Tuesday, November 29, 2011
The Assignment (on our class blog):
The students' reponses were very interesting (posted on their own blogs) and it is helpful to consider the difficulties students have had (with home computers, for instance), how they view the blogs, and what blog activities they liked. The students are very candid - some say they didn't really enjoy using blogs. Others surprised me by saying they often looked and and edited their blogs outside of class or looked at other students' blogs a lot. By and large, students enjoyed reading other students' blogs and posting comments as their favorite activity on the blogs.
Monday, November 28, 2011
I have decided I hate email. Email is no longer e-mail but e-everything: memos, announcements, advertisements, chit-chat, rants and raves, and a plethora of other junk I would rather not deal with. So, asking students to "email me" is rather like asking them to add their work onto a pile of other things I would rather not deal with and that, therefore, might get lost.
I decided to go retro-tech. I bought a pack of bright pink index cards. Now, when a student has an issue that does not require my immediate attention (such as double-checking a grade or re-reading a blog entry or an "off topic" question) they grab a pink card and put their name on it with the relevant information and hand it to me. When I have a chance (in class or at home) I go through the stack and respond as needed.
I must admit that I felt immediately less stressed about checking my email for student requests and the students also felt that they did not have to "follow up" every few minutes to see if I had checked my email. The card was in the "pink stack" and they knew that I would get to it.
So, back to my motto: The right tool for the task and the teacher. Like many of our students I may be "over" email as a useful communication tool (for my class especially) and sometimes, going lo-tech for what should be a simple task is the best.
There are other interesting things on this site, too. Many reviews of technology use, such as QR codes in the classroom, and thematic sets of resources on topics like Steve Jobs and Occupy Wall Street.
As you may remember, I am conducting a study to consider how the use of Web 2.0 platforms in classes might affect (improve?) the writing self-efficacy of multilingual writers. To unpack that briefly:
Web 2.0 platforms have the potential to conflate the reader/writer dichotomy (e.g., you're either one or the other) to a reader-writer identity (e.g., you read, you respond/you write, someone else responds), my hope has been that by incorporating blogs into my coursework, students who self-identify as poor academic writers might have the opportunity to experience the satisfaction of having their own writing read and responded to--and seeing how others write, respond, and develop their own and others' ideas over the course of a course.
If there is a certain "satisfaction" or "payoff," does it translate into improved writing self-efficacy--the belief that they can approach a challenging writing task and persevere through its completion?
I say "multilingual" writers to include the traditional category of "ESL" students as well as Basic Writers who may be bidialectal (albeit, their perception of another dialect may be that it is "broken"), and resident ESLs (a/k/a Gen 1.5) whose language/literacy competencies are difficult to cleanly categorize. These are the students that populate our classrooms at LaGuardia with monolinguals in the minority. "Multilingual" in this sense is not only from a teacher's perspective (wow! look at the range of language experiences/competencies in this class!) as well as students' perspectives as they read each other's writing and make accommodations for communication.
Now that it's getting toward the end of the semester, I'll ask those of you who asked your students to fill out my questionnaire in September/October, to ask them fill it out again in December: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FFXPZQ2
I'm excited to see the results, but already thinking about how I will tweak the study going forward to consider pedagogical issues (those rich, complex variables that fill a class each semester!) I hadn't anticipated beforehand. These have helped me to unpack my assumptions further. A big one includes attention, which I've mentioned on this blog previously, and will continue to elaborate in further posts. I don't mean this as in "Pay attention, guys!" as if it were as simple as that. But based on emerging studies about the brain, the Internet, and learning, I understand much better that asking students to use Web 2.0 platforms is not as simple as allowing students to use something they are used to in their so-called out-of-school literacies. (I know this is obvious to you guys as you have been developing and implementing and grappling with the consequences of your own amazing Web 2.0 pedagogies! But I'm beginning to understand this more deeply.)
It's been fantastic reading about what you're doing and I'm eager to talk/write/read more about how integrating Web 2.0 has challenged and addressed your own pedagogical goals. To be continued...
