Pecha Kucha for Final Project

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Welcome to the Pecha Kucha 20 x 20 for my Digital Authorship Project for Community College students.

For my Pecha Kucha, I have created a screencast for a twenty-slide Google Slideshow. Each slide is accompanied by a twenty second narration explaining why & how I intend to accomplish the task. 

Click on the above image to be redirected to my Pecha Kucha & happy viewing!


Week 10: Reading Response


Beginning with a personal connection, I found Professor Hobbs’ Grateful Dead reference to be pretty transparent. I say this while glancing over at the very DK publication in question as it sits prettily on my bookshelf (/):/ This Fair Use case was news to me & I couldn’t resist exploring it a bit more deeply. As it turns out, I found a great detailing of the ruling and how it is specifically covered under each of the four factors of fair use. This case-review even gets into Fair Use details such as the reduction of Bill Graham’s original poster image size and the fact that the images in question only account for one-fifth of one percent of the entirety of the book. Another rich source for the copyright & fair use question would be the interesting case of how the Grateful Dead attempted to control widespread taping & distribution of their live shows in the 1970s. They finally gave up when they realized that stopping this primitive version of file sharing would actually inhibit the cult-like diaspora of their art. In other words, “the progress of science and useful arts would be better served by allowing the use than by preventing it’ “ (Hobbs 47).

Overall, “Copyright Clarity,” made clear the idea that Copyright & Fair Use are there to protect free dissemination of knowledge and “to help educators understand & apply the principles of copyright & fair use to develop students’ critical thinking & communication skills” (11). Unfortunately, our fear of properly using copyrighted material, such as creating remixes & using clips, chokes innovation. On the one hand, teachers recognize that we need to connect with our students via popular culture, while on the other hand we remain willfully ignorant of Copyright & Fair Use.

One of the major takeaways from Aufderheide’s “Copyright, Creativity, & Authorship” is his suggestion that copyright & fair use are “interpretable and can change through practice” (20). In other words, each case presents a new challenge for the teacher or librarian seeking to share or transform knowledge. He dates the evolution of the individual ownership of creative work back to the genius-author of 18th-century Romanticism. He states that  “copying, quoting, and repurposing are crucial to creative acts” (20). Previous to the fame and notoriety of the British Romantic poets, fame was typically linked to an artist’s wealthy patron or to the church. But with Lord George Gordon Byron, the club-footed ladykiller who chose to drink his wine from a human skull, the cult of personality was born and with it the belief that creative works spring fully formed from the poet’s singular imagination.

Finally, in the “Remix Awakens,” Kirby Ferguson questions whether master remixer, J.J. Abrams’ is updating & refreshing old material or whether he is creating a stale retelling of old stories? Ferguson starts by defining “Remix” as the process of Copying, Transforming, & Combining and goes on to plot out all of Abrams’  “borrowed” elements. Ferguson’s YouTube video draws some nice comparisons between The Force Awakens and previous Star Wars iterations. His conclusion seems to suggest that Abrams’ remix has reached its limit.

Reflection on Leap 3


In the LEAP3: Storytelling assignment, I decided to express my story via podcast. I decided to create a podcast because I love the format, but I have never created my own. During the brainstorming phase, I let a few personal experiences bounce around for a few days. During this time, I listened to/watched a bunch of Moth podcasts. While I knew that I was going to podcast the story, I wasn’t quite sure which story would fit the Moth Podcast narrative format. After settling on the passing of my mom, I then had to decide on which portion of this story to tell. Her illness went on for decades and there were a lot of stories within stories to tell. While I knew that the creation process would be a bit of a rollercoaster ride, I finally decided that this was the story that I wanted to tell.

