Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Headache continues and a bleg

Although it's mostly gone, I've still got a headache that comes and goes. No amount of medicine makes it go away. At least I'm functioning. Just not at 100%. When it's around, I can't really do much. All I can think about is the pain of it. I basically will it away. Which, by the way, doesn't really work.

These things seem to be somewhat random, but of course, there is a lot going on in my life. I have a thesis to read. I'm meeting with students about final projects. This weekend, instead of relaxing and doing the Mother's Day thing, I have to grade the seniors' work. Next weekend, I'll have the rest of the student work to grade. Of course, I'm done after that, so I shouldn't complain, but I'm not a fan of steady work followed by a big. giant. pile. of work. Oh, and I'm giving a talk next week, and no, I'm not finished putting it together.

But. If you all want to contribute, I'd love to hear from you. So consider this a bleg--and yes, I'm hoping the headache story will make you feel a little sorry for me. :)

Anyway, my talk is called "Any Moron Can Write a Blog" and my basic argument is that learning to evaluate information is not as simple as forcing students away from blogs and wikipedia and that social software principles can be used to teach students about the academic research and writing process. I'm talking about the good and bad of social software and the good and bad of peer review--a process that is mysterious to most students. So, the two principles I've pulled out are connecting and transparency. If you have stories of using blogs, wikis, or other kinds of software in your teaching where students connected with each other (in a kind of informal peer review), collaborated well, or received feedback from external sources, I'd love to hear them. Also if you have thoughts about transparency in social software, I'd love to hear those too. Specific examples of assignments are good too. It's not that I don't have this stuff lined up, but the more the better and I'm a big fan of diversity.