First Daily Create!

Really excited to get started on this class so I decided to plunge right in with my first Daily Create! A tongue twister..


Stop Internet Censorship

You may notice that today, January 18, a number of high-profile sites have “gone black” to protest two bills being considered by the U.S. Congress right now. SOPA and PIPA , if passed, will cripple the Web by requiring the owners of Web sites to police content uploaded by users. If they fail to follow these strict content-monitoring requirements, they risk having their sites blacklisted (essentially, made unavailable to users of the Web) with no access to due process.

If passed, sites like Wikipedia, Reddit, YouTube, and Flickr, will almost certainly go away (at least in their current forms). Furthermore, if these bills are passed, UMW Blogs will be in danger of being blacklisted unless we begin to police and monitor every piece of content uploaded to the space.

We believe that there needs to be an intelligent and balanced discussion about the nature of intellectual property in our increasingly-digital world. We are sure that neither of these bills contributes to such a conversation.

Please join us in protesting SOPA and PIPA.

UMW Blogs featured in EDUCAUSE’s 7 Things on PLE

UMW Blogs featured in Educause's 7 Things on PLE

Yesterday I noticed (thanks to tweets from Jeff McClurken and Martha Burtis) that EDUCAUSE’s “7 Things You Should Know About Personal Learning Environments” features the University of Mary Washington as one of the schools experimenting and fostering PLEs on a larger, campus-wide scale. In particular, they feature the possibilities for creating a personal learning environment through UMW Blogs. It’s odd, but I’ve never really thought of UMW Blogs as a PLE or PLN—and this is probably because I try and avoid these acronyms because the language seems so dessicated to me. However, I think the there is some real truth to thinking about a log space on UMW Blogs as an easy and supported way for entering into the larger conceptual idea of how the personal web can be traced, supported, and visualized within an institution.
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Race and Place

Arthur Ashe Monument Avenue.jpgProfessor Melina Patterson’s course blog for Geography 331, “Race and Place in America,” has framed and examined some really fascinating issues in contemporary culture over the past 15 weeks. In particular, the course has traced the intersection of issues of race, urban development, and gentrification.

Earlier this semester the students watched and discussed a 2003 documentary titled Flag Wars, which chronicles the gentrification of an historically black neighborhood in Columbus, Ohio by and influx of Gay and Lesbian residents. It sounds fascinating to me, and I am dying to see it—nothing like the power of being open to get a good movie recommendation!

And more recently a student in the course, Wesley Weeks, included a series of images of the statues on Monument Avenue in Richmond, VA, which provides a complex and powerful juxtaposition of race and place more locally. Click on the image of Arthur Ashe above to view these images.
It’s amazing to watch a class unfold that is so squarely situated within the issues and questions that define the cultural and geographic space within which we live.

Jefferson Davis statue on Monument Avenue, Richmond, VA

Robert E Lee Statue, Monument Ave, Richmond, VA Photographic Print by MaryAnn & Bryan Hemphill

Arthur Ashe

Webcomics: New Horizons for Graphic Narrative

This semester, I asked the students in my Graphic Novel Class to collaborate on designing, producing, and publishing their own webcomics, after first working on a collectively authored book on webcomics. Working in small groups, they used standalone WordPress installations running ComicPress to create their comic sites, and each group used networks like Twitter and Facebook to spread the word.

Webcomics Collage

Overall, they produced some great work, and I encourage you to take a look at it! Their material is variously hip, silly, meta, absurd, erudite and eclectic, and more often than not, they’re pretty dang funny.

Check them out:
“Left of Reason”
“Tuffer and Willie”
“Marion’s Knight”
“The Adventures of Kyle and Steve”
“In Libris”
“The Dropsies”