bookmarks for April 21st, 2012

bookmarks for June 23rd, 2011 through July 29th, 2011

bookmarks for December 8th, 2010 through December 9th, 2010

  • Christine Brandel: First Year Composition in Twenty Tweets – Three notes: 1. These tweets aren't teaching; they are a teacher asserting her authority. Looks like teaching, but it isn't. 2. They aren't very good tweets. There's nothing memorable in them, nor concision, just reduction to the simplistic. 3. They sanction a misunderstanding of writing, and of teaching and learning. In a tweet, they fail to enact what they assert. And a comment: What do you do the second day of class?  – (teaching twitter nonteaching )
  • 500 Internal Server Error – 500 Internal Server Error – (none)

reminder: you can’t force the brand – in class or out

RideDigital natives, aka Millenials, are defined along marketing lines, an approach which may serve university PR and recruitment (to an extent – as long as you don’t push student expectations beyond classroom realities) but is inappropriate for teaching and learning. Never mind the limited sample that is the basis of characterizing Millennials; and never mind the clear stereotyping of the group. The Chronicle covered all that back in October, 2009. And never mind the mid-20th century Mad Ave mindset behind characterizing a homogenous audience in a time of fragmentation: Clay Shirky’s Cognitive Surplus takes that down a notch. (And see also a marketing perspective on the implications of Shirky’s thesis from Jason Falls.)

Instead, consider this: The Millennial group rates their computer expertise higher than they perform.

Second, consider the argument I’ve heard more than once: “Students don’t need courses that deal with computers or the internet. They’ve grown up with that. They know all that.” The fallacy in that argument should be obvious to those of us who grew up with television.

Third, consider that a university’s marketing perspective often drives administrative decisions on programs and courses, in part directly, and in part through local PR, and by defining The One True Story the university is supposed to tell the world.

Well, it does at my university, anyway.

So, here’s The Read Write Web on So-Called “Digital Natives” Not Media Savvy

Having been born into a world where personal computers were not a revolution, but merely existed alongside air conditioning, microwaves and other appliances, there has been (a perhaps misguided) perception that the young are more digitally in-tune with the ways of the Web than others.

A new study coming out of Northwestern University, discovered that college students have a decided lack of Web savvy, especially when it comes to search engines and the ability to determine the credibility of search results. Apparently, the students favor search engine rankings above all other factors. The only thing that matters is that something is the top search result, not that it’s legit.

The article mentioned is from The International Journal of Communication: “Trust Online: Young Adults’ Evaluation of Web Content,” by Hargittai, Fullerton, Menchen-Trevino, and Yates Tomas. Here’s the abstract, and the link:

We find that the process by which users arrive at a site is an important component of how they judge the final destination. In particular, search context, branding and routines, and a reliance on those in one’s networks play important roles in online information-seeking and evaluation. We also discuss that users differ considerably in their skills when it comes to judging online content credibility.

This is the kind of information faculty and administrators need when designing programs and courses – and even the direction of the university – not the marketing orientation. This is the kind of information that drives course design, class and online interaction, knowledge making, and all the other high-minded features we ascribe to our decisions.

Night in PhilidelphiaAnd, finally, a reminder from Falls – not just for Communications and Marketing but for faculty thinking that Social is this Season’s Black (yeah, including me).

The bad news for marketers is that Shirky’s examples quietly illustrate that we can’t force meaningful social activities. They happen organically, if not accidentally. So instead of trying to build branded communities and produce “viral” videos, our best bet is to just be hanging around when something cool happens and be there, not conducting the train.

