class 4/14

April 14, 2008 at 2:43 pm (Discussion questions)

I just got called into work so I will not be in class tonight.  I only came up with one question for class last week based on the readings.  The authors continually pounded the reader with how great cyberspace is because it can allow people to find safety and security from the harsh realities of real life.  My question was is cyberspace really the utopia the authors made it out to be?  The authors did say it wasn’t perfect, but gave the impression that it is so much better than reality even though there might be even more hateful items on the web then one would run into in their own neighborhood.

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discussion questions

March 30, 2008 at 6:57 pm (Discussion questions)

Bryant, Kendra Nicole
U21172145
30 March 2008

I hate to be a loser…or even to appear pompous…however, I don’t have any “critical” questions to ask regarding this week’s reading. If anything, I would just like to go into a discussion…I mean, what I read was not anything I have not read, or felt (and believed) before reading any of the articles. Nevertheless, I present these three questions, which I hope lead to some type of scholarly discussion:

1. Is race, and should race, be irrelevant online?
2. Can technology be “the great” equalizer in the classroom?
3. As an instructor in first year composition, how do you ensure that your “minority” students maintain voice in online writing spaces? In composition class beyond technology?

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Wireless Discussion Questions

February 24, 2008 at 7:19 pm (Discussion questions)

1) Howard Rheingold talks about “sudden epidemics of cooperation” as though they were a neutral force that could cause both great good and great ill. Many of the other authors touch on the two sides of this coin, as well. Do you believe that wireless technology has a greater positive or greater negative effect on composition? How does that belief infuence your personal interaction with technology?

2) After reading Melissa Graham Meeks’ article about strategies for teaching composition in a wireless classroom, would you choose to teach in a wireless classroom, if given the option? Why or why not?

3) In Castells’ chapter, “The Language of Wireless Communication,” there is no clear judgment as to whether the inclusion of these new SMS vocabularies in composition and communication is good or bad. What is your response to seeing “text-speak” used in the classroom or in daily life?

M.Markham

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Discussion Questions — Week 7

February 16, 2008 at 4:41 pm (Discussion questions)

  1. In his discussion of video games being considered a “waste of time,” Gee addresses the “problem of content.”  He mentions that in academic environments, entire subject areas are often focused on content only, with little practical application of how that content functions in its social context.  What are your thoughts on his criticisms of the typical approach to content learning in schools?   Is it true that, as Gee states, focus on “doing” rather than “content” is often interpreted as too “permissive?”  For those of you who are teachers, how much emphasis do you place in the classroom on content rather than the practice and implementation of the content within its larger context?  Which was emphasized in classrooms when you were a student in elementary or high school?  Do you think the focus is shifting to include more “doing” as opposed to strictly content?
  2.  Bogost addresses “persuasive games,” showing that video games can be approached and analyzed in terms of rhetoric – examining messages and arguments made which have larger applications to the “way systems work in the material world” (47).    Aside from “educational” video games, how might video games be employed to teach students skills/concepts which relate to the systems at work in a broader social context?  In other words, besides being used just as skins through which to present content, what specific skills might video games teach students which could then be applied to other contexts (behavioral/social/etc.)?  Are these skills learnable through all types of video games, or only certain types of video games?
  3.  Regarding the discussion of differing types of literacy in Gee’s article – how is multimodal literacy approached in the field of rhetorical studies today?  Gee’s article was written in 2003.  Is there still as much of a privileging of “traditional” literacy over other forms of literacy?  How do the concepts of visual, digital, procedural, and semiotic literacy function in relation to the field of rhetorical studies today? 

 –Crystal Crawford  

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Discussion Questions — Week 7

February 16, 2008 at 4:41 pm (Discussion questions)

