Student journalist experiences the ‘trickle down’ of hostility toward the press

My own students haven’t described encounters like this, but I have encountered students who enter the classroom with the idea that there is a fairly consistent, uniform, organized entity called “the media” that it’s fashionable to distrust. It’s fair to point to specific news stories that got specific facts wrong or that showed bias, but attacking “the media” is blaming the messenger — it’s propaganda that benefits the status quo.…

College Seniors Confident about Their Work Ethic, Written & Oral Skills; Employers Disagree

According to the NACE 2018 Job Outlook, college seniors are very confident about their professionalism, work ethic, and writing skills. Employers are not so happy with those skills among the applicants they see. The biggest divide was around students’ professionalism and work ethic. Almost 90 percent of seniors thought they were competent in that area, but only about 43 percent of the employers agreed. Nearly 80 percent of students also believed they were…

Create Joy with Content Management System Hexcodes for Canvas LMS

I spent about 30 seconds eyeballing the hexcode colors for Starfleet uniforms so that, from now on, when I’m marking papers, my Canvas interface will remind me just a little bit of Star Trek. Where do you create joy? Captain’s log… supplemental entry. It’s not a perfect match, but the blue and gold are hard to read if they are as light as the shirts. AndI’m actually teaching four classes.…

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The Problems of Real-Time Feedback in Teaching Writing

Sometimes my students get nervous because I ask them to learn writing by, you know, writing. For some other subjects, it makes sense to ease students into the work, having them memorize facts to recall for points on multiple-choice or fill-in-the-blank quizzes. But writers gotta write. That means taking risks, and occasionally stumbling. In a journalism course, of course we go over how to attribute quotes with a neutral word…

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How Common Core Testing Damaged High School English Classes

Helping my students understand how my role as a college literature teacher differs from the role of a high school English teacher is a sometimes daunting task. Preparing students for a standardized reading test is completely unlike teaching them about a work of classic literature. In an English class addressing The Great Gatsby, depending on student ability and prior knowledge, the teacher might take several weeks to help the students find their…