Week 9-Copyright

At the moment I feel like I would be alright with sharing my work openly with people. However, I’m not profiting off of anything I’m working on at the moment anyway.  I’m also not really working on a project that I think could be monetized. To be honest, I don’t know if I’m working on anything that anyone would want to use for any reason. Maybe if I were working on a project that was going to be my main source of income, or that I should be receiving royalties for in the future I would feel differently. After writing this paragraph, I realize that I have no idea how I feel about people using my work because I don’t really have work people would want to use.

As far as using copyrighted work, if you are using it for school and not making a profit it should be fair game, like scanning a passage from a book. The practices by some of the academic publishing companies feel slimy. Text books are too expensive especially if you only need one chapter. The one article talked about the teacher who would just omit works she couldn’t get for free because people wanted too much money for permission. Maybe they could ask for less money for the permission. That might help everyone.

Week 8: Final Project Proposal

When teaching proper citation practices in the college composition classroom the idea of common knowledge generates more questions and confusion than any other single aspect. The notion of what constitutes common knowledge is ambiguous, and in many ways subjective. Common knowledge in a field such as mechanical engineering may not be common knowledge at all to a biology professor, or the english professor the essay is being written for.

For my project I want to create a lesson which can be taught in the college composition classroom to show students the subjective nature of what constitutes common knowledge. The goal for this lesson is to help students think critically about their citation practices and how they will navigate the minefield of citations throughout their academic careers.

The lesson will: 1) contain the definition of common knowledge and how that relates to MLA citation rules, 2) cover examples of the subjective nature of what constitutes common knowledge compared to information that needs to be cited, 3) briefly cover the consequences of both citing information that does not need to be cited, and the consequences of failing to cite information that does need to be cited, and 4) offer advice on how to navigate this dilemma as the student progresses throughout their academic careers.

Citation practices are a concern of graduate students in the classroom as a student, as a TA, and as an instructor of record. Knowing how to properly cite as a student is a crucial part of the writing process when writing about research; whether it is for a single class, or in a thesis or dissertation. TAs, from what I understand, often have to grade papers and projects and therefore could benefit from a lesson on common knowledge and how it relates to proper citation practices. In the same way those graduate students who are instructors of record will also benefit from such a lesson in that they may be responsible for teaching proper citation, and for grading the papers that result from those lessons.

Week 7: Authorship

I have not yet encountered much controversy about authorship within my department. Maybe it is in part because I’m in the humanities and many of the papers that are published are not large scale research projects that include multiple researchers from a lab.

Even when I’m researching, I don’t often come across an article that has more than one author. It happens occasionally, but probably less than 1 out of 10 times. Sometimes there are books that are authored by more than one person, but even these are often split up by chapters with individuals writing chapters for the books.

Maybe there could be conflicts with thesis advisors wanting some credit if the thesis is going to be published, but as I said I have not encountered anything like this, or even heard about it.

Week 6: Citations

I haven’t tried using too many different citations programs. The one that I have used is Mendeley. I can’t say that I’m terribly impressed. It’s not that it doesn’t work well, because it does exactly what it says it does. I just think that it takes more time to use the program than to just create the works cited citations, and type in the in text citations. I think making the extra clicks to insert an in text citation not only wastes time, but also stops your train of thought and hinders the writing process.

Citation formats also are updating fairly frequently, and citation generators aren’t always current with the updated formats. For example. Last year MLA updated its format to what it called MLA 8. It took the citation generators months to provide an update that produced MLA instead of MLA 7. Even after that update came out, you would often have to double check the citations generated to ensure they were in the MLA 8  format and not 7.

For the most part, I stay away from citation generators as much as possible. I consult Purdue OWL’s style guide to ensure that my citations are correct. I find it just as easy to follow their template, as it is to type in every bit of info into a generator. Or going through and double checking that the info the generator retrieved was the correct info. (I’ve also gotten burned there. Trusting a generator blindly to find the author… dumb on my part).

I’m interested to know how other people go about getting their citations.

Week 5: The Lab

I thought the lab was a super cool idea. It’s pretty much an educational choose your own adventure story. I appreciated the multi-modal experience, and getting to experience the character’s stories I feel will have a longer lasting effect than if we had simply been lectured at, or if it had been presented as dully as that other video with the two kids from A&M.

I was not expecting it to take as long as it did, however. I’m wondering if a text version would produce a similar experience to the video. The choose your own adventure part could remain, but you could probably read through it much faster than it took to watch. I think the first story line alone took almost an hour to navigate.

Getting to see the process from a couple of points of view was quite helpful. There are a lot of people involved in the process, and they all had their own motivations. It can help to contextualize the complexity of each individual situation, and can help you sympathize with their individual decisions.

I’m wondering, though, what carryover it will have into the real world. Will this video deter people from cheating or falsifying data? It almost seemed like there were too many points that could have resulted in him getting a way with it.

Idiot with the Drill

I must be a “schooler” because the parable at the beginning of Papert’s chapter is ridiculous.

I think even worse how pretentiously he presents that there’s pushback against the idea that teachers shouldn’t be able to recognize the future classroom. Of course there is. Talking about the surgical theater brings up visions of a plethora of electronics all used to monitor different vital signs. We don’t need a pulse oximeter in the classroom to ensure that we are safe. Most people don’t need an oxygen mask. No one needs to be under constant supervision because they have been sedated with a drug the potentially could stop their heart. The comparison intentionally leads people in the wrong direction and then tries to use their obvious confusion at why the classroom would ever need to look like a surgical theater to make a clarion call for megachange.

This chapter was written in 1992, why would the classroom need to change so radically that teachers from 100 years before wouldn’t understand what was going on? Video games can be a great teaching tool, but are they necessary to create most of the change he was talking about? We talked in class two weeks ago, about a group of students that were taken outside and asked to walk around barefoot in order to facilitate a more student directed learning while emphasizing critical thinking skills. Is he expecting the classroom to look more like the matrix where we can plug in and experience new things we otherwise never could?  How much of a role does technology need to play in changing the philosophy of the education system?

Again, maybe my schooler mentality is obstructing my ability to see the future of the machine.

More to the point, however, why is making bad comparison something we should avoid? Example: me. I’m writing this blog post. We had two really good readings about finding your teaching self, and I’m stuck on this terrible parable. I’m not even talking about the rest of the chapter the bad parable came from.

Maybe it’s a flaw of mine, I should be able to look past the parable to see the bigger picture, right? Perhaps, but story telling is a powerful teaching tool. If you haven’t read some of the research on how well humans learn through story telling it’s pretty interesting. The basic gist of it is that stories help us experience things, not just hear and process. Stories stick with us longer. They incorporate more parts of our brain than when receiving facts. They have been a part of human existence probably from its beginning. Keep in mind the earliest cave paintings are more than 40,000 years old. We are hardwired to listen and relate to stories. I’m sure this is why storytelling was listed as something lectures are good for a few weeks back.

Back to Papert though. If the megachange needs to occur in the mindset of educators and the basic philosophies of the education system. The focus of the parable shouldn’t be on technological tools. Because that’s all they are… tools. And tools are only as proficient and creative as the craftsman that holds them. If the craftsman has new tools, but their mindset, philosophy, and creativity hasn’t evolved with the tool then the tool won’t be used to its full potential anyway.

Let’s end with a story about a man provided with the technology that could change they way he does his job. It’s called. Idiot with the Drill.