Oregon State University|blogs.oregonstate.edu

Category: LOC5 Tools & Resources

Getting Together On Going On

  December 7th, 2011

I just came across this new social network, designed specifically for students and teachers, for interacting “after class’.

http://www.goingon.com/

and an interview with the networks creator, ceo Jon Corshen.

http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/

 

Enjoy!

Beverly Nelson

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A Picture’s Worth A Thousand Words (which means less writing I have to do for the class!)

  October 24th, 2011

Working in East Hampton Studio, Jackson Pollock, 1951, An ARTstor image, copyright protected.

Like others have mentioned in the last several posts, I was thrilled and surprised with the outcome of the webquest activity. I went through all the links shared in the assignment directions and took notes whenever I found something I thought could be useful to students in my course (Writing Art Criticism). Students in my classes cover a broad range: seniors majoring in art and students from other departments that haven’t a clue; those who have a proclivity towards writing and those who (as Sara pointed out) haven’t even had the college’s basic writing course. One thing I can say though, is I how surprised I’ve been by everyone’s enthusiasm to learn about art, either to add to what they’re already familiar with or to brave what seems completely foreign to them.

Basic writing skills and art history aren’t part of the teaching goals in this course but the broad range of students required that I be ready to offer help to those who are struggling. The easiest way to do that was to begin collecting links to online sources, both about art and writing. Some are from the sites mentioned in our assignment. This assignment gave me even more sources from which to gather content materials.

So far, the most common problem with their writing is passive sentences, descriptive details, and confidence. Here are some of the links I found:

Names of colors – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_colors

Names of  emotions -  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_emotions

Descriptive Vocabulary Help – http://www.enhancemyvocabulary.com/word-pairs.html

Action Verbs (and some explain passive vs. active) – http://www.cvisual.com/film-techniques/writer-action-verb-list.asp http://www.examples-help.org.uk/parts-of-speech/action-verbs.htm

In an effort to level the playing field for students, I keep a collection of online resources in addition to course work to help those who aren’t as familiar with art as others. As things come up in a discussion or while going over their papers, I suggest they check out specific links in the folder. Non-art students are sometimes intimidated by art, so I spend the first 3 weeks doing quick short assignments for the reason (among others) that it gives me opportunities to calm their fears.  Here are some of the links I found, both from this assignment and some I already had before. If anyone is interested in a full list, let me know and I’ll send.

Note: I’m trying to embed the videos, but, in case I fail, I’m giving you the links too.

TED: I came up with some excellent treasures! I consider these exceptionally good for several reasons: it’s the artist themselves talking about their work in a relaxed friendly way, they all have a quirky story, and they only last 15 minutes each!

[ted id=1222]  http://www.ted.com/talks/kate_hartman_the_art_of_wearable_communication.html

This is also from TED. At times, when a student is from another field I send them a link to an artist who is working in that field. People still only see art in the traditional mediums (painting, sculpting, architecture…) I am very excited to find this gem tonight.

[ted id=1252]  http://www.ted.com/talks/nathalie_miebach.html

[ted id=32]  http://www.ted.com/talks/vik_muniz_makes_art_with_wire_sugar.html

 

These were links from surfing Merlot.org. I have access to ARTstor, but my students don’t. I was happy to find out that Valley Library has amazing art image resources for both me and students, then I found a couple more.

World Images Kiosk  http://worldart.sjsu.edu/

Web Gallery: http://www.wga.hu/index.html When you go to many of the images on this site, there is often music playing from the same time period. Besides that (as if that weren’t enough), it has the option “dual mode” for viewing two works side-by-side. This was the grandest and most useful discovery I made from this assignment!

Kahn Academy has an extensive collection of Art History videos, but the quality is amateur from the ones I saw. I could see potential for using it to create my own, or as an assignment for students. While I’m on the subject of creating my own: it was useful to see the various ways other educators are using Flickr.

Youtube Edu: I’ve searched through it before and, like before, didn’t find anything that I liked.

I’m interested in Almagest but couldn’t figure out how to get to the non-member material. Later will try some more.

I have found a lot of great material on Youtube by typing in an artist’s name or title. Here’s some I use a lot:

Ways of Seeing, John Berger, the entire documentary in  several parts: http://youtu.be/LnfB-pUm3eI (I warn students that this is an older film and Berger looks like the hippie Marxist that he still his. The content is valuable and worth helping them look past this.

