The Life of an Adjunct and the Relevance of First Year Writing

Our final readings for the course put into words some of the frustrations that I (and I’m sure most of you) have experienced at some point or another in our (mostly short) teaching careers. As a part-time adjunct, the Marshall essay expressed issues I didn’t even realize I had—practically unlivable wages (to put it in perspective: before teaching, I worked as a delivery driver for a company called Munchery. While there, I made almost triple what I am now making), unpaid office hours and lack of proper office space (I share an office with 2 others and even though we are supposed to have set schedules for its use, there have been several issues with overlap), lack of benefits, and limited room for advancement, to name a few.

I think the main reason these issues weren’t on my mind prior to reading this article is something he mentions early on: gratitude. He says “I also felt grateful to have a job, proud (if largely unqualified) to be teaching college, and relieved to be able to subsidize my own graduate education, however insufficiently, without venturing outside the academy too much” (112). As I read this, I realized I feel the same way. Even though I am making less money than my previous job, I consider myself fortunate for the opportunity to teach, especially at a four-year college, and one that I hold in such high esteem. Furthermore, I know that others have it worse (larger classes, no office at all, etc). But is the idea that others may have it worse, or that we are, in a sense, fortunate to be able to teach in the first place, a good enough reason to be quiet and just go along with working in sub-optimal conditions? I’m sure the administration would like to think so, as when push comes to shove, it all comes down to money. Marshall makes some great points on the corporatization of education on page 117 but I’ll let someone else jump on that.

The most telling, and frustrating part of the article for me was on the bottom of page 114: “For years, academic professional associations and labor unions have decried the overuse and exploitation of adjunct faculty, but rarely have they taken the offensive in remedying the situation.” In other words, everyone agrees that the life of an adjunct is problematic for a variety of reasons, everyone agrees that something should be done, but no one takes the initiative to actually do something. Even Marshall, who took part in several advocacy groups, apparently was not that successful, as adjuncts today are still experiencing most of the same issues as they were when he started in the 90’s.

I don’t really have specific questions regarding the Marshall piece, but I am interested in hearing everyone’s experiences (especially Giselle, who is far more experienced that the rest of us) and general thoughts on what can actively be done to produce change–not just to talk about it, but to actually do something.

 

The Wardle article was an interesting read as well. I’ll save most of the discussion regarding her argument for those that are currently teaching 110, but there is one point I wanted to bring up in particular.

I agree that FYC courses have a difficult time in transferring skills to other disciplines, since in FYC, as Wardle states, the goal is to improve writing in and of itself, whereas in other disciplines, writing is simply a tool or means to an end, not the object. I do think, however, that FYC programs do still have some merit. In my undergrad I double majored in English and Psychology, and although the two disciplines are very different when it comes to writing, my experience in English still undoubtedly aided me in Psychology. Learning MLA format, for example, prepared me to learn APA style.

Some questions for everyone regarding Wardle:

Do you agree that FYC is failing our students and should be dramatically re-envisioned, either to “writing about writing” as Wardle suggests, or something else?

I know some of us are working in tandem with other professors in the FYI program. How has that partnership influenced your teaching, and are you experiencing the same difficulties as Karen did in the article?

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Situating Who Where?

In the last 24 hours, I have been struggling to reconcile what I had imagined “Situating ourselves in English departments” to be about and how the readings approached that question.  I do not mean to critique the syllabus in any way.  Rather, what I want to draw attention to as I begin to respond to the readings is that the conversation is not about situating oneself as a scholar, as I had imagined; it is about situating composition, in its various meanings addressed in the readings, within the field of English studies.  Thinking then about the “ourselves,” there is an implicit melding of we grad students/future academics and composition itself.

Taking that as a starting point, the readings, instead of frustrating to my self-important scholar of queer resistance and mass communication, can become instructive, or at least can reaffirm the sites of intervention in what can be a highly regulatory discipline.  (I use “regulatory” here in a Butler-esque way, as part of a vocabulary that identifies police functions and regulatory regimes.)  As I had been subjected to the entirety of Gerald Graff’s Professing Literature, Sharon Crowley’s article filled me with a building dread that with each page I would find only more history of ivy-laden institutions to which I have never been welcomed and have always seemed foreign to both my experience of tertiary education and all my imaginings of it.  Yet, what Crowley offers to us inchoate academics is the necessary identification of the origins of composition as both a money-making scheme which removes agency (as ownership of language) from its participants and produces “docile subjects.”  As Sedgwick wrote of paranoid criticism’s machinations, so composition operated: each set a thief to catch a thief.

