Writing in and for Digital Environments (WRPG 211) is a new course designed to encourage students to think about how to convey a thought or point of view using more than just letters and words on a sheet of paper. Of course, there is no substitute for well thought-out and aptly articulated writing, and first and foremost the course uses the electronic environment to challenge and develop students’ writing skills. But it also teaches basic proficiency in WordPress and other common online platforms (Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Facebook, etc.), and course assignments require regular reflection on the writing process, and on the tailoring information to specific audiences and media. Each student will design, build, and begin regularly posting to her or his own blog.
Here is a list of the student’s blogs for the semester. Click through to see what topics they chose to write about.
We have hit the middle of the semester and our class blogs are in full swing. Often our campus doesn’t even know what great stuff is being written until it is already over…..or maybe not at all. So here is a quick little overview of some great blogs you should be keeping up with.
The Carlisle Policy Forum is a blog for the ‘National Security Policy in the 21st Century Global Media Environment’ course taught by P.J. Crowley, the General Omar N. Bradley Chair in Strategic Leadership and former U.S. assistant secretary of state. Recently showcased on the Dickinson News page “the course examines U.S. security policy and the ways in which new and traditional media factor into world events and American foreign policy. Students use online-media tools such as blogs to comment on domestic or global happenings that have an impact on American foreign policy and discuss the potential outcomes.”
“We are rational beings. Our beliefs are founded on good science, we use logical reasoning to make decisions, and we have left behind the mystical beliefs of our ancestors. If this is true, then why do we spend billions of dollars each year on alternative medicine? Why do we buy lottery tickets? Why do we carry lucky charms, knock on wood, and avoid strolling under ladders. Why do we believe in the paranormal, UFOs, astrology, and the Loch Ness Monster? Why are we more afraid to fly than to cross a busy street? In this seminar we will explore the mathematical, statistical, psychological, historical, and social reasons that these seemingly irrational beliefs still have a strong hold on us. We will learn how to nurture a healthy skepticism and to develop critical thinking skills that will enable us to face these issues with our eyes and minds wide open.
The blog showcases stories that relate to myths, logic (or lack thereof), science, theory and a wealth of other topics. The students are currently posting their podcasts where each discusses a different fallacy and why people believe them. Here is one of the many interesting/humorous entries you will find on their blog.
Dickinson Librarian Chris Bombaro’s ‘Tell Me Why‘ FYS examines:
“the history of recorded information from the oral traditions of ancient philosophers through the age of the Internet, and how different methods of communication affect the circulation of information. We will discuss issues critical to the dissemination of information such as censorship, plagiarism, and the true cost of information. We will do this by exploring the power of questions, and how the many different kinds of questions shape the answers that we find. In this seminar we will learn to develop our intellectual curiosity by becoming proficient seekers, finders, and reporters of information. We will explore how multiple points of view relate to truthfulness and reliability of information, and we will verify information others present to us. Emphasis will be placed on how to properly and ethically engage in research, and how to skillfully and creatively report the findings of that research using traditional, paper-based methods of communication as well as the newest technological methods.”
Their blog discusses many topic related to readings and class discussions. Earlier this semester they did a series of podcasts related to mythology. Check out a few examples below.
Want to find out what your classmates are doing while adventuring in England this semester? Check out the Norwich Science Program in London blog to find out what they are up to. From the looks of the pictures….they are having a blast.
On September 19th, Dickinson science students woke up to a rainy day in Bath. At around 9 a.m. we all left our hostel to board the coach and travel to Avebury, located about an hour away in Wiltshire, England. Many students were very excited to travel to Avebury, as they have heard that you can actually go up and touch the prehistoric rocks, unlike the world famous Stonehenge. When we arrived at Avebury, we all marveled at the extensive land that stretched over the horizon, and we were eager to learn more about this historical place. We began by taking a short walk through the Avebury museum to find out more about the mystical rocks.
Professor Akiko Meguro has partnered with Nanzan University in Japan to have a course blog where the students can exchange ideas and comment on topics related to the class. They have made videos of themselves to help get to know each other as well as having Skype language exchanges throughout the semester.
Professor Duperron’s “Introductions to Cultural Analysis” students write about culture with a critical eye on the “Before Toulouse” blog. They’ll think about their own culture and begin thinking about issues they’ll likely encounter while studying abroad. Here is an example of one of their posts:
Professor Matt Pinsker has blogs for both History 382: US Diplomatic History and History 404: US Constitution Seminar. The History 382 course will require students “to undertake a multi-media assignment in Google Maps as well as in-depth writing assignments that include an essay on historiography and an extensive narrative paper on a critical episode in American diplomatic history prior to 2001.”
The History 404 course requires students “to produce Supreme Court case summaries, analytical word clouds, op-eds, and a major research paper that profiles a constitutional framer. “
We all know that (almost) everyone uses social networking on a daily basis, especially students. It would be great to meet people in these places so our organizations can connect with people on a more meaningful way. This is not an easy task but there are some great resources and best practices that can help promote your organization and connect with the people you are trying to reach.
During this session will go over the heavy hitters of social media (Twitter, Facebook, Youtube….) and try to find which platforms would be best for your organization to try to use. We will also discuss statistically what works well on these platforms and what doesn’t so you will be better informed on things that might engage your audience better than others.
Faculty, Staff, Students
Instructor Led-Overview-Some hands on
45 Minutes – 1 hour
Be able to understand the differences between social media platforms
Learn best practices to use when trying to engage your audience
Learning ways to dynamically feed content between different social media platforms
It’s like subscribing to a magazine that is delivered to you periodically but instead of it coming in your physical mail box each month when the magazine is published it is delivered to your ‘RSS Reader’ every time your favorite website updates.
Both of these feed readers work a little like email. As you subscribe to feeds you’ll see that unread entries from the sites you’re tracking will be marked as bold. As you click on them you’ll see the latest update and can read it right there in the feed reader. You are given the option to click through to the actual site or move onto the next unread item – marking the last one as ‘read’.
“Digital Storytelling is the practice of using computer-based tools to tell stories. As with traditional storytelling, most digital stories focus on a specific topic and contain a particular point of view. However, as the name implies, digital stories usually contain some mixture of computer-based images, text, recorded audio narration, video clips and/or music. Digital stories can vary in length, but most of the stories used in education typically last between two and ten minutes. The topics that are used in Digital Storytelling range from personal tales to the recounting of historical events, from exploring life in one’s own community to the search for life in other corners of the universe, and literally, everything in between.”
“Tell me a fact and I’ll learn.
Tell me a truth and I’ll believe.
But tell me a story & it will live in my heart forever.”
“Digital Storytelling is the modern
expression of the ancient art of storytelling.
Digital stories derive their power
by weaving images, music, narrative
& voice together, thereby giving deep dimension
and vivid color to characters, situations, experiences,
I have personally had a Blogger account for over 6 years now but when I recently wanted to set up a blog, I went with WordPress instead. I love WP (that’s what this site runs on) but I must say that the new enhancements Google just unveiled on Blogger are rather impressive. Go to any blogger site and add /view at the end to get a completely different way to see the posts. I will definitely need to dig a little deeper into these changes and it will make it harder when I have to choose a blog recommendation for myself or people asking for assistance. [kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/fuDuNV4h_ZI" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]