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Thursday, May 28 • 1:05pm - 2:05pm
New Ways to Work, Learn, & Play in the Digital Era

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A session of lightning talks:

Social Media in Higher Education
Alicia Pileggi

This paper will discuss the importance of collaboration and active participation in reshaping higher education from the perspective of an undergraduate student. As a student, this semester I am involved in a FemTheory DOCC, a Digital Writing course, and an internship with the Digital Humanities Department at Richard Stockton College. These experiences have given me a unique perspective on the use of social media for Academia, specifically higher education.

While many professors and teachers have viewed social media sites as a distraction to students’ education, I believe there is much untapped potential to use these sites for educational purposes. Both Twitter and Facebook are sites that most students are engaged in already. This makes it convenient for a student to get involved beyond the classroom on his/her own time. It’s a place where a student can go beyond “doing the work” and can connect with the material. I have personally experienced the empowerment of participation and collaboration as I've begun to build a network of peer review through Twitter and Facebook. I have begun to share what I am learning online and participate with others who are involved in my areas of study....

If You can’t Beat it, Hack it: Creating (Digital) Sites of Praxis in the Writing Classroom
Marijel Maggie Melo

In Hacking the Academy, Tad Suiter defines the hacker ethos as “learning and improving highly complex systems by playful innovation.” Inspired by the conversations resonating from Hacking the Academy and from the HASTAC 2015 theme for the consideration of the interplay among various disciplines and the disruption of older forms, I will discuss the affordances of engaging web 2.0 interfaces (specifically the popular interface, Instagram) to create digital sites of praxis within the classroom to cultivate contextualized, situated, and playful learning. This lightning talk explores the theme of technology and education with a specific focus on hacking the traditional classroom space (often fraught with time and space constraints) into a space to promote student innovation and collaboration.

I will be sharing my experience assigning a writing project which was heavily reliant on students’ interaction with digital communities inherent to Instagram; the writing project was entitled: “Engaging the Community: Digital (H)Acktivism & Social Media.“ Students were prompted to create awareness campaigns on Instagram to “help mitigate a social issue or community pain point” (Melo, 2014). Students broke into teams and self-selected campaign topics. The campaign topics were diverse, ranging from gender equality (#SheQuality), anti-bullying (#TheHappinessTree), to fitness inspiration through the lens of a GoPro (#FitnessGoingPro). At the beginning of the 25-day long campaign, 42 students formed 13 campaign groups, and came up with the hashtag “#StayHacktive” to cultivate meta-data on the 13 campaigns. Students deemed the overall assignment successful once the campaigns ended. On a macro level, 42 students collectively generated 1,527 followers on Instagram, created 290 posts, and obtained 3,212 likes. On a more intimate level, students interacted with local non-profits, businesses, and even celebrities to spread awareness of their campaigns. ...

Writing as Translation: How We Analyzed, Evaluated, Summarized, Synthesized, Articulated, Considered, Critiqued, and Reflected on How Students Interpret Writing Tasks
Laura Gonzales, Rebecca Zantjer, and Howard Fooksman

Design Problem: Students and Instructors Misunderstand Each Other in Writing Prompts
We are developing an interactive system intended to facilitate the communication of writing instruction between writing instructors, writing tutors, and students. 

The miscommunication of writing assignment objectives and writing-related feedback is often presented as a “student problem,” where students in writing courses are put at fault for failing to meet instructor expectations. As writing instructors ourselves, we understand the frustration that arises when an entire class of students misunderstands an assignment and fails to meet instructor expectations and the learning goals for that assignment. We know what it is like to carefully compose writing prompts and project descriptions, only to realize that students did not use these tools the way we intended. We've gathered information from both students and instructors on how the current process works, or fails to work, and are hoping to develop a software application that can help facilitate the distribution, translation, and revision of a writing assignment to optimize both student performance and instructor time management.

3D Preservation of The Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane
Lisa Hermsen and Shaun Foster

The paper reports work on a 3D reconstruction and preservation of the Buffalo State Insane Asylum. Now known as the Richardson Olmsted Complex, the Asylum was a collaborative project between noted American architect H.H. Richardson and famed landscape designer Frederick Law Olmsted. A state-of-the-art facility when completed in 1895, the Asylum sought to ease psychological distress via architectural reform. Because so “few of these therapeutic asylum landscapes exist today,” the historical “significance of the Richardson Olmsted Complex is nationally recognized.” Yet even the Richardson Complex is in danger of being removed from American memory. Its main administrative building and one standing wing is being rehabilitated as a boutique hotel. An important question follows: how is the former asylum remembered on sites and in buildings repurposed for urban sustainability? 

"Buffalo State Asylum: A Purposeful Reconstruction" promises to engage the public by preserving this asylum with historical accuracy in an atmospheric and experimental gameplay. The process of developing interactive 3D computer graphics is a relatively new but rapidly evolving field. Over the last several years increased graphics processing technologies and improved tools for efficiently generating assets are opening the possibilities for building expansive, explorable and interactive worlds by small but talented teams. Rather than create a serious game meant strictly for education, the project aims to create an exploration game with a thick atmospheric design. Rather than for the game to decide what ought to be remembered and what forgotten, it is the visitor who will ascribe the asylum with meaning. The atmosphere with the formal game elements would provide a new entry point to the history of the Buffalo Insane Asylum, but would challenge the player to engage in self-directed learning. Different pathways may pose different contextual possibilities and empower the user to seek different experiences. As such, the gameplay will elicit various adaptive responses. By moving through the atmosphere and encountering formal game elements, the player will be provided a space in which to respond with at least partial knowledge to the real space as it was experienced by those in the past. 

The goal of this project is to add new depth and perspective to a key question: “was the asylum a failed reform or unrealized success?” Rather than viewing the asylum in static photographs or as a haunted ruin in our contemporary imaginings, the project will depict how the asylum operated and was once celebrated as a reform institution. This project will lead us to re-examine the belief in the built environment–the power of architecture–for the treatment of mental illness. The asylum building is a witness to the history of medicine and testament to the struggles of society to “place” the mentally ill. Coming to terms with these structures and the stigma attached to them ought to be important when designing modern-day environments. By viewing the scale of asylum reform in this 3D, students, scholars and members of the public may be able to think differently about debates over mental health care reform across many decades.

Find the video on youtube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_VYkxwJmFQ&feature=youtu.be 

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Marijel Maggie Melo

Marijel Maggie Melo

PhD student, University of Arizona
I'm a PhD student in the Rhetoric, Composition, and Teaching of English program at the University of Arizona. My research focuses on prosumer cultures and rhetorics in Web 2.0 environments, critical digital pedagogy, and the digital humanities.

Designated Tweeters
avatar for Sara Humphreys

Sara Humphreys

Continuing Lecturer, St. Jerome's University (in the University of Waterloo)
Activist pedagogy, digital pedagogy, scholarly publishing, gaming - I am currently working on a book length project, "Manifest Destiny 2.0: Genre Trouble in Video Games" that studies how oppressive video games operate (under contract with the University of Nebraska Press). My next project explores how scholarly publishing can and should incorporate gaming paradigms.


Thursday May 28, 2015 1:05pm - 2:05pm
Room 104 Kellogg Center

Attendees (32)