4 Lessons From Moving a Face-to-Face Course Online

This fall, I’ve been asked to teach a Shakespeare class online. Here’s what Kevin Gannon wrote in The Chronicle of Higher Education about moving an established course to cyberspace. As I looked at the class — an upper-level U.S. history seminar — and began to think about how I would teach it online, my heart sank. How was I going to preserve what I thought was most essential — the…

PAC-MAN: The Untold Story of How We Really Played the Game

A fascinating study of the thinginess of a video game. Put in your quarter, hit the one-player button and grab the joystick. All you have to do is move Pac-Man through a series of tight cornered mazes, trying to eat all the dots and fruit on screen while also trying to out-maneuver a group of ghosts who will kill you as soon as they touch you. If you eat one of…

Digital literacy is different from print literacy. How do we balance the trade-off?

My job includes teaching students to read long, complex texts (novels, play scripts, and academic texts.) My job also includes asking students to write researched essays that are longer documents than many of them at first seem comfortable reading. Years after they graduate, students often thank me for what I’ve taught them, and say the effort was all worth it. Buoyed by that feedback, it would be an easy thing for…

Screen shot of a Globe and Mail news article that uses an anonymous source, with an expandable inline explanation of how and why journalists use anonymous sources.

Canada’s Globe and Mail Uses Expandable Inline Meta-articles to Explain Its Coverage

Journalism matters. Educated citizens who understand and appreciate the role of the free press in a democracy are a threat to authoritarian figures who benefit by sowing mistrust. It’s perfectly reasonable to point out errors and bias in specific news stories. (News organizations love reporting about when their competitors get a story wrong, and journalists are regularly disciplined or ousted for egregious mistakes.)  It’s hardly constructive to use the errors…