d have a single CD with input from all. Or if we were making a bulletin board, we could have each student bring in one picture to contribute to it.

Before signing off, I thought I’d share one idea that might be useful. Before a big assessment, I could ask students to each make a one-page set of study questions they created, along with their solutions. I could scan them in for students to use to study from. For students, by students. And for the assessment itself, Icould  chose some of the good problems from the study guides to be on it.

Other ideas? Is there a good math project out there that fits this CD club model?


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