From the category archives:

Education Blogging

Academic Publishing

by Dr Davis on January 6, 2015

Hybrid Pedagogy begins its discussion of the digital humanities and the future of academic publishing by saying:

It is not enough to write monographs. It is not enough to publish. Today, scholars must understand what happens when our research is distributed, and we must write, not for rarified audiences, but for unexpected ones. New-form scholarly publishing requires new-form scholarly (digital) writing. Digital academic publishing may on the surface appear as a lateral move from print to screen, but in fact it brings with it new questions about copyright, data analysis, multimodality, curation, archiving, and how scholarly work finds an audience. The promise of digital publishing is one that begins with the entrance of the written, and one that concludes with distribution, reuse, revision, remixing — and finally, redistribution.

Digital publishing is a field worthy of rigorous research and deep discourse. In a post-print environment, for example, social media — Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, WordPress, or Tumblr — have supplanted the static page as the primary metaphors for how we talk about the dissemination of information. Digitized words have code and algorithms behind them, and are not arrested upon the page; rather they are restive there.

The most fascinating part of the article, and the one I really want to spend some time dwelling on at some point = “Traditional academic publishing is aimed at a scholarly process that is private and gradual, deliberate and uninterrupted by the memes and news of the day. Digital publishing is public work, packaged and poised for ready distribution.”

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HOF: CHE Fora

by Dr Davis on January 4, 2015

The CHE Fora provide academics at all ranks, in all types of institutions, as well as undergraduate and graduate students, civilians, occasional trolls and frequent spammers, with the opportunity to pontificate, commiserate, alienate, inform, deform, transform, mock, rock, and sock their way through the hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, semesterly, and annual struggles, triumphs, breakdowns, collapses, small victories, frustrations, exasperations, and lucubrations of academic life.

from aandsdean

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HOF: Academia Sucks

by Dr Davis on December 23, 2014

asian teacher at white board martinAre you waiting for someone to seek you out and praise you? That’s not going to happen.

Instead, I get a lot of motivation from doing the fascinating things and the interactions that come with the doing.

Publishing sucks. I hate writing papers. I hate editing them. I hate doing the revisions for them.

Reviewing papers sucks. I hate all authors everywhere and filling out editorial forms.

Prepping for classes sucks. I hate having to think “how will people manage to screw up this very simple task?”. I hate doing the same stinking problem with a bazillion steps so that anyone who tries can follow it.

Grading sucks. How could anyone mess up copying a fact from the book? How could anyone not be able to do arithmetic? How could anyone not being able to write a coherent sentence in legible penmanship?

Committee work sucks. I hate my colleagues who cannot attend a meeting on time, didn’t prepare for the meeting, and can’t make a decision even with a gun to their heads.

Research sucks. As soon as I get good at something, I have to learn something else. My hard drive crashed and it’s three days to put the system back into working order. I’ve lost 10 programs that I wrote in the past month and all the data as well. And, as soon as I really know what’s going on, then I have to write a damn paper or make a presentation.

Presentations suck. I can see half the room is reading the program to see if something better is coming up and I spent roughly five hours to make a presentation that is over in 10 minutes.

Yet…..

student_raising hand computerWhen students get a topic, then their pleasure is my pleasure. All is forgotten about prep and grading and all that remains is that shining joy that someone learned something and I was there to help it happen.

When my research is humming along, I looooooooooove the feel of being in the groove and will snap at anyone who mentions the weeks, months, or years of drudgery to get to that point.

Nothing is better than the spirited give and take with colleagues about our common interests. I’ve gotten a lot of trophies, medals, certificates, and A’s, but I would trade all of them for an afternoon of spirited conversation in one of my areas of interest where ideas are shared and everyone goes away with new things to try.

I do have mentors for particular aspects of my career, but they are often people who push me hard to try new things and revise whatever one more time before submitting instead of praising me.

I am seldom praised by anyone for the things of which I am most proud. Instead, I often infer praise from people inviting me to be a collaborator, be a reviewer, and be a speaker, or asking my advice in some area of my expertise. Clearly, they appreciate my efforts, but few ever come right out and say, “You’re doing a great job, Polly. Keep it up!” You, too, will have to learn to take pleasure and motivation in the doing instead of seeking praise, or you will be very unhappy waiting for praise that will be too little with huge gaps between instances.

from polly_mer

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Sir Walter Scott, Abbotsford

by Dr Davis on June 19, 2014

Dr Sandra McNeil, Abbotsford House (Scott’s home)
Scott’s Conundrum Castle: Abbotsford as a Place of Learning

Learning Officer with Abbotsford, right in the heart of the Scottish borders

Discussing own engagement as a heritage educator: Offer Abbotsford as a case study, profound change through major capital development with a goal to re-engage local community with Abbotsford and with Scott’s work…

