A Canvas Tutorial, or, How Not To Enforce the Digital Divide

In my E314 course, I need to teach a wide array of skills, ranging from academic research to close reading, from composition to the Oxford English Dictionary. Balancing these priorities against each other, and all of the skills against the need to provide students with a basic background for some demanding books, makes for an interesting challenge. Yet after a few semesters of teaching similar courses, which provided me with plenty of opportunities for fine-tuning my organization, I was surprised to hear one student make a rather basic observation to another:

Anonymous Whispers: Silence and Voice in the Digital Classroom

I owe particular thanks for this post to Beck Wise, who gave me the this idea in the first place.

Reflections on Racist Comedy in the Classroom

Since I’ve begun teaching, I have frequently described moments in the classroom in terms of trains. A lesson depends upon organic human interaction, and sometimes the best laid plans can produce unexpected results. So, when it comes to lesson-planning, I tend to be an overplanner as a means of minimizing the chances of derailment, and I can happily say that this works for me.

Online Reviews Part II: Reviews as Interpretive Communities

As many literary archivists know, reading societies were a prominent feature of the 19th and prewar-20th century American social scene. They provided a valuable and oft-overlooked service giving women and people of color a voice in literary and cultural affairs in the days before the academy had been more fully opened, and, the story goes, largely faded away once it had.

Learning How to Teach Tech

I’m wary of giving up on my current tactic of encouraging students to use unfamiliar programs and actively seek out the acquisition of new technical skills, but I worry that I am unwittingly embracing the myth of the digital native.

April is the Cruelest Month: Crisis and Mental Health Resources

Lilacs in bloom

As T.S. Eliot puts it in The Waste Land:

April is the cruellest month, breeding

Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing

Memory and desire, stirring

Dull roots with spring rain.

Video Feedback for Advanced Students

I knew as soon as my students turned in their first papers this semester that I would need to come up with a new style of feedback for them. The juniors and seniors in RHE 309: The Rhetoric of Tourism write very differently from the freshmen and sophomores I worked with in RHE 306. I've spent very little of this Fall semester working on MLA format, grammar, and organization, and lots of time being impressed with how insightful, critical, and articulate these older college students are about the complex issues that come up in discussions about travel and tourism.

"Don't Feel So Down": When Your Students Don't Understand Your References

I recently had a teaching experience I could only compare to being on a sinking ship—like the band on the Titanic, I played my song dutifully as I sunk into the murky waters. With every word I spoke, attempting to explain the material I prepared, I could sense the students’ disinterest, disengagement, and utter confusion. This wasn’t the first time I experienced this sinking feeling of a total misfire while teaching, nor do I expect it to be the last time. And do you know whose fault it was? Julian Casablancas. 

Practicing Rhetorical Analysis with Music Videos

Picture shows Taylor Swift about to stab a cake, an image from her video for "Blank Space."

Digital Feminism and the Bachelor

Throughout the Bachelor Finale and the "After the Final Rose" episode, Chris Harrison promised us, the "Bachelor Nation" an "unprecedented announcement." After much speculation on Twitter and at home, Jimmy Kimmel's gift of a steer named Juan Pablo and the coerced promise that Ashley S. would appear on Bachelor in Paradise, Chris Harrison revealed the big announcement: there would be two Bachelorettes next season instead of one, and the men would get to vote which Bachelorette would stay to the finale based on who would be the best wife.



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