Thursday, June 16, 2011

Replies to Invitations

I was excited to see responses to my eBook/webinar invitations.  I had four responses.  In an earlier post, I mentioned how Lorri Wyndham returned my follow on Twitter.  I also invited Mike Reading, who sent me a message back saying that he could not make it to the webinar, but it sounded really interesting.  He wanted to know if it was being recorded.  Does anyone know the link for that so I can get it to him?


I also invited Vicki Davis, who showed up for part of our webinar, and my friend, Laura Park, who showed up for the whole event.  Thank you for your participation!  All the things that you said were really insightful and added greatly to the conversation.  It was really neat to see the response to the invitation for an eBook written by a group of college students.  It shows you that people really do pay attention to what is going on, and that there is always someone out there interested in the same thing you are.

Thank You

I just wanted to thank Dr. Burton and my fellow classmates for this insightful learning experience.  It has been wonderful to meet you all, and I have learned so much from each of you!  Good luck in what is coming next in life, and I hope you will keep in touch.

 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Consume, Create, Connect in Retrospect



At the beginning of the term, we were told that the course learning outcomes were the following: consume, create, and connect. 

Consume: Students will demonstrate the ability to analyze literary texts, and to gather, search, filter, sample, bookmark, and research within academic and general sources, selecting materials and media appropriate to the project, the prospective audience, and to their own interests.
  •  I feel as if I was able to consume Rainbows End, A Case for Books, and Jane Eyre on a deeper level, through seeing these books in multiple formats and from various perspectives.
  • As a class, we were able to read one another's posts, learning more about the educational technological world.
  • We learned how to use many different sites like Blogger, Goodreads, Diigo, Twitter, etc. for academic and research purposes.  See my post on how Twitter has changed how I search for information.

Create: Students will create a respectable online presence including an online profile, content outlets, and social networks.  Using these online tools, they will demonstrate competence in creating and following personal learning plans, and in composing texts and media appropriate to their literary studies, to family and professional purposes, and to life-long learning.  This includes active, self-directed learning, documenting learning efforts, creating multimedia compositions, and creating and publishing more formally developed work in public and durable formats.
  • We created an eBook in less than a month which followed these guidelines and will help others follow them in the future.
  • We created blog posts on almost a daily basis.  This forced each of us to expose our writing constantly.  This was a great, because I know it gave me more confidence as a reader, a writer, and a scholar.
  • Through doing the constant creating in this class, each student was able to begin creating a strong online profile.
  • I know that through constantly creating, the creator will have more of a chance of creating something that stands out and can make a difference. 
Connect: Students will demonstrate the ability to interact frequently and constructively with others (not just classmates) in their self-directed learning, and to work collaboratively on meaningful subjects and projects.  Student work should connect to their own lives, but must not be isolated.  It should be formatted and rhetorically constructed to connect with the needs and interests of those outside of their immediate social circles.


  • I have a better understanding and connection with the wide web of knowledge that is the Internet.
  • I know I have developed skills in this class to better prepare me for lifelong learning, and particularly in my case, social online learning.
  • I feel as if my fellow classmates and I have connected to so many different people through the experience of this class, including one another.  It has been an unforgettable experience.

eBook Marketing Through Education

I am a member of the education team for the eBook.  Each classmate was asked to find 20 people to advertise our eBook too.  That was slightly overwhelming.  I knew I had a few family members and friends that were interested in the eBook so I sent the invitation to them.  I also have good relationships with a number of past teachers, so I sent invitations to those where an invitation would be applicable.  After those, I still had a ways to go until I would reach 20 invites.  Since I was on the education team, I wanted to aim my invitations towards that audience.  I tried to join a forum about Jane Eyre to find people, but I am still waiting on finding out if my membership was activated.  Then, I remembered Twitter Search...

Can I just say that I now have a love of Twitter Search.  Through the use of the keywords "education technology," I was able to find a treasure trove of people researching and interested in the same things that are class was interested in.  Not only did I view what they had been researching and send them invitations to our eBook and webinar, but I followed them on Twitter.  Even after this class is over, I am excited to keep in touch with the news of how technology is impacting the learning experience.

Dr. Burton had mentioned creating a list of these people on my Twitter account.  Here is the list; maybe it might come in handy for some other researcher in the future.
Not only that, but one of those that I followed, returned the favor.  Lorri Wyndham is passionate about educational change, and I am hoping to learn more from her in the future.  

I also posted on my Facebook and Twitter profiles, in general, to let more people know about our eBook.  I think using the hash tag #edutech will also help to attract those interested in our topic.




I have found that Twitter is such a useful tool for finding relevant information, which is part of what this class has been about.  I was able to find others through whom I can continue learning about educational technology.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Education and Technology Audience

I have been focusing on finding people who have established themselves online as people interested in the use of technology in education, as part of the education team.  Twitter Search has been an extremely useful tool in accomplishing this goal.  Many users of this type have links that go back to their school website profile page when they are educators or their own personal blog or website, a useful hub linking other people to their collected thoughts.

These hubs have inspired me into considering making a hub page leading to my other online sites, in order to better establish my online presence.

