What do we learn from copy/paste?

Responses to my earlier post about Google-proofing essays made me think about the purpose of “research” assignments in the primary grades. James Ford mentioned that when he was 8 years old, he would copy text out of an encyclopedia. I did, too. Of course, we were handwriting, so we engaged in a low-tech copy/paste. Reflecting…

Take the Pepsi Challenge: Read a novel

In the New York Times last week, Michelle Slatalla wrote a reflection about reading and the loss of attentional focus possibly caused by technology. Her reading experience echoes Nick Carr’s description in “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” Basically, with so much information available online, she has a hard time focusing on reading a novel…so many…

Should essay prompts be google-proof?

I came across an interesting discussion on John Sowash’s blog this morning about Google-proofing essay questions. Sowash provides instructions for making questions Google-proof, using Bloom’s Taxonomy. I have mixed thoughts about this approach. In defense of Google First, in defense of Google, I think that educators should not discourage Google use, but instead provide guidelines…

Teaching and possibility

I’ve been teaching graduate communications courses for the past year. Evolved from a standard writing course, I teach students to think of communication beyond the page. The texts for the course are Duarte’s (2008) slide:ology and Zander & Zander’s (2000) The Art of Possibility. But, where’s the writing textbook, you may ask? It’s a controversial…

Lost without a trail

I just read an interesting article that reminded me of another interesting article that presented a counter viewpoint, but I can’t find it. I don’t remember the title or author. I returned to the site where I initially found a link to the article, a compiler-type site, and the listing is no longer available. All…

Why I haven’t left facebook

We have an interesting relationship. Every time I want to leave, something pulls me back. Mostly, it’s our shared network of friends, the memories, and the promise of more to come. The truth is, I can’t pull myself away, as much as I’d like to. Facebook is truly a seductive distraction. Psychologically, it’s interesting. If…

Tweets: words lacking nutritional value

I was reading the twitter transcripts from a recent conference and it struck me that the most prolific tweeters weren’t necessarily contributing the most meaningful insights to the backchannel conversation. In fact, given the audience, those with the most to contribute seemed to be relatively quiet…perhaps they were participating in a live discussion, or maybe…

Confused in the stacks

Yesterday, while waiting for a flight in the Denver airport, I picked up a Barron’s article, but didn’t get a chance to finish it. This morning, I figured I’d quickly access it through the UCSB Library and finish reading it. I want to share my convoluted journey of information access and suggest solutions. The article,…