Technology in the Classroom, Fall 2014

I’m tweaking my Technology in the Language Arts Curriculum course for the fall and would like to crowdsource some of the changes. I’ll be doing the course online this semester, which will likely change some of the assignments a little–more discussion boards, blog posts, and other “small” products–but I am also tying to think about (a) new tools for classroom use and (b) meta-level issues related to tech in the classroom. Some of this may involve more detailed discussions of big data and user surveillance, for example, but I may also do some discussion of crowdsourcing as a phenomenon (and to try to think about what that might mean for the classroom). I’ll likely drop the unit on gamification (unless someone can convince me of its necessity) and may cut social bookmarking (or just teach it via Pinterest). I’d appreciate any suggestions about readings or tools that I should consider adding to my syllabus. My current weekly schedule is below the fold:

Week One:
August 22: Introduction to English 518
Technology Overview: Blogging, Twitter, and wikis
Watch: “A Vision of K-12 Students Today,” YouTube.

Week Two:
August 29: Blogging
Media Tool: Blogger or WordPress
Watch: Common Craft, “Protecting Reputations Online in Plain English.”
Fitzpatrick, Kathleen, “The Literary Machine: Blogging the Literature Course,” OL.
Jenkins, Henry. “Why Heather Can Write,” Technology Review (February 6, 2004). OL.
Tryon, Chuck, “Writing and Citizenship,” Pedagogy 6.1 (Winter 2006): 128-32. LR.

Week Three:
September 5: Twitter
Media Tool: Twitter
View: Twenty Nine Interesting Ways to Use Twitter in the Classroom, OL.
Thompson, Clive, “Brave New World of Digital Intimacy,” New York Times, OL.
Johnson, Steven, “How Twitter Will Change the Way We Live,” Time, OL.
Heffernan, Virginia, “Hashing Things Out, New York Times, OL.
Lenhart, Amanda, et al, “Where Teens Seek Online Privacy Advice,” Pew Internet and American Life Project.

Week Four:
September 12: Wikipedia/Wikis
Media tools: Wikipedia, pbWiki
Mackey, Robert, “Wikipedia’s Rapid Reaction to Outburst During Obama’s Speech,” New York Times, OL.
Parry, David. “Wikipedia and the New Curriculum.” Science Progress, February 11, 2008. OL.
Terdiman, Daniel, “Study: Wikipedia as Accurate as Britannica,” CNET News, OL.
Tryon, Chuck, “Wikipedia Discussion Project,” The Chutry Experiment, OL.
Colbert, Steven, “The Word—Wikiality,” The Colbert Report, OL.
Hicks Grazette, Jacqueline, “Wikiality in my Classroom,” Washington Post, OL.
Workshop: Create a Wiki document

Week Five:
September 19: Social Bookmarking and Web Research Part I
Media Tools: Diigo.
Watch: Common Craft, “Social Bookmarking in Plain English,” YouTube.
Lomas, Cyprien, “7 Things You Should Know about Social Bookmarking,” Educause, OL.
DesRoches, Donna, “Social Bookmarking Offers a New way to Store and Share Web Sites,” School Library Journal, OL.
Fried, Carrie, “In-class laptop use and its effects on student learning,” Computers & Education, OL.
Week Six:
September 26: Web Research Part II
Media Tools: Google Search, Internet Archive, Library of Congress, Flickr, Creative Commons
Purcell, Kristin, “How Teens Do Research in the Digital World,” Pew Internet and American Life Project, OL.
Holland, Beth, “Didn’t Your Mother Tell You Not To Google?” Edutopia, OL.
Common Craft, “Creative Commons,” OL.
Workshop: Compile resources from Internet Archive, Flickr, Getty Museum, and Library of Congress

Week Seven:
October 3: Document Design, Grading Online
Media Tools: Open Office, Google Docs, GradeMark, Zamzar, Word Counters
Watch: Common Craft, “Google Docs in Plain English.”
Houston, Natalie, “Paperless Grading with GradeMark,” ProfHacker, OL.
Purcell, Kristen, “The Impact of Digital Tools on Student Writing and How Writing is Taught in Schools,” Pew Internet and American Life Project, OL.
Workshop: Create a collaborative document using Google Docs

Week Eight:
October 10: Course Management Systems
Media Tools: Blackboard, Moodle, email.
Lane, Lisa, “Insidious Pedagogy,” First Monday. OL.
Kolowich, Steve, “The MOOC ‘Revolution’ May Not Be as Disruptive as Some Had Imagined,” Chronicle of Higher Education, OL.
National Telecommunications and Information Administration, Exploring the Digital Nation, 1-17, OL.