Artists John Cage, Nam June Paik, and Joseph Beuys. http://youtu.be/Pbgr74yNM7M

New York art critic, Jerry Saltz (he also has a facebook page where he converses with anyone about art regularly and I share that also with students). http://youtu.be/cxmMxi-lelg

Art Fag City is an online journal http://www.artfagcity.com/ and also produces short films about artists for Youtube  http://youtu.be/lhMdl0vEczo. A student shared this with the class a couple terms ago. It was a great find! I like that the style of filming is up with the times and the artists tell their own stories, and they’re all less than 4 minutes long but packed with interesting useful information. Students are writing about contemporary artists so this is a great source for them to choose one they find interesting.

I think I inadvertently saved the best till last: the incomparable Ubu Web, created by Kenneth Goldsmith, houses the largest collection of avant garde sound, film, video, and writing on the web.

Vito Acconci, performance artist, Centers http://www.ubuweb.com/film/acconci_centers.html

Lovely film by William Kentridge blending film, performance art, visual art, and opera. http://www.ubu.com/film/kentridge_repeat.html

Ubu also has a list of unique links. This is an art site for Middle Eastern Bedoun culture. http://www.bidoun.org/

As I return to this now, I realize that the narration makes it a great discussion group item. Until now, I haven’t considered using media as prompters for discourse.  Yoko Ono’s Cut Piece http://youtu.be/Zfe2qhI5Ix4

Art21 is a series made for educational purposes, organized by themes and names,  completely accessible on Youtube. They also have teaching aids that accompany the videos. I don’t use it much because after awhile they all look generic, a bit too composed, over worked, or something along those lines. But I give the link to the students to peruse. http://youtu.be/s1bBJsOOvTI

Guerilla Girls    http://youtu.be/33DXdBHaokw

Their book mentions a lot of artists and works but for many there’s no image provided. I am putting together a folder that will have at least one work by all the artists mentioned to give them a visual of what the book is talking about.

I’ll skip telling you how much I get out of NPR, all the online museums links I use. But here’s one more just for fun that I found at “clipsforclass.com” while doing the assignment. (you have to scroll down to the M. C. Escher film. Enjoy!)  http://clipsforclass.com/sandp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Scoring with online content

  October 20th, 2011

Right away I was skeptical about finding online content that is really relevant to my Environmental Law class. Of course, there are so many things about the environment out there, but it sounded like a bit of a long shot to find really targeted and effective content that speaks to the narrow topics in class, specifically about law or policy (not just cool science) that is at a level appropriate for undergrads. Or would take a long time to sift out, and heaven knows that I just don’t have the time.

I am familiar with TED content from personal use, so my first step was to browse the “Environment” tagged videos. Most were too science and application oriented for my Environmental Law class, but I came across a TED debate on nuclear energy right pretty quickly (http://www.ted.com/talks/debate_does_the_world_need_nuclear_energy.html).

Using outside content is helpful because (a) Some people (much smarter than me) have thought very hard about these issues and can say it faster and better than I can, and (b) I can’t provide a debate in my class when it’s just me! Giving them a different perspective of both content AND process is incredibly valuable. Especially when we are dealing with highly controversial issues, such as whether we should be encouraging expanded use of nuclear power.

The web is an amazing resource, but as I get older I notice that I am now teaching people who have only known on-demand media and I realize how much it has actually narrowed our world in some senses. We all have the ability to search out the material that confirms our own perspective, and we don’t have the patience to sit through the material that challenges our perspectives. I think that dynamic is reflected in our highly polarized society, and it is only going to get worse. With a resource like a 20-minute TED debate, we MUST listen to both sides, and if I can get my students to even look at the other side of a debate, I consider that a hit. If they took the steps to seek out more information about the other side, that is a home-run. So maybe I should do a little before and after essay with this—a paragraph about your opinion on the use of nuclear energy before watching the debate, then a paragraph arguing the other side after watching the debate!

One question that I am thinking about as I continue to seek out media: Is it credible to pull media primarily from 1 resource, like TED or another site? Or should I make a concerted effort to bring in resources from different places? And how much?

Christy Anderson Brekken

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Adventures in Zunal Land

  October 18th, 2011

Ok, I’ll admit up front that I did not devote what one could call ‘quality’ time to the webquest assignment involving zunal.com. That is, unless keeping one eye on the monitor and one eye on my son’s homework can be called ‘quality’. But hey, such is life. Something tells me many others out there deal with these same quality issues.

In a way, restricting the activity to simple searches on a handful of search engines was beneficial. It revealed how restrictive it is to use only general words or terms. In my case, I used the word wilderness, or term wilderness management. In future searches, I would be a bit more specific about the topic I’m seeking help with. Rather than simply using wilderness, I’ll try wilderness recreation, wilderness and fire management, or something similar.

