Readings, and Related Inspirations

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Happy Birthday, Internet: Today’s Use and Privacy

If you hadn’t heard yet, yesterday was the 25th birthday of the internet. About 25 years ago, Tim Berners-Lee was working as a physicist, and decided to connect up some computers to each other. Well… that’s the really short story of it.

There are a bunch of great stories on public radio this week to mark the internet’s age. For example, here is a little clip about Berners-Lee and his new idea – the world wide web:

Sure, it’s all terrifically interesting, but what does it all mean for us right now? The short answer:

We still have no idea.

What has really been catching my attention lately is all the talk about security, privacy, and surveillance. According to Colin J. Bennett’s 2011 article “In Defence of Privacy,” the concept(s) of privacty “is not, and can never be, the antidote to surveillance” (485). This took me back a bit – isn’t that what we hear in popular media all the time these days? Isn’t privacy the opposite of surveillance?

Reading further in Bennett’s article, which is largely a literature review about many of the opposing views concerning privacy, we don’t really have a cohesive concept about privacy at all. So how are we to decide whether or not our privacy is being ‘invaded’ if we don’t even really know what privacy is? I put ‘invaded’ in quotations here because ‘invasion of space’ is only one concept of how privacy works (488-489).

Rather than go on and on about how much we don’t know, I find it worth my time to explore more of how we discuss privacy, particularly in terms of rhetoric and composition pedagogy and theory in the last 25 years.

For now, I leave you with last week’s Science Friday exploration of security on the interwebs in which the expert, Bruce Schneier claims, “It’s less a little brother, and more a lot of little brothers” (Schneier), concerning networked items that can track what we do.

Later, our noble host, Ira Flatow asks, “Can we opt out?” – In short, the rather unsatisfying answer is that we kind of can’t. 


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NCTE Eye-Opener

This weekend I had the priviledge of attending the 2013 National Council of English Teachers 103rd Annual Convention titled “(Re)Inventing the Future of English in Boston.

Taken from

Taken from

I made a lot of observations during the conference that have affected me both emotionally and professionally (like how cool of a city Boston is), but for this entry, I chose to focus on just one thing:


As many of you might know from reading past blogs (I haven’t made any recently 😦 ), I am very interested, and immersed in ways to harness technology that are interesting and relevant to my students. But one thing that absolutely blew me away, was how little technology is allowed in public school classrooms.

Middle and Secondary school teachers I spoke with reported the restrictions of websites in their classrooms to include any social medias, youtube, and even google. That’s right. Students can’t google anything.

In the interest of keeping this short, I would like to link you to an article that is definitely worth reading to find out more on this topic:

How Shadowing my 2nd-grader Led to a New View of Tech in the Classroom

This is a must-read article. The topic, in my personal belief, should be one that all educators make a big stink about. And not just educators, but parents, and people who care about children, and people that work for companies that might one day hire someone that is now a child.

Please pass it on, and make the move to comment (either here, or in Hybrid Pedagogy, or elsewhere) – we all need to hear this.

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Getting in Good with God – TvsZ3 Safezone 2.

The trees were a wonderful place to hide out and recharge from that last zombie entanglement. I almost got my leg bitten clean off. Thank God I spent all that time training in back alleys of Decatur, Georgia.

Alas, the trees are overrun and we humans are being scattered to the four corners of the globe. Funny, since I wasn’t aware that globes had corners.

I run as fast as I can, by attack chicken on my shoulder for safety. My chicken sure does love pecking some zombie heads.

And I come across this HUGE church.

Who knew it'd be a Methodist church?

Who knew it’d be a Methodist church?

I approach with caution. Everything we do these days requires caution. The news programming stopped over an hour ago and everything is quiet. I’m betting that old abandoned house me, @joeylunchbox and @profnwalker stayed in doesn’t have any sputtering electricity left in it at all.

Thankfully, the church appears to be cleared, except for one zombie under a pew. The zombie has no legs and my chicken kills it easily.

I hold the door open for others to run in.

@caty_posch makes it by a small margin.

and @joeylunchbox and @profnwalker sneak in too.

And here come @bekah_Hogue and @writingasjoe in their flying car!

It’s a party once again.

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My version of the Zombie Antidote

Up in the safezone, away from the zombies below, we are running out of time. They know we are up here. They can smell us.

