2007 IP issues to remember

Email clean-out blog post #2: Here’s a link to a report from the CCCCs called “Top Intellectual Property Developments of 2007 for Scholars of Composition, Rhetoric, and Communication.” It includes some links and information about, well, the title of the site: IP issues for the comp/rhet world. Among many other things, working in this material/discussion into ENGL 516 next winter might be one of the changes I make to that course.

Concentrate on and optimize in Washtenaw county

I’m cleaning up my email this morning, and thought this might be a good place to put a link to Concentrate, which is a local start-up/blog/web site aimed at promoting various businesses and enterprises. There isn’t much there yet, though one thing it makes me think about for teaching the Writing for the World Wide Web course is search engine optimization. There’s an article here about an area company that does this stuff, and as I put the schedule for this course together this week, it makes me think that maybe I ought to see if one of these folks would like to participate in the online discussion a bit during the course.

“The Dumpster”

This might or might not be “something:”

The Dumpster (2006: Golan Levin, Kamal Nigam and Jonathan Feinberg) is an interactive online visualization that attempts to depict a slice through the romantic lives of American teenagers. Using real postings extracted from millions of online blogs, visitors to the project can surf through tens of thousands of specific romantic relationships in which one person has “dumped” another.

Via my Reader feed and danah’s blog apophenia.

Gaming helps 21st century students

Article/link #2 I don’t want to lose when I reboot: “Gaming helps students hone 21st-century skills,” from eNews and its annoying password/account-driven web site. The sub-head specifically singles out sites like Second Life. A couple paragraphs:

Sharnell Jackson, the chief eLearning officer for Chicago Public Schools and the webinar’s moderator, noted that gaming and simulations are highly interactive, allow for instant feedback, immerse students in collaborative environments, and allow for rapid decision-making. The webinar was sponsored by the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN).

Studies of the brain have pointed to data suggesting that repeated exposure to video games reinforces the ability to create mental maps, inductive discovery such as formulating hypotheses, and the ability to focus on several things at once and respond faster to unexpected stimuli.

Which reminds me that the next time I teach English 516, I’m going to have to once again re-add the units on gaming and writing.

What those crazy college kids are reading: 87/97/07

I haven’t had a chance to read all of this, but I wanted to post a link before I forgot, before I restart my browser and computer, and before I start grading. This is “A snapshot of student reading habits over two decades,” from a UC-Berkeley News website. Since I don’t have the time to do the reading right now (ironically enough), I just stuck with the top 10 lists, and just to make it even easier, I’ll just stick here with the top 2:

  • 1987: #1 The Color Purple (Alice Walker); #2 The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
  • 1997: #1 The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand) #2 A Hundred Secret Senses (Amy Tan)
  • 2007: #1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (J.K. Rowling) #2 title unspecified (J.K. Rowling)

PhD program advice yet again

There’s a discussion going on the WPA-L mailing list right now about advice for PhD programs; the basic request was to come up with a “top 10” list of PhD programs in composition and rhetoric, but it would appear to me that most people on the list resisted that temptation pretty quickly. As they should, of course. This did bring back for me this post from a month ago, but I liked this post from Paul Kei Matsuda’s blog that Mike Garcia of a “top 10” of advice on what to think about when choosing a PhD program. This is a heck of a lot more useful than a list of ten schools that may have or may not have earned their reputations.