I am hoping that my invitations will entice at least a few invitees to attend our webinar or/and explore our e-book.  The people I have chosen to invite seem like good candidates for our e-book, and I am hoping they might check out the webinar in order to learn more about our e-book.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Response from Artist



I got the response from the artist for my chapter picture.  I was really excited to hear that I would be able to use the picture and adapt it for the e-book.  Frits is a great artist.  To see more of his work, view his profile on Flickr or his website.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Forum Form Frustration


At 2am on the day that our final draft was due, I had the idea to put my chapter about forums into a forum format.  I discovered that this made my ideas really choppy when going from a quote to my ideas about that quote, then another quote...you get the idea.  Well, I have good news, the problem has been solved.  Simply adding a disclaimer saying that whatever said outside of quotations is me speaking, not the person "speaking" in the forum, allowed me to clearly state my argument and keep the forum form.  Yay! :)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

bitly- Shorten and Share


I may have been one of the only people unaware of this service, but bitly shortens urls for its users, allowing them to express a more complete thought in the allowed 140 characters for a tweet or a "tweethis."  This website solved my problem for writing the thesis for my chapter in a concise enough way, including the url, to share on twitter and other sites, such as Facebook, with character limits for your thoughts.  This is definitely a site to check out.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Technological View From the Library

While trying to establish my argument for my e-book chapter, I decided to enlist the knowledge of teachers and educators from my schooling.  I talked with my sister who sent me information, wrote two of my past English teachers, and messaged the woman who was my librarian throughout elementary and middle school and became the high school librarian my sophomore year of high school.  I value Mrs. Waltman's opinion on books.  She has recommended books to me throughout the years and encouraged my love of reading.  The summer after I graduated I was briefly involved in a book club that Mrs. Waltman had started for her high school students.  One way in which she made a deeper discussion possible for our book club was by starting a blog, which allowed the members to discuss parts of the book as they read.  Some of the members (myself included) were not as diligent as we should have been to utilize this useful tool for our learning experience.  If we would have thrown ourselves into the online discussion group, I am sure that our discussion would have been more complete and enlightening.

Just like how forums can encourage and deepen the level of discussion experienced while reading, blogs and other digital tools are available for readers around the world to connect with one another and share their ideas.  Mrs. Waltman  said, "Most avid readers still like the feel of a book in their hands to read but are also willing to use technology."  Now, as scholars, we must decide if we are willing to trust in the power of the world of social technology.  I feel that allowing technology to play its role in the learning process will allow readers to reach a deeper intellectual level than ever before in the understanding of the ideas they are consuming.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Social Technology- Changing The Learning Process- DRAFT 2

"In Charlotte’s four novels (The Professor, Jane Eyre, Shirley, and Villette), education takes two forms: self-teaching, primarily through reading, and classroom lessons, either at a school or with a governess or tutor (Lonoff 458)."  
 Self-teaching is a necessary addition to effectively learning information presented in a classroom setting.  Technology available today and the technology yet to be invented are transforming the learning process.  The novel, Jane Eyre, supplies a teaching formula leading to an enhanced learning experience.  

“I had the means of an excellent education placed within my reach. A fondness for some of my studies, and a desire to excel in all, together with a great delight in pleasing my teachers, especially such as I loved, urged me on (Brontë 106)."
The first motive for learning for the character, Jane, is a liking for some of the subjects.  The second is a desire to excel.  The last motive is the most powerful, recognition and feedback from her teachers (Lonoff 462).  Technology allows students to explore their subject through a way that they are interested in the topic.  This personal research leads students to learning the information that is engaging for each personal reader, as opposed to class discussion which usually ends up in a direction that is only truly engaging for certain students, or perhaps in some cases, only the teacher.  However, the need for instruction is still absolutely necessary.  Technology should be embraced to help students become self-reliant learners, but teachers help model the strategies for effective learning (Lonoff 471).  Miss Temple serves as a role model for Jane Eyre.  Miss Temple is a young and accomplished young woman who is still striving to learn all that she can about the world and herself.  Most of us have those teachers in our remembrance who really cared about us and our learning, and these were usually the teachers that we aimed to please.  We begin to model our learning habits after those teachers.  We recognize that to master a subject, first must come an imitation of the learning process for said subject.  Students watch teachers analyze and write about a subject and learn how to to so themselves through their teacher's examples.  A struggle has always been in existence to get students to deep-read a text.  Now, with new technology, literature students discussing Jane Eyre may look at clips from video adaptations or discuss how the issues of the book, such as gender issues, individuality, the role of the governess, and elements of Gothic literature are present in the novel, utilizing different web sites and media tools (Lonoff 472-473).

One of these new media tools for the classroom is and should be online forum groups.  As constant learners, we need to remember that there is much to learn from those who have different experiences and personalities than ours.  A study was performed involving the use of online forum groups to supplement the classroom learning experience.  Effective learning takes place when the learning environment is learner-centered, knowledge-centered, assessment-centered, and community-centered.  "Interactivity has been considered as central tenet to the concept of 'online learning theory' (Balaji 3)."  Online resources, such as online discussion forums and blogs, allow learners to reflect upon their thinking.  The learning experience becomes individualized by this deep level learning and "new knowledge structures."  These methods of learning communication allow students to learn at their own pace and according to their interests, previous knowledge, and style.  Feedback is important for the smooth-functioning of these online learning centers. 


