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Weekend Reading: End of Pokemon Summer

With the close of summer comes the end of easy Pokemon hunting on campus: the imminent arrival of students means that gyms professors like me have been momentarily capturing will soon be dominated by high-level dragons. As you prepare for the oncoming semester, here are a few weekend reads:

Celeste Tuong Vy recently shared her job talk on digital humanities and class design, It’s great for both the insights and the model of a job talk:

I’d like to reiterate the value of making explicit research and teaching practices. Revealing the intellectual choices behind different uses of technology opens spaces for engaging and interrogating the places where education and technology meet. That engagement by teachers and learners of all stripes is critical for supporting creative and rigorous intellectual work in the future.

For a little pop tech history, Lance Ulanoff has a good overview on Mashable of the history of the GIF. With reaction GIFs moving from Tumblr to Twitter and beyond, this is fun context for a small but important internet format:

There are a number of what-ifs in the history of the GIF. What if, Price asks, the iPhone had supported Adobe Flash when it first launched? Would GIFs have survived? What comes after GIFs? Are GIFs so malleable that they will survive as a sub-language of the internet, social commentary and conversation indefinitely? Maybe that’s not the point. GIF is a technology, and like any technology, it will be improved and updated or it may someday die.

Eddie Cue and Craig Federighi of Apple were recently interviewed by Rick Tetzeli of Fast Company about the failure of Apple Maps. It includes some great discussion of the importance of learning from mistakes:

Maps presented us with some relatively new challenges, where we needed to develop competencies that we initially didn’t appreciate, areas where we needed some depth, where we needed to take a new approach. We had great approaches for some of the other problems we’d been solving, but this one had some characteristics that meant we had to take some different approaches. So we had to ask: What do we have to learn?

Jeffrey McClurken addresses the ongoing debate over technology in the classroom with a piece “On Not Banning Laptops in the Classroom”:

We should be working with students to meaningfully incorporate these devices into their learning.  I have no doubt that adding devices that students use in a wide variety of non-scholarly ways outside of class without attempts to integrate them into classes or to teach students to use those devices in academic ways risks ineffective uses of them.  I have plenty of conversations with students about how to take notes already. Most of the time their problem isn’t which device (pencil, laptop, phone, quill) they use to take those notes, but how to take them and how to use them to learn based on their own experiences, learning styles, and discipline.

There are many important conversations coming out of the 2016 Digital Pedagogy Lab Institute this week. A good place to start is Chris Friend’s great piece on “Finding Our Tribes:”

The afternoon Virtually Connecting session with Tressie and Cathy N. Davidson discussed approaches to forming effective, connected online communities in graduate programs. Across the board, people worked to connect themselves with their resources both online and on ground.In many ways, the on-ground participants of this year’s DPLI took the first steps toward creating what Tressie called an “Information Underground Railroad” that can ultimately connect marginalized students with institutional resources.

In other exciting news from this week, the MLA and Columbia University Libraries announced they’ve received a NEH Digital Humanities Implementation Grant to build on the MLA Commons foundation towards an interdisciplinary open-access repository for the humanities, CORE.

What were your favorite reads this week? Share them in the comments!

[CC-licensed Flickr photo by Summer Skyes 11]

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