Tuesday, October 30, 2007

HW 27

Hi gang:
I'm having trouble with the program I use to add documents to my academic website, so I'm going to put the directions for HW 27 here on the blog.

HW 27: Annotated Bibliography Entry for Baghdad Burning
for A Blog of One’s Own: Women and Authorship in the Digital Revolution
The purpose of this assignment is to to encourage pre-reading of a challenging text.
First do the assigned reading for this week, which is the Introduction and first two days of posts in Baghdad Burning (Riverbend xi-7)
Your previous reading assignment was to read the preface and skim the book, reading the first and last paragraph of each chapter or section, and reading the first and last sentence of each paragraph. Prereading the book also means that you read the front and back cover of the book jacket, and all the other information provided on the first and last few pages of the book: “Advance Praise,” title page, Editor’s Note, credits, information about the press.
Next, I’d like you to create a post in the style of an annotated bibliography entry like you wrote for an ealier phase of your semester-long project.
Write a post of 150-400 words in which you:

  • Give all the information you’d give in a works cited entry: full title, publisher, year, etc.
  • Describe the book and explain how it fits into your work in the course. Who is the author, how and why was it written, what in general will you learn from reading it, and what benefits and challenges does it present?
  • Write for a reader who has not seen the book or doesn’t know it well.
  • Spellcheck and give the post a descriptive title which includes "HW 27"

Remember, you can’t truly judge a book or an author until you have heard them out, and that means reading a book all the way through. But a first step in understanding a book and hearing an author out is to give the book a “superficial” reading or “prereading.” This helps you understand the scope and purpose of the book, which aids in your understanding it as you do the careful, thorough reading of the text you’ll do next.

PS: 10/30: HW 27 is now also available on my academic website at http://academics.keene.edu/tmendham/KSC.htm .

Monday, October 29, 2007

"Bloggers Without Borders"

Blogger Riverbend posted to her blog, Baghdad Burning, last week--a somewhat rare event this year. She's in Syria and facing the same visa and immigration challenges as many of other of the 1.5 million Iraqi refugees living in the country. (I suppose it shouldn't surprise me, but why isn't the US doing more to provide sanctuary for the 2.2 million Iraqis displaced since we invaded and occupied the country? According to a Reuters story today, we have taken in a grand total of 1,608 displaced Iraqis since the conflict began, and "have plans" to resettle 7,000 this year. It seems like drop in the bucket.)

Bloggers Without Borders...
Syria is a beautiful country- at least I think it is. I say “I think” because while I perceive it to be beautiful, I sometimes wonder if I mistake safety, security and normalcy for ‘beauty’. In so many ways, Damascus is like Baghdad before the war- bustling streets, occasional traffic jams, markets seemingly always full of shoppers… And in so many ways it’s different. The buildings are higher, the streets are generally narrower and there’s a mountain, Qasiyoun, that looms in the distance.
[...]The first weeks here were something of a cultural shock. It has taken me these last three months to work away certain habits I’d acquired in Iraq after the war. It’s funny how you learn to act a certain way and don’t even know you’re doing strange things- like avoiding people’s eyes in the street or crazily murmuring prayers to yourself when stuck in traffic. It took me at least three weeks to teach myself to walk properly again- with head lifted, not constantly looking behind me.
It is estimated that there are at least 1.5 million Iraqis in Syria today. I believe it.

(Riverbend, Baghdad Burning, 10/22/07)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Way to Go!

I just wanted to say how pleased I was with the work I saw in peer drafts today--98% of the papers I saw were either 7 pages long, or at least more than halfway there. A job well done by all three sections of the class.
And the Red Sox are in the World Series, and Keene out-pumpkined Boston this year. I think I hear angels singing.

