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message 1: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17333 comments Mod
Weblogg-ed » “Why Johnny’s Professor Can’t Read”:
Many faculty members developed their writing skills in a print world where text took the conventional form of paragraphs on a page or was packaged as a book or an article, a story or a novel; its production was typically conceived of as a solitary act. Consequently, their previous experiences with and understanding of text are quite different from that of the N-Gen student, which may lead to profound misunderstandings. When instructors perceive linear, print-based texts as a benchmark, the N-Gen’s texts may, at first glance, fall quite short. However, these digital texts do not necessarily lack style, coherence, or organization; they simply present meaning in ways unfamiliar to the instructor. For example, a collection of images on Flickr with authorial comments and tags certainly does not resemble the traditional essay, but the time spent on such a project, the motivation for undertaking it, and its ability to communicate meaning can certainly be equal to the investment and motivation required by the traditional essay—and the photos may actually provide more meaningful communication for their intended audience.

message 2: by Matt (new)

Matt | 819 comments I'm not in the field of academics, so I may just be blowing smoke here. I understand what this writer is saying and tend to agree, but at the same time it seems like a slippery slope that will lead to people trying to argue that a Wikipedia cut-n-paste or a paper consisting of "Lolllzzz James Joyce sux kthxbye" are legitimate academic endeavors. My examples are over the top, but I think that they illustrate the point.

When I was taking literature classes in the early 90's, the professors stuck to the canon very rigidly. If the class covered the Beat generation that professor was considered very fringe. Kind of throws me for a loop because I have a nephew pursuing an English degree and he has already taken a class in Cyberpunk literature. His brother had a friend that is a grad student in the English dept. and bought her a copy of the graphic novel "Blankets", which she taught in her class the next semester. Keep in mind that this is a small college in Southeast MO. I'm not passing judgement on cyberpunk or graphic novels (I love this stuff too), but this is such a different educational environment than I experienced back in the day.

message 3: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17333 comments Mod
Oh, I love that book. Blankets is one of the softest, nicest graphic novels that there are.

It is a different world.

I'm constantly trying to translate what I learned into 21st century terms for my students.

message 4: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments my youngest son (who is 17) is very quiet and seems a bit introverted from an outside viewpoint. i tell him he needs to get out and communicate with people and interact (besides playing high school sports he does not do this much) then one day i looked at our cell phone bill and he had made 10,700 text messages in one month (we have unlimited and no that is not his current record). it occurred to me that he was communicating and interacting. just not in ways that i saw as traditional. i have a 23 year old son and a 25 year old daughter also and they are tweeners in this area. i think we have to see the value and relevancy of what is happening now in literature and the arts. remember, at one time a book printed on a printing press instead of hand scribed was sort of considered mass produced trash

message 5: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments Yes, I agree. Actually, an article I wrote on working with millennial students should be published this spring. I've sat in too many faculty meetings in which the "students these days are rude and stupid" message prevails. I suppose each generation slams the next but that message is more than unproductive once it becomes the hegemonic norm on a university campus. Honestly, I think a lot of bad teachers use the "kids these days..." rationale to cover for their shitty teaching. Now, it's not that the students are angels and perfectly prepared for the U classroom in every instance, but you learn to put all that aside as much as possible, meet the students where they are, and go from there.

I team-taught a freshman section with the chair of the IT department this term. We had a blast...we integrated gcasts, google docs, etc. into the class in ways I had never had before. I want to do more that this term.

message 6: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments i am helping to set up a PayPal account at our church for donations and contributions because a lot of people of this generation do not carry cash. you either get on board the current world or you get cynical and bitter looking backwards. i have seen some outstanding writing in the blog format. kids who just are pouring out what they are feeling. clever, witty and introspective things

message 7: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17333 comments Mod
Kevin wrote: "i think we have to see the value and relevancy of what is happening now in literature and the arts. remember, at one time a book printed on a printing press instead of hand scribed was sort of considered mass produced trash..."


RA, I can't wait to read your article on Millennials. Where is it being published?
Using technology as much as possible in the classroom - and for homework and group work - is the best way to make things immediately applicable to the real world for students. When they just read & respond without using the net or networking or emailing or something that seems 4 steps too complicated for anyone over 34 it seems like a waste of time to them, like something they are just writing and then dumping into a vacuum.

message 8: by RandomAnthony (last edited Jan 09, 2009 09:19AM) (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments Sally, speaking of using tech to communicate with students/colleagues, I've been experimenting with this software...hit the link then start the message with your speakers up...I think you have to hit the "play" button to start the message. Sorry about the glare, my shitty camera, and the fact my hair is all messy...plus you only get thirty seconds so I had to talk really fast:)


message 9: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17333 comments Mod
That is awesome. Is that your office? I like the blue wall. I'm glad you warned me about your hair - phew! That is a cool program.

I'll try that this semester to post assignments for my students on our class website. :)

message 10: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments Thanks, Sally. Ha...no, that's my dining room leading into the hallway...working at home today...

Gotta go brush my hair...

message 11: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24262 comments Mod
Illinois erases state's last writing exam

11th-graders will no longer take the test — saving state $2.4 million

(Writing tests for elementary and middle school students were dropped last year.)

Said the state schools superintendent, "Writing is one of the most expensive things to assess."

To me this is short-sighted...at the really good schools, students will be writing papers, so their writing skills won't atrophy, will still get evaluated by teachers. As usual it will be the not so good schools where students will suffer, because teachers won't be teaching writing as much, or at all.

In a cost-cutting effort last fall, Missouri education officials eliminated for at least two years the detailed, written response questions that had been hand-graded in science and math. Writing prompts in language arts also were suspended. Students still write some short answers as part of state testing.


message 12: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments Very short sighted.
My elementary, middle, and high schools all emphasized essay writing, and I arrived at college capable of writing anything.
I had good friends who were brought up in schools that emphasized multiple choice testing, for whom college essays were absolute torture.
It's so much better to learn that skill early.

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