Abbotsford Sir Walter Scott home 1812This is an image of Cartleyhole Farm c. 1812 (purchased in 1811). As soon as he purchased the farmhouse, he added the columns.
locals called it “clarty hole” (muddy hole)
Scott renamed it Abbotsford.
humble farmhouse cottage and set about to change it
buildings associated with writing, but this is synonymous with him because he recreated it (Jefferson and Monticello)

Scott spent ½ year in Edinburgh, ½ year on the borders.

strange classical portico added as soon as he bought it
3 different architects
1 architect “Scottified it” (scots or scott? We don’t know.)
more like abbeys, churches
Turner sketched the cottage and first extension 1819. This was a simple sketch, outline only on yellow/yellowed paper.
removed the farmhouse and added second building–seen in an image entitled “house from the south court”
used “salvaged” or reclaimed articles
One example is The Tolbooth door from the Midlothian… Tradition held this was the door you passed through on your way to execution.

The house represents Scott’s antiquarian interests… emotional creation… perhaps a fiction.

Abbotsford_Morris_edited WC pdAmong other things he called Abbotsford:
a conundrum castle
flibberty gibbet of a house
Delilah of my imagination

His literary career was always part-time.
laird of Abbotsford, land of his ancestors
property opened to public as a tourist attraction within 5 months of his death
g-g-g-great-granddaughter died in 200X. 2007 a trust was established. Capital project to preserve building and catalog objects and education.
11.68M pounds
2010 green light to project

engage under-represented groups
schools, local families, adult learners, community groups

Heritage Education is very well developed in Scotland. Focuses on historic places/spaces. Experiential approach. Explore, engage with, be inspired by…

Abbotsford House, north elevation, by M. Schnitzler, WC CC3.

Abbotsford House, north elevation, by M. Schnitzler, WC CC3.

Evaluate what Abbotsford could offer to targeted audiences?
failing to attract the audiences
usually it was enthusiasts who came, making their own links between Abbotsford and their own connections to work
borderers’ enthusiasm with Scott not being passed down
not looking at its community

previous audience (restricted with those already familiar with Scott)
most visitors from overseas

Talked to the local teachers and found most of them were united in their guilt about their own lack of knowledge.
There is also a lack of teaching materials on Scott:
some adaptations, a few brochures, nothing related to Abbotsford
The teachers recognized it was in town, but didn’t understand how to link their classrooms to Abbotsford.
Scott’s writing was seen as a barrier. Difficult, long-winded…

Abbotsford by LeCardinal. WC CC3.

Abbotsford by LeCardinal. WC CC3.

SONY DSC
Been learning as I go on about Scott and Abbotsford. That has helped me because I am thinking it through from audience point of view.

2 major sources:
1. paper given Dr. E Gordon Brown, 2000, examined Scott’s impulse to create Abbotsford—ties between literary achievements and building
“antiquarianism wasn’t an idle hobby” it was writing and collecting absolutely indivisible for Scott.
2. Abbotsford is the product of antiquarianism and its inspiration.
Scott offers lots of engagement. David Hewitt “bricalage of fragments” commenting on Scott’s guidebook to Abbotsford
“museum for living in” constructing a creative place of inspiration
use heritage to engage
taking their first steps to engaging with the poems and novels

Abbotsford by Ad Mesken, WC CC3.

Abbotsford by Ad Mesken, WC CC3.


Examples of last 3 years:
young people recording Scott’s border ballads
started reciting them together
not prompted, but enjoyed it

140 come for 3 days every September (4 had been there before)
this year half had been
now in this one school everyone in SD 1-5 has come to visit.

They’re coming…
We worked with an Edinburgh poet who specializes in responding to historic places, Ken Cockburn.

Photo by Christian Bickel, WC CC2.

Photo by Christian Bickel, WC CC2.


Engagement with local primary story, design intensive day, create a play trail in Abbotsford
almost everybody in this small village has been to Abbotsford
from there, these children all know the name

nursery class came in this morning

Sir Walter Scott. He was a writer. He built this interesting place.

project: October 2013, collaborative project with Scottish Chamber Orchestra
entire school system (200 students)
worked with composers to create their own songs

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Learning from Students

by Dr Davis on June 6, 2014

I’ve been thinking about the question of learning from our students (what do we learn and how do we learn it). I saw a post on Twitter that caught my attention.

3 students studyingDeanna Mascle posted a link to a blog post she wrote last year. However, as many blog posts, its relevance is not time limited. “What Can You Learn From and About Your Students?” talks about doing IRB approval for pedagogical research each semester. That is something I had not considered before.

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Ethics and New Media

by Dr Davis on May 7, 2014

steampunk_archive_icon_by_yereverluvinuncleber-d5jsav0James, Carrie, Katie Davis, Andrea Flores, John M. Francis, Lindsay Pettingill, Margaret Rundle, and Howard Gardner. “Young People, Ethics, and the New Digital Media.” Contemporary Readings in Law and Social Justice 2.2 (2010): 215-84.