We would do well moving forward to carry this reminder of composition’s origins with us—as we would the reminder of genealogy of certain words or institutions, e.g. the electoral college.  And yet, where are we in this? Crowley situates composition in an historical way, while Ferguson-Carr reminds us that currently, composition “underwrites” much of the other research and coursework in English departments, and thus many do and should invest more in the pedagogy of writing.  Placing Hesse proved more troublesome. I am particularly interested to hear Nick’s opinions about the article, given his response paper is about the potentials of a more cooperative relationship between creative writing and composition, and might leave most of the response to Hesse for his comment.  Yet, I would simply like to say, I struggled to empathize with the opinions of someone advocating anything Burkean.  (For those who may not know, Edmund Burke, the only Burke I know, was a highly conservative Enlightenment “philosopher”—read: orator—who supported primogeniture and monarchism in the face of the French Revolution).  Indeed, Hesse seems to demand more openness of composition and then acknowledges that he would find a teacher who only approached rhetoric through a multimedia project “derelict.”

I think my trouble with Hesse points to a larger issue I had and that may have caused the struggle I mentioned in the opening to this post.  Reading these articles, I kept asking myself, “Whose departments are they talking about?”  These certainly don’t look at all like QC (in my brief experience) nor do they look at all like how I imagined (teaching) composition.  It has seemed in our class discussions that we mostly try to remain aware, even vigilant, of composition’s potential to function as part of a regulatory regime with its own singular logic of argument and limited formalism.  And, I believe each of us is keenly aware of composition as a likely part of our careers for some time given the academic job market.  So who are these scholars talking to?

To close with a perhaps necessary anecdote…  In my fourth year of undergraduate study, I was involved with a first-year student.  (There were gap years involved and I was young for my grade, ok?) I often edited the first-year composition essays, and I remember remarking that I wanted to teach composition one day.  I had, after four years, two semesters of which had been writing intensive (something like 6-8 pages per week and 150-200 total in a semester), I had finally understood how things come together in an essay that does not function that geometrical proof.  And I wanted to share that.  I had hated first-year composition and never did my pre-drafting assignments.  (That’s not how I write!)  But I have since reveled in writing the essay because I unlocked its magic.  I try to take that sense into teaching 110 – the sense of being a guide to students, hopefully leading them to that pot at the end of the rainbow, even if the path goes around weird ways where maybe you can’t even see the rainbow anymore.  And it seems that this is, to some extent, the attitude I’ve heard in our classroom.  But it’s not the attitude to which these articles seem to be responding.

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A few weeks ago I raised the question of whether the institutions could work together to improve the synergy between English departments in college and secondary education. Even though this week’s readings were supposed to shed light on this, most of the guidelines ended up leaving me a little perplexed, since they were all recommending the same things: critical thinking/rhetorical knowledge/conventions/processes. It appeared clear to me at this point that it is not a lack of clear regulations that creates a divide between secondary/post-secondary education.

In her comment to Giselle’s post, Kristi suggested that we should share with our students some of these goals, to make sure they would get a better understanding of what is expected of them – however, although they seem to speak clearly to the bureaucracy, I am sure they would appear daunting in the eye of most of our students. I believe “apprehension”, a word employed repeatedly in Addison and McGee’s article,   is a key term for us, and I am afraid that sharing those goals without proper stigmatization would exacerbate the issue rather than solve it.

Futhermore, the similar taxonomies employed in all the documents we looked at reminded me of Micciche’s article and made me wonder whether a radical reevaluation of those could be beneficial –  for example, what if “conventions” were not approached as such, but treated as part of the critical thinking/rhetorical knowledge process instead?

I find it hard to chime in when it comes to what’s required in high school classes in terms of writing, as my memories of my year as an exchange student in Seattle ten years ago are not too vivid. I do not remember writing much for my actually English classes, but I remember that our Senior Project consisted in a quite consistent research project. I was able to retrieve the guidelines for it online –

The senior project at Sumner High was designed in the late 1990s by a steering committee of six teachers and the school principal. Several adjustments have been made to the process since then, including having staff advisers support five or six students throughout the process.

The requirement consists of 15 hours of work on a project of the student’s choosing, a portfolio to document the process and an eight- to 10-minute presentation before a board made up of staff and community members.

