The “This I Believe” Essay and Orality in the Classroom

I use the personal “This I Believe” essay as a means to develop and appreciate oral language skills in the classroom. My students script their essays keeping in mind that they will be submitting their essays in an audio-visual format. I have found that this project has a profound impact… Continue reading

Making [Multimodal] History: 21st Century Timelines and 20th Century Connections

One of my challenges in teaching students is that they often don’t get a lot of my references. I’m sure many teachers have had this problem: jokes that you think are hilarious fall flat, or mentions of pop-cultural figures that you assume are common knowledge end up getting blank looks…. Continue reading

Teaching Composition with Interactive Fiction, Part Two

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… Continue reading

Teaching Composition with Interactive Fiction

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… Continue reading

Go Make Yourself Un-useful

In a previous post, I reflected on the successes and failures of a project I assigned in my Spring 2012 course on copia, and assigned again with some minor changes this semester. Students spend the first month of the semester gathering an eclectic mix of material, organizing it into categories,… Continue reading

Infinite 1102: A Collective Romp Through Infinite Jest, Part I

  1079 pages. 388 footnotes.  2 lbs 10 oz (and that’s the paperback). David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest is nothing if not formidable. It languishes on many a “to-read” shelf alongside Joyce’s Ulysses and Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow. Despite its intimidation factor, Infinite Jest can be a pretty accessible read, and it is absolutely… Continue reading

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

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…. Continue reading

Once more unto the breach …

Or, Why Teach Shakespeare to Georgia Tech Undergraduates? This is the third term I’ve used early moden drama as the theme for my 1102 classes. In fall 2011 I taught a course on London City Comedy (The Shoemaker’s Holiday, The Knight of the Burning Pestle, Bartholmew Fair); last spring I… Continue reading

Are You Nobody, Too? Getting Dialogic in English 1101

In the first weeks of my 1101 course, The Allure of the Unreliable Utterance, I introduced my students to Socratic irony and to Bakhtin’s theory of dialogism. We watched snippets of The Colbert Report and The Daily Show—programs which rely on irony for their satirical humor—and we read Plato’s Symposium—a… Continue reading

Thinking outside the box by playing inside the box: Games as texts and teaching tools

  On April 26, 1478, as part of a plot against the Medici, conspirators attempted to assassinate Lorenzo de’ Medici and his brother Giuliano in the Duomo at high mass. Giuliano died but Lorenzo escaped. The reverberations of this daring plot, known as the Pazzi conspiracy after the family who… Continue reading