Skip to content

Tag Archives: pedagogy

Why Digital Lectures Don’t Work…

Reinventing the Lecture: Why Digital Lectures Don’t Work, and What We Can Do About It …A video I did for my Digital Storytelling class final project. While many who use digital technology in education are attempting new and innovative approaches to teaching over the internet, the use of videotaped lectures is still commonplace in distance […]

"You're Gerald McBoing-Boing, the Noise-Making Boy!"

This semester, I have the rare opportunity to TA a class on something I actually study. For the most part, graduate TA work tends, at my school, to be limited to general, broad survey courses– Western Civ, or American History. I’ve TA’d both and enjoyed both, but this semester has me far more giddy– I’m […]

You Could Learn a Lot from a Punker…

Yeah, yeah, the EDUPUNK moment is long over, but it’s still rattling around in the back of my mind. I wrote about it before, but I really think that a lot of the reaction against the term was based on a misapprehension of what punk is, what punk was, what punk does. Trying to keep […]

Digital History: It's Child's Play

National History Day has recently included web sites as an acceptable type of presentation.

Or, I probably should put it, they’ve recently included “web sites” as an acceptable type of presentation. The sites are required to be on a single CD-Rom– something I find somewhat problematic, as it doesn’t allow students to link to outside sources, use APIs or third party hosting… So putting Youtube videos in the site, or using the Google Maps API are out. In forcing the students to create sites that can’t have elements from other sites integrated, you’re taking a step back and forcing them to make very strictly Web 1.0 material. Actually, by creating sites that are completely self-contained– by putting them on CD rather than hosting them online– you’re actually killing part of the point of web 1.0… hypertext should be expansive, not self-contained.

I understand that they’re trying to make the project more inclusive, by removing the barriers presented to poorer students by not forcing them to pay for hosting services… but it kind of defeats the point of making a web page, if you ask me.

But this is all just a digression. National History Day puts together books about each type of presentation, introducing students to best methods, tricks of the trade, how to exploit the medium to its fullest, what have you. A friend of mine is helping to work on the new book for websites. A group of us were sitting around recently, with her, brainstorming about what should or should not be included. How do you explain to an audience of middle and high school students the real potential of digital history– especially with the limitations of making a web site with a limited word count that has to fit on a single disk? How much do you talk about HTML, CSS, etc, or do you assume that they’ll be using WYSIWYG design programs?

Let's Play Ukulele: A Great Use of Dynamic Website Design

What does the Leisurely Historian do in his leisure time?

Well, given that I’m a grad student, there’s not a whole lot leisure time, to be honest. I spend most of it feeling guilty that I’m not working or reading.

But over winter break, I finally broke down and did something I’ve been wanting to do for a while. I bought a ukulele. I love the sound, it’s easy to play, it’s compact, the small neck is easy for my somewhat stubby and ungraceful fingers.

Playing the ukulele isn’t like playing guitar, though. There’s not as many people who play it. I have two friends who even own one– one lives over an hour away, in Baltimore, and the other lives in Texas. Lessons are out, too. When was the last time you looked at a bulletin board and saw someone advertising uke lessons?

So, being the nerd that I am, I turned to the internet.

Digital Pedagogy Done Right!(tm)

If anyone hadn’t gathered from my multiple cartographically-themed posts in the last couple weeks, I’m taking a course on History and Cartography this semester.

I want to take this opportunity to praise two of the websites we visited this week– TypeBrewer and ColorBrewer. Both of these projects quite successfully combine several elements that seem to be essential to good use of new media for pedagogical ends. […]

Myst is not a good video game.

First off, I had to post this when I found it: apparently, Nial Ferguson was so impressed by the Calm and the Storm that he went and got a job with them. It’s not really a conflict of interests or anything, but I found it very interesting.

 

That said, I’m still not loving Myst. I’m not exactly an avid gamer, but I do enjoy some games in moderation. I’m not one of those anti-video game people. But I do not find Myst particularly enjoyable. […]