October 17: Spring Break

Week Nine:
October 24: Pinning It Up and Tumbling Down
Media Tool: Pinterest and Tumblr
Jarvis, Kendra Cameron, “Teachers Stuck on Pinterest,” OL.
Holstead, Carol and Doug Ward, “Using Facebook and Tumblr to Engage Students,” Prof Hacker Blog, OL.
Melhuish, Karen, “Looking to the future: M-learning with the iPad,” Computers in New Zealand Schools: Learning, Leading, Technology, OL.

Week Ten:
October 31: Podcasting and Video
Media Tools: Podcasting, iMovie
Teachers Teaching Teachers, “Radio Rookies Finding Where Their Passions Make Good Stories,” OL.
Dietrich, Pat, “Using iMovie to Enhance Learning,” OL.
Christi, Alice, et al, “Language Arts Comes Alive as Middle School Learners Become Information Producers,” Meridian, OL.
Tryon, Chuck, “Recording and Hosting Podcasts Using the Internet Archive,” Prof Hacker, OL.
Optional: Create and post a short podcast using the technological tools of your choice

Week Eleven:
November 7: Branding Education
Media Tool: Facebook
Singel, Ryan, “Rogue Marketers Can Mine Your Info on Facebook,”, OL.
Raynes-Goldie, Kate, “Aliases, Creeping, and Wall-Cleaning,” First Monday 15.1 (January 2010), OL.
Parry, David, “The iPad and Higher Education,” OL.
Bazelon, Emily, “How to Stop the Bullies,” The Atlantic, OL.
Common Sense Media, “Stand Up to Cyberbullying,” OL.

Week Twelve:
November 14: Presentation Software
Media Tool: Prezi
Tufte, Edward, “PowerPoint is Evil,” Wired 11.09 (2003), OL.
Parker, Ian, “Absolute PowerPoint,” The New Yorker, OL.
Bruder, Patricia, “Prezi Presentations Engage and Motivate Students,” New Jersey Education Association, OL.
Myers, Katy, “Prezi: A Dynamic Presentation or Nauseating Experience?” Grad Hacker, OL.
Workshop: Work on Prezi for Final Project
Week Thirteen:
November 21: Research/Narrative:
Media Tool: Storify
Rorabaugh, Pete and Jesse Stommel, “How to Storify. Why to Storify,” Hybrid Pedagogy, OL.
Cordell, Ryan, “Telling Social Stories with Storify,” Prof Hacker, OL.
Baume, Matt, “Storify’s best uses turn news into conversations,” Poynter, OL.
Make a Short Storify
Week Fourteen:
November 28: Gamification and Education
Media Tool: Gamification
Yenigun, Sami, “At Libraries across America, It’s Game On,” NPR, OL.
Hertz, Mary Beth, “Games Can Make ‘Real Life’ More Rewarding,” Edutopia, OL.
Lee, Joey, “Gamification in Education: What, How, Why Bother?” Academic Exchange Quarterly, OL.

Week Fifteen:
December 5: Presentations
Student Presentations on Big Projects!


  1. Brett Boessen Said,

    August 14, 2014 @ 4:56 pm

    Might I ask what you would replace gamification and social bookmarking with? (I notice you have a separate week on Pinterest and Tumblr.)

    “Play” might be a better way to frame some important issues that games (and gamification) bring us to in education/pedagogy, and there are lots more good thought pieces you might use if that was your alternate frame.

    I’d argue that social bookmarking is part of a development of one’s virtual identity – as a scholar, as a citizen, etc. – so again, maybe something like that would be more flexible and productive.

    This is a neat idea and I’m glad you keep doing it. Nominally “crowdsourcing,” I imagine it’s more like “peer-sourcing,” but either way, I hope you get at least a few helpful tips from it. One day I’ll be on the ball enough to do this as well. (But by then probably no one will be blogging any more.)

  2. Chuck Said,

    August 19, 2014 @ 12:46 pm

    Hi Brett. For some reason, I didn’t get a notification about your comment. When I did Pinterest, it really clicked for my students, who were most interested in using it to compile assignment ideas (and to network with others doing the same). Two weeks on this form of social bookmarking, though, is probably excessive.

    I went ahead and kept “games” but “play” might be a better way of framing it. I can do some minor tweaks since it’s the final week. thanks for the suggestions!

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