Faculty can’t force the social, either. Have some more sushi. I’ll be in the corner, reading.

bookmarks for July 19th, 2010 through July 24th, 2010

  • Kairos PraxisWiki – Repository of brief articles on CMSs and teaching writing – (wiki twwt )
  • Views: The iPad for Academics – Inside Higher Ed – Solid brief article arguing for the pad as a reader, and looking forward to journals to grow up and start offering a la carte articles to academics, DRM-free. But I'm guessing this is off the mark: I'm putting my $$ on the pad as a good academic machine. "Overall, however, by splitting the difference between dedicated devices and genuine computers, the iPad doesn’t show a lot of promise as a mobile platform for research and teaching. Of course if everyone is always carrying around an iPad already then they might start replacing voice recorders. It's hard to tell. My bet is that tuning forks and compasses are not going away. – (ipad academic teaching library2.0 )

bookmarks for July 13th, 2010 through July 14th, 2010

  • Consumer Report iPhone4 study flawed | Viewpoints by Bob Egan – The iPhone antenna brouhaha is proving to be a good opportunity for teaching a lot about antennas, testing, and scientific methodology. After the battle is over, it will be good to return to the flak to do a rhetorical study. – (iphone teaching scientific_method )
  • Nixty Launches With Ambitions to Build Something Huge in eLearning – Two points here: Nixty social couse management software that leverages profs, and "the fact is that most people who can afford to go to college in the US want the experience of actually going to college. Those of us who would love to go back to college but don’t have the time to take off from careers or raising families, could use Nixty, but the problem is what I call the “Rosetta Stone dilemma.” I love Rosetta Stone’s software, and I think the approach to learning languages works – but the bottom line is there’s no short cut to the hours you need to put in to really learn a language fluently and I just don’t have those hours." – (de cms socialsoftware twwt )

bookmarks for November 6th, 2009 through November 12th, 2009

  • The Millennial Muddle: How Stereotyping Students Became an Industry – Student Affairs – The Chronicle of Higher Education – A close and thorough look at three or four ways of analyzing and grouping students. Opens up a general critique of the method and those who base their assumptions and actions on the results. Valuable for FYC.

    ""There's this expectation that your No. 1 job is to pander to this exotic alien consumer," says Mr. Vaidhyanathan, an associate professor of media studies at the University of Virginia. "At that point, you cease being a teacher and you are simply selling yourself to an audience that might not be interested in buying.""

    says Mr. Vaidhyanathan. "Generational thinking is just a benign form of bigotry, in which you flatten out diversity. This is debilitating to the job of trying to work with young people."

    "Some folks are using this as a template and a cookbook," Mr. Bonner says of Millennials descriptions. "It makes it very difficult to see and understand variations because people who don't fit the recipe may be viewed as outliers. That anesthetizes nuances." – (fyc socialpractices social_learning teaching students_as_customers )

  • An absolutely riveting online course: Nine principles for excellence in web-based teaching – V good overview article, mainly because it mentions, if not develops, implications and human requirements for each of the principles. Beneath it all: Excellent DE courses depend on excellent teachers.

    This article explores excellence in web-based teaching. Drawing on the views of experts in the field and the perspective of their own years of experience, the authors compiled a list of 9 principles to provide direction in the search for online excellence. The principles include: the online world is a medium unto itself; sense of community and social presence are essential to online excellence; in the online world, content is a verb; great online courses are defined by teaching, not technology. The list is not intended to be an exclusive set of principles or a comprehensive guide to online teaching. Rather it is a collection of important ideas and suggestions for teaching excellence in the online world. – (DE ple vle onlinelearning OU OpenUniversity )

bookmarks for August 14th, 2009

  • Here we are…there we are going « Connectivism – A fast but insightful critique of the current thinking on open content. Learning consists of weaving together coherent (personal) narratives of fragmented information. The narrative can be now created through social sensemaking systems (such as blogs and social networks), instead of centrally organized courses. Courses can be global, with many educators and participants (i.e. CCK08). – (teaching readme )
  • This Is Me: This Is Me Introduction – University of Reading. "In an environment where there are many ways to publish material quickly and easily, such as social networking sites … and all manner of other ways of expressing yourself on the web, people can find that they have their 'web presence' spread across multiple sites. What's more, other people might post something about you without you knowing about it – and it might be done quite innocently.

    We are developing a number of short exercises and learning materials to help people think about what sorts of issues there are about DI." – (twitter blogging identity teaching socialpractices )