Funnies

The dullest blog in the world. How can it be so dull (oh, and it is so very dull!) yet so funny?

This is why I love blogs. You can get Wil Wheaton's reaction to Happy Fun Pundit's "Top Ten Things I Hate about Star Trek." I had some geeky giggles over it too.

Other great C&W presentations

Here's Charlie Lowe's presentation, "Open Source Weblog CMS's: An Alternative to Blackboard." He did the most effective thing during his presentation: He showed a screen shot of the Blackboard site for Florida State next to a screen shot of his and Terra Williams' PostNuke class page. I could really see the institutional control mechanism of the Blackboard (WebCT too) site; it was quite a contrast to Charlie and Terra's public site. Charlie pointed out that the Blackboard login page "doesn't look like the Internet." That is so right! Those course sites are really pretty artificial and not real-world Web publishing.

Terra Williams presented in this same panel, as did I, but we won't go there. Her presentation, titled "Individual Student Blogs and Class-wide Blogs: What's it Like to Teach Using Only Blogs?" was an excellent complement to Charlie's presentation. She talked about her experience teaching an online class using only blogs and what a typical day was like, reading all those student blogs. :-) Charlie made a case for why open source content management systems are better than course management systems like Blackboard and WebCT (but then again I was the choir he was preaching to), but by the end of his presentation, I was left with a lot of questions about the course--just basic course design: What were their assignments, besides keeping a blog? What were the course objectives? Stuff like that. Terra's presentation clarified the questions I had. Oh, I just realized that I've been going on about this class they taught, but you can't see it. Now you can.

A great C&W panel I just attended

I just went to a very interesting panel here at the Computers & Writing conference. The title was "e-Racing Social Conditions: Technology and the (Dis)Appearance of Race and Ableness," and the presenters were from the University of Arizona: Ryan Moeller, Ken McAllister, Tracy Morse, and Sung Ohm. What made it great was the interactivity...they each talked for ten minutes and then put two prompts up on the screen having to do with each presentation. We, the audience, wrote for one minute in response to the prompts, and then we had a discussion about the questions.

Ken McAllister talked about how race and ableness are represented in computer gaming, and his questions were:

  • What do computer games teach players about race and ability?
  • How can we use computer games to teach students about race and ability?

Tracy Morse talked about her observation of classes consisting of hearing and deaf students. Some students had cochlear implants and used speech recognition technology in the classroom, and others had sign-language interpreters. She said that as more deaf children are mainstreamed in school systems (and 70% of deaf children are), we're going to see more classrooms of hearing and deaf students and as teachers, we need to meet the needs of all our students. Her questions were:

  • What does technology do to students?
  • What demands does technology make of writing teachers and students?

Sung Ohm's presentation was about racist representations of African American Vernacular English (AAVE). His questions were:

  • How do these representations of the Ebonics controversy work to maintain racial ideologies?
  • What does AAVE mean to composition teachers, especially with its emphasis on standardized English?

Ryan Moeller presented on techno-racial instrumentalism: in other words, how is the issue of race dealt with online? His questions were:

  • How does techno-racial instrumentalism play out in the computer-aided classroom?
  • As writing teachers, what activities can we employ that would help our students question the roles afforded identity by technology?

A great discussion followed...but it's time for dinner, so I must go! I'll write more about this later.

First post to Culture Cat!

Aaaah, yes, there is life after Blogger, and it is wonderful! I'm about to take off for the Computers & Writing conference, but after that I'm going to be doing some mad blogging! Just you wait.

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