Friday, May 30, 2003

Quality does matter

Here's an interesting article by Tom Coates that analyses discussion lists and weblogs in terms of the quality of discussion each promotes. Tom argues that weblogs promote much better discussion than do discussion lists, and suggests that discussion in the blogosphere works along the same lines as academic citations:

"I've been working in similar directions as this - in an attempt to resolve the questions, 'Can you have good discussion across the blogosphere?', 'What is the nature of that discussion?' and "How does it differ from message-board conversation?'. And I think the answer lies - yet again - in going back to the beginning and looking at the way the web in general (and weblogs in particular) operate like an academic citation network."

He's produced some really interesting and persuasive diagrams to support his argument as well.

Papers from AERA 2003

Okay, we're in the process of putting our symposia and keynote papers from this year's AERA (American Education Research Association) annual conference online.

This is where you'll find papers from the The Classroom Challenge of New Literacies symposium, and the Bucks, Bytes and Benefits: Accounting for New Technology Investment in Social Contexts of Learning Disadvantage symposium.

And, this is where you'll find our keynote paper for the Writing and Literacies SIG, titled: Implications of 'New' Literacies for Writing Reseach.

Thursday, May 29, 2003

Teaching award: Glynda Hull

Well-deserved kudos to Glynda Hull at the University of California, Berkeley, for her recent Distinguished Teaching award. According to the award website:

"The award, bestowed by the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate's Committee on Teaching, is the highest honor for instruction given by UC Berkeley. Only 5 percent of those who have taught at the campus since 1959 -- the year the awards began -- have received this award."

The university has put together a really great video documenting the three award winners' approaches to teaching and which is definitely worth watching. In particular, the video showcases Glynda's role in establishing the Digital Underground Storytelling for Youth program, and her continued work in engaging young people in developing a range of technological literacies.

Congratulations, Glynda!

Details and game playing--a new breed of qualitative researcher on its way?

A recent study suggests that playing video games can seriously sharpen players' visual acumen. The BBC reports:

"The researchers have shown that gamers were particularly good at spotting details in busy, confusing scenes and could cope with more distractions than average."

The evidence is growing that video games are good for you!

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