Conference Highlights

It was great to see Sarah Lohnes at NITLE, and my students are getting a charge out of the fact that she used their blog, awZ, as one of her classroom blogging examples during her presentation on Blogs in Higher Ed.

Another highlight was the fabulous keynote speech by Elizabeth Daley , Director of the Annenberg Center at USC. She spoke about multi-media authoring as a viable means of scholarly academic discourse, and about the reality of using and understanding media in our lives and classrooms. She exhibited examples of exemplary student and faculty multi-media authoring while insisting on the need to ground the work within the discipline, within the professor’s research, explaining that at USC, her group partners with professors across the curriculum who first will use multi-media authoring in their own research before bringing it to their classes. She argues that you cannot slap technology onto the classroom and have someone else come in to teach a unit on technology and then leave once the unit’s done. You, as the teacher, have to understand and use the technology as an integral part of your own authoring and research process. Yes! Well, she was just extraordinary—her group is developing a multi-media authoring product (easy easy easy, she says, though still in Beta stage): pk3. They are also publishing an ejournal, Vectors, the first peer-reviewed, cross-disciplinary journal publishing multimedia work in traditional disciplines. Elizabeth Daley is, it seems, a visionary who makes things happen!

Nothing like getting the teacher out of town and off the blog to get the students in there, blogging it up—in the most informal of tones in their discussions, I must say–
I showed them how a Dutch blogger has referenced their blog on hers, (of course, being in Dutch, there’s no way to know exactly what the writer is saying about them and their blogging efforts), a revelation that has them surprised and pleased.

On the blog right now discussions are developing along several lines: politics and art, the issues raised when writing a reviewin a local periodical, the need for a story-without-words to be a story nonetheless with a comprehensible narrative arc.

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