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Ethics and Student Blogging

These are just blinks, really; I want to keep them in mind for next year's Blogging Special Interest Group at CCCC.

Two recent posts by Lilia Efimova on blog research ethics and privacy -- good stuff.

Jill's response, which raises a question I think we as a SIG should talk about more: Should we require students to use pseudonyms when they blog for class?

Another issue I don't think we've talked about enough: what to do once the semester's over, the ethical question of what to do with the blog. On one hand, there's the weblog ethics argument about depublishing (see #4), but on the other, there's the fact that the students are blogging as a requirement, and perhaps a teacher would feel compelled to take the blog down after the learning-in-public experience is over. I've noticed that Mike, for example, chose to depublish his students' weblogs (but I don't know the specific circumstances of that case; maybe the students collectively asked him to take it down, I have no idea). I believe Charlie takes his class blogs down as well; I know he did when he used PostNuke. I myself leave them up, but students know they can go into Blogger or MT anytime they want and delete their own posts. Actually I have the permissions set in such a way as to allow them to edit or delete all the posts if they want, but I ask them to respect others' work by leaving it alone. Judging from Jill's post, she doesn't depublish students' blogs either, if she has administrative privileges on their blogs at all.

Weblog-related books I hadn't encountered before, found in WorldCat

The Secret Blog of Raisin Rodriguez, a (children's? young adults'?) book about a girl who moves from Berkeley to Philly and uses her blog to communicate with her friends back home.

Publishing a Blog with Blogger. Huh? We really need an entire book to tell us how to do this? The poor trees...

Buzz Marketing With Blogs for Dummies. My inner crank can think of a few other ways to put "Buzz Marketing With Blogs." Ugh. Okay, I didn't find that one in WorldCat.

CCCC 2006 Proposal: Feedback, Please!

UPDATE: If anyone is doing anything on technology, especially weblogs, and you're looking at submitting something individually but would like to get in on a panel, email me; I have one interested party but we need a third!

I know the deadline for CCCC is tomorrow at midnight, but I'm wondering if anyone doing technology in the classroom would like to invite me to be on their panel, or if any of you would like to give me some feedback on this at the moment half-baked idea I have, which I'll be submitting as close to the deadline as possible, when it will be fully baked, or at least sound like it.

In the conference theme statement, Akua Duku Anokye writes:

[W]e find ourselves in a quandary, a middle space battling against the polarities of everyday life. We work between theory and praxis, object and subject, reading and writing, black and white, literature and composition, native and non-native, oral and visual, cognitive and affective, product and process, academic and personal, individual and group. Now we need to ask, "How does composition reconcile the binaries to build coalitions, culture and community in the rich way that Chicago has built its identity?" How do we meet the challenges of this middle ground by embracing our diversity, forging new alliances, and joining with others that care about America’s literacy needs?

The whole conference is about middle spaces and coalitions between polarities. I plan to submit a proposal about the rhetoric of innovation and access, the need to work within and respond to technological innovations and the sense of social responsibility associated with issues of access. A couple of questions keep buzzing around in my mind: Assuming coalitions could and should be built, how would we as a field go about it? If the call to "think critically about technology" has become an empty gesture, how can the original idea, which, as I understand it, is to keep socioeconomic context of technological tools in the foreground and to refrain from being technological determinists (in other words, let the pedagogy drive the technology, not vice versa -- but wouldn't some people argue that this aphorism is misguided?), be reframed in a more vital way? This is one of those times I'd like to be able to propose a completely different format, a discussion rather than a presentation, but oh well. I was inspired by, and will be citing, the discussions spurred by Will Hochman and Chris Dean's article, Hypertext 101. Collin responded, then Jeff, Sharon, Mike, Jeff, Collin, Collin, and Sharon. I'm probably forgetting some posts, but that's a good start. It was, for me, an extremely thought-provoking conversation, and I of course like the idea that the idea for this presentation grew out of blogging -- open access scholarly discussion. I have (a lot) more to say, obviously, but must pause for now and ruminate about it.

My blog lately

Sorry, y'all. I'll try to do better. I'm just kind of spent right now, ready to go HOME one week from today (for a month, yay!).

I smell a thesis

This whole Los Alamos National Laboratory thing should be studied by someone interested in organizational communication. The lead: "A blog rebellion among scientists and engineers at Los Alamos, the federal government's premier nuclear weapons laboratory, is threatening to end the tenure of its director, G. Peter Nanos."

And later in the article:

The blog runs a petition for Dr. Nanos's immediate removal; it has garnered more than 100 signers, although most have concealed their names.

One who signed openly in February was Dr. Brad Lee Holian, a theoretical physicist who worked at the lab for 32 years. He retired a month later.

"People were feeling like they were in a pressure cooker," Dr. Holian said in an interview last week. "Nanos is so abusive, not just to the general staff but his underlings. People were afraid to say anything. On the blog they could vent without fear of reprisal."

Interesting in terms of its implications for leadership, communicative norms, scientific/technical communication, privacy, etc.

I'm down with OPP

Read Jodi Egerton's birth story. So beautiful and touching. [UPDATE: Or just go to her main page and scroll down to "Birthing Arden." I don't know why the permalinks aren't working.]

Soon it might be legal to hunt cats in Wisconsin, as it's apparently been in Minnesota for "decades." (Via Mike.)

The morning-after pill will soon be available over the counter in Canada.

I'm thinking about getting this program Jeff recommends. [UPDATE: I realized I can download it free of charge, so I did, and I played around with it. I love it!]

Eugene Volokh discusses quotation marks used with other punctuation. No response yet from Ben Wolfson.

Don't miss Media Girl's Earth Day post.

You might notice that I've added my OCB buddy Rachel Raimist's blog to my blogroll. Definitely check it out. I think it would be a great addition to the blogroll at; I point that out because Tiffany was asking for suggestions of good blogs to add not too long ago.

Songs I've had in my head recurringly throughout the day: "Red Skies" by The Fixx -- better than "One Thing Leads to Another," I guess -- and "Mediate" by INXS.

More on student blogging and FERPA

Here. I think I'd seen this blog before, but I just noticed that they started it to discuss a 2004 Computers & Writing workshop on Ethno Techno Pedagogies.

Who Knew

You Are a Pundit Blogger!

Your blog is smart, insightful, and always a quality read.
Truly appreciated by many, surpassed by only a few

Via Rana. UPDATE: Look at the pundit blogger in my results: a youngish white man. Now click over to Rana's results -- "life blogger" -- and check out that representation.

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