  1. In his discussion of video games being considered a “waste of time,” Gee addresses the “problem of content.” He mentions that in academic environments, entire subject areas are often focused on content only, with little practical application of how that content functions in its social context. What are your thoughts on his criticisms of the typical approach to content learning in schools? Is it true that, as Gee states, focus on “doing” rather than “content” is often interpreted as too “permissive?” For those of you who are teachers, how much emphasis do you place in the classroom on content rather than the practice and implementation of the content within its larger context? Which was emphasized in classrooms when you were a student in elementary or high school? Do you think the focus is shifting to include more “doing” as opposed to strictly content?
  2. Bogost addresses “persuasive games,” showing that video games can be approached and analyzed in terms of rhetoric – examining messages and arguments made which have larger applications to the “way systems work in the material world” (47). Aside from “educational” video games, how might video games be employed to teach students skills/concepts which relate to the systems at work in a broader social context? In other words, besides being used just as skins through which to present content, what specific skills might video games teach students which could then be applied to other contexts (behavioral/social/etc.)? Are these skills learnable through all types of video games, or only certain types of video games?
  3. Regarding the discussion of differing types of literacy in Gee’s article – how is multimodal literacy approached in the field of rhetorical studies today? Gee’s article was written in 2003. Is there still as much of a privileging of “traditional” literacy over other forms of literacy? How do the concepts of visual, digital, procedural, and semiotic literacy function in relation to the field of rhetorical studies today?

–Crystal Crawford

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Discussion Questions

February 10, 2008 at 6:15 pm (Discussion questions)

Will the Wickipedia replace the Encyclopedia? Let me rephrase my question. Will “amateur” publication replace historically professional publication? Will the gatekeeper of knowledge and truth allow the “noble amateur replace the experts”? Do they pose a threat? Will we ultimately pay for our democratized media with our time as referenced in page 46?

 

Do you agree or disagree about the authors POV on Citizen Journalist? Things to consider: Do you think that “the most accurate and objective reports come from professional news reporters who bring high-quality photographs and interviews from key figures? Do citizen Journalist only “spread gossip, sensationalize political scandal, display embarrassing photos of public figures, and link to stories on imaginative topics such as UFO sightings or 9/11 conspiracy theories. Or do citizen writer provide fresh points of view? Do they address issues that mainstream journalist overlook or neglect? What do you thing is the role of the citizen journalist in society with respect to mainstream journalism?

Reading the Background

Which medium do you prefer to receive information? Do you prefer your assignments, syllabus, reading in print or on the web (i.e. blackboard, PDF files, etc)?

After reading this chapter? Do you think paper documents will disappear with time or will they always be essential to the way our society works (i.e. receiving information, transmitting ideas)?

How do you feel about the fluidity of modern communication? Being that we cannot guarantee the immutability of our documents does it pose a threat or concern to the communities and societies involved? Is it something we are concerned about? How much attention do you see given to the changeability of documents on the web?

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Vieregge – Project Proposal

February 10, 2008 at 2:17 pm (Discussion questions)

I would like to investigate the depiction of Internet short video in two different journals: Karios and Journal of Information Technology in Education. The question I would like to answer is, “How do these two different fields approach the issue of Internet videos differently?” In the last few years especially, Internet video has become a source of student expression of corporate profit. You Tube, Viacom, Google and many other corporations make a tremendous amount of money off free video content created by their users. This content is made of unpaid users who create videos for self-expression. Short videos are on MySpace and many other popular sites. In addition to recreational use, students use videos for resumes, and professors use them both to instruct and to teach critical thinking.

Both Kairos and JITE will focus on education but from different perspectives, with Kairos focusing on composition and rhetoric and JITE focusing on more generalized theory. Both I hypothesize will focus on pragmatic issues.

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Planning assignment for project.

February 3, 2008 at 11:33 pm (Discussion questions)

I have tried to communicate through email but have not received any responses. I was sick all last week missing all of my classes. I wanted to get more details on the assignment that is due on 2/4. I saw what the project was sort of about in the syllabus but I’m not sure what I am turning in, where do I find those journals at, etc. Hopefully this will bring responses and thank for the help. -Chris-

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Discussion Questions – Vieregge

February 3, 2008 at 8:44 pm (Discussion questions)

1. Many of the articles we have read note the inherent tension between the socializing and the isolating tendencies in online distance education. For instance, Anson writes, “In all their activity as creators of their own knowledge, students remained relatively passive, no receiving deposits of knowledge from automatic teller machines that supplemented the more direct, human method” (265) and later writes, “Although many studies and testimonials affirm the ways that Internet chat lines, listserves, email, and other “virtual spaces” can actually increase the social nature of communication, there is no doubt  that the physcial isolation of each individual from the others creates an entirely different order of interaction” (269).  So which is it? Does technology bring us together or tear us apart? Does it matter if the class relies of  synchronous or asynchronous conversation? Does it matter if the instructor forms the curriculum or merely conducts the class? Would it matter if it was a hybrid class? Or, does it even matter if it binds classmates together? Is that why people come to college?

