Nov
2010

when it rains…

Final post for the night, I promise!

This one should have been the first because it discusses and then lists all the things that have been keeping me distracted from blogging, but oh well…

Now that I’m past midterm, I have to say that this semester is flying by! October was a blur of grading 40+ freshman papers every week. Yes, I said EVERY WEEK. Silly me thought that repeating the same reader response/research reaction to various chapters in New New Media would be a good idea. I probably should have spaced the first 3 of 4 essays [750-words each] out better, but I was pleased to see the majority of students improve from essay to essay.

What pleased me most were their group presentations and collaboratively written papers. While I think a few students would prefer not to work in groups [I was one of these students as an undergrad], 9/10 of these papers were very well written, fully researched, and properly formatted in APA.

That’s another thing. I’ve switched to using APA style this semester, which has me scrambling to various online resources to double-check everything. Most helpful has been this UW-Madison site and the PDF Documenting Sources in APA Style: 2010 Update

The reasons I switched from MLA to APA are simple: the Learning Community I’m teaching in is linked with an ICT course that already uses APA and the graduate school at UW-Stout requires all Master’s theses to be formatted in APA. Soon we will be ordering all graduate faculty and incoming graduate students hard copies of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition, but until then, the online resources will do.

Keep in mind that all of what I just listed about grading was only related to my 2 face-to-face courses. Total, I’m teaching 5 this semester…

My online 101 students also wrote individually-authored researched responses and group papers on New New Media, but that class has dwindled to 13 active participants.

My ENGL-495/directed study student is brilliant–see his blog here. I’ve had the best time creating a reading list for him and seeing his understanding of research methods [particularly for internet-based projects] evolve. You can see from his posts what those readings are, but I’ve got to give shout outs to these two new books: Markham and Baym’s Internet Inquiry: Conversations About Method(2009) and Hargittai’s Research Confidential: Solutions to Problems Most Social Scientists Pretend They Never Have (2009).

I’ve already written about the graduate course this evening, and I do have ideas about incorporating their technology literacy narratives into a journal article to answer this call, but here’s a laundry list of other things that have kept me busy:

  • submitting a proposal to grants.gov for an NEH Summer Stipend {fingers crossed!}
  • flying to NOLA for a 40-hour stay to rejoice in Matthew and Mandy’s wedding
  • attending A Low Key Gathering at the wacky House on the Rock to celebrate 10 years of American Gods
  • attending the e-Citizenship institute in Detroit & ending up on an editorial board for a new ADP initiative e-journal
  • proposing a “Conversation Starter” presentation to Computers and Writing 2011
  • drafting a proposal for this Oxford Internet Institute Symposium on the Dynamics of the Internet and Society with my fav Irishman Daithí Mac Síthigh
  • convincing fellow Tech Comm faculty to road trip to De Pere, WI in June to attend THATCampLAC {Yes, we know we’re not a liberal arts school, but given this meeting’s location and our recent addition of a DH concentration, I think it’s a great opportunity to learn from others who “must build stronger off-campus networks” as well as discuss technology and pedagogy}
  • considering an application to the Institute for the Digital Humanities @ University of Denver

    So yeah, I’ve been busy! And I haven’t even mentioned all the committee work…ugh

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