Screen Shot 2014-06-05 at 8.00.24 AM
7

Digital Storytelling: Empower the Multimodal Writing Classroom with Scratch

How can the busy writing teacher interested in new media storytelling deepen the pedagogical value of multimodality in the classroom — especially for students with limited programming experience? Students who learn to design, code, revise, and publish multimodal texts are empowered by their encounters with technology, and can be more critical of the interfaces they face in daily life. Yet too frequently we ask students to submit a multimedia project…

Screen Shot 2014-06-04 at 4.33.31 PM
1

Even in the U.S., Chinese Students May Have Tiananmen ‘Amnesia’

But now that he was at college in America, someone had mentioned Tiananmen, a friend. And he went online, to YouTube and Google, and pulled up videos and photographs from 25 years earlier, images not easily accessible behind China’s Great Firewall, as its Internet-censoring regime is called. He kept looking at one, he said, “the one.” A photograph of an unknown man, futilely trying to block a column of tanks.…

Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 9.49.44 AM
2

What Causes the Smell of New & Old Books?

Generally, it is the chemical breakdown of compounds within paper that leads to the production of ‘old book smell’. Paper contains, amongst other chemicals, cellulose, and smaller amounts of lignin. Both of these originate from the trees the paper is made from; finer papers will contain less lignin than, for example, newsprint. In trees, lignin helps bind cellulose fibres together, keeping the wood stiff; it’s also responsible for paper yellowing…

image

It’s alive! What NPR learned from turning its @nprnews Twitter account from a bot into a human

My student journalists tell me they learn a lot from assignments that involve livetweeting events. It’s encouraging when students ramp up the social media work on their own, outside of classroom assignments, as part of their work for The Setonian Online. This article offers a helpful reminder that even the pros have to experiment in order to discover current best practices (which change rapidly, with the technology). But no matter…

image

We are in a golden age for journalism

Most handwringing about the state of journalism is done by journalists. They are worried about losing their jobs, so it’s not surprising that they tend to be fretful. But turn the issue upside down for a second, and think about the state of journalism from journalism’s audience. The real purpose of journalism, after all, is not to provide me a job, but to inform and entertain the public. And by…

rp_image15-300x300.jpg

All the world’s an app

A review of three books — The App Generation, Status Update, and It’s Complicated — that explore and critique the function of social media in our lives. I used to ask the internet everything. I started young. In the late 1980s, my family got its first modem. My father was a computer scientist, and he used it to access his computer at work. It was a silver box the size…

Amazon’s Tactics Confirm Its Critics’ Worst Suspicions

This week, as part of a contract dispute with the publisher Hachette, we’re seeing Amazon behaving at its worst. The company’s willingness to nakedly flex its anticompetitive muscle gives new cause for concern to anyone who cares about books — authors, publishers, but mainly customers. Here’s the back story: In an effort to exert pressure on Hachette, Amazon began taking down preorder buttons for many Hachette titles. It has also…

image
1

Star Wars: TIE Fighter 20th Anniversary Retrospective

In the Star Wars films, the empire is evil to the core. But TIE Fighter let you see the empire from a new perspective. The game didn’t make you feel like a bad person doing bad things, but like a pilot who might reasonably have believed that what he was doing was in the galaxy’s best interests. | Now, some 20 years later, it’s extremely common for games to let…

image

Facebook’s Mike Hudack rants about the media: Why won’t anybody do something about these shallow viral stories?

When a Facebook executive whines about all these shallow viral links clogging our feeds, Slate’s Jordan Wiessmann clicks him a new one. If only we, the American people, could summon a champion. Someone who could, with the change of a single algorithm, turn the entire media ecosystem on its head. But who? –Jordan Weissmann, Slate.