Thursday, 10/25: What We Did & A Word to the Wise for Next Week

Please remember to bring your books to class Tuesday. I will be sending students who come without the material home for their books, and you'll be counted as late or absent without them. We'll be onto Baghdad Burning already...the semester's flying by.
By the way, some of the material in Baghdad Burning may be somewhat upsetting to read. Our country's government doesn't always come looking so good and it's hard sometimes not to feel defensive. Be prepared to practice some critical distance and open-mindedness.
Today the 12 o'clock and 4 o'clock sections of the class will complete peer reviews using the Rough Draft Peer Review method. Once peer review is complete students will spend the rest of the period working on their drafts, so bring your books and handouts. I'll check the drafts in order to credit you for having completed the work.
I'll distribute the handout for HW 25 and 26. HW 25 is the first post about Baghdad Burning. HW 26 is the 10 page peer draft. We'll complete another, faster method of peer review on that draft.
The 6 o'clock section will go to the library for our second session; which will include an introduction to EBSCOhost, Lexis-Nexis, and GenderWatch.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Research Tips

Here are some tips and reminders for conducting research for your semester-long project.
Deng Pan and the research staff at the library are available to help you (as am I). Deng can be most helpful if you email her a couple of days in advance of your visit to the library, so that she can make time to assist you.
The "Ask a Librarian" page is your friend. Does it get any more convenient than being able to IM, email, phone, or visit library staff for help?
Some more handy facts, mostly gleaned from Deng's handy orange information sheets...
Subject headings: These are the exact words that our topics are listed under in the library catalog (Keene-Link) and elsewhere. Try them in your next search.

  • blogs
  • communication and culture
  • digital communications
  • digital media
  • electronic mail systems
  • instant messaging
  • mass media and women
  • mass media - ownership
  • mass media - technological innovation
  • online journalism
  • online social networks
  • webcasting
Here are some Library of Congress classification call number categories. Go to the library and browse the sections that are relevant to your topic:

  • HQ1180-HQ1186 Women's studies
  • P94-P96 Special aspects of the media
  • PN4784.062 Online journalism
  • TK5103-TK5105 Digital communications
To find articles, you can go on the Web to Mason Library-->Find an eSource-->Indexes and Databases.
  • Lexis-Nexis Academic provides full-text documents from over 6,000 publications. Since they cover a lot of newspapers and magazines, which may be your main source of information on new technologies, this database can be a powerful tool.
  • GenderWatch is a full-text database that provides in-text coverage of subjects central to women's lives.
  • Academic Search Premier is multidisciplinary database with full text for nearly 4,000 scholarly publications.
Other useful databases through EBSCOhost are:

  • Communication & Mass Media Complete (communication and mass media)
  • ERIC (education) Newspaper Source (newspapers)
  • Soc-Index with Full Text (sociology)
  • PsychINFO (psychology)

Thursday 10/24: Library Information Literacy Session/Virginia Woolf

For class yesterday, the different sections had different agendas.
The 12 o'clock and 4 o'clock sections went to the library for our second information session with the Mason Library's Head of Technical Services (and our library liaison for this course), Deng Pan. Deng showed us how to use the library databases to find articles with Academic Search Premier/EBSCOhost, Lexis-Nexis, and GenderWatch. Students worked in small groups on an exercise identifying the difference between popular magazines and scholarly journals, and practiced searching Academic Search Premier or another database.
Students in the 6 o'clock section reported on the progress of their semester-long projects, and discussed Chapter 2 of A Room of One's Own.
For all sections, the 7-page draft is due on Thursday. The 12 o'clock and 4 o'clock sections will do peer review. The 6 o'clock section will just hand theirs in and do peer review next week.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Please Take the Short Social Network Survey

If you haven't already done so, please take a short 3-question survey about what online social network sites you've used and which you prefer: click here to take survey.
Thanks to all who took part in the survey about which instant messaging service you prefer. AOL Instant Messenger was by far the favorite.
You may find conducting a survey yourself to be useful in your own research for the semester-long research and writing project. If enough people create polls or surveys, I'd even be willing to devote some class time for participation in them. Blogger can be used to create simple polls and SurveyMonkey can be used to create multi-question surveys that you can email or post links to on your blog.

Thursday 10/18

Yesterday, on Thursday 10/18, we watched two short films about writing and feedback, Shaped by Writing and Across the Drafts, and discussed the readings in Virginia Woolf, with particular attention to Chapter 1 of A Room of One's Own. The assignment that was due was HW 22, a response to Chapter 2 of Woolf.
HW 23 is due Tuesday 10/23.
HW 24 and 24 B are due Thursday 10/25.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Hw 17 repost