Each student is provided a senior project manual at the beginning of the year, detailing the purpose, requirements and process. A copy of the manual is available online at the school’s Web site (www.sumner.wednet.edu) The manual includes timelines, forms, worksheets and examples of the criteria the board uses to judge each project.

Research time is provided during the school day. Writing labs offer on-going support and computer labs are open after school to assist students who do not have access to that technology.

Following the final presentation, students are allowed the opportunity to redo work through a provisional pass and specific instructions for improvement, as long as those changes can be made within a one-hour time frame. (Source: Courier-Herald: http://www.courierherald.com/news/protesters-angry-at-senior-project/ )

Aside from the poor support some of us were getting from our advisors (which really represented an issue because our classes were not really preparing us for this kind of project either), I remember most of my peers and I walked away with a sense of fulfillment from this initiative. I wonder if framing writing as the final stage of a tangible process (any kind of activity that requires active and critical thinking) could help us make writing less intimidating in the eyes of our students.

According to the Addison and McGee, most students interviewed reported that they enjoyed writing for their own personal goals but disliked assigned school writing… well, on my first day of class this semester I asked my students what their relationships with writing was, and I got completely different responses. Although what I got ranged from “It’s boring” to “I hate it”, most of them said that they only ever perceived it as a school assignment and would never think of engaging with it on their own. Also, unsurprisingly those who said they didn’t have a particularly good relationship with it are not necessarily less proficient in it than those who said they do. At the end of the semester I will be posing the same question, hoping their answers will make me feel like I did my job and defeated at least in part the abovementioned apprehension.

 

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Common Core + Intro to College Writing

While reading these articles and reflecting on my experience as a high school student in AP English classes, I cannot help but feel the same anxiety that, I myself, now inflict on my students. The same pressure I felt to receive 4’s and 5’s on essays, along with with having to spew out what I had just written is exactly what I preach and nag to my students now. However, as much as I find that these laws and mantras are the rites of passages to receiving A’s on essays and getting an approval from me after they turn in first drafts, I can’t help but feel guilty that I may be taking away the appeal of writing and learning at a college level. Thus far in the semester, I do find that my students writing has improved drastically from that very first month that they entered the classroom, yet, I cannot help but feel as though they will not retain what they learned for very long after they leave. A similar effect of crash coursing; remember what you have to know for the moment, and then decompress and forget once it’s all done.

Looking at the grid of Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy, I can now understand why my feelings and sentiments add up and justify. Students are being taught how to retain, write, analyze, theorize, and support the minute they enter junior high school. They are learning to the test and writing for the grade. Simply put, they begin to write at advanced levels beginning in Grade 6 while simply adding on to what they have already learned as they advance grades. By the time they complete Grade 12, they should be prepped and primed for First Year Writing College English. However, as beneficial as this is for a college instructor to be able to refresh, lecture, and collect gems, it is almost impossible for students to not be burned out by the time they enter college. In addition, I find it challenging to believe that the same learning standards are the same from Grade 6 to Grade 12; “They must have the flexibility, concentration, and fluency to produce high-quality first draft text under a tight deadline as well as the capacity to revisit and make improvements to a piece of writing over multiple drafts when circumstances encourage or require it” (1). As optimistic as this is, to expect this caliber of writing or retention from a sixth grader is almost impossible. This is a skill that is never truly perfected, even at college level; it simply becomes easier to acknowledge and function under the rigid timelines. Contrarily, I think simply teaching young students to find texts that they find appealing, challenging, and worthy of dissection is where you begin to find the makings for success. Students find themselves struggling mainly because they do not have the pleasures of finding enjoyability in what they are learning or how they are learning it.

Ultimately, as naive as this may sound, I think it is my job as an instructor, to guide students to write about things that move them, challenge them, and test their mental endurance, while inflicting timelines, and goals. In setting benchmark goals rather then “writing standards”, I think I have found my students to be more receptive in meeting my goals and standards of writing.

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Giselle’s post

Addison and McGee in Addison, “Writing in High School/Writing in College. Research Trends and Future Directions” remind us that high stake testing is driving k-12 instruction.  (152)  This obviously translates to writing assignments of shorter length since standardized testing is limited in scope.  In particular, they point to the research of Applebee and Langer that “conclude that students are simply not writing enough to prepare them for the demands of postsecondary education.  For college faculty, this means that students are coming to higher education without the muscle for longer writing assignments.  (It is hard not to note the irony here, as just last week our class was discussing the value of teaching using the shortest text message.) 

