Where Do We Learn?

Reflecting on teaching this semester and what I’ve learned throughout my life, a simple question came to mind: where do we learn? The quick answer may be school. But, it’s so much broader than school. While, globally networked learning and COIL (Collaboration Online International Learning) are interesting, what about all of the learning that takes place outside of the classroom?

Besides school, I think of all the things I learned from my mom. Things like balancing a budget, growing food in a garden, helping neighbors, and how to be a decent person. Boy Scouts played a big role in my life and I learned about teamwork, about treating the environment with respect, how to make a fire, how to rescue someone who’s drowning, and what it means to be a leader. Through the various jobs I worked, I learned how to cook and I think, most importantly, I learned about people. I met people whom I normally would not have and part of their experiences washed over me. I worked with line cooks from Alaska, librarians, and migrant workers in vineyards. Another source of learning was books. I mainly read fiction, but I feel like I began to understand how fiction worked. Beyond those mechanics, I lived through characters’ experiences, visited places far beyond Michigan, and encountered situations unlike my own.

That question, where do we learn, came to mind because I was thinking of the lives of my students outside of the classroom. What experiences are shaping or have shaped their knowledge? How does learning continue after they graduate? What will be the lessons that they carry with them? What will they remember and where did they learn it?

If you have ideas or more questions, please use the comments below. Where are the places in which you learned and what did you learn there?

Visualizing Cloud Atlas: A Graph of Storytelling

This is short and flawed, but I’m using it for a demo in class. I mapped a few a things from Cloud Atlas and this was the most interesting aspect that popped into view. Google Fusion Tables have been updated to a new look, so you have to revert back to the “Classic Look” to access the network graph feature.

The graph below shows which character told whom their story and it illustrates the snaking narrative of the novel.

Video: Teaching with Twitter – Pedagogy & Practice

In this video, Dr. Robert Williamson, Jr. (@rwilliamsonjr) of Hendrix College talks about how he teaches with Twitter.

The video was created from a Google Hangout, Social Media in the Classroom: Extending the Learning Community, between Dr. Robert Williamson, Jr. and Dr. Amanda Hagood (@ACSLearning) as part of the Associated Colleges of the South’s Blended Learning Collaboration.


We’re Not Teaching the Next Generation of Digital Humanists

I’m looking forward to a moment in the future. That moment is when the word “digital” is dropped from “digital humanities.” This semester I’m teaching an introductory digital humanities course to undergraduates at Hendrix College and one thing we’re doing is teleconferencing with DH scholars across the country.

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TEI encoding of Bob Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues”

This week in class I’m teaching my students about the Text Encoding Initiative and how to use TEI. One example I like to use is this video produced by  Cara Leitch, Dot Porter, Liam Sherriff, and Karin Armstrong. Unfortunately, it’s down on YouTube, so I’m sharing the video that’s published on the Internet Archive’s site. (Thanks Internet Archive!)


Internet Applications Systems Specialist at University of Illinois Library

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign seeks an enthusiastic, collaborative, and experienced professional to serve as the University Library’s Internet Applications Systems Specialist. The individual in this position will be a key contributor to the access and functionality of the University Library webpages and related internet applications. This position contributes to strategic, technological, and policy decisions related to web management. This position requires the ability to exercise judgment, perform self-directed work, and provide guidance to other web team members.

Working under the direction of the Library Technical Architect for Web Content, the person in this position also provides the Library with the expertise and resources to work on enhancements and support of our Web Content Management Systems (CMS), including OpenCMS and Drupal.
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