tfw homework spring 09

About Homework Assignments

The assignments that are listed on this page are to be completed before class starts the day they are due. The latest assignment will be placed at the top to reduce scrolling.

for Thursday, April 30

Please read (in this order) Scott McCloud’s “Understanding Comics” and James Paul Gee’s “Semiotic Domains: Is Playing Video Games a ‘Waste of Time’?” They are important pieces that should, I suspect, alter our understanding of many of the essays we have read thus far in the module. Readings are linked off the readings page.

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for Tuesday, April 28

Please read Thompson, “Brave New World of Digital Intimacy,” Vaidhyanathan, “Naked in the ‘Nonopticon’” and Howard, “Understanding Internet Plagiarism.” The latter two articles are available on the readings page.

On your home/personal computer, log in to Diigo and install the Diigo toolbar as we did in class (you do not need to re-join the group). Please use the diigo tutorial mod 3 (.pdf) to guide you. Begin completing the bookmarking portion of your information ecology.

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for Thursday, April 23

Please read Dibbell, “A Rape in Cyberspace,” originally published in the Village Voice (available on the Readings page); Garfield, “YouTube vs. Boob Tube” (some of the videos on this page may no longer be available, but they can be seen if you go to YouTube and search for them); Davis, “The Secret World of Lonelygirl” (be sure to watch the three videos on page 1—they are the first two of Bree and a latter one about Daniel). I also suggest you watch some of Bree’s video blogs (all 244+). Start in the bottom right and move left and up as you go. The first two that were added are quite different than the 142+ that follow, so stick with it, as they are fascinating introductions to the series. For more on LonelyGirl15, see “Hey There, LonelyGirl” from the NYTimes Magazine, “LonelyGirl and All Her Friends” (audio and transcript) and “LonelyGirl Just Not Herself Anymore” (audio and transcript) from NPR’s On the Media radio program.

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for Tuesday, April 21

Please read Wired articles: Turkle (1995) “Who Am We?,” Kelly (2005) “We are the Web,” Vogelstein (2007) “How Mark Zuckerberg Turned Facebook Into the Web’s Hottest Platform” and watch a few times Wesch (2007) “The Machine is Us/ing Us.” Please also look at the following blogs: PostSecret, The “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks, Literally-A Web Log, Why That Plate, Lowercase L, Jeff the Giant Orange Cat, and Bathroom Graffiti Project.

Last semester students expressed wonder over older computers, so I thought I would post these two links which offer timelines of computer history: Computer History Museum Timelime, An Illustrated History of Computers. These are just FYI—not required reading at all.

back to top

for Thursday, April 16

Please read Bush (1945) “As We May Think” and Berners-Lee (1994) “The World Wide Web.” (Readings available for download on the Readings page.) These texts are all firsts. Bush’s Memex was the first discussion of something the resembled the Internet; Berners-Lee’s essay was the first description of the World Wide Web. In class we will watch videos of the first public display of the mouse, word processing, cut, paste, bulleted lists, and hypertext, among other technologies. Bush’s and Berners-Lee’s essays can be technical at times, so please grasp what you can and just move past what you can’t. The overall ideas are what we are going to look at, not the technical aspects.

Please post a response to your blog by the start of class on Thursday. There is no formal prompt—and there will be no formal prompt for the rest of the semester, only the suggestion that your responses to assigned texts be about the equivalent of 1/2 page, single space, Times New Roman, font 12. When composing your posts, write them as if you are writing for the whole WWW audience—not just for this class and these students and this professor. Because, in fact, anyone in the world can read your responses if they find the blog in a search or stumble upon it through this or other web sites. Discuss, critique, cite—whatever you wish to do; just remember that blogging is all about authority. I also encourage you to comment on each other’s posts. Blogs are also about feedback, so let’s start giving ourselves some feedback.

Remember that each student is responsible for posting a total of 5 posts per week to their group blog, 1 of which must be on the readings. The other 4 can/should be on topics of your own interest as long as they relate to the overall theme of your blog. Dr. Wolff is also responsible for posting to his own blog: 3 per week, at least one of which is pedagogical. Don’t leave these blog posts until the end of the module—be diligent and stay with it. Once you get rolling, it will be hard to stop.