2. Much was made out of these various articles about how online classes constitute a threat to traditional higher education institutions. However, these articles indicate the threat is different depending on which institution one speaks of. For instance, the “re-education” article mentions that “For-profit colleges compete in particular with smaller, less-well endowed conventional schoolsthat cannot protect themselves with generous scholarships” (209). The articles also discuss the socio-economic status of students who decide to take online classes, mentioning both “upper-middle class” students, minority students, and financially challenged students. So my question is how would the purpose of an online class differ – if at all – from a community college, to a small liberal arts college, to a land grant university, to a Ivy league school (provided it was the same course)? Also, if the “re-education” article is right about education being partly about the undefined, the “misdirected,” then do online classes bridge the gap or widen it between what students in traditional and online classes have access to? If misdirection is eliminated from education, then what is the difference between a trade school and a university?

3. In what ways are English classes possible fodder for the digitalizaiton of the universtiy? To what degree can composition classes, creative writing classes, and literature classes be taught online? Sullivan discusses how some classes take a tremendous amount of time to set up but then are run on auto-pilot, so to speak. Is this possible with English classes? More to the point, how would our pedagogy change, assuming it is possible? Why not have someone in Washington teach USF students? Canada? India? Why not record one professor for every class? Why employ graduate students, who are by definition unexperienced, when there is another way? – Quentin Vieregge

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Conversation Starters for 1/28

January 26, 2008 at 5:42 pm (Discussion questions)

Here’s some thoughts to guide our discussion on Monday evening:

  1. As we consider questions about the usefulness of technology in the classroom, how much should we plan activities that (we think) students will enjoy?  Boyle paints technology-driven teachers as if they’re watering down the true values of education by pandering to the masses; he writes, “The message was never really intended to be that these were better ways to educate; the message was that students would prefer to be educated this way” (624).  (As an aside, I think it’s interesting that churches often engage in essentially the same argument.)  Moxley, though, expressly values students’ comfort-zones, and the ways educational tools parallel popular social networking sites (4).  Also, I think one thing we need to consider is to what extent we can even predict student responses; after all, Mauriello, Pagnucci, and Winner describe ways that students often found different things troublesome or worthwhile than their instructors (414).
  2. I think when we’re talking about the economics of time in composition classes (i.e. what we should spend time on and what we shouldn’t), there’s an unavoidable aspect of other departments’ expectations that hover over our classrooms–however just or unjust that is.  Among our thousands of goals is the hope that students will head to other classes, and eventually to careers, better prepared to engage in the kinds of writing asked of them.  To what extent, then, do you think that teaching students how to use technology will or won’t help them in these other environments?  (Let’s be specific.  Will blog-writing help them elsewhere?  Wikis?  Blackboard?  HTML? WYSIWYG software?  PowerPoint?  Word?  Chatting?  Forum posting?)  How does Johnson-Eilola and Selber’s article fit into this?  In other words, in what ways can you imagine that their suggestion that we “[s]top encouraging students to produce ‘original’ texts all the time” (400) will help prepare students for other environments?
  3. The three Computers and Composition pieces (if you count Moxley’s) all rely extensively on sources.  Moxley cites 30 references, Mauriello, Pagnucci, and Winner 18, and Johnson-Eilola and Selber a whopping 52.  But I notice that only rarely do these authors quote from these sources conversationally, engaging and grappling and disagreeing with their points.  Instead, they tend to quickly refer to references to buttress their points with the validity of established, existing arguments, as if to say, “See?  Others have written about this too.  You saw?  Okay; let’s move on.”  It’s the “standing on the shoulders of giants” approach, as opposed to the “I’m in a smoky room with Kenneth Burke and other scholars arguing about things” approach.  If we have time after we discuss questions 1 and 2 to pieces, I’m curious what everyone thinks about this model of citation, how it informs our teaching, and how technology does or does not affect the core ways we think about and teach citation standards.  I guess what I mean is that these essays’ citation style got me thinking about what’s expected of source-usage in a discourse community, and how revolutionary we ought to be, especially in light of the final article’s enjoinder that we teach students to create an “effect in context,” an “action,” not merely a “performance” (375).

Kyle

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