The blog that I enjoyed most this week I found at Jezebel. This blog has proved to be my favorite so far just because it’s so fun and interesting. The blog I read was entitled “Gossip Girls say: If it’s true its gossip”. You can get to this page by clicking http://jezebel.com/gossip/tweenage-wasteland/gossip-girls-say-if-its-true-its-not-gossip-306550.php It was all about the new series Gossip girls that is based on a series of books. I was attracted to this article because I read these books prior to the television show coming out. The article was about how interviewers went into Manhattan to a publicity event for the new book and asked some teens and young women if they gossiped. I absolutely loved how women responded. The title of this article is what one woman said and others responded in the same manor. Some stated that it’s not gossip just informing people of what’s going on. Even I know and can admit that I gossip. My favorite response came from a sixteen year old girl “Yeah, I only talk about people behind their backs. But I don't make up lies. And I only do it sometimes." This shocked me completely. It scary to think that young girls actually think this is acceptable. Although I found these book to be completely addicting I hope they are not teaching young girls to gossip.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Poll on my blog

Hi everyone its Lindsay I have a poll on my blog that I want to use for my research paper. If people could go to it and answer the question that would be great. It is at http://www.lindsaysblogonthoughts.blogspot.com

Lindsay McGee

Monday, October 15, 2007

HW 22 due Thursday, handouts available, individual conferences

The handout for your first next reading response to Virginia Woolf, HW 22, which is due Thursday, can be downloaded from my academic website or you can pick one up at my office after noon tomorrow (Tuesday).
HW 23, which is due a week from Tuesday on 10/23, will be on the same blue sheet, or you can download it, like all homework, from my academic site.
Remember, there's no regular class tomorrow (Tuesday 10/16), but you have to attend your individual conference at the scheduled time. We will meet as usual on Thursday 10/18.
10/15: PS: An interesting international copyright tidbit: The full text of A Room of One's Own is available online in Australia, but cannot be legally downloaded in the US due to more restrictive copyright laws. It takes longer for a work to enter the public domain here. The University of Adelaide Library in Sydney, Australia has links to Woolf's works (http://etext.library.adelaide.edu.au/w/woolf/virginia/), as does the Online Books Page from the UPenn Library (http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/).

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Hey I was just wondering where can we find the grade you gave us on each post?? I know in the e-mail you told me what most of them were but I would like to see what each one got on its own????

Exorcise the splice and stop running on...

Have trouble with run-on sentences in your writing? Not sure whether you have trouble with run-on sentences in your writing? Try the online interactive quiz on "Repairing Run-on Sentences" at the venerable Guide to Grammar and Writing by the Capital Community College Foundation.

Friday, October 12, 2007

7 Page Draft Due 10/25, Not Next Week

There was some confusion about when the next phase of the semester-long project (after the annotated bibliography) is due. The 7 page draft is due on Thursday, October 25. By the 25th, you should have 7 pages--it can be rough, it can be in the generative, brainstorming stage, but it must be typed and have a works cited list.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Friday individual conferences for stragglers.

For stragglers that haven't signed up for individual conferences yet, there are some times left tomorrow morning (Friday). The Tuesday appointments are all gone, so this is your last chance to avoid that absence. Go to Blackboard to sign up.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

"The Video Game That Could Save Darfur"

Those researching video games may be interested in this article in the coming issue of Mother Jones (which the Mason Library subscribes to). I'm not sure if any of these games can be played online--they'd need to be online to fall within our area of focus--anyone who knows more, you're invited to comment here and fill us in.

"Advergames" are an increasingly popular method of bringing commercial messages to the nation's 117 million or so video gamers. Interest groups are also getting into the action, hooking up with design shops such as Persuasive Games, which, for a mere $40,000, will design a custom game to get out your political message.

There's a post about it on on the Mother Jones website. Games listed include Airport Security, Darfur is Dying, Border Patrol, and Bushgame. The Border Patrol game looks like its intent is to perpetuate the marginalization of immigrants rather than overcome it, but the other ones seem to have more pro-social goals.

Additional Individual Conference Times on Friday

I've added some individual conference times on Friday 10/11. If you haven't already got a time, sign up on Blackboard.