I used four search engines: Ted.com, Merlot.org, YouTube Edu, and Science Daily. When entering the term wilderness management, only one of the four came up empty:

merlot.org result for ‘wilderness management’

Success with the other engines varied. The best result was with Science Daily:

sciencedaily.com result for 'wilderness management'

I was reminded of how liberally the word ‘wilderness’ is used in science and natural resource circles. It is seemingly used to refer to a variety of lands containing some type of wild character. Even in the Science Daily reference, I am not convinced that this technology would actually be used in wilderness areas. The Wilderness Act of 1964 mandates that no mechanized use be allowed in wilderness areas. There are caveats of course, but I don’t believe this is the case with the technology referenced by Science Daily.

Overall, though my search results this time around were less than stellar, I the exercise opened my eyes to some new sources of information. I imagine that I will use zunal.com again, or simply utilize one of the engines contained within. Of course, it pays to enter the activity with a specific, focused topic in mind. Otherwise, time slips away (and leaves you with nothing mister, but…)

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On the Advantages of Following the Links

  October 17th, 2011

In today’s technological societies the Internet prevails.  Almost every email, website, or file contains links to the world wide web that may supply some extra information, clarify an issue, suggest an interesting sidebar on a topic you’re studying… or contaminate your computer with a virus. So one has to follow the links carefully.

I have been greatly pleased with following the links of the webquest activity assigned for our online development class.  Having done my grading for today, I decided that I could have a little fun checking out the potential help for creating my class content.  I dismissed many of the videos from Ted as a bit too socially conventional for my courses, lost patience with sociology.org, but was pleased beyond belief with what following the links allowed me to discover.

One of the websites, Merlot (I feel compelled to explain that the acronym stands for Media Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching), sported clear discipline categories, so I clicked on Sociology and dug in.  I looked at the couple of quizzes, and then a tutorial called Science and Race: Concept and Category peaked my interest since I was looking for a good presentation on racism for my Social Problems class.  I clicked…

…I have to admit, I did not finish this activity in one sitting. As I went through the tutorial, I was clicking on the signs on the slides – letter I for information that appeared on a slide, a little globe for a link outside the tutorial – and I clicked – and made it to this activity.

If you are interested in what I have found, try it out for yourself, and prepare for a challenge – this is an activity that is impossible to get right! At least, I think so.  I bet it could be pretty fun for the students to start from trying to assign a face to a census category and end up finding out about the social construction of race and the realities of racism.  I could not believe I found an activity that is so perfectly aligned with the content of my course – I even have a reading on the history of the census that my students read already. With this activity, I am sure, I will get responses for the topic that are much more alive. I can’t wait.

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Blog Example

  October 10th, 2011

Hi, I thought this older blog I used to use would be helpful to those wondering what might be the differences or possibilities with using a blog. This was designed for one student in one of my first terms teaching the class, who told me at the end of the second week that she was “legally blind”. I was completely lost as to how to help her with a course that relied in visual information, but I quickly adjusted not only the material and the assignments, but also my idea of what “viewing art” can be. So, most of the material on here is me reading all the books and articles.

The mp3′s in the posts has since been disabled and I didn’t think it necessary to fix for the purposes of your viewing. It’s pretty much just adding it in like a picture. What I was excited to discover were the widgets “boxnet”, the videos, and the widget at the top which is already in Blogger’s editing to add if you want. The videos are there also through Blogger’s editing. Best way to see inside the editing process and the choices you’d have would be to set up an account.
Last I checked (a year ago when I set up this blog), WordPress didn’t have the videos or slideshow options, but I believe there’s enough online to find a free app that has an “embed” code like Boxnet has.

Anyway…sorry to give you more to read. Here ya go!
http://writingarthistory.blogspot.com/

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Mind the learning gap

  October 9th, 2011

I have my teaching gig by way of my law degree. My career goal was always to pursue farm, food and environmental policy issues, so I feel right at home in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics. Policy choices and legal problems are inextricably intertwined, so I love thinking about the material. My ultimate goal is to teach my students the process of policy and legal analysis and problem solving.

The traditional law school teaching method is the “Socratic Method,” where professors question students on the cases that we read for homework, but rarely ever make a statement of fact or law in class. As law students, we were most frustrated with our Constitutional Law professor, who would only make non-committal whines and squeaks in response to student answers, so we couldn’t even tell if a fellow student was correctly answering the question!