To get to know your blogs a bit more, please see WordPress.com’s very helpful and intuitive FAQs page. By classtime on Thursday, I would like you to learn how to do the following using the FAQ page linked-to above, and the create a post that contains all three of the below listed items. Use the Topics keywords (also known as ‘tags’) to get you started. The subject of this post should be on a subject that is related to your personal, professional, and/or educational interests:

  • add / write a link
  • add an image
  • emded / post a YouTube video

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for Tuesday, April 14

Please read Selfe (1999) “Literacy and Technology Linked,” Nardi and O’Day’s (1999) “A Matter of Metaphor” and “Information Ecologies” and post a response on your blog:

The essays we are reading this week are filled with an amazing amount of dense prose and fascinating insights into the nature of technology. For this posting, I would you like to select a passage from either of the essays that you found particularly insightful and thought-provoking, particularly confusing, or that you are skeptical of. Type the passage into your response–include page numbers–and then include your response. At the end of your discussion, pose a question to your classmates (avoid questions like, “So, what do you think?”). I encourage your blog-mates to comment on your post using the blog comment field.

Please draft your response using Microsoft Word (or other word processor), check it for spelling, and then paste it in the response field. Your initial response should be at least 1/2 page, single space, using Times New Roman font size 12, on a page with 1″ margins.

Essays are available for download on the readings page, which is password protected. Please email me if you forgot the password.

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for Thursday, April 9

Note to class: this is the correct assignment.

By classtime, please read Bolter (2001) “Writing as Technology” and Bolter and Grusin (1999) “The Double Logic of Remediation” and complete a response to the following:

“Writing as Technology” and “The Double Logic of Remediation” introduce two of the key terms we will be discussing this module: writing spaces and remediation. For this post, please identify three of the writing spaces you use most frequently, discuss their characteristics, and what makes them unique. Then, choose two of those spaces, and using Bolter’s and Grusin’s definition of remediation, discuss how one remediates the other (or how they remediate themselves).

Please draft your response using Microsoft Word (or other word processor), check it for spelling, and then paste it in the blog post field. Have your response be at least 1/2 page, single space, using Times New Roman font size 12, on a page with 1″ margins.

Essays are available for download on the readings page, which is password protected. Please email me if you forgot the password.

Please have an electronic copy of your response available to you in class. This can be on email, flash drive, CD. We will be using the electronic version in class, so it is absolutely necessary that you have it.

Due to the wireless network being down we were not able to register for the blog. I have, however, registered you. Each of you should receive an email from WordPress, the blog software we are using, sent to your Rowan email address. This email asks you to click on a link to confirm registration. After clicking on the link it may ask you for a username and password. Your username is your Rowan email username and your password is: blogpassword. Both username and password are all lowercase. Please email me if you have no received an email from WordPress by Wednesday night. Before you email, please check your spam or junk mail folder just in case it was sent there. In class we will get each other registered for our blogs.

In class on Thursday we will associate your account with your blog. Then you will be able to post and edit your blog.

If you were absent on Tuesday, you will be assigned to a blog group on Thursday.

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for Tuesday, April 7

Please download, print, and read the syllabus (.pdf), which is available on the syllabus page. Come to class with any questions you may have.

Please first read Axelrod and Cooper’s “Strategies for Reading Critically” and use the annotation techniques they describe when you read: Penrod (2007) “Why Blog?” and “Blogs as a New Writing Genre.” I will check the copies of your readings in class to see how you have annotated the texts. These, and all readings, are linked off the readings page, which is password protected. Please email me if you forgot the password.

For the first part of this assignment, I’d like you to identify your personal, educational, and professional “interest spheres.” These spheres are the subjects, ideas, communities, etc., that you are interested in and/or curious about on a personal level. Often, when we think about our personal, educational, and professional interests we say, “Oh, I’m a Writing Arts major and I’m interested in journalism.” Or, “Oh, I’m an Education/Writing Arts double major and I’m interested in elementary education.”

