Posts Tagged ‘podcast’

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Multimodal Mondays: Re/Mixing Multimodal Assignments Across Courses and Disciplines

posted: 2.9.15 by Andrea Lunsford

Today’s guest blogger is Jeanne Law Bohannon.

When I begin a new semester, I try to make time to reflect on my pedagogy and its implications/opportunities for student-scholars across my courses and across disciplines.  This semester, I have actually done it! You may recall that last fall I blogged on a Multimodal Monday about Gaming Vlogcasting. I wanted to take that assignment and re/mix it for a different audience and purpose.  [read more]

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Categories: Assignment Idea, Digital Writing, Guest Bloggers, Literature, Multimodal Mondays, Teaching with Technology, Visual Rhetoric
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Who’s Afraid of Teaching Poetry?

posted: 5.17.09 by archived

by Nick Richardson

I recently contacted forty or so English adjunct friends—all composition and rhetoric instructors—for tips on teaching poetry. About half responded that, while they do teach a poem or two in their classes, they were too uncertain about their methods to share any pedagogical tricks or assignments in a public sphere. The rest were quiet as chrysanthemums.

In an effort to break the ice, what follows is my own experience teaching poetry in a first-year composition class.

It was my first semester teaching, and my students had just finished the second drafts of their final research papers. About half were desert dry; the rest: talk-radio screeds. The peer-review hadn’t gone very well, either. The problem: I’d assumed that everyone knew what a good research paper looked like, but it was clear from the drafts that I’d highlighted the one-two punch importance of good research and a strong thesis…and glossed over form. I cleared our schedule for the next class once I realized what was going on, canceling all readings and asking everyone to please take a break from their papers.

The next class period I came in with photocopies of Allen Ginsberg’s two page polemic: “Poetry, Violence, and the Trembling Lambs”—a selection from Deliberate Prose, his book of essays. I had the students read silently, and then we talked about how his argument worked and failed (mostly failed) rhetorically. [read more]

Comments: (1)
Categories: Joelle Hann (moderator), Uncategorized
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In Defense of Recitation

posted: 5.9.09 by archived

by Nick Richardson

While I love poetry, there are only a few poems from which I can casually quote: “This Be The Verse” by Philip Larkin, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T. S. Eliot, and “Kubla Khan” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. These were the three poems I was forced to recite as a student of the New Orleans Public School System (although, to be fair, “This Be The Verse” wasn’t actually assigned—it was recited as an act of defiance).

“Kubla Khan” was the first, a long poem I chose for the line: “A savage place! as holy and enchanted / As e’er beneath a waning moon was haunted / By woman wailing for her demon-lover!” This particular recitation remains memorable for the way my eighth-grade teacher, Blake Bailey—the now celebrated Yates and Cheever biographer—attempted (and failed) to bite back laughter at my shifts between stumbling forgetfulness and high drama: “by…like…woman wailing !”

Some students have more luck with these mnemonic exercises than I did:

“High School Student Shawntay Henry Wins $20,000 First Prize in National Poetry Competition” (Poetry Out Loud – National Recitation Contest)

Recitation need not be tortuous (in fact, it can be lucrative). The mere act of reading poems aloud, or hearing them read, can be galvanizing, and can help push an assignment from a collection of words on a page to a transformative emotional experience. Take, for example, the following recording of W. B. Yeats reading “The Lake Isle of Innisfree”:

For discussion:

1. I chose to share this version of “The Lake Isle of Innisfree” because it includes Yeats’s own commentary on writing and recitation: “It gave me a devil of a lot of trouble to get into the verse the poems I am going to read, and that is why I will not read them as if they were prose.” Does Yeats’s reading seem strange to you (as he thinks it will)? And is this hyper-poetic enunciation effective?

2. Take a moment to read the “The Lake Isle of Innisfree” and then listen to Yeats’s reading again. Does his articulation enhance your understanding of the poem?

3. How would you read “The Lake Isle of Innisfree” aloud to best impart your particular interpretation of the poem?

More free video and audio resources can be found here:

Penn Sound – Audio and Video

Poems Out Loud

Nick Richardson is an associate editor at Bedford/St. Martin’s. He holds an MA in Literary and Cultural Theory from Boston College and has published three books (two poetry, one prose)…exhibiting what poet Andrei Codrescu has called “a fresh sort of daring in the overstrained broth of contemporary American poetry.” He is also the publisher of A Mutual Respect Books and Music, an underground chapbook press operating out of Brooklyn, NY.

Comments: (3)
Categories: Joelle Hann (moderator), Literature
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Pause that Lecture

posted: 4.8.09 by Traci Gardner

An April eSchool News report, “Podcast trumps lecture in one college study,” reveals what many of us could have guessed: “The ability to pause and rewind podcast lectures gave the upper hand to college students in a recent study that compared the performance of students who attended a lecture in person and those who viewed it from iTunes University.”

But is it just the pause button that makes the difference? No, it’s the writing that accompanied it. The article explains that “test scores were most dramatically affected by note taking. Students who watched the video lecture and took notes . . . scored an average of 15 points higher than their peers in the lecture hall.”

Note taking, writing, made a difference for these students. Just listening didn’t do it, whether students listened just once or many times, whether they paused the video or let it play through. Dani McKinney, the lead researcher, states, “It’s not enough to just do rote memory and repetition.”

Get that? It’s not hearing the teacher say something that leads to learning. It’s not even hearing her repeat it several times. It’s stopping, processing the information, and then writing it out in your own words. It’s taking time to “re-read” the text, to think critically about the concepts and main ideas, and to write down the information for future reference.

Okay, then, what does this mean for the writing classroom? Ideally, writing classes aren’t using lecture methods at all. Instead we favor classroom discussion, small-group work, and other writing activities. In truth, these practices in the writing classroom are successful for the same reasons that the pause button and note taking work well together—students are participating in the activities, rather than listening passively.

Still there are times when we do rely on mini-lectures and demonstrations. Based on this study, I want to try the following practices as I teach:

  • Take more pauses. The study pointed out that when teachers lecture they tend to move through information quickly, stopping only if they are asked a question. I’m going to try to stop myself more often, both to give students time to catch up as they take notes and to allow more time for them to process the information that I am sharing.
  • Make more requests to rethink. Pausing the podcasts gave students the chance to stop and think about the information, backing the recording up if necessary. At key moments, then, I hope to ask students to think back in the conversation, to synthesize ideas, and to draw conclusions about what they are hearing.
  • Model note taking and critical thinking. Too often, I think I have made the mistake of assuming that students have all the basic study skills they need. I’ll spend more time with think-alouds that show my thinking and rethinking during those pauses. Making connections is great, but it’s even better if I can help students understand how those connections are made.
  • Ask students to write more in response. I always ask students to write, but this study reminds me that it’s valuable to ask students to write specifically in response to what we discuss and explore. I need to ask students to summarize, analyze, predict, and synthesize (not all at once, of course). The more they can respond in writing, the more likely they are to make the knowledge their own.

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Categories: Teaching Advice
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Ask Grammar Girl

posted: 2.5.08 by Barclay Barrios

Grammar Girl is a great podcast that answers questions about grammar, language, and usage. You might encourage your class to subscribe to this podcast but, even better, have students propose a question to Grammar Girl. Not only will this get them more closely engaged with the trickier issues of grammar but it will also provide you with a list of questions your students still have.

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Categories: Assignment Idea, Grammar & Style, Teaching with Technology
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