One lesson that I learned was that it can be difficult to share personal stories in public spaces. I feel that it is my responsibility to foster a safe & comfortable classroom environment before I  ask students to share personal stories. That’s not to say that all students get there, but I try. I also learned that the decision to take on new technology can be a real time drain! I started by creating an audio track and then tried to upload into iTunes. Wrong. Then I tried to post directly to WordPress. I spent tons of time researching “RSS” feeds & thought that I needed a URL to activate an “RSS Widget” and all would be well. Wrong…this is only possible in the pay version. I found my way to the “Podcast Machine” which created a URL that could be linked via Twitter & WordPress. While I thought that to storytelling would take the most time, it turned out to be the technology. No surprise there, I suppose.

Finally, I am preparing to teach my first online courses (English Composition & Intro. to Film Studies) & want to be versed in as many media as possible. In all, I am glad to have gone through the process so that I can work it into my own face-to-face & online classrooms:)

Week 2: The Map is not the Territory

David Buckingham’s “Defining Digital Literacy” states that “digital literacy is much more than a functional matter of learning how to use a computer and a keyboard, or how to do online searches” (267). Ten years have gone by since Buckingham published this article and I worry that society has been focused on merely “keeping up.” We are failing as  users/programmers in the ever-deepening interface between human beings and technology. We know how to turn the thing on but are only beginning to understand how we are being used.

In 1933, Alfred Korzybski warned that “The Map is not the territory.” He was giving humanity a glimpse into the future that was to become virtual reality: a World Wide Web spread across the surface of an actual planet. Korzybski gives us a useful way to think about abstractions. We often mistake a representation for the actual thing. For example, when one of my students watches Fox News or MSNBC, is she experiencing  reality or just a poor representation of reality? Does she know the difference? Does this student have the tools & experience to step back from the “news” and construct her own truthful picture of the world? Does a white, male baby boomer living in Georgia even live in the same reality as this student… a twenty-something female of middle-eastern descent living in New England?

In Create to Learn, Renee Hobbs supports Buckingham’s concern when she writes that, “even though many educators may believe their students to be so-called ‘digital natives,’ most students have not yet acquired the full range of knowledge and skills they need to be effective multimedia communicators” (11). All philosophy aside, how do we as educators, parents, disseminators of information, leave the planet better than we found it? The old white garde (present company included) are not going to be able to foist our representations of reality onto an ever-changing world forever. Some of us (#resistance members) need to put our deepest held beliefs in the sunlight for the public good. When Sean Hannity presents a version of reality shared by 34% of Americans, attacks the New York Times, does a complete one-eighty on national television, and THEN cuts to a car chase, should we be shocked? Should we be shocked when his @seanhannity Twitter acct. goes black and then reappears several minutes later? 

Is it tenable for our twenty-something to live on Earth I, while our baby boomer continues to live his life blissfully on Earth II. Don’t we have to come to some sort of agreement here?

Week 1: Digital Autobiography

While I have always considered myself a luddite & viewed my resistance to the rapid-fire pace of technology as a point of pride, I recognize that I have a responsibility to my students & children. Professor Hobbs’ book title, Create to Learn, is a reminder that doing is learning. I am regularly on Twitter and you’ll be happy to know that I have created a new course acct. so as to spare you my political rantings;) While social media certainly does encourage the development of echo chambers, I believe that a responsible tweet usually follows the AACRA model of Access>Analyze>Create>Reflect>Act. The Arab Spring & current #resist movement can be held up as examples of how social media can have real world outcomes.

Two digital projects I have created in my capacity as a writing & literature teacher are:

  1. I introduce myself each semester with a “Digital Resume” that uses the Prezi platform. My purpose is to provide students with a visual autobiography of their teacher as a student & educator as well as the opportunity to see an alternative to the traditional left-to-right slideshow.
  2. For 2 years now, my writing students have taken part in a “Social Media White Paper” in which each group chooses a form of social media and spends 2-3 weeks writing, interviewing, conducting GoogleSurveys, developing a GoogleDoc report & GoogleSlides class presentation. Each student, many of whom dread the prospect, must practice group collaboration in order to create their proposal paper stating the who, what, where, & why of their chosen social media.

One project I would be interested in pursuing this semester would be to reflect & improve this student project and to rethink it as a conference presentation.