Saturday, September 18, 2010

Ning Highs and Lows Week 1: Keeping Up?

In my Liberal Arts Cluster we were in computer lab on day 2 so it was super easy to get them all on and writing in two hours--shout out to Rich for Embracing Love (opening balloon sequence) which fit perfectly for my first blog topic in the Justice for All? cluster (and I got it on Netflix instant play in lab)--what would you be willing to risk life or reputation for? This is only my second semester having students blog every week and I am completely sold--they write energetically and a lot--while there are technical issues of sloppiness (blogspeak) I am insisting that they quote twice from the text and that the quotation has to fit and be analyzed--they did this rather well for a first time round with little prompting so I am developing a theory that the platform encourages better/more engaged writing despite blogspeak. Luke--on reviewing my syllabus I am not sure I can do Oedipus but we did discuss the story in depth and they were riveted--so we can still talk about a conversation with Minority Report--I'll check to see who has seen it...maybe some other films would also fit--Fight Club? What is it to know thyself?

In my World Lit in English class we have a smart classroom but not lab--I am fine with that--it took a little longer but I collected emails and sent invitations--this was less disruptive for me than having them sign up in class. First assignment is their own cultural bricolage (which I did last semester) and it seems like a great entry to a course that is so much about colonialism and hybridity and globalization--most have done it and their posts are fascinating--and they are responding to each other though I have had more problems with students saying they didn't get email invite--a veteran student reminded us to check spam folder!

I guess if I have a question it is about how to keep up with reading all this and comment efficiently and productively! This is actually more writing in week one (we are up to blog #2 in both classes).


  1. Hey Phyllis. I will be doing pieces of MacBeth, Midsummer's, and Hamlet around midterm. Maybe we can work something up between you and me and Xime and Luke. Maybe some kind of collective Jam. My Google Groups page is public access so . . . .

  2. @Dr. Van:
    I have two questions for Hamlet that would totally work with what you are doing. One about "knowing thyself" and making peace w/the world, the other as self-proclaimed agent of justice.

    As to your question--reading is easy; I would not get them too accustomed to you responding a lot--too teacher-dependent. Maybe you could name some moderators, at least for ENG295 (a good use for the veteran student). I know Ning has such a function, though only G-d knows if it works in Ning mini.

    @Jason--we talk about the Ghost in Hamlet being a devil or not (as expressed in the speech in 1.4 that begins "Angels and ministers of grade, defend us!" maybe this could connect w/ your supernatural class

  3. to Jason and Ximena--collective jam on knowing thyself and agents of "justice" sounds intriguing--and Dr X--I was trying to be moderate in my responses and a really sensitive student just wrote that he had checked the blog every hour for the last 7 hours because I didn't reply and he was worried he had not done the homework correctly!!! I felt terrible :(