Note: I collected some of these a while back and I just basically went through and read them as they were in my folders. There is less rhyme and reason to the choices than I would have liked, but I figure I had to start somewhere, right?

The study was designed to discover the ethical contours of new media and to promote ethical thinking. The authors identify significant issues for new media: “identity, privacy, ownership and authorship, credibility, and participation” (215). Questions and problems with digital publicity and speech rights are introduced (218). They note that regulation has not yet come to cyberspace (221). They decided on a “good play” approach to the question (223) and said that this is difficult to determine what is ethical because there is not a predetermined set of values. “[A]ccountability depends on the strength of ties within a given online community” (224). The definition of ethics involves respect, roles, responsibilities, internal (emic) and external (etic) perspectives, and good play (225). They discuss digital youth (227) and the “ethical fault lines” (228). A large focus is on identity play, when youth create alter egos and act out within those (230), its promises (232), and the perils associated with such play (234), which leads to a discussion of the ethics of virtual identities (237). This is repeated with privacy (238), its promises (241), its perils (243), and its ethics (245); with ownership and authorship (246), their promises (248), their perils (251), and their ethics (254); with credibility (254), its promises (257), its perils (258), and its ethics (260); with participation (261), its promises (264), its perils (265), and its ethics (268). The authors say that technical and new media literacies are important (271) to ethics, that ethics are individually situated (272), and reflect peer norms (273).

This article is nothing like what I was expecting, but the individual examples that the authors give for each of the significant issues of new media would be very relevant to class discussions on problems and opportunities presented by the internet.

This would be an interesting article for a new media and digital literacy course.

RrNm Ann Bib

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Digital Presentations at 3 Universities

by Dr Davis on April 28, 2014

steampunk_archive_icon_by_yereverluvinuncleber-d5jsav0Meeks, Melissa and Alex Ilyasova. “A Review of Digital Video Production in Post-Secondary English Classrooms at Three Universities.” Kairos 8.2 (2003). Web. 12 February 2014.

“digital video has the qualities we are looking for to engage students in combining design, production, and literac(ies) in the classroom”

Finally found an explanation of why video isn’t linear, even though we watch it linearly.
“non-linear video production in digital bytes allows for the deleting, adding, moving, and repeating of clips”

Iowa State U
Students are required to create a communication portfolio their sophomore year that includes written, oral, visual, and electronic communication.

Upper division course requires an interview and a presentation of the interview in three ways. These are as text, as an audio file, and as a video file, which combines both audio and visual elements.

Also requires a 2-minute video for a professional audience, describing an object.

Finally requires a “promotional commercial for a product, organization, or idea.” This might be an idea for business and professional writing class.

Graduate course there requires productions, to apply the theory to the application. Two assignments involve digital presentations.
1. Create video as a tutorial using screen captures. –tutorial for software
2. Digital presentation that focuses on exploring the uses of iMovie. Has groups create videos in two weeks on the history and use of buildings on campus. Video is two to three minutes.

Michigan Technological U
Describes the strong culture of support for technology application at the uni.

Introduces Cynthia Selfe and her foray into digital presentations. Says she has only been doing two years [now 13], but won’t teach again without multimodal assignments.

UG Adolescent Lit class
students will create enrichment assignments for ages 11-18, focus on engaging with books
1st show own, focus on sound
shows videos with and without sound
discuss how sound adds or subtracts from work

Then iMovie
students use 10-20 photos and a sound file
Goal is to choose photos that cluster around a theme or topic
royalty free source of photos: American Memories Collection
Has students save a song, too. Then create a video.
Says important to remember that things will go wrong

Erin Smith
Says students not engaged in traditional reading practices, but practiced in film and television.
She has the students write their own assessments, explaining why they made the choices they did.

Alison Crockett
Says digital presentation and a written essay share similar processes.

First, the concept or a thesis/main idea is created.
Then a treatment or brainstorming occurs – a more developed and detailed idea coming out of the concept.
Next, an extended treatment or an outline might follow.
Research or getting your elements – which might include interviews, film and video footage, music, stills, graphics, etc. – is next.
Then, depending on your elements, storyboarding or a more developed and complete outline follows.
The script or draft is developed around this time.
Finally, post-production or possibly a second/final draft occurs where you blend the elements together to tell your story.

UNC Chapel Hill
Daniel Anderson has been teaching video production for twenty years, beginning in 1994.
He “focuses on teaching students to think “in” non-alphabetic literacies, making use of rhetorical strategies in multimedia compositions.”
In his graduate classes students wrestle with and think about non-alphabetic composing.
His advice to those interested in using the technology in their classrooms is to “play with it” and “don’t over think it.”