Friday, November 25, 2011
Thursday, November 24, 2011
A. Learning Objectives
Students will be able to:
- Recognize and explain the differences between stealing someone's work and being inspired by someone.
- Prepare a Citation Page by following the MLA System.
- Evaluate resources on the LaGuardia Library Website for their research papers.
- Cite images of artworks from museum database.
B. Reflective Description
Beyoncé was just accused of Plagiarism for her dance moves last month and I played the media coverage on the case before discussing Plagiarism with my class. Most students already knew how to cite sources since my course is a graduation requirement, but they did not know about Beyoncé's case. I wanted to introduce the MLA basics in a unique way but did not want to waste any class time for it, so I decided to do both at once. In this semester, for the first time in my teaching career, I am allowing my class to cite blogs, Facebook posts, and tweets for final papers.
Surprisingly, I think many of my students did not know about Beyoncé to begin with. Or were they confused because their "high art" instructor suddenly started to talk about a trivial pop culture phenomenon? In any case, this lecture actually worked fine as a regular art topic even though students were already experienced with the MLA System.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Monday, November 21, 2011
Here is the first idea of a successful blogging: what it means to be a successful implement of "blogging" in a college-level course. No, not a "blog" but a condition of "blogging" among students that we are trying to create. This is what we mean by building an online community.
This semester, I required all students in all of my classes to start a blog. I wanted them to become independent thinkers. This project is unexpectedly going well.
The idea of ePortfolio. When you think about ePortfolio, you might think about an online portfolio that organizes uniformed contents, something like the Interfolio or the SlideRoom. This is not what I mean. I mean ePortfolio that separates a student from all others, something that helps my students stand out in a crowd.
The closest concept may be a digital artist's book. For me, the idea of blogging has always been associated with an expansion of ePortfolio, right from the beginning.
What I did not know was that my students had something else on their mind.
3) Trust and Independence
My painting students teamed up two weeks ago and told me that they wanted to continue with blogs only---no more ePortfolio---.
Let me go back to the point (1) above for a second. I worked very hard in the beginning of the semester to convert all of my students into bloggers. This project is unexpectedly going well. It IS successful---SO SUCCESSFUL that they are now protesting the use of ePortfolio.
After close discussions with them, I now have a better idea of what is going on. Yes, there is a lesson.
What should I do now? I would like to offer an overview of what would be pros and cons of Blogger.com in this environment. Blackboard is another system that can be replaced by Blogger, so I considered it when making the list below. Hope this is helpful.
Easy to use "like Facebook" (quoted from my student.)
Students can access their own sites forever after graduation (quoted from my student.)
A link to an ePortfolio can offer an expansion of the ePortfolio system.
Less down time during the midterm and the final.
More freedom in customizing the service.
Students will be able to evaluate and analyze two online systems on their own even before instructors ask them to do so.
Blogs may be blocked on a corporate computer if students work at major corporations.
Textbook copyright issues.
No Grade Center.
No Usage or Log-on Tracking.
Students can protest ePortfolio and/or Blackboard by learning a more intuitive user interface.
(Recommendation or Things that would happen in the near future)
Offer students an option of purchasing access to ePortfolio forever, even after two years of graduation. This is a business opportunity!
Develop a more intuitive user interface for ePortfolio [but I heard there was a long way to arrive the current "Digication" era].
I apologize for being behind on blog posts. I was completely overwhelmed by conferences for a few weeks and then "the attack of the meetings" the past few weeks. I have perused Community 2.0 and hoped to have interesting posts about what my students were doing online, but did not do much online work with them the past few weeks.
I did some online searches for ideas and resources and saw some interesting activities on various wiki, blog, and online community sites. Slowly the rusty 2.0 gears started turning...
To get back into the swing of things, I combed through everyone's blog sites to see what you are all doing and get some inspiration! From posts by Ximena and Jason and comments by Justin Rogers Cooper, I was inspired to have students do some reflective blog-writing about blogging in our lab class tomorrow.
I also really liked some of the activities Luke is having students do in both classes. Some of his prompts made me consider what things "out there" on the Net would interest my students. And then certain Facebook posts I saw today (including ones by Maria) sparked my slumbering blog imagination...
