Learning “Computer”: A Task for the Age(d)?

My mother, 87, is more proficient that most users her age– undoubtedly because in her son-in-law and granddaughter are software engineers, her son is highly regarded in the computer systems security industry, and her daughter–me– has been involved in internet culture and education for decades. Still, she scolded me the other day that it is more difficult for older people to learn “computer.” Although I […]

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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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Beliefs for Integrating Technology into the English Language Arts Classroom

On a rainy, chilly Friday afternoon, I attended the ORATE (Oregon Association of Teacher Educators), where I gave an overview of NCTE’s (National Council of Teachers of English) recently published position statement, Beliefs for Integrating Technology into the English Language Arts Classroom. The slides from the presentation are below; as of this posting, all the active links are accurate.  

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Composing vs. “Digital Writing”

I’ve had a couple of crappy days this week, so when it looked like things might be easing last night, I found myself sitting at my desk, itching to make something. Let me be more specific. I found myself craving the experience of being immersed in the process of creating something. Of composing. It used to be that I would turn to writing when I […]

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Rant Alert: Problems with Internet Access Are Mental Too

I was in a meeting today about a youth program I’m helping develop. I needed to take some notes, so I pulled out my phone, brought up my favorite note-taking app, and starting typing away. Somebody leaned over and smirked, “That’s right, practice being a role model for the kids.” I went from calm to infuriated in about two seconds. I had to leave the meeting […]

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4 Lessons from the 3rd Webstitute

Webstitute #3 at the English Companion Ning closed earlier in the evening; I thought I’d catch a few thoughts in writing before they drifted away forever. Here are four that come to mind first: Lesson #1 Check the tech!  Need I say more? Well, one addition to my post from the other day. I think the best learning in tech situations comes from posing a […]

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Me and the Boys from Bangalore

I was hours away from finishing the final qualifying paper, AKA comps, for my doctoral program. It was 10:30 p.m. and if I stuck with it, I could get the citations done before dawn. I was working on a big, graphic-heavy document and Word was acting finicky– I’d started getting messages that my disk was running out of space, which was pretty much impossible, I […]

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You Can’t Explain Mars

What if you’d been born blind, and then, through some neurological intervention, you could suddenly see? You might say, “Fabulous!” But as Oliver Sacks tells it, more often than not, the newly sighted person isn’t sure the change is such a good thing. Sacks, a neurosurgeon who writes compellingly about patients with unique neurological disorders, describes patients who ask if they can go back– to […]

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Choosing Sides

This week, I spent an afternoon in a “good” high school. I was there to show the English department some tech tools they could bring into their teaching. The afternoon started with the usual stop at the front desk to sign in. At this school though, they don’t don’t just look at your license, they take it. The young woman at the desk earnestly explained […]

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