Monthly Archives: January 2009

Issues in digital media

This list is my compilation of our previous “issues” and “not-found” items from last week. I’m not totally happy with the visual representation here — maybe it needs to be a Venn diagram, tag cloud, or semantic map. I’m open to options, if someone wants to try to visualize this to show a more accurate representation of the overlaps here.

Ethical/Social/Cultural issues

  • copyright/Fair Use
  • preservation and performance
  • kinds/definitions of digital scholarship (and digital media, as a broader category)
  • changing literacies

Pedagogical issues

  • analysis and production
  • inter/disciplinary uses
  • resistance
  • curricular implementation
  • assessment/evaluation

Compositional issues

  • rhetorical/aesthetic choices
  • tool choice

What you value in digital media texts

(This was the final list we came up with in class today about why folks picked the “canonical” texts they did and what those texts had in common across genres, modes, and technologies.)

Compared to others in a similar genre/style, your example stands out because…

  • its quality is consistent
  • it is credible
  • it uses appropriate multimodal strategies
  • it fulfills its purpose
  • you appreciate it

I might also add, based on our earlier conversation during the class period and what Daniel noted about his band website, that

  • it is creative or innovative

Is there anything else we missed in this common values list? Do you agree/disagree with this list? Leave a comment…

finding “canonical” examples: academic and popular

For this assignment, you need to find TWO different digital-media texts (however you want to define that for now). One example needs to be academic in nature, and it can be from any academic field. The second example needs to be non-academic in nature (again, however you want to define that is fine by me). Other than those two restrictions, there are no rules for choosing what texts you can include. You are the canon editor for this assignment. Link or embed both texts into your blog. We will use one or more in class next week to analyze how these texts work rhetorically.

Since finding academic texts of this variety has proved to be challenging, I’ve created two lists that might help you on the Resources page of this blog. There are both collections and digital journals (I’ve only included digital journals that are rhet/comp, comm, or creative writing — and only ones that use digital media. There are many more, but there were the quickest at hand. If you have others, feel free to use them and let me know what they are so I can add them to the list. The collections list is merely for your interest, although you might find a text to use for this assignment there. Most will simply link you to another collection or a specific publishing venue where you’ll have to search further.

If you have questions, post comments here. Also, if you come across more digital media/digital scholarship blogs, journals, or collections that we should add to our Resource list, please put them in the comments. I will pull some from your blog posts of last week as well.

“not found” key-issue assignment

Last week, you searched some phrases in digital media to find key terms in the fields we are studying. This week, you have a similar assignment. Take one of the issues listed under the “not found” list in the previous blog post (it’s the second list, fyi), and perform a similar search to last week’s. You need to find TWO useful texts on this new issue, summarize the text, and link to it from your blog. The purpose of this assignment is to expand our scope of key issues in digital media.

Keep in mind that the list is relatively short — we didn’t get to expand it as much as I wanted because the conversation went in different directions. So here’s another question that might generate more “not found” issues for you: Think of all the digital technology devices you own and/or interact with on a daily basis (i.e., cell phone, iPod, computer, camera, TV, XBox, etc.). How do you use these items? Was the way you use these items represented by any of the searches you performed last week? If not, they should be on our “not found” list. (If you have some examples, please leave a comment on this post with additional ideas, and I will add them to the list.)

key issues/terms list

Based on your search assignment last week, where you picked a term — “digital scholarship” or “multimodal composition” (or related) — here’s the list of key issues we created in class tonight:

  • consumers vs. producers
  • generational issues
  • copyright/legal issues
  • who is doing digital media?
  • interdisciplinary uses (tech writing, science, math, poetry, psych)
  • education uses and resistance
  • publication in digital journals/litmags
  • preservation — what will happen to e-texts?
  • tools
  • data collection – e/valuation
  • ethical research practices
  • remixing
  • multimodal instruction sets
  • lack of standards for digital scholarship
  • pedagogy: what gets replaced?
  • in vs. out of school writing
  • devaluing multimodal literacies
  • how do we convince others of its value?
  • how do we/I/you understand // reading and assessment practices
  • which mode/medium/technology/genre to use when and for what audience (“rhetorical choices”)
  • credibility issues (“schmooze” factor)
  • digital literacies (who is digitally literate and who isn’t?)

Then, in our list of what we didn’t find in our searches and hoped/expected to find:

  • definition(s) of multimodal composition
  • digital rhetoric journals
  • discussions of interactivity
  • academic vs. popular texts
  • hoped for more “webtexts”, but found more links to books, articles
  • disciplinarity question (why is MM comp in English?)
  • media literacy courses (why not have an equivalent of Eng 101, Com 110 in media literacy?)
  • Second Life
  • who should we be reading?
  • who are our examples?
  • is there a canon?

search/term assignment

As promised, here’s a little more description about your blog response homework assignment about identifying three key terms/issues in our fields of study for this class. You need to search the internet, or library databases, or YouTube, or some combination thereof to find three reputable sources (as discussed in class) about one of the following terms: multimodal composition, digital scholarship, born-digital. You may also choose to modify these terms to your suiting, as long as they relate generally to the field and the class. (Read the About section for related terms.) Once you’ve found these three readings, summarize them (in about a paragraph), give a citation in some form (title, author, link to the text), and make sure to point out to us what your three key terms/issues about multimodal composition/digital scholarship you’ve gleaned from these readings. If you have questions, leave a comment on the blog.

Welcome to English 239!

I hope you’re as excited about this class as I am. If not, give me a few hours during our first meeting (Wednesday, Jan 14, 2-5pm in STV 408) to convince you!

In the meantime, here’s a quick tour of the facilities on the class blog, which serves as your syllabus for this class. It may change as often as blogs typically change (i.e., daily), and I will let you know about any updates through this blog. In the sidebar, to your right, you will find my contact information for me. I will sometimes be in my office on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, and I will frequently have department meetings right before this class, but the best way to ensure catching me is to email me and make an appointment. I do not have scheduled office hours because one hour a week won’t do much good for of-the-moment questions. Email me and I’ll get back to you pretty quickly.

In the Pages section of the sidebar, you can access all relevant documentation for this class:

  • the About page describes the “big picture” of this class
  • the Assignments page describes, you guessed it, details about all the major assignments you will complete. Some of these are posted already, but they might change as the course morphs through the semester, so make sure to check back on assignment days.
  • the Resources page includes links to handouts, useful technology-tip websites, and course permission forms
  • the Schedule page has the weekly calendar for this class, including reading assignments, what we’re doing in class that day, and other homework
  • the Syllabus page describes the course goals, required texts and technologies, grading system, and my value statements

If I change something on one of these pages, I will notify you through a blog post.

In the Links section of the sidebar will be the class blogroll–that is, a list of links to the course blogs you will each set up on the first day of class.

In the Archives section of the sidebar is a month-by-month listing of blog post updates. Use this (or the Search function at the top of the sidebar) for your reference.

Please let me know if you have any questions. You can comment on this post or email me.

Looking forward to the semester,
Dr. Ball