    As a high school teacher, I feel compelled to address this situation.  Students cannot graduate high school unless they pass five major subject regent exams.  Naturally, the English regents is heavily writing based.  According to my estimation, a student would not want to allot more than an hour and fifteen minutes to the larger of the two essays that students have to write.  This is what we must drill for our students, as this is what the school, faculty, and students are judged on.   NSSE’s, or the National Survey of Student Engagement’s benchmarks include “high-order writing”. (On a different note, teachers are evaluated on the Danielson rubric which includes higher-order questioning techniques.)    NSSE defines this as “assignments involving summarization, analysis, and argument.”  (153)   Part 2 of the Common Core English Regents is an argument, which does require all three of these skills.  Part 3, a text-analysis response, while not including the argument, does demand the ability to summarize, analyze and persuade.  Furthermore, as you can guess, the common core learning standards, for grades 9-12, call for students writing arguments (w1a-e) and informative/explanatory texts (w2a-f) and narratives (w3a-f).  In short, my point is that even though students are not writing longer works in high school, they are engaging in higher order thinking, reading and writing.   

   Another thing that I found telling (and believable) about this text is that there is a discrepancy between what high school students and faculty report as to what writing of drafts and conferencing was done: “. . . while 30% of high school faculty report “always” requiring multiple drafts,         only 16% of high school student report “always” writing multiple drafts.  And while 31% of high school faculty report “always” conferencing with students on papers in progress, only 12% of high school students report “always” discussing their writing with their teacher. . .  (159)

    Why is there this difference between what high school teachers and students perceive?   This article does not attempt to explain this.  Still, I would like to try based on my experience as an educator.  As teachers plan lessons, they are consciously aware of pre-writing activities, drafts and subsequent conferencing in written and oral feedback form.  Students, on the other hand, may not be cognizant of the overall scaffolding of instruction.  This may be partially due to their newness to the writing process, their youth and even, absenteeism. 

   Closely related to the difference in the way students and faculty perceive what happens in the class’s writing process are the statistics showing the disagreement about students’ writing abilities in both high school and college.  Table 4 shows how high school students are rated by the faculty and themselves. (160)   A  5 equals very satisfied, while a 1 equals very dissatisfied.  2.73 was the mean college faculty rating for juniors/ seniors for the ability to analyze data/ideas/arguments.   Interestingly enough, these same students’ mean college rating for themselves was 4.19.  Again, why the difference in perception?  Perhaps students need to see models of exemplary writing.  Specifically, a variety of levels of writing samples should be evaluated, in conjunction with assignment rubrics.  This facilitates clear expectations and good instructor practices, as reflective of NSSE’s benchmarks. (153) 

   According to this article, the success of freshman and sophomore high school teachers is partially due to the fact that more informal writings, like reflections and journals, are assigned. (164)  By these writing activities, students are made aware of their own identities, as well as, their writing process.  Table 2 shows that 34% of high school faculty reported that students were always provided the opportunity to reflect and evaluate their own writing, while only 23% of college faculty reported that they always did so. (158)  I understand this as part of the scaffolding process of writing from public school to the higher education of colleges and universities.  As students graduate to the next level, they must become more capable of writing

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Kahoot

After class, I remember a game my friend who teaches high school uses all the time. Kahoot allows you to create an online quiz, and when you hit play, it gives you a code that people can enter to play.  So, they can use their phones or their laptops to go to the kahoot website, type in the game code, and the whole class can play together.  It’ll keep track of everyone’s answers, and declare the winner at the end.

 

It could be something really cool to use for grammar/mechanics.

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Digital writing ideas

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Teaching to the Text Message by Sophie

Teaching to the Text Message (Sophie’s post)

There were two strains of thought in Selsberg’s NYT op-ed that I want to pull out: the impact of concise writing on the student, and its impact on the teacher.

The impact on the teacher is made fairly explicit in the Selsberg. By making assignments shorter, we are teaching them to communicate their thoughts more succinctly, and consequently more effectively. I agree with Selsberg’s assertion that once students have mastered effectiveness of communication, they can move on to the meatier, more conventional assignments like research papers. Clear, frank writing is the bedrock of more complex assignments; I think, based on many of our discussions in this class, that a lot of our frustrations with our students’ writing stems from the fact that this bedrock isn’t yet in place, and yet we’re trying to build turrets and decorative arches in midair.