Also, the community or social component presented on these sites play a huge role in online learning.  Interaction on these online sites give learners a sense of community or social connectivity.  Just like the personal literary study between Miss Temple and Jane's friend, Helen Burns, online discussion forums may provide a more comfortable learning environment for readers than the typical classroom discussion can present.  As learners explore and discuss a subject, relationships are formed between the participants.  "Previous research has shown that learning communities exhibit increased student learning, and course satisfaction (Balaji 3)."  Learning effectiveness, in using online discussion forums, is influenced by the interactions and communication that take place.  The level of interaction that takes place depends on the learning environment, learning process, and learner characteristics.  The lack of nonverbal cues in online discussion forums may lead to less intense interactions, but the lack of cues may unbind the social hierarchy in the online environment, enabling users a more equal footing. 


Each individual learner's preparation and personality contributes something different to the forum.  Students who have a high understanding of the internet perform their online learning tasks more efficiently, showing the need to teach students how to utilize the new technological learning tools.  The study found that students who had more difficulty using the internet, showed low motivation to contribute to the blog, simply because of the difficulty for him/her to share their contributions.  Studies of individual personality and internet behavior have revealed that introverted students tend to be more able to communicate with others in an online environment than face-to-face.  Extroverts are more likely to participate in online discussion forums though, because of their strong need for gratification and higher success rate of interaction (Balaji 6).  The immediacy of feedback in the online environment gives a greater opportunity to communicate with other learners.  The sense of connectedness among the learners increases the interactions in the online environment.  Media richness theory argues that using appropriate media will improve task performance.  Online discussion forums are built as effective learning communities.
  
Technology gives us a way to connect with each other and extend the learning experience.  Listening, disputing, and communicating with one's peers opens students to perspectives and ideas that they would never have thought of themselves.  In the classic classroom setting, time serves as a barricade for an array of possible discussions.  Social networking has allowed me as a student to easily keep in contact with teachers and professors that have affected the way I learn or simply me as a person.  By maintaining this connection, I have been able to continue my personal learning experience.  For my Writing Literary Criticism in the Digital Age class, each student kept a blog and were expected to interact with one another through comments on these blogs.  Personally, I found a greater satisfaction with the class by having the opportunity to communicate ideas with my peers when outside of the classroom setting.  We were also encouraged to utilize other forums, web sites, and media tools.  This 24/7 learning method allows students to be actively engaged in the learning process at all times.  My sister, Natalie Lewis, has a Master of Education in Technology in Education degree. She has been a full-time teacher of various subjects for the past eight years, and she had this to say on the use of technology in the learning process: "I have discovered that with the use of technology you can adapt and merge all types of curriculum to have total instructional alignment.  Technology used correctly can motivate and engage students in learning.  Our student's present and future experiences are based on technology.  The student's transition from technology to everyday task is seamless.  If teachers make a choice to eliminate the use of technology in their classrooms they are limiting the future potential of our students."  After reading articles about multiple studies, speaking with multiple educators on the subject, and my own personal experience, I believe that online discussion forums should be implemented into the curriculum of all English literature courses.  The digital tools are there to enhance the learning experience for readers today.  Now, it is the time for us to utilize those tools and enhance the learning experience, growing and learning from one another.

Balaji, M. S., and Diganta Chakrabarti. "Student Interactions in Online Discussion Forum: Empirical Research from ‘Media Richness Theory’ Perspective." Journal of Interactive Online Learning 9.1 (2010): 1-22. Web. June 3, 2011.
Brontë, Charlotte. Jane Eyre. New York978-0-517-22775-6: Gramercy Books, 2006. Print.
Lonoff, Sue. "The Education of Charlotte Brontë: A Pedagogical Case Study." Pedagogy 1.3 (2001): 457. Print.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Social Technology- Changing The Learning Process

"In Charlotte’s four novels (The Professor, Jane Eyre, Shirley, and Villette), education takes two forms: self-teaching, primarily through reading, and classroom lessons, either at a school or with a governess or tutor (Lonoff 458)."  
 Self-teaching is a necessary addition to effectively learning information presented in a classroom setting.  Technology available today and the technology yet to be invented are transforming the learning process.  The novel, Jane Eyre, supplies a teaching formula leading to an enhanced learning experience.  

“I had the means of an excellent education placed within my reach. A fondness for some of my studies, and a desire to excel in all, together with a great delight in pleasing my teachers, especially such as I loved, urged me on (Brontë 106)."
The first motive for learning for the character, Jane, is a liking for some of the subjects.  The second is a desire to excel.  The last motive is the most powerful, recognition and feedback from her teachers (Lonoff 462).  Technology allows students to explore their subject through a way that they are interested in the topic.  This personal research leads students to learning the information that is engaging for each personal reader, as opposed to class discussion which usually ends up in a direction that is only truly engaging for certain students, or perhaps in some cases, only the teacher.  However, the need for instruction is still absolutely necessary.  Technology should be embraced to help students become self-reliant learners, but teachers help model the strategies for effective learning (Lonoff 471).  Miss Temple serves as a role model for Jane Eyre.  Miss Temple is a young and accomplished young woman who is still striving to learn all that she can about the world and herself.  Most of us have those teachers in our remembrance who really cared about us and our learning, and these were usually the teachers that we aimed to please.  We begin to model our learning habits after those teachers.  We recognize that to master a subject, first must come an imitation of the learning process for said subject.  Students watch teachers analyze and write about a subject and learn how to to so themselves through their teacher's examples.  A struggle has always been in existence to get students to deep-read a text.  Now, with new technology, literature students discussing Jane Eyre may look at clips from video adaptations or discuss how the issues of the book, such as gender issues, individuality, the role of the governess, and elements of Gothic literature are present in the novel, utilizing different web sites and media tools (Lonoff 472-473).

