Grab-bag

An interesting grab bag of links and thoughts from a morning of blog surfing:Interesting quote about authorship as the “unfolding action of a discourse” posted by Clancy Ratliff in an abstract she’s submitting to a conference:

Lunsford (1999) takes up these critiques of authorship and calls for new ways of thinking “a view of agency as residing in what Susan West defines as the “unfolding action of a discourse; in the knowing and telling of the attentive rhetor/responder rather than in static original ideas” (as cited in Lunsford, 1999, p. 185-186). Lunsford argues for “owning up” rather than owning, agency in “answerability,” and a view of self as always in relation to others.This presenter will bring these ideas to bear on weblogging communities and practices.

Dana Boyd posts about a young Live Journal user being visited by the secret service after posting a satirical anti-Bush post. anniesj, the LJ user posts a very detailed a thoughtful description of the incident on her journal page.It appears that she was dobbed into the FBI by another Live Journal user. So much for the solidarity of the blogsphere.Boyd goes on to note the difficulties in notions such as sousveillance (surveillance from below):

People often ask me why i’m opposed to sousveillance. I believe that giving everyone the right to surveillance will not challenge those in power who have such ability. I believe that it will legitimize them. Furthermore, i believe that people will use the power of surveillance to maintain the status quo. Worse, i believe that it will be used to create more hate, distrust and fear. Sousveillance in the hands of the masses will not be used to challenge authority because most people believe in the legitimacy of that authority, whether it be corporations or the government.

Good post on the need for “conceptual clarification” in fields like education by Sebastian Fiedler at seblogging:

In my humble opinion fields that deal with human affairs like education, often benefit more from thorough conceptual analysis than empirical studies, especially if the latter are simply trying to simulate natural science methodology.

The push for empirical evaluation of teaching and learning seems to be matched by what Fiedler would call foggy concepts. The classic case is the deep versus surface learning model that is supposedly validated by years of study. Yet I think if you analyse a lot of the stuff based on this concept it translates to nothing more than foggy good versus foggy bad learning.If you look at the basic attributes of the model as presented in tables like this one you will see that it is a model which is neither conceptually cohesive or pedagogically useful. The attributes on both sides of the table move dramatically from strategic learning choices (memorisation of facts/looking for patterns) to underlying attitudes (see little relevance in course/becoming interested in course). It’s a psychological model that has no material basis and doesn’t stop to ask what else might be going on in student’s lives that cause them to see/look for relevance/interest in their courses (for example!)Stephen Downes points to this brilliant journalism education project. I-elect is an integrated web/print/broadcast election coverage project put together by the journalism students at University of Illinois. What makes it particularly interesting is that the election is covered from the point of view of college students and it includes a survey commissioned by the team.

I-ELECT is a multimedia political reporting project in conjunction with the University of Illinois College of Communications. The project was undertaken by students in a journalism class and has been overseen by Department of Journalism faculty.The group of students organized in a newsroom to produce print, online and broadcast products. The group also conducted a scientific survey to drive its reporting. The idea behind the project for students practicing journalism convergence, a skill that is becoming more necessary by the day. The Daily Illini, WPGU-FM 107.1, WILL-AM 580 and others have assisted with the project.

This seems to me to be a really interesting journalism education project because it involves- practical implementation of skills learned- it is student self directed- the reporting is to a specific audience- it is produced through multimedia- it uses a range of different journalism tools from poll data to human interest stories- it aims to have real-time impact through distribution in the university community- it could then become a model for reflective self evaluation and theory/practice discussions

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