Posts Tagged ‘technology’

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Personal Learning Networks

posted: 3.3.15 by Steve Bernhardt

We had a faculty development workshop at UD over three days in early February, where we welcomed keynote speaker Ann Hill Duin from the University of Minnesota. Ann is in technical and professional communication and has held various administrative positions at UM, especially focused on teaching and learning with technologies. Ann’s talk was about how central connections, connectivity, and connectionist theory relate to learning.

An activity she suggested is likely to have high value in one or more of the classes you teach. She suggested having students draw a personal learning network (PLN), a diagram of where a person’s learning connects to resources, groups, situations, individuals, experiences. [read more]

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Categories: Steve Bernhardt
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A Paperless Perspective

posted: 11.11.14 by Susan Naomi Bernstein

On the first day of this semester, the first day of my new paperless face-to-face classroom, the course management system crashed. When the system revived, the projector quit. In short,  in the first seventy-five minutes of opening day I experienced my greatest fears about going paperless. More than once I longed to throw my laptop out the window, and to return to a time before Facebook and smart phones, when we sat outside under trees with ripening apples, doing independent free writing and discussing our writing processes together, unaware of the genie about to emerge from the bottle. [read more]

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Categories: Susan Naomi Bernstein
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Teaching Snapchat

posted: 7.2.14 by Barclay Barrios

Snapchat: sadly, it has arrived.

When I say that it “has arrived,” I mean that it has reached a kind of tipping point in popular consciousness.  And that’s sad because it means Snapchat is no longer “cool.”  [read more]

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Categories: Barclay Barrios
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posted: 7.19.13 by Barclay Barrios

One of my favorite classroom activities is the argument haiku, where students summarize a reading or the argument for their papers in that super-condensed Japanese poetic genre.  My assistant Mike, ever younger and thus ever hipper, has introduced me to a tool that I think could bring this exercise to a whole new level—Vine.

Vine is like twitter as video or a moving instagram.  [read more]

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Categories: Barclay Barrios
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Pinteresting Idea

posted: 7.11.13 by Barclay Barrios

I’ve recently discovered Pinterest (, a virtual “pinboard” that allows users to post and share items from across the web.  I stumbled into it mostly because of my cult-like devotion to Crossfit and Paleo eating, but as I’ve come to play with it more I’ve wondered how it might be useful in the writing classroom.

For certain, any kind of class involving web or visual design would allow students to use Pinterest to create inspiration boards.  [read more]

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Categories: Barclay Barrios
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Where do you stand on the Common Core Standards?

posted: 3.21.13 by Andrea Lunsford

If you haven’t been following the national discussion on the Common Core, you may want to tune in about now.  These “standards” for math and English Language Arts, developed by a group primarily made up of administrators and policy makers, are set to take effect in 2014; some 47 states plus the District of Columbia have signed on to them.

But recently a backlash of resistance seems to be mounting, and several states (including Indiana) may be pulling out.  One of the biggest points of contention seems to center on the recommendation in the standards that students do more reading of “information” texts.  Many have reacted strongly, charging that a shift to such “informational texts” will mean the end of literature in the curriculum (see the Washington Post’s Common Core Sparks War over Words”).  [read more]

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Categories: Andrea Lunsford
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The Humanities Under Siege

posted: 3.21.13 by Jack Solomon

In my last blog I sang the praises of the unexpected dividends of digitally-based research.  So I hope that this, and the fact that I write this column (web log, or “blog”) for Bedford Bits, will be sufficient evidence that I am hardly a purblind “Luddite” ignorant of, and hostile to, technology.  Still, in this blog I want to sound a certain warning note, whose theme could be “balance is everything.”

I am prompted to this theme both by the daily deluge of features in Inside Higher Education and The Chronicle of Higher Education devoted in one way or another to technology—from MOOCS to calls for the defunding of liberal arts education in public universities on behalf of STEM spending—and by my just reading Ian Morris’ book Why the West Rules—For Now.  In fact, it is Morris’s book that has helped me clarify more effectively to myself just why the Humanities still matter. [read more]

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Writing is a Public Act: Take One

posted: 3.15.13 by archived

Over the past several years, I’ve added a new section to my course syllabus or User’s Manual called “Writing is a Public Act.” In The Paperless Writing Class, all writing is public. As in most writing classes, I ask students to share formal papers in small groups and occasionally I ask individual students to allow me to discuss their writing with the entire class (they can, of course, decline). Nothing revolutionary here.

I also reserve the right to share students’ low-stakes, write-to-learn writing with the class at any point in the semester. This second bit, about sharing informal or write-to-learn writing is, to my way of thinking, the more innovative and perhaps risky practice, so I offer students an “out,” if they want it, by letting them know that if this policy absolutely creates a problem for them they can talk to me about it and we can find a solution. No one seems to care, though. They’re either too busy to give this policy much thought or too accustomed, already, to seeing their words, even their tentative, unpolished words, hanging out there in public, online.

[read more]

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Categories: Michael Michaud
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Writing to make something happen in the world

posted: 3.14.13 by Andrea Lunsford

I have talked (and written) a lot about one particular finding from the five-year longitudinal study of writing I and colleagues conducted at Stanford. (In fact, we are still analyzing data from that Study and will be for some time to come.)  As the years of the Study went by, I asked participants to tell me what they thought “good writing” was.  At first, they offered fairly instrumental definitions:  good writing is what gets a good grade; it’s good if it captures what I am trying to say; etc.  But sometime during the second year of the Study, some students started to define writing in terms of its work in the world.

In other words, for them, good writing is performative—it performs work and especially work that is good.  I’ve been thinking a lot about this finding as I’ve traveled the country this winter.  In place after place, I’ve seen students and teachers doing this kind of writing, seen the effects of it in their schools and local communities.  At a recent meeting in Texas, I encountered two colleagues who were embodying what my students told me.  One is a librarian—and have I said that librarians are my ongoing heroes?  They have been on the front lines in the struggle for free access to information, for community access to technology, for the right to privacy, and so much more.  This particular librarian told me about a grant she had written, one that allowed her library to provide after-school sessions for adolescents.  “With adolescents,” she said, “I find that they are resistant to traditional print writing and reading.  But are they ever excited about multimedia and digital writing/reading.”  So she had done some writing to make something happen, and with the grant she secured she is engaging these young people in constructing multimedia and digital texts, using tools available in the library.  So far, she says, so good:  attendance at the sessions has been steady—and is now increasing as some of the students bring their friends along.  Making something happen in the world. [read more]

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Debriefing the MOOC

posted: 8.31.12 by archived

To start my promised report on my MOOC MOOC experience, I’m embarrassed to admit that, like 90% of the students who enroll in a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), I did not complete the course.  (You can find this figure, along with much more info about MOOCs, on the Chronicle of Higher Education’s page “What You Need to Know about MOOC’s.”) Given the general attitude that it was fine to jump in and do as much or little as one wished, this was no big deal, and even my limited participation both taught me a lot and raised a lot of questions.

The speed of the course did me in, with so much to read and watch and produce in a single week. The demands of life that prevented me from engaging as deeply as I would have liked served to remind me of the “real-life” pressures my community college students face.  I also reflected on the usefulness of deadlines: to what extent their pressure is necessary to get work done and how they serve the practical need for students to be at similar places in order to share and reflect on each other’s products, but also how the difficulty in meeting one deadline can derail student progress in the entire course. For my own courses, it led me to think about what interventions I might make to help in these types of situations, that seem so common for my students. [read more]

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Categories: Holly Pappas
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