One of these new media tools for the classroom is and should be online forum groups.  As constant learners, we need to remember that there is much to learn from those who have different experiences and personalities than ours.  A study was performed involving the use of online forum groups to supplement the classroom learning experience.  Effective learning takes place when the learning environment is learner-centered, knowledge-centered, assessment-centered, and community-centered.  "Interactivity has been considered as central tenet to the concept of 'online learning theory' (Balaji 3)."  Online resources, such as online discussion forums and blogs, allow learners to reflect upon their thinking.  The learning experience becomes individualized by this deep level learning and "new knowledge structures."  These methods of learning communication allow students to learn at their own pace and according to their interests, previous knowledge, and style.  Feedback is important for the smooth-functioning of these online learning centers. 


Also, the community or social component presented on these sites play a huge role in online learning.  Interaction on these online sites give learners a sense of community or social connectivity.  Just like the personal literary study between Miss Temple and Jane's friend, Helen Burns, online discussion forums may provide a more comfortable learning environment for readers than the typical classroom discussion can present.  As learners explore and discuss a subject, relationships are formed between the participants.  "Previous research has shown that learning communities exhibit increased student learning, and course satisfaction (Balaji 3)."  Learning effectiveness, in using online discussion forums, is influenced by the interactions and communication that take place.  The level of interaction that takes place depends on the learning environment, learning process, and learner characteristics.  The lack of nonverbal cues in online discussion forums may lead to less intense interactions, but the lack of cues may unbind the social hierarchy in the online environment, enabling users a more equal footing. 


Each individual learner's preparation and personality contributes something different to the forum.  Students who have a high understanding of the internet perform their online learning tasks more efficiently, showing the need to teach students how to utilize the new technological learning tools.  The study found that students who had more difficulty using the internet, showed low motivation to contribute to the blog, simply because of the difficulty for him/her to share their contributions.  Studies of individual personality and internet behavior have revealed that introverted students tend to be more able to communicate with others in an online environment than face-to-face.  Extroverts are more likely to participate in online discussion forums though, because of their strong need for gratification and higher success rate of interaction (Balaji 6).  The immediacy of feedback in the online environment gives a greater opportunity to communicate with other learners.  The sense of connectedness among the learners increases the interactions in the online environment.  Media richness theory argues that using appropriate media will improve task performance.  Online discussion forums are built as effective learning communities.
  
Technology gives us a way to connect with each other and extend the learning experience.  Listening, disputing, and communicating with one's peers opens students to perspectives and ideas that they would never have thought of themselves.  In the classic classroom setting, time serves as a barricade for an array of possible discussions.  Social networking has allowed me as a student to easily keep in contact with teachers and professors that have affected the way I learn or simply me as a person.  By maintaining this connection, I have been able to continue my personal learning experience.  For my Writing Literary Criticism in the Digital Age class, each student kept a blog and were expected to interact with one another through comments on these blogs.  Personally, I found a greater satisfaction with the class by having the opportunity to communicate ideas with my peers when outside of the classroom setting.  We were also encouraged to utilize other forums, web sites, and media tools.  This 24/7 learning method allows students to be actively engaged in the learning process at all times.  My sister, Natalie Lewis, has a Master of Education in Technology in Education degree. She has been a full-time teacher of various subjects for the past eight years, and she had this to say on the use of technology in the learning process: "I have discovered that with the use of technology you can adapt and merge all types of curriculum to have total instructional alignment.  Technology used correctly can motivate and engage students in learning.  Our student's present and future experiences are based on technology.  The student's transition from technology to everyday task is seamless.  If teachers make a choice to eliminate the use of technology in their classrooms they are limiting the future potential of our students."  After reading articles about multiple studies, speaking with multiple educators on the subject, and my own personal experience, I believe that online discussion forums should be implemented into the curriculum of all English literature courses.  The digital tools are there to enhance the learning experience for readers today.  Now, it is the time for us to utilize those tools and enhance the learning experience, growing and learning from one another.


Balaji, M. S., and Diganta Chakrabarti. "Student Interactions in Online Discussion Forum: Empirical Research from ‘Media Richness Theory’ Perspective." Journal of Interactive Online Learning 9.1 (2010): 1-22. Web. June 3, 2011.
Brontë, Charlotte. Jane Eyre. New York978-0-517-22775-6: Gramercy Books, 2006. Print.
Lonoff, Sue. "The Education of Charlotte Brontë: A Pedagogical Case Study." Pedagogy 1.3 (2001): 457. Print.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Social Connections


Here I am trying to piece together my writing, which is not complete yet.  I thought I would mention a little bit about the conversations that I have had today concerning my class's e-book project.


