- What’s in a Brand Name: the Sounds of Persuasion – Bibliographic OV of branding words – (rhetoric erhetoric corporatecreep ambient_awareness )
- RISD Experimental Publishing Studio – Yes, a syllabus as a manifesto. As they should be. – (dh printculture publishing )
- [toread] Brands Are Not Your Friends – – (branding )
- Between: Beautifully Braided Books – Images of modified books – (DH DigitalHumanities printculture book )
- Hacking at Education: TED, Technology Entrepreneurship, Uncollege, and the Hole in the Wall – Audrey Waters whacks TED talks and the latest anti-ed self-help book – and illuminates the connection between them. I'm one of those teachers who has prepared the passive audiences that suck up the TED talks. – (none)
Three lessons on reading Geoffrey Sirc’s “Box-Logic” for the 4th or 5th time in preparation for a graduate seminar in Composition Theory.
I attended the local Times Talk lunch on Wednesday, and I appreciated the salad of iceburg lettuce and sliced chicken with oil and vinegar dressing over spaghetti, but I discovered, when I asked the students attending the lunch about their reading habits, something less appetizing. I asked them, when it comes to news, do they pick up a paper and read what they find interesting or do they, maybe, go to google and search on a topic that interests them, like eurozone, f’rinstance, and read around what they find there? I guess I could have predicted the answer of mass comm students and student senators at a Mass Comm department and NY Times sponsored lunch about reading the NY Times: We read the paper. If you read blogs (I didn’t mention blogs, just “read around,”) you have to figure out if the source is credible. We don’t have the time to do that. What’s the eurozone? How are we supposed to know what’s important? The NY Times rep wasn’t helpful, remarking that a story in the Huffington Post was “a rumor,” while The NY Times wouldn’t report it until it was “news.” These students, it seems, like their news pre-packaged and branded to guarantee quality. The newspaper spoon in the Naked Lunch. The market share.
Then, today, I’m reading Sirc, “Box-Logic” (pdf), and I stop at this:
I really don’t think it’s up to me to teach students how to process that ‘serious writing […] the long and complicated texts’ (B and P) of the academy; if certain disciplines feel the need to use those texts, they are certainly free to teach students their intricacies themselves. 143.
Which got me thinking about that lunch again in this way:
A professor from the psych department who attended the Times Talk made it clear she did want to teach students how to process that serious writing when she commented to the group at large that she taught her students how to distinguish between a news story and an academic journal article. Why? Well, she said that her students have difficulty telling a news story from an advertisement from an academic journal article. That sounds like hyperbole, but given the reading habits the students mentioned … well, when you eat from the newspaper spoon, you don’t need to make distinctions. If her students have difficulty reading a psychology journal article, that’s her lookout, not mine, and it sounds like she has it all well in hand.
But doesn’t that make me part of the problem? Shouldn’t I, as a professor of composition, teach students how to distinguish between a news article and an article in a psych journal? Isn’t that my role in the academy?
Well, no. I needn’t teach the distinction. That is the psych department’s job. I would argue, in fact, that to make the distinction meaningful to the students it is meant for, the distinction has to be taught in the psych department.
In fact, given the reading habits of those students above, it’s clear that Sirc’s box-logic pedagogy does address the concerns of the psychology professor – and more fundamentally than simply discussing differences between two genres.
And suddenly I’m not part of the problem anymore. I may not be the solution, but I’m not part of the problem. I feel better now. I feel good. I feel better than James Brown.
Lesson Two: Vocabulary for this Chapter
Cut them out. Paste them on cards. Collect them all.
– a convolute – box logic – hip hop – rap – Fluxus – engagement – paratactic assemblage – association – implication – poetic concretism – expressionism – passion – constellated – constellation – trace-capturing – pulsion – academic curator – daybook – Abercrombie & Fitch lives – aggregate – juxtaposition – annotate – re-mix – re-purpose – share – docent-guided tour – self-guided tour
Lesson Three: Two Reasoned Responses to Sirc
Reasoned response #1. Sirc is advocating nothing more than throwing shit at the wall to see if it sticks. He might use 20th century modernist artists as a base for his ideas, but he relies on worn-out notions of romantic expressionism and the trendy, self-help ideas of engaging your Passion to defend his so-called pedagogy. The truly difficult – and highly valued – mental work of analysis goes by the board in this plan, as does any criteria for evaluation of the work or of students. There’s no critical thinking going on here – not even the possibility of it occurring. This is Creative Writing 101 Lite. You don’t even need a teacher to do this!
