505: Blog Not Found
Monday, March 31, 2003
Just a reminder that we are doing classroom observations this week and next. Also take note of the fact that we are going to be doing some cool and fun activities in Tech Workshops tomorrow. Next week after we talk a bit about pedagogy and how to use them in the classroom we are going to talk about visual rhetoric and web design. If you are all reallllyy nice to me I may even show you my first hand coded (rhetorically awful) web site!
Wednesday, March 05, 2003
Just a reminder. Tomorrow we are meeting in the new conferencing room in HEAV to check out the new digs and address any technology questions that people may have. This is an optional meeting so come if you like, or if you need the assistance :-) See you bright and early!
Friday, February 28, 2003
On Joy's post- I think that having students focus on something outside of their own historical moment is a good way to: 1. intergrate research into the project and 2. make them think about how/where there might be connections to their own rhetoical situations (something that might happen without "overwhelming them").
On Meg's post- As there is a moratorium on questions I won't ask one :-) But I will comment that I think that this is a good way to work with Memorials/MOOmorials (nod to Geof) and as you get closer to nailing down an actual assignment I think that you should share the handout with all of us. I might also suggest that you build a MOOmorial of your own (not of one of the organizations that the students have available to them) so that they can see a concrete example of what you expect. This will also give you an idea of the amount of work that will be neccesary on their parts in real time. Per our discussion yesterday, Meg has decided (I believe) to assign this project to her 10:30 class and NOT her poop throwing 2:30 class which I think is a good idea. We do have to be flexible when it comes to our students' needs, abilities, and level of maturity. I think in the end they will be jealous when they see what the other class got to do and they were restricted from because of their behavior.
Note to Meg- As always if you need MOO help let me know and we can build together.
Not about Meg's deal--something earlier. It is sometimes easier for students to get the gist of rhetorical situation for something outside their historical moment. Although their knowledge about some particular time may be limited, it's a way to start them thinking without being overwhelmed with the detailed possibilities they face in their own rhetorical situation. then of course the practice with the historical can/should be used in helping them think about the various components of their own rhet. sit. My brain has been mulling over these "e-spaces"--nothing really to say about them yet, but built space as philosophical representation of a time is an interest of mine. Look at the differences between medieval and po-mo architecture. But I think I need to play more before I have anything solid.
Thursday, February 27, 2003
Yer right, i'm digging this idea of a moo-morial to various ideologies. The various embankments and sculptures and hedgeways reminds me of the Barbara Biesecker's visit to ASU where she talks about the ideologies of various war monuments in Washington. She's also looking ahead to a critique of the proposed WWII monument (and which I mentioned in my first e-mail to an academic outside of ASU looked with its long pathway and circular gathering place like a enormous "!" exclamation point from the air. The dot of the exclamation that circular spot.)
But anyway, this is to say that construction of such buildings have a great deal of debate surrounding them. Though we didn't get to those sections last semester, you'll recall the architectural spaces/critiques at the end of Signs of Life (and Thomas's anecdote about looking at the mall-spaces in Texas.)
Right now in NYC there is much talk about the space to fill in Ground Zero. Speculating on such spaces prior to this selection would have been a timely challenge for students, and I think it fits in with what you're advocating.
Certainly with all the challenges to Abortion Rights that would be an interesting space to construct (I realize, though, that THAT topic might NOT be something to pursue, though) (nod to Samantha). Another area that I find particularly interesting is the space of the Death Penalty.
Temple Gardin, a woman with autism and graduate of ASU, has a story about her life's work on NPR that you might want to check out. She designs buildings for slaughtering cattle in more humane ways. Her autism, evidently, has increased her sensitivity to such spaces. Though this may not seem like a "political" space as much as the others, one might one to consider creating spaces that accomodate the non-human world.
Anyway, good luck w/ all this, Geof (whose favorite color is Fuschia)
Okay group, here¡¦s the general info on my second assignment:
I plan to have students work in groups of three on this assignment, so you can assume that all writing is to be done by the group unless otherwise noted.