The impact on the teacher was less explicit in the Selsberg, but I think it still bears commentary. He mentions that when his students’ writing is shorter, he can really focus on each student’s work. This has definitely been a frustration of mine this semester: because of the inherited syllabi, I’m having to read A LOT of students’ writing (four papers and rewrites for each). Assuming that all of my students write all four papers and rewrites for each (which many of them are), that’s 800 pages of writing for me to grade over the course of this semester. Not only is it a lot of labor for me, but I’ve been frustrated by how little real engagement I have with my students’ writing. I feel as though I’m constantly spot-checking, trying to address the problems that recur most often and on the most macro level, instead of working with each student to build on their individual strengths and weaknesses. Not only is this tactic not beneficial to me as the teacher, since it leaves me feeling so ineffectual, but it also squanders the very purpose of first-year writing: to set students up for success in their later classes. Instead of having students leave the classroom with a genuine understanding of their personal strengths and weaknesses in writing, they leave with a general idea of what writing should look like, and perhaps a vague understanding of how their own work fits into that framework.

This leads me to some of my questions. Assuming that shorter writing is the most effective teaching method, what qualifies as “shorter writing”? Selsberg indicates that we should be drawing on students’ lived realities, and the mediums they interact with on an everyday basis: Twitter, Facebook, Youtube… While I certainly don’t disagree with that, I don’t think those should be the only formats for short writings; to limit ourselves to those would be a disservice both to our students’ writing development and to the very purpose of 110, which is to expand our students’ understanding of what writing is and what it can be. Perhaps we should also be considering graphic organizers or similar visual creations as a form of writing; perhaps we could also be teaching poetry and comics. Perhaps, just as we are scaffolding from short writings to longer research projects, we could scaffold the types of short writings that students create and engage with, so that they work their way up from the short writings they already live with and create to new forms that engage and stimulate them.

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A Case for the Serious Study of Video Games in Higher Education

As a life long gamer,  the debate on whether or not video games are a serious art form worthy of study or just “mindless play” is something I’ve given a lot of thought to. James Gee’s What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy was a fascinating read, mostly because he manages to articulate in words the ideas that I and many others have been thinking for years.

I think everyone will agree that there are different kinds of literacy besides reading and writing–musical literacy, for example, is widely recognized “semiotic domain”. So if we accept that there are many kinds of literacy, why have video games always been looked down on compared to their written counterparts?

The “problem of content” that Gee brings up comes the closest to articulating the reason that I’ve seen: people simply don’t recognize the ways in which video games can be vessels of active and critical (as Gee states) learning. Gee argues (and I agree) that video games engage players in a variety of different kinds of learning–from creative problem solving to hand eye coordination, to performing complex tasks under pressure, all of which are important skills. Gee says it best:

“They situate meaning in a multi-modal space through embodied experiences to solve problems and reflect on the intricacies of design of imagined worlds and the design of both real and imagined social relationships and identities in the modern world” (40).

This multi-modal engagement with different kinds of learning alone makes them worthy of study, and that’s not even getting into the fact that many video games these days have expansive, complex stories that easily rival that of books. I imagine many in academia/creative writing circles would roll their eyes at that statement, but that is pure ignorance, to be honest–how many in academia can say that they have enough hands-on experience with video games to even make an educated assertion one way or the other?

One interesting question (assuming we all agree with Gee that video games are, indeed, worth studying) is how to go about studying them. I had the privilege of taking a Lyric Science Fiction course with Professor Chu here at QC last semester, and this question came up a lot. Simply watching videos about games wouldn’t be enough, as so much is lost in translation without the control or mouse in your hand. Fantasy games, for example, ask the player to role-play, and gives them the freedom to make choices- good or bad-for themselves, and the freedom of choice is itself a critical learning experience that must be experienced first hand.

So would a video game course entail “assigning” video games to play? And then discuss the experience across a wide variety of modes (story, physical actions, ambiance, moral choices, realism)? I can immediately see problems arising such as students not having access to specific systems to play on (one may not have an Xbox, the next may not have a strong enough PC, etc). I don’t really have any answers, but it’s an interesting topic to think about.

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Lots on our plate – having majored in IT in High School (yes, we pick a specialization when we are fourteen in Italy) this week’s topics particularly resonated with me.

