Last night I asked a question on Twitter, had some discussions (yay, thanks!) and then promptly went to dinner with a friend. The discussion continued, then veered to something else, and I ended up being @-replied to but not participating in the conversation (because I ate a lot of food, then came home and went to sleep, because I am just that much fun).
But the questions and discussions were good ones, so I wanted to take a moment to wrap them up here, in longer form.
First, the original question I asked had to do with fairness regarding final exam questions and students who have not been to class for weeks. Here’s a brief rundown of events/background information:
For the 2009 version of Ada Lovelace Day, I blogged about Martha Nell Smith. At the beginning of that post I talked about techie women in my previous professional life—or lack thereof—and how it was the switch to academia that brought to light some truly inspiring women oriented in some way toward technology (in that case, the Founding Director of the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH)).
Bethany's self-meriting merit badge
I’m keeping it in the academic family for this one. Have you met Bethany Nowviskie
? She’s a force of nature, that one. Super awesome geeky nature.
She has a technology named after her—ok fine, so I renamed it, but still…it’s warranted.
She has the proper toys in her office.
She will teach you how to hack your clothes.
And it turns out she’s shaped my scholarly-technical foundation and my future. Good job, @nowviskie!
Last week I was at the biennial ASLE (Association for the Study of Literature and Environment) conference. Those of you who know me purely online or as a digital humanities geek might be surprised to know that I do a lot with literature and the environment (specifically Emerson, Thoreau, and Muir), or Western American literature, but there it is. I do. So, I’ve been looking forward to this conference for two years, and I’m already looking ahead to 2011 when ASLE is at Indiana University in Bloomington. After the experience I had this week, there’s no way I am going to miss it ever again (if I can help it). But that’s for another post.
This post is about the roundtable I was part of: “The Virtues of the Virtual: Using Blogs to Communicate Place across Space”
Let me be the first to note that in the last year or so I’ve been a lousy commenter on blogs. I read many, and I bookmark a bunch of stuff to write about later (which I never do), but taking a moment to write a thoughtful comment? Or even a not-so-thoughtful one? Yeah, not so much. This is a sad state of affairs for me (which I aim to remedy), because I firmly believe in the blog comment as an integral part of creating a community, expanding that community, and furthering discussion on topics of interest to said community.
This topic is especially important for me now, as I am co-teaching a course with Dr. Kristin Arola called Electronic Research and the Rhetoric of Information. While instructing students in the ways in which the self and society shape and are shaped by the information networks we use, obviously we have to teach them how to use those networks. As you might expect, our students are blogging, and are supposed to be commenting on classmates’ blog posts. This is all well and good. But what I see in their work—and the other blogging work I’ve seen students (here) do, is a disjointed and disconnected sort of blogging. I’m putting that on the list of things to write about next—ways in which I see blogging used and misused in the classroom—but in this post I’m going to address the feature (for I do see it as a feature) of commenting on blogs.
NOTE: This is a (slightly edited) re-post of a blog entry I wrote way back in 2005, that actually comes from a few pages in ye olde blogging book. I decided to re-post this because although you might think everyone is hip with the blogging, that isn’t really the case. In fact, the majority of students in my (half mine) class are new bloggers. I know this will be useful for them. Maybe others.