Kentucky FLC… Liveblogging from day 3

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Friday p.m.– Reading and Writing with Technology

Kudos once again to Mark Lauersdorf for scheduling an impressive day three of the langtech “track” of the KFLC. Today’s sessions’ themes: Technology for Literature, Culture and Linguistics

Alas…I could not attend all the sessions… but here are some notes on the ones I did attend…(note to Mark’s superiors: the room was packed by 11 a.m.)

— Visualizing Construction of Knowledge in a French Theatre Class using VUE presented by Marie Pascal Pieretti and Gabriella Frisoli, Drew University

VUE is from the Academic Technology section of the University IT department at Tufts University…VUE (from their website) creates:

“flexible tools for integrating digital resources into teaching and learning. VUE provides a visual environment for structuring, presenting, and sharing digital information. Using VUE’s concept mapping interface, faculty and students design semantic networks of digital resources drawn from digital libraries, local and remote file systems and the Web. The resulting content maps can then be viewed and exchanged online.”

Teacher’s goals for the use of this tool…To enhance understanding of complicated concepts and themes and characteristics within literary texts…visualize knowledge…retain knowledge…visualizing construction of knowledge…provides visual support to the interpretation of texts…tensions between texts…students could refine their comparisons…more sophisticated knowledge of the text… technical challenges: need to train students as to how to use the tools (classroom tutorial was only partially successful). Outcomes: overall and better retention and assimilation of material. Students were able to make connections and tensions between texts through the visual mapping tools not.

Hooray for Mark who (beat me to the punch) and asked the question: what do you suppose would happen if the students got to create the content maps (vs the teacher). The presenters assured us that this is in the works, and was one of the goals of the course, but they ran out of time during this particular implementation.

— “Multimedia Projects: New Approaches to Teaching Culture and Literature with Technology,” Felix Kronenberg, Pomona University… Student-created multimedia productions to explore language creation through multimedia… Please look at Felix’s list of Mac and PC digital storytelling software here.

Note: Felix does a series of instructional video podcasts for language technologists and they can be found here.

Of particular interest to you video game fans: the tool Machinima that takes video from virtual reality tools (World of Warcraft, SIMS, Second Life…!) and allows students to provide narrations in the target language. Hot dawg!

Felix will be joining us on an LLU show SOON!

— “Cyberspace: A New Medium As Understood Through Images, Textuality and Hypertextuality,” Mikle Ledgerwood (woo-hoo) SUNY Stony Brook

Linguistic and conceptual interpretations of what cyberspace might be. Audience responses included: unbounded, intangible, scary, uncontrollable (“and I hate that”). Also “a consenual hallucination” 🙂 (by William Gibson, the “father of cyberspace”). John Perry Barlow and the Electronic Freedom in Foundation (“Is there a there in cyberspace?”). Another definition: a medium where nothing decays. (comment: it might not decay but the link might die…)

Another picture for Mikle to add to his many visual interpretations of cyberspace…my favorite map of the blogoshpere with live hyperlinks.

LLU readers…feel free to post your favorites too. What does cyberspace look like to you?

Barbara has been working for a small liberal arts college in the cornfields of Ohio for about 15 years. In addition to teaching Spanish she runs a somewhat unconventional language center. Prior to this adventure in higher ed she taught high school Spanish and loved it. She wishes she had more time in her life to play with her dogs, write, read, swim, do yoga things and watch the Red Sox. Preferably not all at once, although that could be interesting. To see her online portfolio please click here!

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