Saturday, September 18, 2010

Getting Started

First, a quick heads-up for the rest of the team. Google, in its infinite wisdom, is blocking certain workstations in the computer labs from creating new Gmail IDs in an effort to block spam. If you try to create a new ID, it just gives you a message that you are blocked because the same workstation (I guess logged by network address?) has been flagged as creating a lot of e-mail addresses in the past. Not so smart for academic environments where students would be using the same computers over time to sign up for different accounts. We just couldn't do it in E-106 the other day. The workaround is just to use a non-Gmail ID with Blogger. Case closed. You will notice, too, that Google seems to be 'harvesting' cell phone numbers (again to 'verify identities') as you sign up. This happens whether or not you use a Gmail ID or no. It's not like Google has anything to do with cell phone market.... Hmmm.

We will try again next Monday for my main classes--ENG 101, 103, LIB 110, a cluster. It will be interesting to see the connections we can make within a traditional cluster. I can see my cluster students benefiting with blogging with their brick-and-mortar classes, as well as moving beyond those confines to other courses.... I hope so....

Speaking of confines, did anyone see Wired.com's epigraph on the end of the open internet as we know it?(UK lowercase usage here)? Chris Anderson suggests we are seeing the end of an open, public internet in favor of 'platforms' (Facebook, etc.) and Apple 'apps.' It's a provocative argument and suggests of course that platforms and proprietary software are taking over.... or at least getting a lot of press. (Does that mean Blackboard, Moodle, ePortfolios for education?).... If so, I'll miss the do-it-yourself aspect of Web 2.0, which we are digging into here.... At its best, Web 2.0 sites really can work together pretty creatively. It would be a shame if we all wind up on Facebook for everything in the near future using only cell phones or tablets running custom little apps instead of 'open' browsers....

Lastly, I turned my ENG 274 Creative Non-Fiction Workshop loose with signing up with Blogger last Thursday. Several students are already blogging elsewhere--great! I've decided to encourage these students to keep a private paper-based or online journal, too. I think these blogs will be really strong, but I don't really know where a creative writing class fits into the rest of our seminar.

We should have two 'blog rolls' (one from the cluster, plus the writing workshop) by late next week--stay tuned.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the update. I have my fingers crossed for all of us that this will be a minor rather than major source of complications. Thanks too for proposing a fix....

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