Pepper Spray Everything, the Internet Meme
I wanted to try something edgy and follow a popular Internet meme trend - the Pepper Spray Cop! I will have students contemplate and write about the newest viral sensation, the "Pepper Spray Everything Movement" and consider whether this is art or not:
Stay tuned for comments on how this activity worked with my class!
How It Went:
The student posts about the pepper spray cop meme were very interesting. Their ideas about whether or not the meme images were art and whether or not it was a form of plagiarism were varied and led to an interesting discussion of what can be considered plagiarism, particulary when it is so easy to copy images found online.
Does anyone have any experience using Wikia?
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Friday, November 18, 2011
In today's economy a college degree is one key to economic opportunity. A report published by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, "The College Payoff," reveals that the median lifetime earnings of those with a Bachelor's degree is $2,268,000 while those with a high school diploma have a median lifetime earning $1,304,000. Quite a difference! In addition to a college degree, race, gender and choice of major also have an impact on income and upward mobility. I have attached a link to the article-I think you will find it interesting and the information may be useful as you talk with students about their career choices.
This exercise has been a fun and challenging way to work together. We haven't managed to meet face to face, but managed to email each other several times to complete our task.
Rebekah's cool thing is that her blog has homework descriptions right there, so students do not need to go to blackboard for details. We also like that she posted her mid-semester survey on her blog. Nozomi’s did gave her mid-semester survey in her class because her students are not tech-savvy and made it in a manner that the class can finish it in a minute. Overall, we were pleased that the three of us always prefer a student-centered approach like me.
Nozomi's cool things are the way she mixes the use of ePortfolio (ePortfolio is required for Art and Design majors) and blogger. This exchange allows her students to exchange digital images on each other's course blogs. Nozomi also asked students to do an optional museum visit and in return students began posting about their visits—all thanks to the new online exchange--blogger! Nozomi finds blogging as another platform for students to communicate with her. Nozomi was able to respond to their requests for assistance, though the downside was that some students did not reply back to her outreach posts afterwards.
Ingrid's cool thing is that she posts mathematical problems on her MathLaGCCBlog. I have never seen that before, and I think that students would find problems posted on a blog rather than in a book or on a blackboard are different and interesting, and more engaging. In addition, there is information about online tutoring and an invitation to ask questions on the blog, encouraging students to use online services to learn more.
It comes as no surprise that posting homework assignments on our blogs is a pretty darn cool idea. It provides us with freedom and efficiency to send our students straight to the task without having to worry about Blackboard’s wonky ways and high traffic during midterms and finals.
in open discussion on Tumblr. Students are permitted to post any mathematical
questions and are free to provide solution(s) to anyone else's question. We have
set up some guidelines for students to follow and our method of responding.
Our goal is to develop a larger group of math followers. As final exams are
approaching,we hope to see more activities on Tumblr.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Georgia Tech Wipes Class Wikis From Web
Following a student’s complaint to the university that his name was listed on the Web site of a public course, Georgia Tech officials decided on Monday to remove all Swikis other than ones from the current semester, said Mark Guzdial, a professor in the School of Interactive Computing, who is a co-creator of the Swikis.
He reported the development on his Computing Education blog this week. (The tech journalist Audrey Watters picked it up on her blog.)
In his post, Mr. Guzdial recounts how he and two Ph.D. students created the Swiki, or CoWeb, in 2000, so that students would have a place to “construct public entities on the Web.” The Swikis served intentionally undefined purposes, such as providing a forum for cross-semester discussions and a home for public galleries of student work. “All of that ended yesterday,” he wrote, because of Georgia Tech’s concerns about Ferpa, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
In a letter to faculty, posted on the university’s Web site, Zvi Galil, dean of the College of Computing, says Ferpa “prohibits the release of student names in connection with any particular classes in which they have been enrolled.” Under the university’s interpretation, that includes the Swikis, because students’ names are listed on the Web sites. The step was taken to make sure that students’ information was protected, a university spokeswoman said in an e-mail to The Chronicle.