While leafing through my book, Jane Eyre, my co-worker asked why I was reading the book.  When I explained the idea, she was intrigued that we were creating an e-book as a class.  Later at work, one of the guys that works in the building was asking about my classes.  When I explained the ideas and goals behind my Writing  Literary Criticism in the Digital Age class, he was really interested.  I went on to explain our e-book project.  When I told Gary that my book was Jane Eyre, he said that he had never read the book, but was curious as to how I would relate it to literature and teaching in the digital age.  I too was still debating how at this time, and am still trying to tie up the details, but I told him I would figure it out and get back to him.
My roommate and I got on the topic of audiobooks, and their roles both for entertainment and academic purposes.  We both discussed and agreed upon the irreplaceable value of the physical book format.  I am also planning on asking her, an English Education major, about her feelings of technology in the classroom and with literature.

I also realized another great source of information today, my sister.  Natalie is a middle school teacher in my home town.  Although she was academically trained for her undergraduate degree to teach two subjects that she loves, P.E. and Health, many of her hours in the classroom are spent teaching other subjects as well, such as computer classes and math skills.  I had her for my health, computer applications, and keyboarding teacher in the seventh and eighth grades.  Because of these other aspects of her teaching, she just got her master's degree, focusing on studying the value of technology in the classroom.  I have asked her to share her opinion with me on the subject of my chapter, and I am eagerly awaiting her response.

I have also asked my high school librarian and two of my high school English teachers for their input on the subject.  Hopefully, at least one of them will respond.  I am sure their feelings about the topic will be very enlightening since each of them have many years in an educational setting.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Art Of Teaching Through Writing and Responsibilities of the Modern Reader In the Digital Age


Charlotte Brontë used many literary tools in Jane Eyre to affect the reader.  It is my belief that the modern digital writer should utilize all of the different tools in his/her arsenal to evoke change in the reader or/and teach the reader, just as Charlotte did with her novel.  My English professor said, "Writing about literature in the digital age is a little bit old and a lot of new, and we need to come to terms with that."  His claim is true.  We must utilize the tools that we have to capture and keep the attention of our audience.  My blog has covered the use of different media types with literature, the author/reader response, the art of teaching and communication, and the responsibilities of the modern reader.  Now, I am working on turning that into one idea, one concept that might a difference if I can just word it in the right way.  The reader, the author, and the text itself must work together to complete the reading experience triangle.  In the digital age, another element has been added, media.  Pictures, videos, slideshows, etc. are utilized to enhance the consumption of the ideas being shared.  But I am still struggling with how to incorporate that idea into my literary text, Jane Eyre...


Do you have any ideas on how to make this work?  Or perhaps another way to connect Jane Eyre, secondary texts, and the concepts and tools behind writing in the digital age?  Any input would be greatly appreciated.  



Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Clubs? Communities? Where Do People Discuss E-Books?


Wattpad- an e-book community with the tagline, "Read what you like.  Share what you write."  With this site you can read books, vote for your favorites, start a library, chat with other readers and writers, post comments, and share your writing.  Users can access Wattpad through the internet or through a mobile phone application.  Their application has been downloaded over five million times.  Here is a link telling more about their website and the results of their latest metrics report.
Goodreads- You can do many of the same things on Goodreads that you can on Wattpad.  Both Wattpad and Goodreads allow you to download and upload e-books.
LibraryThing- another community site that has been compared to "Facebook for books."
MobileRead- forums for discussion more about e-book formats and e-book news, but still useful.  MobileRead also has a Wiki, which includes a spot for book reviews.  I found some useful information on their Wiki, including leading me to places to find e-books online and in my community.  The book review part of the Wiki has not had a lot of work done, but it could be useful if more people would contribute.
Local e-book clubs- some people are gathering together to discuss e-books in their communities.  One of these groups is the Kindle E-Book Reading Club at the Louisville Free Public Library.  They meet once each month to discuss tips and shortcuts for the Kindle, while reading a free download together each month.
Specific focus e-book clubs- people are forming e-book clubs that focus on a certain area of interest, such as a Punk Rock Permaculture e-book club.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Uploading An E-Book On Goodreads- Definitely Possible

image from www.bligbook.com- from an article, by Robin-Shah, with links to 5 websites about sites with free e-books

Our Engl 295 class is considering writing an e-book for our final project.  One detail that we have been trying to figure out is how we can distribute to the online audience and who our subject audience was going to be.  Our class has really enjoyed the Goodreads site, so we wondered if there might be a way to post our book on their website.  I had remembered opening an e-book of Jane Eyre on their website so I started researching.  I thought that I had figured out how it would work to upload an e-book, but I wanted to make sure, so I wrote Goodreads Support.  Below is the letter that I wrote to them:

Patrick from Goodreads Support responded the very next day with this message:

Now our class has an outlet to post our e-Book.  I am really excited to see the response to our book on the website once it has been posted....but first, to write the book.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Charlotte's Web for Carlie and Feminism (or Friendship)


 I am going to use EBSCOhost, a database resource, in order to find a connection between Charlotte's Web and feminism.