Reasoned response #2. Sirc is re-defining the comp teacher as curator, and the processes of composition as it unfolds in the classroom as a physical, material engagement with those practices, ‘from l’etat brut inquiry” to the logic of being engaged scholars 138. The influx of new media may be the occasion for this re-definition but the box logic Sirc sketches places students in a valuable pedagogical relationship with that new media and new media practices – practices that go on around us all both inside and outside the academy: within and without the walls. You can’t write this off by calling it creative writing, mere expressionism. The approach, the method, might be novel to humanists, but it’s how Agassiz or any good science teacher teaches the next wave of scientists. The approach patently requires a teacher, but one that acts as a curator rather than a docent.
- Data journalism at the Guardian: what is it and how do we do it? – Where data touches rhetorical delivery. A little self-serving (We Are The Guardian), but a good starting point for more investigation. – (data data_analysis visualization journalism prezi )
- Learning Reimagined: Participatory, Peer, Global, Online – Taming a mini-mooc-like environment, with the emphasis on co-learning. – (oer mooc ple )
- Americanisms: 50 of Your Most Noted Examples – – (fyc )
- Stephen Downes: Open Educational Resources: A Definition – This is the way to do it: work towards a genus:species definition (see F/T/W, Ann Berthoff), explaining the rationale behind the choices. – (taxonomy OER definition defining #en3177 )
- OpenLearn – The Open University – OER courses. – (OER )
- CC’s The Power of Open – – (readlater )
- [toread] Post by Robert Scoble: Tips – Yesterday 2:19 PM (edited Yesterday 2:26 PM) A little test – (none)
- Teaching teachers how to teach web media. – Jennifer Jones’ PhD Notebook – An outlined CPD workshop with commentary worth reading. Or commentary on CPD workshops worth reading with an outline of a workshop. – (CDP teaching )
- [toread] MOOCs as ecologies – or – why i work on MOOCs » Dave’s Educational Blog – A step back from the Siemens-Wiley debate. – (MOOC PLE OER )
- [toread] The Technological Dimension of a Massive Open Online Course: The Case of the CCK08 Course Tools | Fini | The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning – – (OER MOOC PLE casestudy )
- Do open online courses have a role in educational reform? « Connectivism – Good entry point to the Siemens and WIley debating some of the qualities and position of MOOCs. “the fact that people don’t have the skills to participate in distributed networks for learning and sensemaking is exactly why we need MOOCs.” – (MOOC PLE OER futureofeducation salvation )
- 80 Apps and Resources for Cloud-Based Web Dev – – (wcw )
- Bloggers illuminated by their screens – Dust off your semiotic analysis hats and take a look at these images of bloggers. – (bloggers blogging semiotics en3177 )
- Hyperbole and a Half – Multimodal composition. – (newjournalism multimodal erhetoric )
- Eye blog » (No) end of print. Reports of print’s death have been greatly exaggerated – Overview, with links and artifacts, of the print debate from a print designer’s perspective. – (visualdesign printculture print design )
- Two centuries of propaganda in posters » OWNI.eu, News, Augmented – Extensive collection for A&E – (A&E fyw argument visualliteracy visual_argument )
- FAQ #1 – Advantages of using the Institutional LMS – Draconian policies in the guise of FAQs from U Toronto. It”s all worth looking at for the naive understanding of teaching and learning, for driving pedagogy by administration, and for the nasty way of passing their silliness off as FAQs. A good one: “Students may be disadvantaged if they are required to learn how to use and navigate multiple systems.” Response: Student *will* be disadvantaged if they do not learn to use multiple systems. – (LMS policy commonsense )