Steven J. McDonald, general counsel at the Rhode Island School of Design, said that because students themselves are not subject to the provisions of Ferpa, if they are the ones posting the material, and not faculty members, then they are acting outside the confines of the privacy act. It would be as if a student were to post something from class to YouTube, he said.
Jochen Rick, one of the Ph.D. students who helped create the Swikis, acknowledged via e-mail the potential privacy concerns. But “to me, Georgia Tech’s interpretation of Ferpa implies that their students are not capable of reasonably and actively managing their privacy,” he said. “That’s a pretty low assessment for a group of tech-savvy adults.”
Other people upset by the university’s decision have taken the conversation to Twitter by creating a hashtag, #FERPANUTS, to discuss the issue.
Brendan Streich, a spokesman for the College of Computing, said in a phone call that the Swiki content, while not visible to the public, is not lost forever. The university, he said, would repopulate any Web page at the request of a professor, but only after removing any Ferpa-sensitive information. Since that includes names, it remains unclear how the university would go about this under its interpretation of the law.
Simple Web 2.0 Feedback
Ximena Gallardo C., English Department
I. Introduction to Web 2.0 and Privacy Discussion
- Definition of Web 2.0
- Privacy Handouts
- Public (Pu): Anyone in the world can see the feedback (but probably will not. Consider that on Nov .12 the Nielsen Company site BlogPulse identified the number of blogs to be over 176 million).
- Semi-public (Semi): Only those in a community (a group or class, for example) can see the feedback.
- Private (Pr): Only you or you and those you choose can see the feedback.
II. Hands-on Work with Tools Where Teachers Act as Students
- Poll Everywhere (Pu)
- Show: Poll Everywhere PowerPoint.
- Work: Responding to Feedback Poll
- Mention: Survey Monkey (Pr); Google Forms (Pr)
- Show: Google Docs in Plain English HERE.
- Show: Group collaboration on annotating a CAT HERE.
- Work: Commenting on student response HERE.
- Show: Teacher-to-student feedback (Gradebook) for ENA099 HERE.
- Discuss: Administrator-controlled space versus administrator-authorized network
- Show: Peer-to-Peer feedback on Shakespeare Ning HERE. (I model, then feedback begins on page 3) .
- Show: Peer-to-Peer feedback on Blogger
III. Q&A and Exploring Tools of Choice
- Join Poll Everywhere HERE.
- Join Google HERE.
IV. Feedback for the Day’s Work
Please complete a SurveyMonkey survey HERE.
P.S. One other interesting feedback tool: Voicethread (Semi-Pu)
- Voicethread Demo HERE.
The Penn State story is a great illustration of how people will protect the brand of the company at any cost. Having worked most of my life in corporate America, I know how often it is done. This week's Community Blog ask students how they would handle protecting the brand,even if what was occurring was illegal.
- Why do think the Coach Sandusky was never arrested and brought up on charges even though witnesses has seen him molest a 10 year old boy in 2002?.
- Do you think Coach Paterno should have been fired because he did the correct think legally but not morally?
- Why do you think the President of the University participated in the coverup?
- Who are the real victims here, the staff or the ten boys molested or even the football players or a combination?
- Do you think an organization such as Penn State has the right to do what it take to protect its name even if a crime as been committed? Be aware there are many documented cases of this occurring both nationally and globally. Many hundreds of jobs have been saved by companies who have done at any costs what it takes to protect their image.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
I include a link to the whole article, but this part caught my attention--because I am not so sure if it is limited to just that field:
Classes that think online teach other. Students that learn from each other combine knowledge. Students that combine knowledge perform better individually, but do so while their individual work more openly 'echoes' the work of other students.
Knowledge, Comprehension, Analysis
Knowledge Pools: Assignment Description
Last Monday the students in my Language and Human Rights class wrote blogs that summarized the main elements of non-violent theory. Here's how they did it: first, each group was assigned a different essay by MLK, Jr, on non-violence. Each group summarized the main points and found/defined keywords. They all read/re-read the essays and found a consensus about the main ideas.
