In September 2017, a Davidson College alumna alerted the college via a tweet that the Davidson College Alumni Association was advertising on the alt-right website Breitbart. The display of promotional material for Davidson College next to the ultra conservative and nativist rhetoric of Breitbart was not only a jarring juxtaposition, it was also completely inadvertent,… Continue reading Hacking Facebook’s Ad Network for JusticeAn Assignment for "Gender and Technology"
I am revamping "Introduction to Digital Studies," my program's overview of digital culture, creativity, and methodology. One approach is to partially organize the class around file types, the idea being that a close reading of certain file types can help us better understand contemporary culture, both online and off. It's a bit like Raymond William's… Continue reading Studying Digital Culture through File Types
A bottleneck is a great conceptual metaphor to describe those pedagogical moments where a significant number of learners get stuck. Identifying bottlenecks is the first step toward designing learning pathways through those bottlenecks. I’m borrowing the idea from the Decoding the Disciplines project at Indiana University. As Joan Middendorf, one of the project leaders, puts… Continue reading What are the bottlenecks of Davidson Domains?
I'm at the Electronic Literature Organization's annual conference in Bergen, Norway, where I hope to capture some "think aloud" readings of electronic literature (e-lit) by artists, writers, and scholars. I've mentioned this little project elsewhere, but it bears more explanation. The think aloud protocol is an important pedagogical tool, famously used by Sam Wineburg to… Continue reading Electronic Literature Think Alouds2015 ELO Conference, Bergen
My five-year-old son recently learned how to ride a bike. He mastered the essential components of cycling—balance, peddling, and steering—in roughly ten minutes. Without using training wheels, ever. That idyllic scene of a bent-over parent pushing an unsteady child on a bike, working up enough speed to let go? It never happened. At least not… Continue reading Intrusive Scaffolding, Obstructed Learning (and MOOCs)
On November 2 and 3, George Mason University convened a forum on the Future of Higher Education. Alternating between plenary panels and keynote presentations, the forum brought together observers of higher education as well as faculty and administrators from Mason and beyond. I was invited to appear on a panel about student learning and technology.… Continue reading Remarks on Social Pedagogy at Mason’s Future of Higher Education Forum
These are my notes "Building and Sharing (When You're Supposed to be Teaching," a lightning talk I gave on Tuesday as part of CUNY's Digital Humanities Initiative. Shannon Mattern (The New School) and I were on a panel called "DH in the Classroom." Shannon's enormously inspirational lightning talk was titled Beyond the Seminar Paper, and… Continue reading Building and Sharing (When You’re Supposed to be Teaching)
One of the greatest mistakes we make in literary studies---and as teachers of literature---is privileging one form of literacy above all others. Namely, literacy as silent reading. In our classrooms, we view reading aloud with disdain. Asking students to take turns reading a text aloud offends our sensibilities as literature professors. It's remedial. Childish. Appropriate… Continue reading On Reading Aloud in the Classroom
Last week I was a guest of the Davidson College Teaching Discussion Group, where I was invited to talk about my pedagogical strategies for teaching large classes. I mostly focused on how I use technology to preserve what I value most about teaching smaller classes. But many of the technique I discussed are equally applicable… Continue reading Followup to the Ever-Expanding Classroom Discussion
Foursquare and its brethren (Gowalla, Brightkite, Loopt, and so on) are the latest social media darlings, but honestly, are they really all that useful? Sharing your location with your friends is not very compelling when you spend your life in the same four places (home, office, classroom, coffee shop). Are these apps really even fun?… Continue reading Haunts: Place, Play, and Trauma
The folks at the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) have posted an audio podcast of my recent Digital Dialogue presentation, "The Open Source Professor: Teaching, Research, and Transparency." As entertaining as it might be to hear me talk for thirty minutes, I thought it would be better to see the visuals that… Continue reading The Open Source Professor (Screencast)
I'm in the midst of preparing for my upcoming talk at the University of Maryland's Institute for Technology in the Humanities. The talk is October 27 and my title is The Open Source Professor: Teaching, Research, and Transparency. Here's the abstract, written by me, uncomfortably, in the 3rd person: What happens when the scholarship of… Continue reading My Talk for MITH: The Open Source Professor
Last week I described the intensive role of social networking in my teaching. Although I explained how I track and archive my students' Twitter activity, I didn't describe what they actually do on Twitter. That's because I wasn't sure myself what they do. I mean, of course I've reading their tweets and sending my own,… Continue reading Twitter is a Snark Valve
I'm five weeks into the new semester, and it's time to consider how my ambitious technology-heavy Graphic Novel course is going. And I'm serious when I say it's technology-heavy: we're doing a blog, a wiki, Twitter, and rigorous Pecha Kucha presentations. About the only thing we're missing is a MMORPG. I plotted out the major… Continue reading Reflections on a Technology-Driven Syllabus
Julie Meloni over at Prof. Hacker has a good rundown of the kinds of questions a professor should think through when he or she integrates a blog into the classroom. I've been using blogs in my teaching for several years now, so I wanted to share a few ideas that have worked for me. I'm… Continue reading Pedagogy and the Class Blog