Notes from “Using Social Media to Define the New Humanities”

Notes from “Using Social Media to Define the New Humanities” – Antonio Viva

  • Thinking about new humanities
    • Context, conversation, collaboration
    • How do we educate our students for success in the web 2.0 world?
    • Can we harness the power of social media to provide students with a vehicle for exploring and creating original content?
  • Old School Creative Writing
    • Genre based instruction
    • Anthology as primary class text
    • Student work not published
    • Blogging/journaling
    • Assessments were traditional and rubric based
    • Mostly fiction and poetry
    • Workshop style with peer editing and review
    • In depth study of literary elements and terms as a vehicle for creation
  • What is the basis of the new humanities?
    • Richard Miller’s presentation to MLA, December 2008
    • See Digital Digs for a reflection and embedded video
  • Personal paradigm shift
    • Communicating instantly and globally
    • English is about human expression
    • Humanists should be at the cutting edge of this
    • Multimedia composition
  • Why should we reconsider thinking this whole thing? — connecting to panel discussion last night
    • Creativity, collaboration, and courage
    • Schools should be a place where student generate ideas
    • Ability to try out new ideas
    • Fostering new humanities rich environments
    • Provide opportunities for students to convey concepts and original ideas through thoughtful technology rich collaboration
    • Schools should be about communication
  • The WA Mash – Worcester Academy Mash Up
    • What do we want to communicate?
    • To whom and how best do we communicate this message?
    • Model after Salon.com and Slate.com as an outlet for creative writing publication
  • Publishing Tools
    • YouTube
    • Flickr
    • Facebook
    • WordPress
    • Twitter
  • Conversation with students about WAMash
    • How do you get students engaged — turn some of the control of creating and sharing content over to the students
    • What have you learned as a part of taking the class?
      • More technology
      • Enjoy writing more
    • What does it mean to be a writer?
      • Before, I considered writing as an essay style, but now it has really expanded my horizons about writing and there are more ways than just essays and school work
      • What has changed for me is that I am a lot more willing to put myself out there for people to examine and I was questioning my own ability, but there are so many ways to express yourself in writing. I am more able to accept criticism now and having a good support group from peers and teacher.
      • For the past few years, just writing essays, now I have learned that I can express myself more; writing from different perspectives
      • Before the class, I thought that it was limited and you had to just write, but now I realize that writing is more about expressing and getting the word out there about something that you care about because people will listen. Writing is important, and I respect it. It is more of an art than I thought it was.
  • Thinking about change
    • Change needs to be organic — comprehensive school change does not work
    • It will cause chaos — people will not be doing substantive and good work with students
    • Establish a culture for creativity, innovation, and the appetite to try new things are the norm
    • Support the inventors, creative thinkers, risk takers, and innovators with resources, PD, and public accolades
    • Don’t follow the trends, create them

Author: Troy Hicks

Dr. Troy Hicks is a professor of English and education at Central Michigan University. He directs both the Chippewa River Writing Project and the Master of Arts in Educational Technology degree program. A former middle school teacher, Dr. Hicks has authored numerous books, articles, chapters, blog posts, and other resources broadly related to the teaching of literacy in our digital age. Follow him on Twitter: @hickstro

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