At the end of November, the UC Davis pepper spray fiasco dramatized the intersection of politics, student life, and academia, and several bloggers considered the place of the OWS movement in the classroom. Jay Dolmage thinks–and writes–about how OWS “has been shaped through unique genres of writing and visual rhetoric,” focusing on sousveillance and the remix, and Douglas Downs contributes some ideas about incorporating it into writing courses. Megan Garber examines the infamous UC Davis image, its invitation, and the narrative it lays bare. At DMLCentral, Ethan Zuckerman rounds up a variety of civic media projects in “Basta! Telling Stories about Occupy Wall Street”–may they energize your syllabi for Spring 2012.
In other news, YouTube for Schools is launched over at Google, and Audrey Watters at Hack Education notes that it “does solve (some of) the concerns that (some) schools still have about (some) user-generated videos.” Adam Dachis at LifeHacker explains SOPA, and eCampus News describes its impact on higher education; e-Literate’s Phil Hill gives us a look at the educational publishers who back the bill. The Association for Research Libraries, the Association of American Universities, Educause, and others submitted this short document of proposed fixes. The battle continues, without GoDaddy. Microsoft launches so.cl, and Education Week gives it the once-over. Meanwhile, Facebook considers University-exclusive groups.
Stephanie Saul at the New York Times examines the politics, profits, and performance of online charter schools; Cathy Davidson at HASTAC responds, noting that “Learning is always personal, intimate, specific. Our discussions of the pros and cons of different kinds of learning have to be equally so.” Audrey Watters at Hack (Higher) Education for InsideHigherEd wonders if MITx is “The Next Chapter for University Credentialing?” Stanley Fish, writing at NYTimes, is skeptical about new-fangled disciplines represented at MLA 2012, and Ted Underwood responds with “Why digital humanities isn’t actually ‘the next thing in literary studies.’” Dene Grigar designs a first-year, university core requirement in digital media. KQED asks, “Should Computer Science Be Required in K-12?” Meanwhile, Roger Whitson tells us why humanists should learn Python.
The MLA weighs in on digital scholarship, and HASTAC meets in Ann Arbor. The 2011 issue of Profession is chock-full of insightful articles on digital scholarship and its evaluation; take a look at the table of contents and abstracts, and read on! James Neal glosses this year’s HASTAC conference in “’Why (digital) humanities?’- Community and Networks,” and Brian Croxall at ProfHacker reports from same.
Regarding curiosity, creativity, and healthy habits of mind, Stephen Corbett at InsideHigherEd asks if we are “holding ourselves to the same rigorous standards we apply to our students”–with reference to Blade Runner. Traci Gardner, blogging as tengrrrl, suggests some great ideas for generating student writing through 60-second “year in” overviews and using Formspring to encourage silent students to ask the questions they need to ask.
At the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012, lots of folks are wrapping up fabulous gifts of advice. Wired Campus gives us a year-end wrap-up of the ten most popular articles of 2011. Ben Deaton, speaking to new faculty in STEM disciplines, summarizes the advice he received over eight terms of teaching as a graduate student, and wonders, “ Over at College Ready Writing, Lee Bessette describes a first (and happily, successful!) experiment with peer-driven learning. Shawn Graham at Play the Past meditates on his experiments in teaching history through gamification, describing what works and what didn’t: “Time to level up, kids!” Over at ProfHacker, Anastasia Salter thinks about games in the library.
Afshan Jafar, writing for University of Venus, ponders some of the ways consumerism lurks behind the “rising trend of parents calling faculty and administrators.” Blogging as the Chatty Professor, Ellen Bremen gives students a helpful lesson in self-advocacy, answering a question about what to do if a professor behaves badly. Also writing at end of but just in time for Spring!–Lesboprof reminds us that students live lives more complicated than we might imagine. Ellen Bremen gives students five tips for investigating their professors before signing up, while Ben Deaton prepares some handy points for faculty who are asked, “Should I drop your course?” Finally, to whet your appetite, six bloggers, teachers, writers will be collaborating during the week of January 8th on a series of integrated posts about mentor texts in the digital writing workshop–so be on the lookout!