My Teacher Is an App.

By karlfornes | Filed in blog prompts, in the news

Each fall semester, I teach an online section of English 101; as a result, I’ve developed some pretty strong feelings about online teaching and learning. Regardless of my opinions, the trend toward online classes is something future teachers should watch very closely.

In a radical rethinking of what it means to go to school, states and districts nationwide are launching online public schools that let students from kindergarten to 12th grade take some—or all—of their classes from their bedrooms, living rooms and kitchens. Other states and districts are bringing students into brick-and-mortar schools for instruction that is largely computer-based and self-directed.

via Online Education: My Teacher Is an App – WSJ.com.

 



I won’t get on my high horse here, but, as Will Richardson points out, the Wall Street Journal has invested in companies that provide online instruction that many public school districts are using to outsource instruction.

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Technology and Teaching Writing

By karlfornes | Filed in blog prompts

I thought I would copy and paste the links to this week’s articles and the blog prompt in a separate post.

Taken together, both sets of readings seem completely contradictory. Upon closer inspection, however, one can identify some common assumptions. Regardless, what do you think? What effect has technology had on the way we read and write? How? Why? What should be done about it? If you plan to teach, what will you do about it?

image by rogersmj (contact)

 

 

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In “The Composing Behaviors of One— and Multi-Draft Writers,” Muriel Harris notes some of the essential differences between how different people approach writing tasks, especially in terms of how they respond to multiple options, react to a sense of closure, develop an orientation for their prose, etc. How would you describe your approach to writing? Are you more of a single draft or a multiple draft writer? Which specific strategies discussed by Lindemann are useful (or not) to you as you draft?

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“Where’d You Learn All Those Words?!”

By karlfornes | Filed in blog prompts

The Coronet Instructional films of the late 1940’s and early 1950’s provide hours of fun and chuckles, if only because they seem so innocently old fashioned.

Build Your Vocabulary focuses specifically on vocabulary, but includes some excellent advice concerning audience and purpose. I’m equally impressed with how Mr Willis actually revises his statements before the West Side Civic Association rather than simply editing his work.


Build Your Vocabulary : Coronet Instructional Films : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive.

As teachers, we talk and we talk and we talk about how students should revise their work beyond mere editing. Nevertheless, very rarely do students engage in the sort of depth necessary when revising. What do you plan to do to encourage actual revision, rather then mere editing, in your classroom?

By the way, if you’re interested in the Coronet Instructional Films, you will want to check their social etiquette films, especially, Are You Popular?.

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Stop! Grammar Time!

By karlfornes | Filed in lectures



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In celebration of the National Day On Writing, the National Writing Project is asking folks why they write. Their answers are compiled on the web site below.

Writing has been fundamental to human civilization since the first hieroglyphs, and it becomes more important everyday in our world that streams with emails, text messages, tweets, and blog posts. We are all writers, yet the why of writing is a topic of continual exploration.

via Why I Write: A Celebration of the National Day on Writing – National Writing Project.

Why do you write?

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Watch Your Punctuation, For Your Own Good.

By karlfornes | Filed in diversions

I stumbled across this little email from a while back. Frankly, I find it a little on the silly side and cannot ignore some of the more obvious errors; that said, I guess it does show how punctuation can affect meaning.

Dear John:
I want a man who knows what love is all about. You are generous, kind, thoughtful. People who are not like you admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me for other men. I yearn for you. I have no feelings whatsoever when we’re apart. I can be forever happy –will you let me be yours?
Gloria

Dear John:
I want a man who knows what love is. All about you are generous, kind, thoughtful people, who are not like you. Admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me. For other men, I yearn. For you, I have no feelings whatsoever. When we’re apart, I can be forever happy. Will you let me be?
yours,
Gloria

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So, You Wanna Be a Grammar Nazi, Eh?

By karlfornes | Filed in blog prompts

Almost every time I introduce myself to someone new and they ask what I do, I get the obligatory, “well, I guess I better watch my grammar . . . har dee har har.” Ha, bleepin’ Ha! I get it! You’re gonna watch your grammar because I’m an English teacher and lead such a boring and uneventful life that all I do with my time is correct other people. That’s so funny; I’m glad you’re so impressed with yourself.

To be honest, the whole process is so predictable and insulting I occasionally try to avoid telling people my occupation.

Thus, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I get frustrated with English teachers and English teacher wannabes wandering around correcting everyone’s English. Perhaps that frustration explains why I enjoy this video so much.


On the other hand, perhaps it is my job to protect the English language from the sort of misuse that makes communicating difficult. I’m just not sure how to do so without sounding like a pompous, self-important ass or, worse yet, a boring, nitpicking lout. Any thoughts?

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When we discuss how we perceive the world around us, we often note how the language we use to describe that world shapes our perception. Here are some words from other languages that we do not have in English.

 

Fremdschämen (German); Myötähäpeä (Finnish)
The kindler, gentler cousins of Schadenfreude, both these words mean something akin to “vicarious embarrassment.” Or, in other words, that-feeling-you-get-when-you-watch-Meet the Parents.

Cafune (Brazilian Portuguese)
Leave it to the Brazilians to come up with a word for “tenderly running your fingers through your lover’s hair.”

Rhwe (Tsonga, South Africa)

College kids, relax. There’s actually a word for “to sleep on the floor without a mat, while drunk and naked.”

via mental_floss Blog » 14 More Wonderful Words With No English Equivalent.

See also Fifteen Wonderful Words with no English Equivalent

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Perception and Cognition

By karlfornes | Filed in lectures

I slapped together this Prezi for our discussion of perception and cognition.

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