Monitor shifts from print to Web-based strategy

The Christian Science Monitor plans major changes in April 2009 that are expected to make it the first newspaper with a national audience to shift from a daily print format to an online publication that is updated continuously each day. CSM This paper doesn’t offer the typical flighty, bloggy online chatter that tends to dilute the value of online journalism. The print world’s loss is the online world’s gain.

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Fear and Humiliation as Legitimate Teaching Methods

A researcher who studies World of Warcraft likens leading in-game raiding parties to teaching a class. Raiding has taught me that being a good teacher requires laying down strict guidelines while simultaneously demonstrating real care for your students. The stronger the ties of trust and respect between teacher and student, the more weight they will bear. In the past I’ve cringed when my raid leaders cheerfully announced that we would…

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A Self-Referential Story

One of my freshmen recently submitted a paper about how to overcome writer’s block.  It reminded me of this story, which I came across many years ago and was able to find again fairly quickly with Google. Fun stuff. The purpose of this sentence (which can also serve as a paragraph) is to speculate that if the Declaration of Independence had been worded and structured as lackadaisically and incoherently as…

'Digital dark age' may doom some data

Contrary to popular belief, electronic data has proven to be much more ephemeral than books, journals or pieces of plastic art. After all, when was the last time you opened a WordPerfect file or tried to read an 8-inch floppy disk? “Even over the course of 10 years, you can have a rapid enough evolution in the ways people store digital information and the programs they use to access it…

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Technology Review: Wikipedia and the Meaning of Truth

My colleague David Stanley links to this article. Many people, especially academic experts, have argued that Wikipedia’s articles can’t be trusted, because they are written and edited by volunteers who have never been vetted. Nevertheless, studies have found that the articles are remarkably accurate. The reason is that Wikipedia’s community of more than seven million registered users has organically evolved a set of policies and procedures for removing untruths. This…

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Paper Dolls and Politics

My six-year-old daughter is in the next room, playing with her hand-made paper dolls.  A few minutes ago, I heard her tones get a little deeper, and as I listened, I heard, “I’m Barack Obama, and I approve this message.”  Then I heard the rustle of another paper doll, and my daughter said, again in a deep voice, “Well, I’m John McCain, and here’s why you should vote for me.”…

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10 Ways to Get Your Writing Out There

Jim  Munroe, a Toronto indie new media author whose work I’ve been following for some time, recently published this useful article on building an audience. Of course he mentions self-published print zines and blogs, but he also mentions another subject I’ve been introducing my students to this term… 6. TEXT ADVENTURE VIDEOGAMESAnyone out there play Zork as a kid? Or any text adventure games? Go west, Take sword? They were…