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Here to teach CRDM 704, aka Technologies and Pedagogies in Communication Arts, a graduate class at NC State University. Interested in teaching with technologies across electrified and analog mediums and the pedagogies we adapt to best do so. Sometimes involved with discussions of "digital pedagogy" which grow out of digital humanities circles.

english.chass.ncsu.edu/faculty_staff/pcfyfe

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Eddie Lohmeyer

Connected Worlds Installation and New "Subjectivities"

2 min read

I saw this article on Wired.com not long ago and I immediately drew a connection to Wesch's notion of reinforcing a student's ability to become knowledge-able, particularly in terms of "subjectivities" or what he calls new ways of interacting with the world that might question students to adopt new worldviews and reevaluate old ones. Anyway, Connected Worlds is a large scale interactive exhibit at the New York Hall of Science that uses Microscoft Kinects and projection mapping to create an immersive, tactile environment for users to learn about various ecosystems and environmental science. Basically, when a participant touches or comes in proximity of certain areas, sensors will project new information in the form of interactive animations (i.e. a youngster can touch a certain part of the wall and a seed will begin to grow out of their hand...). Yes, the exhibit seems geared toward younger audiences but I think it brings up some interesting questions about how technology might organize the type of subjectivities Wesch mentions through new sensory experiences while overturning some of the traditional physical (the classroom has now become a lush, virtual environment) and cognitie (learning is engaged through visual-hapitical sensations-perceptions) structures that we have become accustomed to. 

http://www.wired.com/2015/08/key-digital-learning-bring-real-world/

Jay Kirby

The limits of collaboration?

2 min read

This piece is a couple years old and looks at the "decline" of Wikipedia. The author notes that Wikipedia's group of core editors has dropped from 51,000 at its peak to 31,000 by the writing of the article. One reason is the move from a new, open, collaborative source to an established, well-regulated source. Simonite quotes findings from Halfaker et al., snidely remarking that Wikipedia should change its motto from "the encyclopedia that anyone can edit" to "the encyclopedia that anyone who understands the norms, socializes him or herself, dodges the impersonal wall of semi-automated rejection and still wants to voluntarily contribute his or her time and energy can edit."

To me, this brings up questions about collaboration. Who is allowed to collaborate? On what problems? And what environments allow for this collaboration? As Harris suggested, playing with collaboration and the digital humanities might require the ability to "fail." Did Wikipedia lose this ability once it became popular and started to be seen as a replacement or equal to the "old school" encyclopedias it was supposed to replace?

Also, in the rush to think of Web 2.0 as collaborative, Simonite quotes Clay Shirky advising that "collaboration" is not the same as "aggregation." And the collaborative effort of multiple people coming together on the Web for a goal is realtivley rare. Rather, much of the Web 2.0 work is an aggregation of people's individual thoughts and ideas. Is it okay to think of collaboration as aggregation or vice versa?

Sarah Evans

Old technology can sometimes be the best

1 min read

My MA advisor (yay social networking as gateway to pedagogical tools!) posted this on Facebook last night and I couldn't help but immediately think of this class. This article advocates for using index cards at the end of class to ask students to reflect on the class and write one thing they learned that day and one thing they still had a question about. First, the emphasis on reflection resonates with my pedagogy, which highly values reflection as a way of engaging with material in class and connecting one's personal experience to it, when possible. Second, although the activity described in the article could be performed with Google Docs, I think this article demonstrates that modern technologies aren't necessary to enact good pedagogies; perhaps the conceptual work that goes into the creation of assignments is most important. 

http://thewritingcampus.com/2015/08/27/mini-and-mighty-how-the-one-minute-paper-can-transform-your-teaching/ (I'm not sure if this link is working correctly, if not, copy and paste old school style!)

Paul Fyfe

Research on making news today. "Computers 'do not improve' pupil results, says OECD" BBC News http://www.bbc.com/news/business-34174796

Jessica Handloff

Resistance is (Apparently NOT) Futile! - Digital "Cheating"

1 min read

Researchers at Harvard and MIT found that students enrolled in various MOOCs exploited a design feature to create multiple accounts in order to "harvest" correct answers from dummy accounts to earn better scores on their primary account.

Kids these days, amirite?

The answer is: no, I am not "rite," considering finding ways to cheat isn't exactly a new problem, so it should come as no surprise that within the institutional apparatus that is the academy, new modes of practice are challenged, resisted, overtaken, etc. by students. However, I don't link this article to shake my fist and shout "get off my lawn" to the cheaters out there, or to stim discussion among us about anti-cheating measures in technology. Rather, I think it's interesting to consider the many ways in which resistance emerges in the classroom.