Objective: Students will learn to analyze arguments, and then develop MOOspaces that allow a reader/character to enter into the symbolic/ideological space underneath a set of arguments. [You, as mentor group member, is saying ¡§huh?¡¨]
Students will learn to analyze the arguments made by reform-oriented groups (more on groups later) using Berlin¡¦s heuristic (and possibly some other strategies to be thought of later) in order to discover the ideological assumptions underlying the group¡¦s arguments and reform strategies.
I will be selecting eight or so reform-minded groups for analysis based on the following criteria:
After reading the group¡¦s website throughly, and completing the Berlinian heuristic, students will write up a short report, concluding by identifying some of the assumptions they have uncovered in the process of their reading/thinking/writing/discussing.
Next, students will begin exploring some MOOspace on the MOO connections. Our goal here is to get a sense of the *physical* and *symbolic* nature of MOOspace. We have read Maya Lin¡¦s ¡§Memorial¡¨ from the Convergences text, and begun discussing the symbolic nature of monuments.
Once they are familiar will MOOspace and some basic building commands, students will begin brainstorming on how to design a room and objects that ¡§captures¡¨ the ideological assumptions of a given group. For instance, the NRA is all about guns, right? Well, explicitly, yes, but the NRA is also all about individual freedom and power and stuff like that, so a room that would capture this essence wouldn¡¦t JUST have guns (though that might be a part of it), it would also have symbolic objects that allow the reader/character to *see* individual freedom. How? Be creative ƒº
The MOOspaces will be designed so that a character can travel through them and gain a greater understanding of the central tenets of a group, as well as that group¡¦s implicit ideological assumptions. (more on this later)
Finally, students will write documents of their own reflecting on the process, discussing rhetorical decisions, and commenting on the group work.
Thoughts? Comments? Questions? I am going to be trying to compile some good examples of well-designed MOOspaces to use as examples, and I will pass that stuff along as I develop it.
"Shake yer BOT-y" = a phun way to characterize the possible dance of these pre-programmed persona that we might use to populate a classroom space. Instead of a serious of heurestic questions--who, what, when, where, why, how?--we might "cast" them as players. (Don't miss the possible PLAY on cast: cast = actors; cast(e) = different economic groups; spell-casting = a seduction into discussion)
"Shake yer Bot-y," becomes then, a new bumper sticker for the MOO classroom. It says, "Be a Player."
Course, in the bar scene--one that are students may already familiar with--"Players" are pholks that one wants to be suspicious of. And we might want to consider that, take seriously, this effort-motive to "Get them out on the dance floor."
"Shake yer Bot-y" also, then, brings in that uncomfortable libinalized question that gets at its song-root.
Any of those readings works for me, and I'm sure others have "more" besides...cuz there's always "some more."
S'more l8r, geof
Wednesday, February 26, 2003
Once again I find myself reading blogs and email when I should be doing something else, but what the heck!
What do I mean by rhetorically sound? Geof wants to know if "it has something to do with audience, style, and arrangement, but what is the foundation/sound-dation of such principles? How to teach them, how to enforce them, how to re-enforce in wayz that maintain the revolution?" And the short answer is...YES! But I suppose some of you would like for me to elaborate (being the demanding bunch that you are). I'm happy to oblige. When I am talking about the soundness of the rhetoric I am talking about the soundness of the argument or analysis and not about the grammar and mechanics (surprise, surprise). While the dialect used to express one's self does not necessarily affect one's comprehensibility (here assuming that the dialects in question are of the same language), but if the argument/analysis/comparison is not well constructed (rhetorically) the student's newly created knowledge (she says with all optimism) can not be effectively dissemimated. If there is to be a revolution even one based around parking, grades, or tuition the rhetoric surrounding it has to be a solid and well thought out.