Those statements are quite useful, but the areas “journalism” and others, like “elementery education” or “law” or “creative writing” are quite broad. For example, what specific area of journalism are you interested in: op/ed, sports, politics, environmental, journalist ethics, etc.? These are subclasses of the larger field of journalism. We can do the same with elementary education: No Child Left Behind, funding of education, politics and education, special needs students, art in education, technology in the el ed classroom, and so forth. Each of these areas offers a very specific community wherein people are exchanging ideas, best practices, and proposals for future changes. Similar things can be done with personal and educational interests. Here, for example, is a breakdown of my professional and personal:

  • higher education (professional)
    • technology and education
    • learning space design
    • classification systems
  • photography (personal)
    • black and white
    • Holga
    • infrared

I would like you to locate 3 or 4 specific areas of professional, educational, and personal interests. Create a hierarchy as above, and bring it with you to class. Then, using the blog search engine technorati or google begin searching for blogs in that particular specific area. So, for example, I might look for blogs that discuss “learning space design.” If you have trouble with the subareas, try the overall subject area and then narrow based on what you see. You might also try putting a phrase like “education blogs” into Google and see what you get. By doing that, the first result is to a page that discusses the Top 100 Education Blogs, which itself contains a link to edublogs.org, a site that hosts more than 30,000 blogs.

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for Thursday, April 2

Please read (in this order) Scott McCloud’s “Understanding Comics” and James Paul Gee’s “Semiotic Domains: Is Playing Video Games a ‘Waste of Time’?” and come to class prepared to discuss them in some detail. They are important pieces that should, I suspect, alter our understanding of many of the essays we have read thus far in the module. Readings are linked off the readings page.

back to top

for Thursday, March 26

Please read Thompson, “Brave New World of Digital Intimacy,” Vaidhyanathan, “Naked in the ‘Nonopticon’” and Howard, “Understanding Internet Plagiarism.” The latter two articles are available on the readings page.

Be prepared to discuss these essays (and the YouTube essays read for Thursday, Feb 5) in great detail.

Print out and read these chat quotatons (.pdf) prior to class.

back to top

for Tuesday, March 23

On your home/personal computer, log in to Diigo and install the Diigo toolbar as we did in class (you do not need to re-join the group). Please use the Diigo tutorial (.pdf) to guide you. Begin completing the bookmarking portion of your information ecology.

Please read Dibbell, “A Rape in Cyberspace,” originally published in the Village Voice (available on the Readings page); Garfield, “YouTube vs. Boob Tube” (some of the videos on this page may no longer be available, but they can be seen if you go to YouTube and search for them); Davis, “The Secret World of Lonelygirl” (be sure to watch the three videos on page 1—they are the first two of Bree and a latter one about Daniel). I also suggest you watch some of Bree’s video blogs (all 244+). Start in the bottom right and move left and up as you go. The first two that were added are quite different than the 142+ that follow, so stick with it, as they are fascinating introductions to the series. For more on LonelyGirl15, see “Hey There, LonelyGirl” from the NYTimes Magazine, “LonelyGirl and All Her Friends” (audio and transcript) and “LonelyGirl Just Not Herself Anymore” (audio and transcript) from NPR’s On the Media radio program.

back to top

for Tuesday, March 10

Please read Wired articles: Turkle (1995) “Who Am We?,” Kelly (2005) “We are the Web,” Vogelstein (2007) “How Mark Zuckerberg Turned Facebook Into the Web’s Hottest Platform” and watch a few times Wesch (2007) “The Machine is Us/ing Us.” Please also look at the following blogs: PostSecret, The “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks, Literally-A Web Log, Why That Plate, Lowercase L, Jeff the Giant Orange Cat, and Bathroom Graffiti Project.