Then I paired each group with another group: I told them to teach other the essays they discussed in their groups. The students in one group took notes on what the other students taught them. The groups then blogged about what they were taught, *not* about the essay their group first discused.
In some cases, I joined a third group to the these new, larger groups. They all then taught each other the new material in big bunches.
Social Media: How it Went
In the next class on Wednesday, we started off with their blogs. I listed several main ideas from their blogs on the board, and then we opened the MLK text to some of the main ideas they were working with. The point of the day was to move the discussion of non-violent theory into an analysis about how non-violence actually works. So after our discussion, we watched clips from the PBS documentary Citizen King on the Birmingham March in 1963. After pausing and discussing what we saw throughout, we had a brief discussion about the main ideas.
I then told the students to brainstorm on Twitter - and an outpouring of at least 50 Tweets sparked and rippled througth the class. I had the Twitter feed on the projector and we watched the ideas water through. Some of the Tweets overlapped with each other, while others pushed new ideas into the mix. The students were writing and thinking in real-time, but sharing every thought with one another. You could see knowledge as a kind of liquid pouring through the classroom, and see it freeze into different themes.
Collective Cognition: Conclusions
As the students Tweeted, I would yell out insightful examples and exclaim out new ideas. When they finished, I told them to use the Tweets as a basis for a revised blog. Since the Tweets were full of original critical thinking, they were to comb through the ideas and match them into the non-violent theories they wrote in their Monday blogs. Students used the rest of the class time to draft paragraphs that used Citizen King as an example for them to analyze and to develop critical thinking around non-violence.
It has occured to me more frequently and more forcefully of late that the students are sharing both summaries and critical thinking with each other. Yes, each student is authentically conjuring new ideas - but some of the more compelling ideas end up finding their way into student essays (nearly everything they write ends up in an essay). Where does the border between one student and another begin and end? Since they're composing together, they cheer each other on with new ideas and add to and contest each other's work. Plagiarism be damned: this is the knowledge pool organized into social media, and then shaped into scholarship!
In all my classes I've noticed that the students learn more from teaching each other and from learning from each other than any other method.
Social media helps students become teachers.
Monday, November 14, 2011
Speaking of reflection (as Jason was) the term engagement has become almost a toss-off, as Carol Rodgers, who has written extensively about reflection in learning and teaching, explores in her work.
One awesome thing that article author Rey Junco did on his blog was summarize each section of their 14-page article in tweet form - i.e., in 140 characters or less.
In any case, we have 4 units in our classes that run approximately 2 weeks each. I had always favored a "reflection" blog entry at the end of each unit that I would use as the basis for their evaluation. You can see our basic evaluation rubric HERE (this is its maiden voyage, so we are still negotiating the points and etc.) However, this semester the schedule seemed very tight as we changed the schedule a bit to have a preliminary unit on writing and rhetoric. We ended up dropping the reflection for the second unit at the last minute as it seemed an excessive amount of work for the students that they were unlikely to do in any case.
Epic fail. Though we did not notice at the time. We picked the reflection back up for the third unit and the students, by and large, really hit it. Overall, we were shocked by how well the students have been able to gauge their own performance in the class and in writing. We were also very impressed by the level of engagement in the course that the students demonstrate in their entries. Here are three examples from Ximena's class. I am particularly impressed with their sense of audience.
We are reviewing this blog series now, so I will have a follow-up to this post shortly. But I can tell you now, I am never dropping reflection out of an instructional unit ever again.
Photo thanks to killer_muffin.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Blogging and the Arts of the Contact Zone (or what I've been learning I didn't know this semester...)
Thanks to Luke for his post about blogging...
I find the student entries (see example below) in that article striking for their insight, incisiveness, and fluency in/facility with academic language/literacy. (And maybe there was a bit of cherry-picking in finding a blog post that mirrored the intention of the blog itself...)
"The use of blogs in the classroom has helped me to better articulate my ideas and interpretations of the text as well as to bond with my fellow classmates. The blog has served like a series of student journal entries, unifying our class in our quest for knowledge and understanding. The blog format has helped me to be more concise and get right to the point of what I'm trying to say. Also, the blog is significantly more informal than short essay assignments, allowing me to express my ideas in a raw form, then refine them later and make them suitable for a formal paper."