As for where MOOs fit in here is an idea to kick around. Literature has a place. Thomas Hardy had his bluffs, Jane Austen had her country houses, and Frost had his woods, but what do Plato, Socrates, Villanueva, and Delpit have?? That space is up to the student. Their understanding/interpretation of these kinds of pieces determines that space. I'm trying not to scoop Meg here (we'll call her to the carpet in the morning) but she has a thought for spaces created outside of the literary. What about having students who want to talk about parking build a space in a parking structure, interpret tuition increases in their home office ten years in the future when they are trying to figure out how to pay back the student loans that they took out in order to get through school, discuss the rhetoric of certain genres of music in a smoky bar, honky tonk, go-go club (the music not as in strippers), etc. So while traditionally rhetoric may have been placeless and I think that Plato and Socrates may disagree, at least in my interpretation :-)
Just some random thoughts.
hey guys I just wanted to let you know that I read all these posts but i don't have anything to say... except... Geoff, where did the shake yer booty come from? is there an inside joke that i'm missing?
BTW--reactions and possibilities for BOTS is ment for everyone, not just Samantha (cuz, I'm sure she's got tons
of experiences programming 'em and deployin' them and just generally letting them do their jiggy thang.)
From my perspective, I see lots of Oblique Bots dishing out tons of viewpoints that students might stumble across, interact with, and be just generally stimulated by...from what I can tell, Bots by the themselves don't mean much, but a group of students in a room with a DataHead, a Right-wing Gun Nut, or a rabid SportsFan might touch off all sorts of conversations.
Again, what I'm curious about from folks is how one might MULTIPLE ourSELPS in such a space? How many characters might we be? This is a chance, it seems to me, to allow those voices to proliferate w/o their necessarily being an identity attached.
Imagine a classroom where, in the end, it's just ALL BOTS (students building them in response to "our" Bots) jabbering away at each other. An Infinite "Conversation" that just spins wheels off into cyberspace at the end of the semester.
Or is this too sci-fi?
What do you mean by expressing in a "rhetorically sound way" "revolutionary" ideas? "Rhetorically sound," soundz like a fancier way of saying proper Englishy stuff that I know you're not down w/, at least so far as focusing just on grammar is concerned. I suspect it has something to do with audience, style, and arrangement, but what is the foundation/sound-dation of such principles? How to teach them, how to enforce them, how to re-enforce in wayz that maintain the revolution?
The Beatles Sound like this: "You say you want a revolution-uh-un, you know, we all wanna change the world."
"Concretize the thought" does suggest a foundation, a pouring, a settling, beneath such a revolution. You put quotes around "needed," so there is something provisional about this. Are there any patterns to the changes that students believe "need" changing?
Where does the Moo fit into this? In a literature class there already seems to be A PLACE, in some respects. A snowy woods, the biography of Robert Frost, the words themselves, or the New Critical "close reading" of the rhythms, rhymes, rheasons for righting it in the first place.
In Rhetoric (yes, I know it's ALL rhetoric) there's a placelessness, perhaps. This rhizome has been brought up on the re/inter/view discussion, but what I mean by it here is: water, water everywhere, not a drop of it to drink.
Moo Space as a vast Salty Sea!
That's kewl, though. We can still take it with TEN THOUSAND grains of salt, can't we?
Let me suggest this: Never mind what "you" think about the Moos, or what "you" intend to do with such spaces. What everyone wants to know, instead, is: WHAT WILL YOUR BOTS SAY?
Shake yer bot-ty
I'm glad Sarah found MOOs cool and useful because I think that they really have the potential to be. I think that building a MOO space to go along with the "Shaping Spaces" section is a great idea, but it doesn't necessarily have to be applied just to literature classes I think that it would be pretty damned cool to have students rewrite the real world. I know that we have talked about the (im)possibility of creating change in the classroom and I wonder what would happen if we had students visualize that change virtually. Would it make it easier to realize? (Probably not) Would it make students concretize the thought of the "needed" change? (Probably) Would it help students be able to express themselves and their "revolutionary" ideas in a more rhetorically sound way (Definitely).