Last semester students expressed wonder over older computers, so I thought I would post these two links which offer timelines of computer history: Computer History Museum Timelime, An Illustrated History of Computers. These are just FYI—not required reading at all.

back to top

for Thursday, March 5

Please read Bush (1945) “As We May Think” and Berners-Lee (1994) “The World Wide Web.” (Readings available for download on the Readings page.) These texts are all firsts. Bush’s Memex was the first discussion of something the resembled the Internet; Berners-Lee’s essay was the first description of the World Wide Web. In class we will watch videos of the first public display of the mouse, word processing, cut, paste, bulleted lists, and hypertext, among other technologies. Bush’s and Berners-Lee’s essays can be technical at times, so please grasp what you can and just move past what you can’t. The overall ideas are what we are going to look at, not the technical aspects.

Please post a response to your blog by the start of class on Thursday. There is no formal prompt—and there will be no formal prompt for the rest of the semester, only the suggestion that your responses to assigned texts be about the equivalent of 1/2 page, single space, Times New Roman, font 12. When composing your posts, write them as if you are writing for the whole WWW audience—not just for this class and these students and this professor. Because, in fact, anyone in the world can read your responses if they find the blog in a search or stumble upon it through this or other web sites. Discuss, critique, cite—whatever you wish to do; just remember that blogging is all about authority. I also encourage you to comment on each other’s posts. Blogs are also about feedback, so let’s start giving ourselves some feedback.

(Please note that the following was to be explained in class on Tuesday, but we ran over. It will be explained on Thursday. Sorry for any confusion.) Remember that each student is responsible for posting a total of 5 posts per week to their group blog, 1 of which must be on the readings. The other 4 can/should be on topics of your own interest as long as they relate to the overall theme of your blog. Dr. Wolff is also responsible for posting to his own blog: 3 per week, at least one of which is pedagogical. Don’t leave these blog posts until the end of the module—be diligent and stay with it. Once you get rolling, it will be hard to stop.

To get to know your blogs a bit more, please see WordPress.com’s very helpful and intuitive FAQs page. By classtime on Thursday, I would like you to learn how to do the following using the FAQ page linked-to above, and the create a post that contains all three of the below listed items. Use the Topics keywords (also known as ‘tags’) to get you started. The subject of this post should be on a subject that is related to your personal, professional, and/or educational interests:

  • add / write a link
  • add an image
  • emded / post a YouTube video

back to top

for Tuesday, March 3

Please read Selfe (1999) “Literacy and Technology Linked,” Nardi and O’Day’s (1999) “A Matter of Metaphor” and “Information Ecologies” and post a response on your blog:

The essays we are reading this week are filled with an amazing amount of dense prose and fascinating insights into the nature of technology. For this posting, I would you like to select a passage from either of the essays that you found particularly insightful and thought-provoking, particularly confusing, or that you are skeptical of. Type the passage into your response–include page numbers–and then include your response. At the end of your discussion, pose a question to your classmates (avoid questions like, “So, what do you think?”). I encourage your blog-mates to comment on your post using the blog comment field.

Please draft your response using Microsoft Word (or other word processor), check it for spelling, and then paste it in the response field. Your initial response should be at least 1/2 page, single space, using Times New Roman font size 12, on a page with 1″ margins.

Essays are available for download on the readings page, which is password protected. Please email me if you forgot the password.

back to top

for Thursday, Feb 26

By classtime, please read Bolter (2001) “Writing as Technology,” and Bolter and Grusin (1999) “The Double Logic of Remediation” and post a response to the following on your brand new, super-exciting collaborative blog:

“Writing as Technology” and “The Double Logic of Remediation” introduce two of the key terms we will be discussing this module: writing spaces and remediation. For this post, please identify three of the writing spaces you use most frequently, discuss their characteristics, and what makes them unique. Then, choose two of those spaces, and using Bolter’s and Grusin’s definition of remediation, discuss how one remediates the other (or how they remediate themselves).

Please draft your response using Microsoft Word (or other word processor), check it for spelling, and then paste it in the blog post field. Have your response be at least 1/2 page, single space, using Times New Roman font size 12, on a page with 1″ margins.

Essays are available for download on the readings page, which is password protected. Please email me if you forgot the password.

