Final thoughts looking forward

I promised a wrap up for the course, and I really should have made a video, but exam week was busy and unpredictable, so I was having trouble finding the time.  My students were giving me a lot of great suggestions for the next time I teach #ec457, so I did  write them down, and added a few thoughts of my own.  In a nutshell, I think I will try to make the first nine weeks into two units, one with Levinson, new media tools, and media ecology (the tetrad), one with Naomi Baron, linguistic analysis, and a closer look at language and messages within the tools. Two short papers rather than one long one.  Also integrate non-profits right from the start. Second half will stay similar, but add in a few more readings, a few more check-points, a few more deliverables.  This revision would make for a stronger course, but will it be too much?

Notes I collected as I read project reflections and book reviews of New New Media (Levinson) and Networked Non Profit (Kanter and Fine).

  • Levinson’s NNM is generally well received, but needs to be supplemented.  Baron’s Always On might be good compliment.  Essays could take the form of media ecology criticism or linguistic studies (an extension of our linguistics offerings).
  • Avatars: might do more with them and assign Ulmer’s avatar essay.  Craft an online identity (including avatar) that gets used across platforms.  Along with this, spend a bit more time on the craft of the home page:  categories, tags, push technologies, reblogs, images, additional readings.
  • More on the craft of new media writing.  More on the craft of a blog, a tweet, a status update.  Look at what posts do (procedural rhetoric, out of code). Use this as part of the linguistic analysis.  Like Jason did, pick a sample X posts about Y, and then look carefully at not only how they were written but the action they called for.
  • Find additional research like Stolley’s, some about NonProfits, use more examples of NNPs, be more selective with NNP.  Work on workflow: get students to commit to one blog a week at a specific time. Recognize the challenge of workflow.
  • I also probably need to ask for short email updates on a weekly basis.  Set up the second half more like on online work environment: I’m the boss, everybody needs to report in weekly, needs to account for their work, stay in touch, stay on top of things.

Hmm, I seem to have lost some notes, but I think I could also:

  • get more out of NNP (visual storytelling, profiles of people)
  • do more with personal blogs; do a better job of preparing students to help an org use WordPress
  • shorten initial proposal to NNP, require a wrap up report / plan for the org, ask for video presentations if applicable
  • ban cat projects (jk)




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