As most of you know, I think that having students reflect on their writing experience is always a good idea (thus writing journals and blogs) and I think that it is always a must with group assignments. BTW there is no such thing as a composition mindset. You can easily use literature to teach composition, but rather than having classes discuss the mechanics of the piece you can have them look at it from a different angle. Make an argument about the piece, analyze a character, an occurence, a political theme that runs throughout. What was the piece written in that way? What was going on in that geographical region at the historic moment when the piece was written? What was the author trying to convey (rhetoric)? What is know about the author that supports this? (i.e. Frost was clinically depressed and suicidal. So it is easy to see why his walk throw the woods on a snow evening could have led to suicide and why his horse was looking at him like he was queer/crazy. That's a good way to start an analytical/argumentative paper on Frost's poem and leaves room open for research on Frost, the actual poem, depression, suicide, etc). Now its my turn to run off at the fingers.
(BTW I can never read this page from within the blogger interface, it has never worked for me and I have been using blogger for a couple of years).
Tuesday, February 25, 2003
I'll throw in my two cents. I thought the text-based MOO was really cool - which surprises me. I guess my favorite part was the literature students' stuff (I don't remember what it was called). I visited the Wintery Afternoon (?) - via "Despair" - the students' description made reference to "a certain slant of light," which was exactly what I had hoped to find there... and I ended up wandering into Emily Dickenson's place where she was lowering bundle's of cookies to children and passersby (one word?) from her window. I guess what I liked was that the descriptions of the virtual space demonstrated an understanding/interpretation of Dickenson - her life, her poetry. It reminds me of the Convergences unit on "Shaping Spaces." The introduction to that chapter talks about artists defamiliarize spaces - make us look at things we see everyday in a new way. I think that having students interpret literature by building virtual spaces 'defamiliarizes' ... what? the literature? maybe common ways of looking at the literature. Maybe it defamiliarizes the way we usually talk about, interpret, write about literature. Whatever... it opens up a new way for students to interpret literature - and it is creative - and maybe even fun.
I could see having my students build a MOO space (no idea if I'm using the correct terminology here) reflecting their interpretation of a certain text - which requires critical thinking, imagination/creativity, WRITING, audience awareness, and all that technical junk (wink) - and then having them write a reflection on why they built it they way they did (more WRITING!). Because of the creative aspect of building the MOO space, I could see it as an invention strategy - sort of like coming up with a metaphor for your issue/topic/question - to get you thinking about it in new ways. Of course, invention strategies are not usually so involved and time consuming - so maybe not. Anyway, I've been in sort of a literature mindset in this post, not so much a composition mindset (except all of the emphasis on WRITING and the mention of invention). I was planning on writing something about how I'm using blogs, but as I have run-on-at-the-mouth (fingers?) for much-too-long now, I'll do that in another post, at another time. ; )
(By the way, can anyone ever view this web page? I know I can't.)
Yours truly, SJ
Sunday, February 23, 2003
I'll be one of the first and say that the MOO offers some good opportunities for students to create interactive texts. I have seen some very nice spaces that integrate the thesis statement, support, and conclusions into a space that is both fun to build and to interact with. You will see some of these spaces on Tuesday. I also want to reiterate that just because we go over these things in workshop doesn't mean that you are required to use them, just that they are available if you choose to now or sometime in the future.
For those of you who will also teach literature classes in the future (or even teach literature in the composition classroom) the MOO can give students the opportunity to build their own interpretations of the text. Bots are good for holding conversations either with other bots or with visitors to the MOO.
Excited yet? There will much to see on Tuesday!
We have chatted about this off and on, but I would like to have something written to refer back to from time to time. We have talked about different kinds of technology (i.e. MOOs, Blogs, Word processors, and listservs) and how we can use them in the classroom. But what I'd like to see here are some ideas (and perhaps some sample assignments) that you'd like to bounce off of the group or brag about! Ok, who wants to be first?