To access your blog dashboard, to go http://www.wordpress.com and log in using the username and password set up in class (if you were absent this will be done in class on Thursday; do not create an account from home). At the top op the browser window you will see a gray bar. On the left of the bar, click on Dashboard. From there, look to the left navigation bar. Click on Post and then “New Post.” Add a title, paste in your text, and then click on Publish. You can see what your blog looks like by clicking on your blog: Creativity Corner, Rowan Scribes, Exceptional Students, Why Bother Writing.

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for Tuesday, Feb 24

Please download, print, and read the syllabus (.pdf), which is available on the syllabus page. Come to class with any questions you may have.

Please first read Axelrod and Cooper’s “Strategies for Reading Critically” and use the annotation techniques they describe when you read: Penrod (2007) “Why Blog?” and “Blogs as a New Writing Genre.” I will check the copies of your readings in class to see how you have annotated the texts. These, and all readings, are linked off the readings page, which is password protected. Please email me if you forgot the password.

For the first part of this assignment, I’d like you to identify your personal, educational, and professonal “interest spheres.” These spheres are the subjects, ideas, communities, etc., that you are interested in and/or curious about on a personal level. Often, when we think about our personal, educational, and professional interests we say, “Oh, I’m a Writing Arts major and I’m interested in journalism.” Or, “Oh, I’m an Education/Writing Arts double major and I’m interested in elementary education.”

Those statements are quite useful, but the areas “journalism” and others, like “elementery education” or “law” or “creative writing” are quite broad. For example, what specific area of journalism are you interested in: op/ed, sports, politics, environmental, journalist ethics, etc.? These are subclasses of the larger field of journalism. We can do the same with elementary education: No Child Left Behind, funding of education, politics and education, special needs students, art in education, technology in the el ed classroom, and so forth. Each of these areas offers a very specific community wherein people are exchanging ideas, best practices, and proposals for future changes. Similar things can be done with personal and educational interests. Here, for example, is a breakdown of my professional and personal:

  • higher education (professional)
    • technology and education
    • learning space design
    • classification systems
  • photography (personal)
    • black and white
    • Holga
    • infrared

I would like you to locate 3 or 4 specific areas of professional, educational, and personal interests. Create a hierarchy as above, and bring it with you to class. Then, using the blog search engine technorati or google begin searching for blogs in that particular specific area. So, for example, I might look for blogs that discuss “learning space design.” If you have trouble with the subareas, try the overall subject area and then narrow based on what you see. You might also try putting a phrase like “education blogs” into Google and see what you get. By doing that, the first result is to a page that discusses the Top 100 Education Blogs, which itself contains a link to edublogs.org, a site that hosts more than 30,000 blogs.

back to top

for Thursday, Feb 19

Please read (in this order) Scott McCloud’s “Understanding Comics” and James Paul Gee’s “Semiotic Domains: Is Playing Video Games a ‘Waste of Time’?” and come to class prepared to discuss them in some detail. They are important pieces that should, I suspect, alter our understanding of many of the essays we have read thus far in the module. Readings are linked off the readings page.

Not required, but here are links to the Facebook Terms of Service (TOS) documents I mentioned in class today in the order in which they appeared:

So, where do we stand with the Facebook stuff? I encourage you to read the comments on the Consumerist’s blog posts to get an idea what people are thinking. Who do we trust? Which texts do we believe?

We will debrief our online chats and discuss the final assignment in class.

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for Tuesday, Feb 17

Please read Thompson, “Brave New World of Digital Intimacy,” Vaidhyanathan, “Naked in the ‘Nonopticon’” and Howard, “Understanding Internet Plagiarism.” The latter two articles are available on the readings page.

Be prepared to discuss these essays (and the YouTube essays read for Thursday, Feb 5) in great detail.

Print out and read these chat quotatons (.pdf) prior to class.

back to top

for Thursday, Feb 12

On your home/personal computer, log in to Diigo and install the Diigo toolbar as we did in class (you do not need to re-join the group). Please use the Diigo tutorial (.pdf) to guide you. Begin completing the bookmarking portion of your information ecology.