Most of my students this semester in my Intro to Language are not close to this combination of meta-awareness and academic language/literacy "fluency" (for lack of a better word).
To the community 2.0 folks: I'd be interested to know about your experiences and see samples of your students' writing. This semester I am teaching in the cluster (with Justin) and we've found that most of these students are right out of high school--and some of the poorest performing high schools in New York. They come with a sure deficit in critical thinking, reading, writing, and language skills--and this sure potential that has not been tapped and exercised in meaningful ways to make them proud and sure of their thoughts and opinions and how they shape and inform their knowledge. I've been backpedaling all semester to meet them at their point of need. But trying at the same time to locate their point of strength so they have something solid to build on. Naturally in this "community" the constellation of strengths and constellation of deficits will be just that--constellations--up close separate and burning--from far enough away--a contained shape within which we can work. It's taken a while to get a sense of that shape--of that space. Of what Mary Louise Pratt would call a contact zone.
Next semester I'm teaching an honors section of Intro to Language, so it will be a different demographic of LaGCC student. But not that different: I have still found in my honors sections students who scramble to "paper over" their deficits. This semester has taught me that next semester I want to make the focus of the blog much more about language awareness. Not the "linguistics content" kind of awareness, but the actual process of languaging that happens while blogging, while reading and responding to each other's blogs, the language in which they choose to express themselves, and the relationship to knowledge-building they notice.
I guess I'm hoping for a much more authentic experience for them and for me and it will need to begin with the blog post prompts. This semester the prompts assumed a certain "acculturation" into academic culture. I'm thinking now about what Mary Louise Pratt, in "The Arts of the Contact Zone" calls transculturation, where, to begin with, it will be more transactional.
And I'm thinking about the blogs as spaces similar to her safehouses...
I guess I assumed they'd be safe houses, but in fact, I think we need to negotiate together much more fundamentally what these spaces are that we are building...
More on that later!
Friday, November 11, 2011
Bridging the Composition Divide: Blog Pedagogy and the Potential for Agonistic Classrooms
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Sunday, November 6, 2011
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Q: How does the media, press, and the internet influence the democratization of information?
Dr. Chaffee: Well, it’s interesting. On the one hand, it makes it more available. Anybody with a computer now can access any kind of information. The problem is that a lot of that information is worthless or worse, it’s false, and it really highlights this idea that information is not knowledge, information is just stuff. Information doesn’t become knowledge until the human mind acts on it, until it analyzes it and applies, synthesizes it, evaluates it, integrates it and makes use of it. But also, determines whether the information has value, and if it has value, what value and how it ought to be used. So on the one hand, there is the accessibility to an infinite amount of information, opinions and all sorts of stuff. But if the person doesn’t have the intellectual abilities, the critical thinking abilities to really sift through and evaluate the processing and make sense of all that stuff it really doesn’t have much value. In fact, it can be dangerous and destructive because people would read things or be exposed to things that they consider to be information, which then they might think is knowledge or something that has value when it doesn’t, and that can lead to dangerous and destructive actions.
‘Speed Dating’ Peer-Review Writing Workshops
The format is pretty simple, though it requires some preparation and classroom reorganization. Here’s what I do to set up the workshop:
- I ask students to bring a printed copy of their introductions to class. Because this exercise requires students to move frequently (more on that shortly), laptops can be unwieldy.
- I arrive at the classroom at least ten minutes prior to the start of class. I move the chairs (and, if the room has them, tables) so that there are two concentric rings of chairs. The chairs in the inner ring should face the chairs in the outer ring. When students arrive I make sure they sit in the rings.
- I also bring some music to class—a song that plays for approximately 4 minutes. I usually plug my iPhone into the classroom sound system (if there is one), but you could just as easily bring in a portable music player or some laptop speakers.
- I ask students to get out their printed introductions, one piece of paper, and a pen or pencil.
Read more HERE