Fortunately, I have been working on an antidote. A serum of sorts. Based on the ingredients I know to be in acrylic paint, mixed with the effects of hot chili peppers, I have deduced that the combination can jolt a zombie back to life… but the unfortunate trick is that I have to get verrrrrrry close to get it into a zombies mouth.

We have very little time, and I might not make it out alive… but I’ll try.

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Get Higher – Twitter vs. Zombies 3 Safezone

I have somehow managed to remain human through what the news stations are now calling a “zombie apocalypse.” All the making fun of my friends and their zombie obsessions… I guess I got mine. But that friend that made the zombie fighting mobile – guess who got taken down before he ever got into his ride? Yeah… it’s been a hard couple of days. I’m haggard and I’m tired and I’m out of mousse. At least the zombies don’t care what my hair looks like.

My buddy @joeylunchbox

found me in Decatur where I was holing up in a service alleyway behind an old dumpster training. Getting stronger.

I couldn't make it back to my university to get my good shoes - so my old pair will have to do.

I couldn’t make it back to my university to get my good shoes – so my old pair will have to do.

@joey lunchbox was all covered in zombie blood and she scared the everliving crap out of me. I couldn’t believe she was alive, and I almost killed her with a knife I had been carrying in the back of my jeans.

Crouched on an abandoned porch of an empty restaurant, I ready for the attack.

Crouched on an abandoned porch of an empty restaurant, I ready for the attack.

We made it to the safezone and holed up there for pretty much the remainder of the night. I slept like a baby, and @joeylunchbox was able to procure a little food, thank goodness.

Now we have been amassing weapons like the chopsticks I am growing expert at throwing to fend off the smaller zombies.

like stars, these sticks work to ward off smaller zombies.

like stars, these sticks work to ward off smaller zombies.

And knives we’ve collected from various kitchens.

My best ally, my attack chicken, I shall save for a zombie #weapon surprise. Best not to give away everything up front.

kitchen knives.

kitchen knives.

But if there’s one thing we learned the most – it’s to get higher. Zombies are some lazy fools and they don’t want to climb.

@joeylunchbox and I are refreshed and ready to run for our new location. Our current situation is getting too hairy. Good thing we’ve found an old abandoned house with a lot of wonderful floors. And outside stair from which we can survive any kind of attack.

Get Higher - that's the answer!

Get Higher – that’s the answer!


On the way we find @profnwalker too!

Hurry! It’s our only hope!

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Comprehensive Exam Progress

It has been a long time since I posted. I keep meaning to. I have a lot to say. I read Adam Banks’s book Digital Griots over a month ago – but I just keep on reading, and not blogging. So I took a moment to snap a few photos of what I have been doing and where my thinking is going, and I thought people out there might want to see how I am going to pull off my comprehensive exams in October.

As you might already know, I am a highly visual person. I’m that person who can draw a map to someone’s house based on directions over the phone, leave the map behind, and still make my way there, no problem. So I decided to map my thoughts as I read for my comprehensive exams.

Below is a wide shot of the map as it is developing (if you zoom, you might be able to make some of the details out).


The map is split into two sections – Materialism on the left, and Visual/Digital on the right. The idea is that the ideas from both with begin to meet in the middle and I will make my biggest connections right in the center.

Here is the left – where I have been spending most of my intellectual time. I want to get the material theory down first before I start applying it to the digital.


And here is the right. As you can see, I haven’t hit this too hard, but it’s coming.


So there you go – feel free to steal this idea and use it yourself. I bought a 7ft roll of paper at the art store and thumb-tacked it right to the wall. And I use pencil so I can erase and move. Ideally, I would have painted the wall with whiteboard paint, but I don’t own, so… paper it is! The plus side is that I can roll this up and take it places later, and if I need to start over, I can just take it down and replace it with new paper. Hooray!

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Infographing the MOOC

I have pretty much always a fan of the infograph, yet still haven’t made one myself. Of course by always, I mean since last year when I discovered they were, indeed, a ‘thing.’ Recently, a woman named Allison Morris emailed me with this infograph about MOOCs and it’s worth passing along.

And while I must note that the infograph is a little too optimistic about the MOOC, what it does, and who it serves, it’s a great way to start explaining what a MOOC is, especially if you’re like me, and you’re on a single-woman crusade to get everyone (and their grandmother) to do some personal-information expansion.

Below is the MOOC inforgraph taken from