EBSCO Databases.  Provides full-text for over 1,250 academic journals, and full-text articles can be found back to January 1990.  Over half the journals are peer-reviewed.

First, I have to tell you that the first hit, when I searched '"Charlotte's Web" and femin*,' was "'Charlotte's web': reading Jane Eyre over time."  I thought that was pretty ironic.
Then, I searched for '"Charlotte's Web" and wom*.'  I found an article about how a woman used the internet to form positive relationships.  This article was called, ""Charlotte’s Web:" How One Woman Weaves Positive Relationships on the Net."

Here is the citation for the source:
Biggs, S. "Charlotte's Web: How One Woman Weaves Positive Relationships 
     on the Net." CyberPsychology & Behavior 3.4 (2000)Print.

 The article describes a woman's journey making friends while on the internet, discussing how it changed her relationship with herself and others.

I know Carlie is focusing on the aspect of friendship for Charlotte's Web.  I thought this was a good connection between her book and friendship in the digital age.

Charlotte Brontë: Pedagogy In The Classroom and In Jane Eyre


My purpose is to explore Project MUSE, a literary database, to learn more about the connection between Charlotte Brontë and education

Project MUSE. A database containing over 200 journals involving humanities, social sciences, and mathematics.

I searched Project MUSE for '"Jane Eyre" and pedago*.'  The article, "The Education of Charlotte Bronte: A Pedagogical Case Study," was the top result.

Here is the citation for the article:
Lonoff, Sue. "The Education of Charlotte Brontë: A Pedagogical Case 
     Study." Pedagogy 1.3 (2001): 457. Print. 

I learned more about Charlotte Brontë's personal education, why she chose to learn the things that she did, how her novels included both self-teaching and classroom lessons, and the similarity between her and her siblings' individual learning styles.

For me, one of the main purposes for reading is to learn, whether that is something about the world or something about yourself.  This article shows that Charlotte shared those same feelings.  I am excited to apply this article to my interpretation of Jane Eyre.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Using JSTOR To Discover Excess and Restraint in Jane Eyre



My purpose is to use JSTOR (Journal Storage), a database resource, to further my connections between Jane Eyre and the author-reader, creater-viewer, etc.  response of literary and other artistic works.

JSTOR (Journal Storage).  This is a resource indexing journal articles available online involving the humanities, social science, and more recently, science.  Some articles go back to the 19th century.  JSTOR searches also search the database ARTstor.

I browsed the database JSTOR for '"Jane Eyre" AND restraint.'  I followed the 8th link provided which was "Jane and the Other Mrs. Rochester: Excess and Restraint in "Jane Eyre"."  This article was available in its full length online.


Here is the citation for this article:
Grudin, Peter. "Jane and the Other Mrs. Rochester: Excess and Restraint in 
     "Jane Eyre"." NOVEL: A Forum on Fiction 10.2, Tenth Anniversary Issue: 
     II (1977): pp. 145-157. Print.


I learned in this article more about the historical background of a character's illness, the battle between excess and restraint and sources describing where each character stands in this battle, and how by illustration, this didactic novel effectively utilizes its character's actions to teach and elicit a response from the reader.


In rereading Jane Eyre, while paying special attention to the reader response experienced by myself and other readers, I have found more lessons in this didactic novel than ever before.  By studying these lessons individually, I will be able to study the author-reader and creator-viewer response in a more informed matter.  







Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Same Team: Text and Media


 My friend Tom started a blog almost a month ago, but this blog is no ordinary blog.  Tom's blog is a blog comprised of annotated voice recordings, of his wife's sleep-induced anecdotes.  His wife apparently talks a lot in her sleep, so Tom uses a voice-activated recorder app for his iPod.  This is different from any other blog that I have seen before, and when Dr. Burton was speaking about how text is being teamed up more often than ever before with other media forms, I recalled Tom's blog and its entertaining format.  Blogs are usually text supported by other media forms, but Tom's blog is made up of recordings and photos supported by small amounts of text.  The text and other media work together to create a more engaging and informative experience for the reader.  Just like in football, you do not tackle your own teammate, which would hurt your end goal.  Instead of trying to separate text and media, having them work together will help you efficiently tackle the issue you are trying to address.

 

In my English class, we were discussing this idea when talking about the Digital Public Library of America.  The plan appears to focus on text alone.  To keep up with the changing world of information and technology, I feel they need to embrace the media to supplement the information found in text form.  The opportunity to combine these informative mediums is available to those creating the Digital Pubic Library of America.  It will require more time and effort, because there is more involved in the process of creating a digital book when you include other forms of information.  One example of combining these mediums is seen in Al Gore's book, Our Choice
"The Our Choice app is a digital reading experience that matches a book for ease and outdoes it in ways that Gutenberg surely never imagined. With just your fingers, and the screen, the 400-page book becomes a portal to video, photo, and infographic content that demonstrates just how powerful an aid technology can be to the cause of knowledge." -Amy Lee from The Huffington Post
The Digital Public Library of America is a great opportunity to start a new library form including a rather new, more informative, and engaging book format, allowing text and other media forms to play for the same team.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Learning Interactions in Online Discussion Forums



