Social Energy

Educators should stop thinking about how to repress the huge amounts of intellectual and social energy kids devote to social media and start thinking about how to channel that energy away from causing trouble and toward getting more out of their classes.

Nothing New

we need scholarship, programs, and classes which do not begin from the standpoint of understanding the digital network as a new media, something that can be just appended to the study of other media.


when we short-change (pun-intended) today’s teachers (the majority of us who are, finally and for the last time, contingent and not present at this year’s MLA), we simultaneously short-change today’s students.

Oversight Lacking

The diploma operations thrive in part because of a lack of centralized oversight of higher education in the US. The Department of Education leaves the job of accreditation to a group of nongovernmental agencies, which in turn grant institutions the authority to award degrees

Challenges & Difficulties

learning about games can be challenging for multiple reasons. For example, prior videogame experience often interferes with students' abilities to reason critically and analytically about games. Students also have difficulties articulating their experiences and observations.

The Search Decade

We can find today more information more quickly than ever before. The same will be true tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that. The power of this capability is limited only by how we use it.

It's the paradox of search.

Delicious December 12.16.09 - 12.22.09

Reshaping Learning From The Ground Up
"Teachers are wonderful, and there are hundreds of thousands of them who are creative and terrific, but they are operating in a system that is completely out of time."

A Brave New Medium: Facebook versus World of Warcraft
"With widespread adoption of the home computer and, consequently the internet, all the necessary technology for systemic interaction in everything from commerce to storytelling has arrived."

Learn To Let Go: How Success Killed Duke Nukem
"It was supposed to be the blockbuster sequel to Duke Nukem 3D. Instead, Duke Nukem Forever became the biggest videogame that never was."

Network effects \ How a new communications technology disrupted America’s newspaper industry—in 1845
"Telegraph firms would establish a new monopoly over news delivery, and would sell early access to the news to the highest bidder. Papers would be unable to compete. Circulation would decline and advertisers would flee. The democratisation of news would be undone."

Republicans, resistance and the triumph of unreason
"How do they train themselves to be so impervious to reality?"

Delicious December 12.9.09 - 12.15.09

The Many Users of Twitter
"Used both as a business tool and a way of keeping up with the latest tabloid gossip, Twitter has overcome all the critics who thought that a 140-character blogging service had no future."

UMWeb 2.0 | UMW webifies its world
"UMW Blogs represents a notable example of the power of collaborative effort among faculty, learning technology specialists, and institutional IT support in responding to the challenges of teaching, learning, and scholarship in the digital age."

"We have been harassed in your stores, rejected in your communities online, and treated with disrespect on your online services and your advertising. We have seen commercials and art that some of us find offensive."

Open Access Encyclopedias
"a number of academic institutions are quietly trying to do what Britannica and others say can’t be done: build online encyclopedias that are rigorous, scholarly, and free to access."

"While some look at it as a learning-style model, it is intended as a problem-solving wheel that represents phases of learning--from reading and exploration, to reflective writing, to visualization of the content learned, to attempts to try it out."

Sexualization in Video Games
"There's a reason our games are filled with snarling, emotionless (aside from their totally straight love for their buddies) bros and women being crushed under the weight of their hypersexualized characterization."

"The distribution of concerns illustrates another crisis, a cultural crisis: the tendency to focus on short-term parochial gains, a core element of our socioeconomic institutions and their ideological support system."

"When used as a tool for ubiquitous learning, text messaging and tweeting wouldn't be tools of distraction, but a means of engagement for this generation of gadget-obsessed teens."

"It’s not that load times are unacceptable; it’s that there needs to be some kind of organization behind them so that the player isn’t going to spend most of the game irritated by them."

"The paradox in every part and sentence of the post-apocalyptic narrative- - evoking even as it denies - is repeated as if fractally by The Road as a whole."

au fait

As I wait for the approval of university lawyers before uploading anonymous feedback gathered from ENG 252, 298 and 513 students to Scribd, my current focus is on the design and development of materials for ENG 111 College Rhetoric and both sections of ENG 345 Technical Writing (one is mixed mode, the other face-to-face). Despite the differences in focus for 111 and 345, students will be required to perform similar coursework. Because of this and dwindling time before next semester starts, I want course materials to be as universal as possible.

Already uploaded to Scribd are blogging guidelines and a grading contract for all courses. The latter document, though, gave me some pause. I was unsure about how/where to include expectations for blogging, just how it should factor into a "B" grade. I paused on this because, as Ethan Watrall stated on Twitter, I want blogging in particular to be a "first tier" assignment. Instead of just facilitating in-class discussion or working as a form of drafting (as it did last semester), I want blogging to be just as valued and viable as the larger/longer assignment sequences. But how to do that?

As I perused the grading contract in its current form once more, I realized that I need not change anything. Perhaps this reveals some pedagogical naivete, but all I see that I need to do now is make sure students understand what is meant by "assignment." There are different kinds of assignments, of course; some will be completed in four weeks, but others won't. Rather than a writing project to be completed in the span of four weeks before moving on to another writing project, blogging will be a semester-long endeavor, the production of a substantive record of critical thinking and engagement. Blogging doesn't need a special set of requirements in the grading contract. What's already in that document covers it plain and simple.