July 17, 2012

My Favorite Author/Book

Who is your favorite author?  Why?  What is your favorite book and why?

July 8, 2012

Where Do I Start?

That is the question, isn't it?  While recently exploring the National Writing Project's Digital Is site, I came across an interesting way to consider it. Kim Jaxon, an assistant professor of English at CSU, Chico and member of the Northern California Writing Project offers this:

"I’d like to take a small step towards exploring the question “where do I start?” when thinking about new technologies. But instead of leading with something that may cause varying degrees of anxiety, I’d like you to consider something more positive first: Think about something you’ve learned to do well. Perhaps you are a proficient baker, mechanic, soccer coach, bargain shopper, or musician?

I’ll give you a moment.

Now ask: How did I learn to do that or become that person? What resources and material conditions mattered as I developed an identity around this activity? What spaces mattered? What mentoring did I receive? How did I learn to be a part of the discourse community that surrounds that activity?

Another moment.

When I ask students to answer these questions, it is because I want them to think about learning, particularly the social nature of learning. I also want them to remember that learning to be a certain kind of person—a person who plays the guitar or a person who writes—is made up of a complex ecology of mentors, activities, spaces, tools, and language. Even as we become mentors ourselves in areas of interest, we often realize that we’re never really done learning how to be this person, never really done thinking, improving, or innovating.

My hope would be that you could take this feeling of competence in some task--combined with an understanding that learning to do something you feel good about is complicated--and apply that to your approach to learning about digital spaces and tools. What resources might you need? What spaces matter? Who could function as a mentor? Where could you start?"

Please respond to any or all of the questions from Jaxon's take on starting.