Please read Dibbell, “A Rape in Cyberspace,” originally published in the Village Voice (available on the Readings page); Garfield, “YouTube vs. Boob Tube” (some of the videos on this page may no longer be available, but they can be seen if you go to YouTube and search for them); Davis, “The Secret World of Lonelygirl” (be sure to watch the three videos on page 1—they are the first two of Bree and a latter one about Daniel). I also suggest you watch some of Bree’s video blogs (all 244+). Start in the bottom right and move left and up as you go. The first two that were added are quite different than the 142+ that follow, so stick with it, as they are fascinating introductions to the series. For more on LonelyGirl15, see “Hey There, LonelyGirl” from the NYTimes Magazine, “LonelyGirl and All Her Friends” (audio and transcript) and “LonelyGirl Just Not Herself Anymore” (audio and transcript) from NPR’s On the Media radio program.

back to top

for Tuesday, Feb 10

Please read Wired articles: Turkle (1995) “Who Am We?,” Kelly (2005) “We are the Web,” Vogelstein (2007) “How Mark Zuckerberg Turned Facebook Into the Web’s Hottest Platform” and watch a few times Wesch (2007) “The Machine is Us/ing Us.” Please also look at the following blogs: PostSecret, The “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks, Literally-A Web Log, Why That Plate, Lowercase L, Jeff the Giant Orange Cat, and Bathroom Graffiti Project.

Last semester students expressed wonder over older computers, so I thought I would post these two links which offer timelines of computer history: Computer History Museum Timelime, An Illustrated History of Computers. These are just FYI—not required reading at all.

back to top

for Thursday, Feb 5

Please read Bush (1945) “As We May Think” and Berners-Lee (1994) “The World Wide Web.” (Readings available for download on the Readings page.) These texts are all firsts. Bush’s Memex was the first discussion of something the resembled the Internet; Berners-Lee’s essay was the first description of the World Wide Web. In class we will watch videos of the first public display of the mouse, word processing, cut, paste, bulleted lists, and hypertext, among other technologies. Bush’s and Berners-Lee’s essays can be technical at times, so please grasp what you can and just move past what you can’t. The overall ideas are what we are going to look at, not the technical aspects.

Please post a response to your blog by the start of class on Thursday. There is no formal prompt—and there will be no formal prompt for the rest of the semester, only the suggestion that your responses to assigned texts be about the equivalent of 1/2 page, single space, Times New Roman, font 12. When composing your posts, write them as if you are writing for the whole WWW audience—not just for this class and these students and this professor. Because, in fact, anyone in the world can read your responses if they find the blog in a search or stumble upon it through this or other web sites. Discuss, critique, cite—whatever you wish to do; just remember that blogging is all about authority. I also encourage you to comment on each other’s posts. Blogs are also about feedback, so let’s start giving ourselves some feedback.

Remember that each student is responsible for posting a total of 5 posts per week to their group blog, 1 of which must be on the readings. The other 4 can/should be on topics of your own interest as long as they relate to the overall theme of your blog. Dr. Wolff is also responsible for posting to his own blog: 3 per week, at least one of which is pedagogical. Don’t leave these blog posts until the end of the module—be diligent and stay with it. Once you get rolling, it will be hard to stop.

To get to know your blogs a bit more, please see WordPress.com’s very helpful and intuitive FAQs page. By classtime on Thursday, I would like you to learn how to do the following using the FAQ page linked-to above, and the create a post that contains all three of the below listed items. Use the Topics keywords (also known as ‘tags’) to get you started. The subject of this post should be on a subject that is related to your personal, professional, and/or educational interests:

  • add / write a link
  • add an image
  • emded / post a YouTube video

back to top

for Tuesday, Feb 3

Please read Selfe (1999) “Literacy and Technology Linked,” Nardi and O’Day’s (1999) “A Matter of Metaphor” and “Information Ecologies” and post a response on your blog:

The essays we are reading this week are filled with an amazing amount of dense prose and fascinating insights into the nature of technology. For this posting, I would you like to select a passage from either of the essays that you found particularly insightful and thought-provoking, particularly confusing, or that you are skeptical of. Type the passage into your response–include page numbers–and then include your response. At the end of your discussion, pose a question to your classmates (avoid questions like, “So, what do you think?”). I encourage your blog-mates to comment on your post using the blog comment field.