As constant learners, we need to remember that there is much to learn from those who have different experiences and personalities than ours.  A great place for this learning to take place is in online discussion forums or the comment section of a blog post.  Effective learning takes place when the learning environment is learner-centered, knowledge-centered, assessment-centered, and community-centered.  "Interactivity has been considered as central tenet to the concept of 'online learning theory' (Balaji 3)."  Online resources, such as online discussion forums and blogs, allow learners to reflect upon their thinking.  The learning experience becomes individualized by this deep level learning and "new knowledge structures."  These methods of learning communication allow students to learn at their own pace and according to their interests, previous knowledge, and style.  Feedback is important for the smooth-functioning of these online learning centers.


Also, the community or social component presented on these sites play a huge role in online learning.  Interaction on these online sites give learners a sense of community or social connectivity.  As learners explore and discuss a subject, relationships are formed between the participants.  "Previous research has shown that learning communities exhibit increased student learning, and course satisfaction (Balaji 3)."  Learning effectiveness, in using online discussion forums, is influenced by the interactions and communication that take place.  The level of interaction that takes place depends on the learning environment, learning process, and learner characteristics.  The lack of nonverbal cues in online discussion forums may lead to less intense interactions, but the lack of cues may unbind the social hierarchy in the online environment, enabling users a more equal footing.


This is one of my favorite excerpts from the article.  It speaks about how preparation and personality affect the learner's contribution to online discussion forums:

"Previous studies report adequate student preparation in using the online discussion forums and easy navigation function of the forum to increase contribution. For example, Tsai (2004) in his study on students’ information search strategies found that students with high internet efficacy learned better and performed their online learning tasks more efficiently.  Whereas, low internet efficacy users find it challenging in searching for the information to complete online tasks and thus may show lower motivation. Furthermore, the student’s personality characteristics can influence their online participation. Studies investigating individual personality and internet behavior have revealed that introverted students to be more able to communicate with others in online environment than face-to-face (Amichai-Hamburger, Wainapel and Fox, 2002). Chen and Caropreso (2004) in their study investigated the effect of three personality traits – extroversion, agreeableness and openness – on online discussion.  Contrary to the early findings, the results report that students classified as “low” on these personality dimensions posted messages that were one-way and unrelated or slightly related to the discussion topics. Extroverts, because of their strong need for gratification and higher success rate of interaction are more likely to participate in ODFs (Balaji 6)."
The poster of a topic also plays a role in the learning process.  The poster posts interesting and relevant topics to get fellow learners involved.  The poster has “the responsibility of keeping discussions on track, contributing special knowledge and insights, weaving together various discussion threads and course components, and maintaining group harmony (Balaji 6)”.  Constant interactions between poster and learner help raise the learner's comfort level with technology and encourages them to be more proactive.  Just like the learner-learner social element, the poster-learner relationship also needs to be maintained and strengthened to create a better learning environment.  The immediacy of feedback in the online environment gives a greater opportunity to communicate with other learners.  The sense of connectedness among the learners increases the interactions in the online environment.  Media richness theory argues that using appropriate media will improve task performance.  Online discussion forums are built as effective learning communities; which if we will utilize them, we can grow and learn from one another.

Information from "Student Interactions in Online Discussion Forum: Empirical Research from ‘Media Richness Theory’ Perspective"- M S Balaji, Diganta Chakrabarti, IBS Hyderabad, IFHE Universtiy, Hyderbad, India- Spring 2010

Monday, May 23, 2011

Goodreads Discussion


I have never started a discussion group before, and I was slightly hesitant to do so.  I tend to avoid conflict, which discussion groups often have a lot of.  This makes sense with so many people coming together with strong conviction about different issues and ideas, because we all come from different backgrounds and experiences.  My discussion group is just starting out, and I am hoping to gather some more opinions about the book Jane Eyre.  I am focusing the group on choice and independence, which are central themes in Jane Eyre.  So far, I have had people reply with different opinions than I have and some new insights have been brought into the discussion.  I am excited to see how the discussion continues to grow and develop.  Through my perspective of the book and the perspectives of the other members of the discussion group, we will be able to gain a better perspective of the work as a whole, each bringing our own piece of the Jane Eyre puzzle.  As I learn more about the book, I also hope to learn more about myself as a reader and scholar, especially on how to communicate my ideas more clearly in an online setting.  This discovery is going to take practice and research.  One article from IFHE discusses theories of the results of online discussion forums:

"The present study is significant in its attempts to draw on different theories to investigate the antecedents and outcomes of using ODFs along with classroom lectures. The findings indicate that facilitating discourse, reflective thinking, assessment and connectedness contribute to interactions in ODFs. From the practical perspective, the present study suggests that using multiple medium of instruction enriches the communication context and leads to enhanced learning."- M. S. Balaji, Diganta Chakrabarti, IBS Hyderabad, IFHE Universtiy, Hyderbad, India

I will discuss more about this article and others in my next blog post on how the results of different studies performed can help us, as information consumers, better share our own ideas with those around us, whether digitally or in the real world.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Brainstorming Jane Eyre


I am using different methods to research the book Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë.  One of my goals is to see this book through a different lens.  I have a few different ideas that I am working on to see this book from different angles.  Some are in process and some have not taken off yet.  Let me know your opinion.


