The Poynter Institute's Seminars

 I’m teaching a “New Media Projects” course, which aims to explore the connections between communication with words (linear, narrative) and communication with programming (interactive, procedural). Out in the wider world, The Poynter Institute hosted this session this week. I’m glad to see the profession moving beyond digital cameras and blogging. Programming for Journalists / Journalism for Programmers (N432-10) Never before have programmers offered so much promise to those who pursue…

Students, Welcome to College – Parents, Go Home

Grinnell College here, like others, has found it necessary to be explicit about when parents really, truly must say goodbye. Move-in day for the 415 freshmen was Saturday. After computer printers and duffle bags had been carried to dorm rooms, everyone gathered in the gymnasium, students on one side of the bleachers, parents on the other. The president welcoming the class of 2014 had his back to the parents —…

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'I wrote 2U B4'! British Library shows up textspeak as soooo 19th century

One exhibit will be a BBC pronunciation guide from 1928, in which broadcasters are told to pronounce combat as cumbat and housewifery as huzzifry. There will be examples of the linguistic games people played, and a poem from Gleanings From the Harvest-Fields of Literature, published in 1867. In it, 130 years before the arrival of mobile phone texting, Charles C Bombaugh uses phrases such as “I wrote 2 U B…

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Games as Common Texts for Universities

If you could recommend a game as a community-building activity for your school, what would you recommend? I thought about some of the arty Jason Rohrer games, but maybe those would be more appropriate for a “How can games lead to deep thoughts” pre-discussion, something I might use to get buy-in from the non-gaming community (including those who wouldn’t have the patience to play through a full-length game). I also…

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Free cloze test generator

There were a lot of spammy hits out there, so here you go, semantic web: I just found a free cloze test generator that I rather like. It doesn’t seem to be able to save an interactive test, or score the test automatically, but it’s still a time-saver. I’ll be using as part of a close reading exercise in a literature survey course, and I might use it as part of…

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Challenging the lecture-homework paradigm

While discussion has always been a big part of my pedagogy, I very much enjoyed this item from an engineering professor about what happened when he pushed the lecture out of class time, and spent what used to be a lecture period as a lab. In my American Lit class, I’m not planning to record full lectures for students to watch passively for homework, but I will record short introductions…