Book that could be used in annotated bibliography

Hi all: there's a book on reserve at the library that might be helpful in your research and would be acceptable for your annotated bibliography: Social Software in Libraries: Building Cooperation, Collaboration, and Community Online by Meredith Farkas. You can take the book out for an hour at a time. Ask at the circulation desk (that's the front desk) at the library.
Also, don't forget that the Blackboard In-Class Browse discussion was a group effort in finding and sharing sources that may be useful to everyone. Go over the list in the discussion for leads.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Thanks for participating in the IM poll

Thanks to all who took part in the survey about which instant messaging service you prefer. AOL Instant Messenger was by far the favorite, garnering 87% of your vote. This is useful information for me--now I know that if I want students to be able to IM me, it should involve an AIM-compatible method.
My next poll will be about social networking sites.
You may find conducting a survey yourself to be useful in your own research for the semester-long research and writing project. If enough people create polls or surveys, I'd even be willing to devote some class time for participation in them. Check out the Google Template Add Feature tool for creating a one-question poll, or for multi-question polls, check out SurveyMonkey or Zoomerang. (Both have free basic memberships, but Zoomerang gives you access to your results for only a limited time.)
Willing to answer three short multiple-choice questions about the kinds of social networking sites you use? Please click here to take survey.

Class on Tuesday 10/9

Today's agenda:
Remember to sign up for and attend your individual conference on Thursday or Tuesday. (Missing your 15 minute conference counts as two absences, so make sure you know when and where it is and how to find the room.)
HW 21 handout
A look at two ads from the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty: Evolution and Onslaught.
Which was your least favorite blog post of the week? (HW 18)
Look at Wonkette and Daily Kos. (HW 17B)

Monday, October 8, 2007

Are you the mystery IM-er?

Someone messaged me with a question about grades on their blog, but I don't know who the message was from. Please try again and catch me online, contact me by email or in person.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

"What Did I Miss?" Thursday 10/4

Today we had a rapid discussion of the Scoble reading. Students gave brief descriptions of how they either applied the Corporate Weblog Manifesto to one of their "Blogs I'm Watching" list, or defined one of Scoble's "five pillars of conversational software, from HW 16.
We went to the library and browsed for current periodical articles relevant to the semester-long research and writing project. Each student evaluated and described an article in the "In-class Library Browse" discussion board on Blackboard.
Complete the "Which instant messenger do you like best?" poll on http://itw101.blogspot.com.
Sign up for individual conferences on Blackboard.
The homework for both classes next week are all on one blue handout if you got a printed copy in class. If you're printing them yourself from the website they're separate. 17B and 18 are due Tuesday, and HW 19 and 20 are due Thursday. Get the handouts at my academic web site at http://academics.keene.edu/tmendham/KSC.htm.
Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Sign Up for Individual Conferences

The sign-up board for individual conferences is now available. Individual conferences will replace class on 10/11 and 10/16. They are useful in the writing and learning process (and required attendance.) To pick a time, please go to the Discussion Board on Blackboard, click on the day and time you want, enter your name, then click Reply.

There are only exactly as many time slots as there are students, so schedule early to a get a convenient time. You can change your time by returning the board and entering a message under your previous one saying that you no longer want the time.

See, I said we'd be famous :)

Joi Ito left us a comment on the Tracy's Office blog! See the "What Did I Miss?" Tuesday 10/2post.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

"What Did I Miss?" Tuesday 10/2

In class today students passed in the instructor drafts of their introductory paragraphs with a preliminary works cited list for the semester-long research and writing project. The peer draft and peer review were attached. In class students wrote "Dear Reader" notes on the back of the assignments, that said:
Dear Reader:
One thing you'll like about this is ______.
One thing that still needs work is _______.

We discussed the Joi Ito interview we read, listed qualities that the reading told us about, and then looked at joi.ito.com, Joi Ito's Web, to see if we saw those qualities displayed.
We looked at Gawker Media sites like Gizmodo, Jezebel, Gotaku, Lifehacker, Wonkette and Jalopnik to answer the questions: What obsessions do these sites address? Do we think that the sites address obsessions in a productive or unproductive way?
The 12 o'clock section also worked on their Keene Wiki topic pages.
I gave out the handouts for HW 16 and HW 17. See http://academics.keene.edu/tmendham/documents/HW16_ITW101_20071002_000.doc and http://academics.keene.edu/tmendham/documents/HW17_ITW101_20071002.doc.
Please take the quick one-question poll about IM that will be in the sidebar of this page until 10/5. http://itw101.blogspot.com/2007/09/which-im-do-you-use.html
Also, I'm trying out a new instant message tool called Meebo. If you want to IM me during office hours or any other time you see that I'm online, use the "Instant Office Hours" in the post below, http://itw101.blogspot.com/2007/09/which-im-do-you-use.html