“Memoir in a Digital Age”

If you were to lead a workshop like this one, what genre of (hardware or software) tools would you teach?

Ground rules:

  1. Tools must be affordable or (preferably) free.
  2. Tools must not require advanced computing skills: knowing how to use a word processor and knowing how to use a web browser should be enough.
  3. Tools would preferably already be owned by workshop participants.

Memoir in a Digital Age
Learn to document and reflect upon your life through the use of various simple and affordable (or free!) digital tools and media. Participants will work with their choice of text, image, sound, and video to create a memoir appropriate for the digital age in which we live. No advanced computing skills required.

George H. Williams is a teacher, scholar, volunteer, would-be hacker, indie enthusiast, nonprofit advocate, word herder, and world traveler.

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research methods and undergraduate students

I’ve created a poll, and I’m seeking the feedback of those who teach in higher ed. Consider the following hypothetical situation.

During a class conversation about useful online tools in your field of study, an undergraduate student (a graduating senior) asserts that Google should be acknowledged as the default online tool for students in your discipline to do academic research. And when you suggest otherwise, the student dismisses the idea that students need to be introduced to anything else.

How comfortable are you knowing that this student is about to graduate with a degree from your department?

Click right here or on the “Participate” link below to add your opinion to the poll.

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students need a reason to learn a new technology

That’s why I’m abdicating a bit of my authority and giving it to them so that they may collaboratively write the mobile phone policy for my class, as long as they do it on a wiki.

…more on this later.

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bullet points on my first day of teaching

  1. Grading Participation Here is my evil|brilliant (depending on your perspective) plan: I’m going to make participation worth 12% of the final grade. Students will get graded on participation 4 times this semester, so each grade is worth a maximum of 3 points. In order to get a grade, a student must solicit 2 brief letters (emails, really) of recommendation from fellow students. And those emails need to contain specific details about how that student has contributed something valuable to the class. What do you think?
  2. Sticky Notes & Flickr In my first class this morning (Senior Seminar) I repeated the sticky-note+flickr process from last semester. This time, I asked students three questions:
    1. Orange sticky: Why did you major in English?
    2. Blue sticky: What do you plan to do after you graduate?
    3. Yellow sticky: If you needed to explain what’s valuable about your undergraduate education (to a potential employer, to a graduate or professional program), what would you say?

    We then stuck all the notes on the wall and discussed the answers while I took pictures. Before they left, students took back their sticky notes, and they’ll develop those initial thoughts as the semester goes on.

  3. Office Hours I came up with 3 possible permutations of offering office hours that work with my schedule, and I’m using a poll on Doodle to have students vote on which permutation works for them. The one with the most votes wins. And, of course, students are always welcome to make an appointment with me outside of office hours.
  4. Live Calendar My homepage has been completely revamped and is now super simple. It does need some style (cascading style, if you will) and I’ll soon add unobtrusive but accessible links to research and service activities, but I have succeeded at stripping it down to the basics: my semester schedule (with links to pages for my classes), a public version of my Google Calendar, and basic contact information. We’ll see how this goes…
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tc3.0: definitions, instructions, & publishing schedule


Teaching Carnival: “[A] periodic collection of blogposts to do with higher education” (Miriam Jones).

Blog carnival: “[A] type of blog event. It is similar to a magazine, in that it is dedicated to a particular topic, and is published on a regular schedule, often weekly or monthly. Each edition of a blog carnival is in the form of a blog article that contains permalinks to other blog articles on the particular topic” (Wikipedia).


You can easily have one of your blog posts about teaching in higher education included in an issue of the teaching carnival by doing any or all of the following:

  1. Email the next host directly (see list below) with the address to the permalink of your blog post, and/or
  2. Tag your post in Delicious with teaching-carnival, and/or
  3. Tag your post with Technorati tags.

Publishing schedule

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