On behalf of myself and Valerie, we’d like to thank everyone who came to THATCamp Southeast last weekend. We learned a lot, had a great time, and really appreciated all the enthusiasm and knowledge that you all brought with you.
If you would, please take a moment to fill out the brief THATCamp evaluation survey. It will help future TC organizers make their unconferences better.
Below are the links for both the shared folder where we can make and share google docs for each panel & the schedule for the panels. Please feel free to jump in and play!
Shared Google Docs
For the Domain of One’s Own program at Emory University, we are planning to launch some faculty development workshops to run starting at the end of the semester and running through the first part of the summer. We’ll have one or two face to face meetings at the start, and then run the bulk of the sessions online. We don’t really plan for these workshops to be massive, and they probably won’t be openly available on the web either–at least not this first time through. However, we do want to use some of the techniques and energy of the cMOOC in these workshops.
Perhaps we can discuss getting faculty who aren’t necessarily already super excited about digital pedagogy to participate in a MOOCified workshop and how best to bring them on board. Do we need to approach these differently from the way we MOOCify classes with our undergrads?
We’ve got the following rooms available in the GSU Student Center at 44 Courtland Street: Room 262, the Dorchester Suite; Room 270, the Lanier; room 274, the Sinclair; and room 278, the Lucerne.
Here’s a floor plan of the second floor. We’ll have check-in in the Dorchester and coffee and bagels in the Sinclair first thing Saturday.
Teachers often complain that it is difficult to motivate students to learn. Lee Sheldon proposed a novel solution to this problem: run the classroom as if it were a multiplayer video game. In Sheldon’s classroom, students are assigned different “quests” to complete (e.g., quizzes, exams). For each quest a student completes, he or she earns a given number of points (e.g., up to 5 points for a quiz, up to 400 points for an exam). After earning enough points, students achieve a new rank. Since ranks equate to letter grades (e.g., Level 1=F, Level 12=A), students are motivated to complete tasks and achieve the highest rank possible. Under this game system, students have a better grasp of how they are doing in class at any given time. They have fun seeing their scores rise and feel more in control of their own progress.
Sheldon’s “game” concept fit well with the content of his class: he was teaching students about video games. In this session, I would like to discuss the possibilities of using Sheldon’s game system in other courses. What benefits does the game system have for the humanities classroom? What challenges does it pose? How can one implement the game structure without distracting from the content of the course? Can the game be used in large, introductory lecture courses with 90+ people? What technology could be used to facilitate its implementation? I’ll start by presenting the basics of the game system, then open up the topic for discussion
Maps, while always an abstraction of reality, have a way of making the real more concrete. As tools, maps are used to understand, reshape, and control the world. Until recently, the development of complex maps was, for the most part, only possible by those with power and money, but recent technologies put map creation and exploration into more hands.
I would like to lead a discussion on how we, as teachers and researchers, can democratize the creation and use of maps. I can share some of the ways I am using maps in my classes and research—from simple tools like online map quizzes and Google Maps to more complex projects like the ATLmaps platform being developed by Georgia State University and Emory. I am very interested to hear from others how they are using maps in their work.
If “connectivism” as a learning theory is new to your eyes, MOOCs are probably not. Though most of the attention trained on MOOCs in the last two years have been focused on the x-brand (Coursera, Udacity, edX), cMOOCs, or connectivist MOOCs were the original flavor. Beginning in 2008 with the course “Connectivism and Connected Knowledge,” Stephen Downes and George Siemens began experimenting with what Siemens has called “a learning theory for the digital age.” I’ve followed Downes’s and Siemens’s work along with the work of Dave Cormier (who coined the term “MOOC”) and Bonnie Stewart, and it’s had a strong influence on my professional development.
More specifically, I’ve been adapting connectivist learning methods into my composition classes at Southern Polytechnic State University. I’d like to briefly introduce some of the principles of connectivist learning/teaching practice, demonstrate some examples of from my classes, and open a larger discussion about the pedagogical implications of connectivist principles to other disciplines. My sense, echoed in Stewart’s “Massiveness + Openness = New Literacies of Participation?”, is that connected learning experiments foreground digital literacies that benefit teachers’ and students’ research, publishing, and collaborative endeavors.
As a scholar of early modern literature, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the way that digital tools can help us to understand historical topographies – places that no longer exist, voyages long since completed, or cities that blend the ruins of the past with monuments to the present. And within the humanities, there’s a burgeoning interest in digital spaces. For instance, take a look at:
- The Map of Early Modern London. Here, the English capital is reimagined as a hyperlinked environment, with historical facts and literary references embedded in popular destinations.
- @BenJonsonsWalk. In 1618, the poet and playwright Ben Jonson spent four months walking from London to Edinburgh to win a bet. After a manuscript recounting the trip was rediscovered in 2009, this Twitter feed reproduced the walk in real time. [Update: it looks as though the Twitter feed has just been suspended, but you can learn more about the project here.]
- The British Library’s Georeferencing Project. Through crowdsourcing, thousands of historical maps have been linked to geographical locations.
Given these developments, I’d like to propose a session where we discuss digital mapping – techniques for doing it and the relative strengths and weaknesses of it for our work. How can digital tools help us to map historical and fictional landscapes in our research, our teaching, our archives, and our libraries? What does it mean to organize information or data spatially? And how does the digital realm, as a space unto itself, inform the work that we do?
At some point on Saturday (tentatively at the end of the day, but of course subject to group decision), we’ll hold a “Dork Shorts” session, an informal THATCamp tradition.
What are Dork Shorts?
Dork shorts, known in some corners as “lightning talks,” are brief (2-minute or 3-minute) presentations in which attendees discuss current or upcoming projects, demonstrate new tools, or call for collaborators. Like most of THATCamp, Dork Shorts are meant to be as informal as possible. Although the concept might be unfamiliar to new THATCampers, veterans think it’s one of the most fun and useful parts of each meeting: Dork Shorts let you learn a lot in a little bit of time.
Do you have a cool project, tool, or other thing (yours or someone else’s) you want to share, but don’t want to make it a whole session? Is there something you’d like to hear another camper talk about? Post here, or bring your ideas on the first day of THATCamp SE!