Teaching Composition with Interactive Fiction, Part Two

Plotkin's tutorial game

In an earlier post, I explained why I think interactive fiction (IF) computer games can drive valuable experiments in the multimodal composition classroom.  You can check out Part One for an overview of what IF is and what I think it can do for students.  In the present post, I’ll lay out a few more specific suggestions and resources for teachers thinking of exploring this rich genre. Using Interactive Fiction in Your Classroom, the Easy … Continue reading

Teaching Composition with Interactive Fiction

Note, in this excerpt from Plotkin's tutorial game, how the player-character and the narrative voice take turns typing to each other.

Regular readers of TECHStyle may remember my mentioning, back in September, my plans to use interactive fiction (“IF”) computer games in my multimodal composition classes.  After two semesters of teaching students to read, play, and write IF games, I can say that the experiment was mostly a success.  While we faced a few frustrations (largely coding-related) along the way, we ended up gaining some invaluable rhetorical perspectives and practices, and producing a number of fun, … 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I recently read Cathy Davidson’s “Let’s Talk about MOOC (online) Education–And Also About Massively Outdated Traditional Education (MOTEs)” on the HASTAC [the Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory] blog.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

Anticipating THATCamp

Register » THATCamp Southeast 2013

I’ve been a member of the digital humanities community here at Georgia Tech for the past year and a half (+!) and yet here I am, THATCamp-less.  It’s a shame.  I’m ashamed!  THATCamp is one of the hallmarks of what we at the Brittain Fellowship try to do on a regular basis: to get smart people together, learn about the intersections of technology and humanities research, share ideas, and learn how to better communicate them.  … Continue reading

Digital Mapping in the Composition Classroom

In early January, I made the trek to Seattle for the 2012 MLA convention.  I was excited to be there, not only because Seattle is a very cool town, but because I was participating in an “electronic roundtable” devoted to digital pedagogy along with some very cool people.  The roundtable, entitled “Building Digital Humanities in the Undergraduate Classroom“, was an interactive presentation of assignments and projects that engaged undergraduate students with building projects using digital … Continue reading

What Should A Hybrid “Classroom” Look Like?

Well, last night our hybrid classroom looked very much like the Jones Room and the new Research Commons at Emory’s Woodruff Library. Every spring, a number of Brittain Fellows choose to participate in an optional postdoctoral seminar on research methodologies. This semester, because the Writing and Communication Program is piloting hybrid pedagogy in our first-year composition and technical communication classes, we are using the design and assessment of hybrid pedagogies as a lens through which our examination of method is focused.

For those of you who may be wondering, hybrid pedagogy (also known as blended learning) combines face-to-face and distance or virtual learning strategies. Some thought-provoking recent studies have suggested hybrid instruction may–at least in some situations, for some students–create a more optimal learning environment than either traditional or wholly-online classes. Continue reading

Digital Humanities Show and Tell: An Emory DiSC Workshop

The Digital Harlem Project

Last Monday, I attended one of the Workshops on Digital Scholarship being offered through the Emory Digital Scholarship Commons this semester.  This series offers workshops on a variety of topics ranging from “Creating an Online Presence I: Take Control of Your Online Personality” to “Hack Your Theme: Customize WordPress Themes with CSS and HTML” – all of them speak to topics relevant to Brittain Fellows and they are held at Emory Library on Mondays from … Continue reading

Building Citizen Journalist Communities

On Saturday, October 22, I attended the 2011 Media Law in the Digital Age conference, co-sponsored by Kennesaw State University’s Center for Sustainable Journalism and Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society. After the morning’s plenary session, I attended a panel on “Online Community Building and Managing: What are the Legal and Editorial Concerns You Need to Know?” Continue reading

Whither THATCamp UnPress?

“We already have an UnPress and it is called the internet” – Trevor Owens THATCamp Prime, at George Mason University’s Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, taught me that a word does not make a new publishing model. The UnPress session was, surprisingly perhaps only to my naive mind, very complicated – with many tweets expressing frustration at just what an UnPress is or what it could contribute to scholarly publishing. [blackbirdpie id=”77076039523766272″] … Continue reading

Why I Love THATCamp

As a master’s student in my introductory theory course, I became particularly enamored by Roland Barthes’s essay “Why I Love Benveniste.” At the end of the essay, Barthes says that Working with him, with his texts […],we always recognize the generosity of a man who seems to listen to the reader and to lend him his intelligence, even in the most special subjects, the most improbable ones. We read other linguists (and indeed we must), … Continue reading