Britt Fellow Goes Bibliophile


It always seems self-contradictory to proffer sage career advice to fellow teachers and academics. I am not too far removed from the realm of the Brittain Fellows, having been one from 2007-2008. Like you, I walked among the hallowed halls of Skiles and watched the ever-fluctuating stream of students, many convinced they were born to be engineers, etc. I offered them reflection, insight into diverse and possibly subversive concepts and the ability to think beyond … Continue reading

Anatomy of the Bubble Girl

bubble girl

The moment Diane Jakacki showed me a picture of the Bubble Girl being chased by a bent but strangely menacing Prince Charles, I knew I had to write something about memes. That’s probably an exaggeration. I did laugh a lot. And I did do some investigating. Turns out Chubby Bubble Girl is part of an entire genre of people-running-away-from-things memes. See Mo Farah. See Oprah. See Batman and Robin. Click through any of these examples and you’ll soon … Continue reading

A Model for Mentoring


The Writing and Communication Program has an ongoing initiative to provide mentoring to first year post-doctorates looking to further professionalize as they make their way to full time positions. As a new Brittain Fellow, I – Peter Fontaine – was paired with LMC faculty member, Dr. Krystina Madej. I had been both a mentor and mentee as a graduate teaching assistant and student, but being paired with Krystina was a unique opportunity to go beyond … Continue reading

Paulo Freire is Not a Mildly Spicy Casserole (Another Tech No, to Tech, Yes column)


I recently read Cathy Davidson’s “Let’s Talk about MOOC (online) Education–And Also About Massively Outdated Traditional Education (MOTEs)” on the HASTAC [the Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory] blog.  I agree with her argument that talking heads do not a MOOC make (nor do they help digital pedagogy in general). I particularly like her use of the verb “squander”: using talking heads (a form of MOTEs) is “squandering a technology, not taking advantage of … Continue reading

Tech, No to Tech, Yes: How a Former Technophobe Becomes a Digital Teaching Fellow, Part 2


Happy New Year and New Semester! My fellow teachers won’t be surprised to hear that I didn’t get a chance to finish another post last semester. But that delay turned into an opportunity to reflect at the end of my first semester teaching in a highly digital environment. What follows is a list that isn’t meant to be at all comprehensive; I rather hope you’ll think of it as lessons learned. 1) Management, management, management … Continue reading

Tech Gets Medieval Symposium!


On Tuesday, November 13, the Writing and Communication Program will sponsor a symposium on How Medieval Technology Can Teach the Past. The symposium will foreground the ways in which knowledge of history informs technological development today and allows faculty from different programs and schools across Georgia Tech to collaborate and discuss pedagogical methodologies used to effectively deliver and contextualize historical content. The event, which will take place from 12:00 – 5:00 pm in the Student … Continue reading

Who’s Chasing Whom? Utility, Metamorphosis & the Humanities

An article showed up on my facebook feed recently: “College Tuition Should Vary By Degree, Florida State Task Force Says.” The gist of it is this: “Tuition would be lower for students pursuing degrees most needed for Florida’s job market, including ones in science, technology, engineering and math, collectively known as the STEM fields,” and higher for “students in fields such as psychology, political science, anthropology, and performing arts … because they have fewer job … Continue reading

“Tech Gets Medieval” and Other Ways We Teach the Past

Tech Gets Medieval graphic

For many instructors, teaching about the past can be problematic, especially to Georgia Tech students who may have little interest in any time period that predates their existence, or who may have the interest, but don’t see how such topics can aid them in their pursuit of a STEM degree. While this article focuses on my specialty, the medieval era (roughly 500AD-1500AD), this issue is pertinent to anyone who teaches an historical period. To that … Continue reading

The “Curse of Knowledge”: Adapting the Principles of Stony Brook University’s Center for Communicating Science to Georgia Tech

Alan Alda with short, brown haired girl.

At Stony Brook University, where I spent my Fall Break, I learned all about the Curse of Knowledge … from Alan Alda.  A few feet away from me, Alda gave the keynote speech at the Center for Communicating Science’s Fall Institute, explaining passionately that once we know something really well, we forget what it’s like not to know it.  And once that happens, we have a lot of trouble communicating our knowledge effectively to others. … Continue reading

D-Ped 10/24: Embedding Visual Rhetoric


On Wednesday, October 24th our seminar will be discussing visual rhetoric*: Drs. Barnes, Fontaine, and Ratiu will lead discussion contextualizing visual rhetoric theory from the required reading and lead an exercise to develop assignments and documents. Among our goals for the seminar is to explore the historical/contextual theory of visual rhetoric, specifically acknowledging the presence of visual modes in our current pedagogy and contrasting that to our years of teaching prior to Georgia Tech, our … Continue reading