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Collaborative Academic Writing: Exploratory Thoughts

As a professor, I collaborate with other authors all the time.  But I rarely assign collaborative writing assignments. I often ask students to critique each other’s papers or beta-releases, but that’s not the same thing as having them collaborate to create a single, coherent document. I’m teaching a literary criticism class next term. The last time I taught it, students expressed a lot of frustration at how long it took…

Students as Game Creators

Young people around the world are learning, in their pre-teen years, to use tools like Game Maker, Click & Play, Stagecast Creator and others to build simple games. As they move into their teens and twenties kids learn to master and use Flash, modding tools, and even sophisticated tools like C++, game engines and graphics tools to create the complex, sophisticated games they imagine and design. Many of these students…

MySpace trial: Jury finds woman guilty of lesser charges

A federal jury delivered a mixed verdict today convicting a Missouri mother of misdemeanor charges in a nationally watched cyber-bullying case in which the woman was accused of using a fake MySpace account to torment a teenage girl who later committed suicide. The jurors, however, rejected more serious felony charges against Lori Drew, 49, who was involved in a hoax on 13-year-old Megan Meier. The panel deadlocked on a conspiracy…

Vatican unveils ambitious solar energy plans

And then there was light — and it was powered by the sun. The Vatican on Wednesday activated a new solar energy system and announced an ambitious plan that could one day make it an alternative energy exporter. The massive roof of the “Nervi Hall” where popes hold general audiences and concerts are performed, has been covered with 2,400 photovoltaic panels to provide energy for lighting, heat and air conditioning.…

Scanning Infocom (GET LAMP weblog)

Jason Scott has started a new blog that will discuss the progress of his documentary, GET LAMP.  Here’s a good entry on the contents of Steve Meretzky’s basement. As part of the GET LAMP project, I’ve been collecting artifacts and images throughout the commercial heydays of text adventures, and nobody got bigger than Infocom in the early 1980s. And Steve was one of the big designers at Infocom, creating or…