Technology In the Sanctuary: The Story of a Revolution

What happens to the social and cultural foundations of a traditional institution and its members when they are pushed to embrace new technologies of the internet? Or, phrased differently, when these new technologies force their way into the most sacred spaces? If I were talking to educators working to foster new mindsets, practices, and perspectives of teaching and learning, the answer most often would be, […]

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When a Project Gets Sidelined

The room buzzed with voices and movement. Students hovered in small groups around workstations, talking, pointing to the computer screens, gesturing. I had given what I thought was a simple assignment: find images that will bring to life a new layer of meaning in the poem you received at the start of class. It was one of the first classes of the semester in a […]

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I Don’t Know How To Teach Literature

No, that’s not accurate. I can sling the terms around with the best of them: irony, theme, protagonist, point of view…. More difficult, and what I’ve found myself puzzling about over the course of the past week is the question of how I would “teach” kids to tell the difference between literature and its bastard cousins, fiction, popular fiction, or young adult fiction.  One is enjoying a popular resurgence but […]

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The Doctor Is In

  On April 18, I defended my dissertation and, by day’s end, was officially declared a “doctor.” I promptly went into shock. When I encountered the image above, I laughed out loud. That’s it! I thought. Having the image may not have cured the shock, but it’s a start. As I find my feet on this post-doctoral terrain, I plan to delve into some of the ideas I […]

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Thackery in a Bunker?

NCTE 2011 may have ended on Sunday, November 20, but it’s been tumbling in my head since then. Rather than offer a blow-by-blow description of events, I want to pull together some thoughts that continue some from the post that came before this, “Missing Thackery.” I was lucky to have been invited to present on a panel with Jen Roberts and Sarah Fidelibus and coordinated by […]

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Thinking about Writing in a Digital Age

In June, Darren Draper blogged about Will Richardson’s switch from a traditional blog to Tumblr. Darren conjectured that we might be entering a new phase in educational blogging, toward platforms like Tumblr and Posterous that support shorter, more spontaneous writing. Darren wondered whether this indicates a trend away from the thoughtful, in-depth writing that has been common in traditional blogs, and whether such movement ultimately […]

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Today’s Moment of Heresy

I’m sitting under the portico on the back deck of the Truro, MA  library, watching the kids from the local day camp run relay races. It’s one of the top ten days here: pure blue sky, light breeze, endless sun. I walked for a long while on the beach this morning, to this year’s sandbar where hundreds of grey seals are resting. They make this […]

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What I’m reading (I think)

Tuesday, July 26 I’ve stolen this idea from Dacia Mitchell, a doctoral student at NYU. Sometimes it’s easy to fall into the doctoral studies bog; there’s so much reading, such a constancy of writing, thinking (agonizing) that it’s a challenge to think of blogging. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s had moments of conviction that no one wants to read stuff like this. […]

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Professional Development as High Wire Routine: The EC Ning’s Third Webstitute

Call it a hunch. With 110+ people signed up to participate in The English Companion Ning’s third Webstitute, our version of an online professional development conference, it struck me that it would be smart to just double check that the free webinar space was functioning as always. I must have known. Why else would I just roll my eyes when I saw that Elluminate, the […]

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