Scott Halbritter
using video for the first time this fall in a remedial writing class
students produce a 5-minute video talking about honor, integrity, and ethics in the uni
Having remedial students creating digital presentations “infinitely complicates and enlarges the strategies they have learned to ignore when they sit down to compose text.”
Very important to find a “legitimate rhetorical goal” before assigning video production.

Heather Ross
uses a PSA group project, students are producing cultural artifacts
collaborative environment
five weeks
Student excitement comes from competitiveness and seeing the videos as creative acts.

Todd Taylor
students in his class must complete community service work
1. intro case study of documentaries
2. “The second move addresses the rhetorical and technical aspects of each of the following media individually: HTML, texts, photographs, and audio; this sequence culminates with a consideration of the rhetorical and technical aspects of video, which combines all of the previous media. This pairing of technical proficiency and rhetorical savvy prepares students for integrating media in sophisticated ways.”
3. establish audience: judges of contest, classmates, public at competition
4. turn class into workshop

Conclusion
Digital production challenges multiple literacies, encourages collaboration, shows composition as a process, and requires more than a single person.

Authors note that the relationship of digital presentations to academic discourse remains problematic, as essays are still important collegiate exercises.

RrNm

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CCCC on New Media

by Dr Davis on April 27, 2014

CCCC Position Statement on Teaching, Learning, and Assessing Writing in Digital Environments.

steampunk_archive_icon_by_yereverluvinuncleber-d5jsav0Composing digitally can mean many things.
–writing on a computer
–online discussions
–creating in presentation software
–composing on a blog or wiki

Composition instruction is expanding to two literacies, print and digital.

Courses with new media components should

1. introduce students to the epistemic (knowledge-constructing) characteristics of information technology, some of which are generic to information technology and some of which are specific to the fields in which the information technology is used;
2. provide students with opportunities to apply digital technologies to solve substantial problems common to the academic, professional, civic, and/or personal realm of their lives;
3. include much hands-on use of technologies;
4. engage students in the critical evaluation of information (see American Library Association, “Information Literacy”); and
5. prepare students to be reflective practitioners.

RrNm

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New Media in FYC

by Dr Davis on April 21, 2014

steampunk_archive_icon_by_yereverluvinuncleber-d5jsav0Pennell, Michael. “The H1N1 Virus and Video Production: New Media Composing in First-Year Composition.” Pedagogy 10.3 (June 2010): 568-73.

Pennell presents the impetus for adding a digital component to his fyc. The H1N1 virus brought a competition for PSAs to his campus and he rearranged the course to have PSAs as the first composition. Rhetorically the analysis of audience and purpose was fairly simple, though the targeted audiences could be diverse. The class watched PSAs and noted consistencies “such as use of emotion, humor, celebrity spokespersons, or short taglines” (269). The students created their own PSAs in teams and the videos were finished within three weeks. Student concerns included technical expertise, the real world competition, time constraints, and participation levels. Pennell cites multiple rhetoricians to argue that composition studies will become marginalized if the rhetorical competencies it encompasses are not expanded.

The article specifically addresses new media in the fyc, which is good. It is limited, though, by the unique rhetorical situation for which the digital presentations were created and the lack of assignment guidelines and an assessment rubric.

For my study, this mostly offers additional sources who specifically speak on digital presentations as part of composition studies and rhetoric in general.

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Web 2.0 Collaboration in Bus Comm

by Dr Davis on April 19, 2014

steampunk_archive_icon_by_yereverluvinuncleber-d5jsav0Beuchler, Scott. “Using Web 2.0 to Collaborate.” Business Communication Today 73 (2010): 439-43. Web. 15 January 2014.

Beuchler added a blog to the final report project, which is a collaborative assignment. Group photos, the class naming the blog, required postings, and the information for those posts were part of the assignment. Teams of students related by industries they examined were required to create a video, which was also posted to the blog. After five companies made it to the finals, based on classroom voting and recommendations, students had to read posts on the five companies and add a comment arguing for the company they would choose to support. Beuchler found that the blog facilitated group decision making, allowed students to demonstrate their ability to use technology, and reinforced the responsibility of ideas.

typingThis is a fairly simple addition to the final report project, but apparently Beuchler had great success with it. Following the work of Cardon and Okoro, however, it indicates a use of technology not common in the business world. However, despite Cardon and Okoro’s arguments, learning an additional technology–even if it is not used in work–can be a positive benefit as students recognize their ability to learn and use technology and can claim facility with it as a skill on their résumé.

When I first read the summary, I thought the article would be a waste of time. However, I have been considering creating a blog (on my own website) that students would have access to and could add the information that they create for the freshmen. Then I could offer my own students (and others) the opportunity to peruse the website and use the information they find there. That is still a possibility for implementation in spring 2014 and is certainly doable by fall 2014.

RrNm

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