Let me begin by expressing my surprise in reading how clear the goals and guidelines of the CCCC (in their Position Statement on Teaching Learning and Assessing Writing in Digital Environments) already were in 2004 and how far we still seem to be from implementing most of them in our classes, twelve years later. The sample syllabi among which we – first year instructors – had to choose are proof. None of the ones I was interested in included any digital assignment nor reference to digital composition in any way. To make up for it, after speaking to other fellow GC/QC-Fellows, I decided to make a little twist in the syllabus for my course (Celebrity Culture) and include the following assignment:

Everyone in the class will also complete a blog post and will comment at least once a week on the class site (http://celebrityculture2016.qwriting.qc.cuny.edu), starting in September. Blog entries are 400 words in length. A sign-up sheet for your blog entries will be available on the website. You have two options for your blog entries:

  1. Find a celebrity gossip online blog, isolate an argument in any of the entries, and post a rebuttal to it.
  2. Engage critically with the online presence (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, blogs) of a celebrity of your choice. You can decide to comment on aspects such as tone, recurring themes, communication style, similarities and differences with other celebrities, etc.

Weekly comments can be limited to 4-5 sentences and must engage with the blog’s content.

I currently have one blog for each of my classes, but next year I will consider consolidating them into a collaborative one for both courses. Unlike Mark Sample, I have no rubric and like for my students to keep their entries quite casual (I sort of think of it as a more structured version of the occasional writing required in this class – I told my students to write as if they were posting for a personal blog that, i.e. as long as they follow the prompt, I do not expect them to pay particular attention to structure or grammar). The reason I included this assignment was to have a chance to reflect on the one hand on tone/style and on the other hand on digital writing and its usefulness in the job market (when I was working in marketing intranet blog entries, and social media management were my bread and butter) and have them see that writing is not only important for their academic career (in other words, link our teachings to professionalization). I have yet to teach my class on digital composition – but have been scouting the web for a possible reading that could inform it – So far I have found this useful directory http://digitalwriting101.net/content/guide-digital-composition-bibliography/ – but would love suggestions from the rest of the class (and Amy).

On the downside, I noticed the blog to be adding a whole lot of work to our plate– reading my students’ entries is mostly pleasant, but keeping up with their activity (posting/commenting), moderating and stimulating the conversation, and solving their tech issues has been taking up more time than I expected. Having them register to QWriting, has been a burden in itself, since at the beginning of the term most of them did not have the slightest idea of what their QC email address – required to sign up for the blog – was. Let alone other technical difficulties. Before the beginning of the term I was told by more experienced instructors that QC/the English departments wants us to use this instead of WordPress – is that an actual policy, or just a rumor?

Boone Gorge’s article is also dated 2011, yet Blackboard Learn continues to be a quite controversial LMS. I am not going to get into the politics behind it, but let me say that I find the system extremely frustrating to use because mainly because it is unbelievably sluggish and its user interface is absolutely user-unfriendly. I am not sure the introduction of resources such as Q-Writing and the Commons has made the implementation of technology in our pedagogy any better, as this abundance of platforms (often with overlapping functions) without proper guidance could be overwhelming even for tech-savvy faculty members.

Jumping from there to Andy Selsberg’s opinion piece for The New York Times – the article reminded me of how one of my professors at the Graduate Center – Giancarlo Lombardi – included five tweets per week as a class requirement in his course on Transnational Television. We all thought it was silly, but man did it work! The number of individual tweets per week was rarely below ten, most of which resulted in passionate conversations/confrontations (the length requirements allowed us to practice conciseness rather than being a limitation to the depth of our comments). It was a successful experiment that fostered a sense of community, but also invited external commentators to chime in (we even got the actors/producers of the shows to intervene at some point) – if you search the hashtag #TVWithoutborder you’ll notice that the conversation among us is still very active today, roughly six months after the end of the spring term.  Why Tweets instead of blog entries? They simply require less effort, are more immediate, and the practice lends itself to be performed while multi-tasking (in other words, while watching the series either at home or in class we could live tweet without pausing, and after class the conversation continued as we were on the trains back to our places in Brooklyn and Queens). Here’s an article from the College of Staten Island’s paper on Lombardi’s class http://csitoday.com/2016/05/cuny-professor-makes-tweeting-a-course-requirement/#.WB_No3eZNmB and another article on Tweeting and pedagogy that I recently came across http://chuckrybak.com/tweeting-class-discussions-and-notes/

I also have a couple of comments/questions I want to throw out there by James Paul Gee’s article, but I am going to save them as a comment for someone else’s post, in case they decide to focus on it, or for our class discussion.

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