Please draft your response using Microsoft Word (or other word processor), check it for spelling, and then paste it in the response field. Your initial response should be at least 1/2 page, single space, using Times New Roman font size 12, on a page with 1″ margins.

Essays are available for download on the readings page, which is password protected. Please email me if you forgot the password.

back to top

for Thursday, Jan 29

Note to class: this is the correct assignment.

By classtime, please read Nye (2006) “Can We Define Technology?” Bolter (2001) “Writing as Technology,” and Bolter and Grusin (1999) “The Double Logic of Remediation” and post a response to the following on your brand new, super-exciting collaborative blog:

“Writing as Technology” and “The Double Logic of Remediation” introduce two of the key terms we will be discussing this module: writing spaces and remediation. For this post, please identify three of the writing spaces you use most frequently, discuss their characteristics, and what makes them unique. Then, choose two of those spaces, and using Bolter’s and Grusin’s definition of remediation, discuss how one remediates the other (or how they remediate themselves).

Please draft your response using Microsoft Word (or other word processor), check it for spelling, and then paste it in the blog post field. Have your response be at least 1/2 page, single space, using Times New Roman font size 12, on a page with 1″ margins.

Essays are available for download on the readings page, which is password protected. Please email me if you forgot the password.

To access your blog dashboard, to go http://www.wordpress.com and log in using the username and password set up in class (if you were absent this will be done in class on Thursday; do not create an account from home). At the top op the browser window you will see a gray bar. On the left of the bar, click on Dashboard. From there, look to the left navigation bar. Click on Post and then “New Post.” Add a title, paste in your text, and then click on Publish. You can see what your blog looks like by clicking on your blog: Red Flagged, Creative Divas, Certain Interests of the Uncertain, Brunette Bloggers.

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for Tuesday, Jan 27

Please download, print, and read the syllabus (.pdf), which is available on the syllabus page. Come to class with any questions you may have.

Please first read Axelrod and Cooper’s “Strategies for Reading Critically” and use the annotation techniques they describe when you read: Penrod (2007) “Why Blog?” and “Blogs as a New Writing Genre.” I will check the copies of your readings in class to see how you have annotated the texts. These, and all readings, are linked off the readings page, which is password protected. Please email me if you forgot the password.

For the first part of this assignment, I’d like you to identify your personal, educational, and professonal “interest spheres.” These spheres are the subjects, ideas, communities, etc., that you are interested in and/or curious about on a personal level. Often, when we think about our personal, educational, and professional interests we say, “Oh, I’m a Writing Arts major and I’m interested in journalism.” Or, “Oh, I’m an Education/Writing Arts double major and I’m interested in elementary education.”

Those statements are quite useful, but the areas “journalism” and others, like “elementery education” or “law” or “creative writing” are quite broad. For example, what specific area of journalism are you interested in: op/ed, sports, politics, environmental, journalist ethics, etc.? These are subclasses of the larger field of journalism. We can do the same with elementary education: No Child Left Behind, funding of education, politics and education, special needs students, art in education, technology in the el ed classroom, and so forth. Each of these areas offers a very specific community wherein people are exchanging ideas, best practices, and proposals for future changes. Similar things can be done with personal and educational interests. Here, for example, is a breakdown of my professional and personal:

  • higher education (professional)
    • technology and education
    • learning space design
    • classification systems
  • photography (personal)
    • black and white
    • Holga
    • infrared

I would like you to locate 3 or 4 specific areas of professional, educational, and personal interests. Create a hierarchy as above, and bring it with you to class. Then, using the blog search engine technorati or google begin searching for blogs in that particular specific area. So, for example, I might look for blogs that discuss “learning space design.” If you have trouble with the subareas, try the overall subject area and then narrow based on what you see. You might also try putting a phrase like “education blogs” into Google and see what you get. By doing that, the first result is to a page that discusses the Top 100 Education Blogs, which itself contains a link to edublogs.org, a site that hosts more than 30,000 blogs.

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