A Place to Start
|Please Note: When you click the links for the articles below, you will sometimes be taken DIRECTLY to the article and can simply start reading (this means the article is OPEN ACCESS). At other times, the article has copyright protection and the link is not direct. If an article has copyright protection, you have to log in to this system to see the article. You will get a message that says: "The e-Portfolio you are trying to reach is not accessible to the public. Please login and try again." Use the small sheet of paper distributed in class with your ePortfolio username and password to gain access. It may ask you to input information as a first-time user but that should be straightforward. You will be taken to a special, protected page with many PDFs there. Choose the PDF that corresponds with your chosen author(s).|
LAST June, in an interview with Adam Bryant of The Times, Laszlo Bock, the senior vice president of people operations for Google — i.e., the guy in charge of hiring for one of the world’s most successful companies — noted that Google had determined that “G.P.A.’s are worthless as a criteria for hiring, and test scores are worthless. ... We found that they don’t predict anything.” He also noted that the “proportion of people without any college education at Google has increased over time” — now as high as 14 percent on some teams. At a time when many people are asking, “How’s my kid gonna get a job?” I thought it would be useful to visit Google and hear how Bock would answer. Please note that this is not an academic article; it represents a controversial interview that many scholars of higher education still discuss today. READ BOTH PARTS.
"Undergraduates’ Collaboration and integration of New Technologies in Higher Education: Blurring the Lines between Informal and Educational Contexts" by Swapna Kumar, Feng Liu and Erik W. Black Click here for article.
To better understand how students’ familiarity with digital media in their daily lives can be harnessed in learning environments, a survey about their informal and educational use of new technologies was administered to undergraduates in three schools at a private university in the United States. The results indicated thatundergraduates (n=282) transferred their skills in technology use for personal purposes to their higher education coursework, infusing digital technologies that were not required or used by their professors into their educational endeavours. As in prior research, respondents used new technologies and created online content more for informal purposes than for course-related activities. However, they forged a participatory and collaborative digital culture within their courses despite their professors’ scarce use of such technologies. The results suggest that further research and insight into undergraduates’ voluntary use of technology in educational contexts can contribute to the effective integration of digital media into higher education.
"Young People and Facebook: What are the Challenges to Adopting a Critical Engagement?" by Luciana Pangrazio Click here for article.
This article presents findings from a recent study into the ways young people are engaging with the social networking site Facebook. It draws on a qualitative, small-scale study with six 13 and 14 year old girls who have been using Facebook daily for two years. It aimed to explore the nature of their critical understanding of the medium in ways that have been obscured by research and popular discussion that assume a simple dichotomy between ‘digital natives’ and others. In order to analyse results, Foucault’s theory of discursive formation is used as a framework through which the motivations behind the behaviours presented might be understood. Results suggest that there are a number of factors that make critical engagement difficult in this context. First, coupling the highly visual nature of the medium with an essentially ‘invisible audience’ made participants anxious about ‘fitting in’ to the discourse, which ultimately limited the scope of their use. Second, because social networking is strongly linked with identity presentation critiquing the medium would require an analysis of personal identity. Finally, to critique the site requires the individual to stand ‘outside’ the discourse (Gee, 1991), which essentially counters the reason for using Facebook. The article concludes by making some suggestions for future educational programs that aim to develop critical engagement with social media.
"No More Digitally Challenged Liberal Arts Majors" by William Pannapacker Click here for article.
For several years now, I have been meeting with... faculty members, students, and internship directors to learn what they are hearing from employers about our students. Again and again they hear potential employers say things like, "We like liberal-arts graduates. They are curious and creative, they write well, they can do research, they are quick learners, and they are good critical thinkers." The best of them have the "ability to synthesize and distill large amounts of information." And "we especially need individuals who are good storytellers—who can convey the mission of our organization in a variety of forms." All good so far. We liberal-arts faculty members pride ourselves on graduates who have those qualities and who can do those things. But employers also have other, more specific and immediate needs: "What we really want right now is someone who can build and maintain our website and publicize our work appropriately using social media. We want graduates who can generate content, of course, but they also need some technical skills. And most of the time we can only hire one person. Do you have anyone like that?"
"Electronic Gaming and Psychosocial Adjustment" by Andrew K. Przybylski Click here for article.
The rise of electronic games has driven both concerns and hopes regarding their potential to influence young people. Existing research identifies a series of isolated positive and negative effects, yet no research to date has examined the balance of these potential effects in a representative sample of children and adolescents. The objective of this study was to explore how time spent playing electronic games accounts for significant variation in positive and negative psychosocial adjustment using a representative cohort of children aged 10 to 15 years. A large sample of children and adolescents aged 10 to 15 years completed assessments of psychosocial adjustment and reported typical daily hours spent playing electronic games. Games consistently but not robustly associated with children’s adjustment in both positive and negative ways, findings that inform policy-making as well as future avenues for research in the area. For a BBC article on this research, click here.
"Thinking about Multimodality" by Pamela Takayoshi and Cynthia Selfe Click here for article.
It is fast becoming a common place that digital composing environments are challenging writing, writing instruction, and basic understandings of the different components of the rhetorical situation (writers, readers, texts) to change. Such changes are both significant and far reaching—and they promise to be disruptive for many teachers of English composition. For many such teachers at both the secondary and collegiate levels, the texts that students have produced in response to composition assignments have remained essentially the same for the past 150 years. They consist primarily of words on a page, arranged into paragraphs. This flow of words is only occasionally interrupted by titles, headings, diagrams, or footnotes... And the papers that stu- dents submit in response to these conventional assignments have remained essentially the same: 8.5 by 11 inch pages, double-spaced, 1-inch-margins, 12 or 10 inch fonts. Thus, while time marches on outside of U.S. secondary and college classrooms, while people on the Internet are exchanging texts composed of still and moving images, animations, sounds, graphics, words, and colors, inside many of these classrooms, students are producing essays that look much the same as those produced by their parents and grandparents. Why the astonishing lack of change in both classroom assignments and student-authored writing?
"The Available Means of Persuasion: Mapping a Theory and Pedagogy of Multmodal Public Rhetoric" by David Sheridan, Jim Ridolfo, and Anthony J. Michel Click here for article.
Whether or not the Internet will facilitate the emergence ofa "sharing community" comprised of"all citizens ofthe world" remains to be seen. Equally uncertain are the limits to the possible forms that participation in this new community might take. What new types of discourses might citizens produce? What new roles might they assume? The answers to these questions are dependent, in part, on our conceptions of public rhetoric. As many have noted, the Internet and other digital technologies allow us to communicate notjust through words, but also through sounds, colors, photographs, and other semiotic resources. What uses will public rhetoric find for these new affordances? Whatcorrespondingtransforma- tions will rhetorical education need to undergo?
"Education Remix: New Media, Literacies, and the Emerging Digital Geographies" by Lalitha Vasudevan Click here for article.
This article explores instances of youth educating themselves beyond the boundaries of school through engagement with and production of “digital geographies,” or the emerging landscapes that are being produced through the confluence of new communicative practices and available media and technologies. A framework of digital geographies, which is grounded in theories of spatiality, literacies, and multimodality, is used to analyze the social media practices and multimedia artifacts produced by two court-involved youth, who are part of an ongoing, multi-year ethnography of an alternative to incarceration program. Attention to digital geographies, and attendant communicative practices, can yield important insights about education beyond the school walls. The conclusion addresses the implications of this research for meaningful educational contexts for adolescents’ literacies and how learning might be conceptualized and designed within school.