How else does technology in the classroom contribute to students' resistance? Or--bear with me here--engage in its OWN forms of resistance?

 

(Hint: Skynet comes online.)

Joel Schneier

Visualizing collaborative writing

1 min read

Since the readings this week get heavy into collaboration (including the difficulties in addressing assessment of collaborative student work), I thought I'd at least share this. This is a Google App that visualizes the writing process of multiple contributors within a Google Doc. I've mentioned that I like using Google Docs as a space for collaboration, and there are certainly ways to observe that collaboration occurring live, but this might be an interesting way to re-visualize that process. This is of course all based on keystrokes and mouse movements, so it doesn't say anything about the off-screen collaborative processes that occur. 

Here's a link to the tool itself (DocuViz) as well as a paper from a recent conference proceedings.

Chandra Maldonado

Learning about the archive

2 min read

 In light of Eddie’s post on archival research this past week, I thought I would do some more digging to find ways, if any, of how archives are being used in the classroom. I have not been an undergraduate student for some time now and picked up the taste for archival work in my graduate studies so I can imagine what life would have been like if an instructor would have introduced me to archival research early on in my education.   The link to the article below is a study conducted by an instructor of an undergraduate World Literature class. The author expresses that using the archive in the classroom will help contextualize and enrich the student’s experience on the topic they are researching. The author also claims that experience with these types of materials will help the student to tackle advanced projects in the future. The author notes “Experts emphasize that such tasks help build students’ information literacy, internal authority, recognition of the contingent nature of primary sources, and ability to process multiple diverging perspectives. Building these skills early increases undergraduates’ capacities to absorb and critically analyze information, while also increasing the likelihood that they will pursue advanced research projects later in their college careers” (pg. 2).

 

 I am not sure if this is a published piece, as I can only find the word doc. when I searched, but the ideas seem to be spot on in terms of what we are exploring is class.  I have the document if anyone once to read it or it is easily googled. 

 

http://ariel.synergiesprairies.ca/ariel/index.php/ariel/article/view/4923

On  another note: Does anyone know how to attach word documents in a post?

Sarah Evans

DALN Archive.

1 min read

This is drawing from my past class in digital pedagogy but I figured it's pretty interesting and worthwhile to share. We talk a lot about ways we can use technologies in the classroom, but there are ways that technology can be used to create research as we use it to aide students' learning too. This project uses multimodal composition to "explore how people’s first-hand stories about reading and composing bring alive our scholarly understandings of those socially constructed [literacy[ narratives, as well as the complex cultural, political, ideological, and historical contexts which shape and are shaped by those practices and the values associated with them."  Link to the DALN: http://daln.osu.edu/ and a hub for research associated with it: http://ccdigitalpress.org/stories/daln1.html

 

Eddie Lohmeyer

Archive.org Resource

1 min read

I thought I would share the affordances of using archive.org as to add to our on-going resource pool. Basically, for those unfamiliar, archive.org is one, big gaint internet database of cultural artifacts in the form of archived webpages, texts, video, photographs, audio recordings, and older software. It is great for those teaching media theory/history classes simply because you can draw upon examples to show the class. It is also great for those who have taught or are going to teach production courses, especially if you want to appropriate "found" video or sound for a project. Videos can be downloaded as mp4s and audio as mp3s which is super convenient. I should add, it is also great for research too, especially if you are trying to track down visual evidence. 

Melissa Adams

Storify - a compositon tool using social media content

1 min read

Posting to share this tool that I learned about at my AEJMC conference in August. Basically, you can aggregate content (including posts, video, photos, etc.) to compose a blog-like aggregate of social content.

https://storify.com/

Here's an example of one done for the last day at AEJMC - this is the PR Division day roundup.

https://storify.com/AEJMC_PRD/recap-of-aejmc-on-sunday-8-9-prprofs

I plan to use it to both teach professional skills and to offer students an opportunity to play with content and create various narratives from social content. I think play and time are the two key elements to this tool. My students will need to learn how to compose "on the fly" and this tool is a fun way to aggregate content from live tweeting and posting of events. There's no big chunk of time needed at the end of the day to create a more formal recap when you already have the social content to drag and drop into Storify. Although it is primarily designed for journalism and PR use, I think instructors in other disciplines could come of with some creative composition assignments using this tool as well.