1. The Novel
 -The most important mode of research.


2. Historical Research
 -I am writing Brontë scholars about questions or their opinions.
 -I am reading scholarly articles about Jane Eyre and Charlotte Brontë.
 -I am looking at The Brontë Parsonage Museum and Brontë Society website for information.
3. Creative
 -writing poems, online picture book, playlist, food, etc. Which of these options would you like to see for Jane Eyre?

4. Media
 -I am going to watch at least two film adaptations of Jane Eyre.
 -I also want to try digital formats, such as audiobooks and PDFs.

5. Reader Perspective
 -I have asked questions about Jane Eyre on Facebook for friends who have read the book.  I am excited to hear their responses.
 -I also asked friends questions who had rated the book on Goodreads.  So far, Rachael Schiel, a fellow classmate, has responded.  Thanks Rachael!
 -To get a wider variety of responses, I have started a discussion on Goodreads.  I have never started a discussion on a web site before, so we will see how this goes.
 -I am also reading reviews and blogs about Jane Eyre.

Are there any of these research ideas that you like?  Are there any questions you have or opinions you would like to share?  I would be grateful for any comments made. 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Snubby J


   Kent Jenkins, also known as Snubby J, is a performer who is known for his YouTube videos showing him playing a PVC Pipe Instrument he made that was inspired by the Blue Man Group.  (I find the Mario Brothers Theme Song rather appropriate for this instrument.)

A picture of Snubby J's instrument

Snubby J is a student at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California, majoring in Theatre and minoring in Music.  Last summer, Snubby J appeared on the television show, America's Got Talent, and he made it to the Las Vegas round before being cut.  He also tried out to be a Blue Man; he was rejected for now but encouraged to audition again with more experience.  In the video below, he speaks of these experiences.

Here is a clip from America's Got Talent.

This young man just finished his first year of college, but he is already establishing a presence for himself online, in the music world, and on television.  

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Facebook Has A New Layout?

This video has been requested in response to the previous video post of Julian Smith.  This video is of Julian experiencing the new Facebook layout.


Also, if you did not follow the previous link to one of my favorite Julian Smith videos, here it is again so you can simply watch it here on the blog.


And once again, here is the link to Julian Smith's YouTube channel.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Robert Darnton's Case for Books


Some of the ideas presented in this book have already been described wonderfully by Ariel Letts.  Like Ariel, I also ironically listened to this book, which advocates the use and need for physical books.  I really liked the points that Ariel made about the book.

Below is a short video of Robert Darnton speaking on the idea of information overload.  


It is really amazing to have the ability to search online in order to put a name to a voice and a face.  At the beginning of this clip, Darnton makes a point that he also makes in his book:

"The death of the book really is exaggerated.  More titles are produced each year than in the preceding year worldwide.  With the exception of last year which was a disaster for everyone.  The graph goes up and up and up, and it's nearly one million new titles in print.  The old-fashioned printed codex is doing very well, thank you.  But it means that we suffer from information overload.  Everyone in this room does, I'm sure, but it is not new."

I agree with Darnton that books have a purpose still in society, and that they will remain irreplaceable for many circumstances for many years to come.  As Darnton points out, other new media forms, such as radio and e-mail, have not led to the eradication of their predecessors.

Here is a link to a podcast interviewing Robert Darnton about The Case for Books: Past, Present, and Future.  I think that he would have been a much better narrator for his book than the narrator that I listened to, whose slight lisp sometimes made listening difficult.  Darnton's story examples are so interesting.  If you have a few minutes, I suggest listening to the video or/and part of the podcast.

Do you agree with his view of books in the future?


Monday, May 16, 2011

Virtual Reality

I enjoy Julian Smith's channel, especially his commentary on Facebook.  However, this post, "uMove", makes me sad, because it portrays the truth.  There are many people who are losing sight of reality and imagination, who NEED technology to find enjoyment in life.  I have seen some of my younger cousins who complain if they have to use their imagination, since it is much easier for a DVD player or a video game console to entertain them.  Studies have shown that the playing of video games desensitize players to real violence.  Most video games contain some form of violence or another.

Now do not get me wrong, video games can be a good thing as well.  With two older brothers, I have played my share of games, including a lot of Mario Kart.


a song written by Sam Hart, now available on iTunes

A BYU Study showed that girls who played video games with their parents had overall strong mental health and family connectedness, as long as the game rating was age-appropriate.  Video games can be fun for a hobby and can be used as a bonding activity, but we as the players must not allow the technology to take over, maintaining our sense of reality and ability to utilize the power of the imagination.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Good Quote, Good Site, Goodreads

 When my professor brought up the fact that he did not feel he really understood something unless he could explain it to his child, I automatically thought of a quote from this man:


"If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself."
Albert Einstein

I have some of my favorite quotes saved on my account for Goodreads.  When I thought of this quote, I was able to search my favorite quotes and found the one I was searching for.  For a girl who is obsessed with quotes, the Goodreads site has been wonderful for me.