But by the end of the class, I found that I learned a tremendous amount from that professor because I was challenged to evaluate the answers for myself and check it against my own understanding of the material. We students then wrestled with the “right” answers in our own small groups by articulating the material for ourselves.

Moving from that unique educational environment, I keep in mind that I am teaching an undergraduate course, not a law school course. There is a learning gap here, both in the material, the readiness of the students, and the course environment. I try to use a “modified” Socratic Method of my own invention in my class, and use the same approach on the Discussion Board. I ask students to explain a case and respond to each other. I jump in with clarification or congratulations on a job well done, but I try to let them sort out the issues. My goal is NOT to teach them how things ARE, or SHOULD be, but to give them tools to evaluate these problems and make the arguments themselves.

Ok, so my goal is partially to teach them how things are currently done, how things ARE. We review the current status of environmental law, what the courts have said about different statutes, what it means for polluters and for people affected by pollution. But the law is ever evolving, so it means (almost) nothing to know what the law says right now. Thinking about this helps me to break down my class objectives. We have to start with recollection and comprehension. That will take a more traditional content delivery. But then we need to quickly move to the process tools of analysis, problem solving, and synthesis. Maybe even on to creation of new ideas and tools to solve legal environmental problems. I am realizing that I have been using the “objectives” already without the labels attached. I hope I can do them in a more conscious and methodological way. Now, on to the tools! How to convey this information in the online environment is my challenge.

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Ecampus and Use of Blogs

  October 5th, 2011

Hey Everyone

I haven’t read anyone else’s blog posts yet, and hope there’s not much in the way of redundancy here.

While nothing beats face to face interaction with a student, I do enjoy teaching within the online environment. One of the reasons has to do with that lack of interaction. Specifically, how to overcome it. Students can hide quite easily, and I enjoy reaching out to them via general announcements and individual emails. I’ve called students as well, which on some occasions has shocked them. For the most part, they have enjoyed this effort to welcome them and encourage their involvement.  

Coming into this training, I’ve considered myself fairly competent with regard to Blackboard navigation and overall use. I’m immediately reminded that I’ve kept things fairly simple in the online courses taught so far, which has its benefits for the student user. They don’t need to work too hard when trying to find presentations, assignments, assigned readings, etc.

On the other hand, maintaining the status quo can make things a bit stagnant, and perhaps I need to challenge myself a bit more when designing courses. There are other tools I should start to use, including blogs and journals.

Regarding those blogs,  I’m still not quite sure what the difference is between a blog and a Discussion Board Forum. I’ve definitely gotten used to using the Discussion Board for student interaction, but have a slight hunch it’s perceived as archaic by some students. Kind of like insisting on using a VCR when everyone else has moved on to streaming video. Does anyone else have an opinion on Discussion Board vs. Blog?

I plan on using blogs in the future, but am not certain if I should use it as a replacement for the Discussion Board, as a supplement, or something completely different.  Thanks all.

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Welcome, Course Developing Bloggers!

  July 29th, 2011

What are we doing? Why are we here?

Learning objectives for blog assignments in our workshop:

  • To use social media to reflect on learning and to connect with a real audience
    • Posting your blog entries is one part of what you’ll do here, but commenting on others’ posts is just as important. Who knows? You may also see comments from visiting readers, such as colleagues here at OSU, colleagues from other campuses, authors we’re discussing, or tween pop star Justin Bieber. (Well, it could happen … this is a public blog!)
  • To share artifacts created for your courses
    • Collaboration = Inspiration!
  • To learn from each other’s reflections and creations
    • Two heads are better than one!
  • To bridge the gap from this training to your classroom
    • Blogging begins during our professional development workshop and continues through your first term teaching the course. Hopefully this will help you apply the concepts we study together for the benefit of your students.

How often do you need to blog?

  • Participants will need to post three original blog entries during this six-week professional development, during weeks 1, 3, and 5. Be sure to comment on at least two of your colleagues’ posts, as well. However, you are welcome and encouraged to post and comment more often.
  • In addition, participants are asked to post at least two more times during the term they first teach the course.

What are these categories and tags all about?

  • Categories have been created for you and are based on the learning outcomes for our training. Each post you write should relate to at least one of our class categories. Placing posts within categories is an organizational strategy, but it’s also a form of metacognitive reflection.
  • Tags are up to you. Try to come up with at least three tags for each post.

How long do blog posts need to be?

  • Use as many words as you need to get your idea across. Keep in mind that blogs are not dissertations. Most blog posts are between 100 and 500 words. This one is just over 300, which makes this a good place to stop!

 

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