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Teaching Literature in a Digital World
Transcript of Teaching Literature in a Digital World
Read two finalists from 2012 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction
Making the Book Trailers
Copyright Issues on Trailers
Microsoft Movie Maker
Easier to use than I initially thought
How-to video on YouTube covered all basics
No group had trouble using the movie maker
More difficult than I imagined it would be
Harder to export to YouTube
Still worked well for book trailers
Using Trailers to Teach Tone and Mood
What is the Pulitzer Prize?
Dr. Vamcydher Kilari
TRAIN DREAMS by Denis Johnson
SWAMPLANDIA! by Karen Russell
Choose a winner for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction
Create a book review and book trailer for the winner
Books displayed in school library with book trailers embedded in QR codes
YouTube cooperating with the man
Trailers Not Playing on Mobile
Why does it matter?
Why was there no winner in 2012?
Finding the Criteria
How do we choose distinguished fiction?
Becoming the Board
Becoming the authority on great literature
Technology in the classroom
The Challenges of Teaching Lit
"Nearly half of all Americans ages 18 to 24 read no books for pleasure."
from NEA's 2007 report on American reading trends
The Final Exam
FERPA? Consent? Legal Issues?
Can use Moodle's blogs to avoid possible problems
No student examples
The Midterm Exam
Jess's Challenges & Rationales
"I've never had to read a whole book before."
"In high school, we didn't have to read on our own; we would read the texts aloud in class."
Gotten stuck in the three papers, three tests mode
Questioning the purpose/value of closed book, closed notes testing
"I haven't even read a book I liked all the way through."
from a student taking an elective literature course
Choice of various applications or comparisons with an essay and research
Purpose: thoughtful engagement with a text; connecting literature to other classes/activities/ideas; allowing for creative responses
Personal goals: wanted to cut down on regurgitation of information and on plagiarism; needed something that was meaningful but also not too stressful/time consuming to grade
2-3 page essay plus works cited page
1-2 research sources plus the literature
Can only work with readings from first half of the semester
1 week to complete the project
Essay only options:
Film, music, history, and science
Essay plus options:
Art, cosplay, and food
Build in time for each student to talk briefly about his/her work
Unsuccessful projects: misunderstanding of the historical/cultural context and/or of the literature itself; not doing the required research
Successful projects: critical and creative thinking skills; personal/academic connection to the literature; deeper understanding of the works/purpose of the class
Paper on weapon-making in Beowulf and connection to the poem's representation of warrior culture
Cosplay of Queen Guenevere in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and an exploration of fashion and beauty of the time
the social media spin
if you can't beat them...?
use of technology
Medieval feast culture essay and food samples
Phrenology, pseudo-science, race, and Oroonoko
Have used WordPress and Moodle
Prompt varies each semester but is always cumulative
Length: roughly 5 pages broken over several blog posts; can include research
Two parts: collaborative blog writing then individual responses to other blogs and replies to comments on own blog
students become the authority
they determine what makes great literature
students are engaged
fun; easy to grade!
the 'goosebump' factor
Why they like it
Why I like it
Can create private WordPress sites, allow students to use a different name for online work, assign an alternate assignment if needed, and/or have students sign a waiver
Why blogging is still important to me inspite of the legal hassles:
Easy to collaborate on
Easy for me to see who does what
Gives students a break from the paper format
Allows for multimedia posts (well, not Moodle's blog feature)
Allows for students to "publish"
Allows for multiple levels of interaction
Choose a theme/idea from a list (or create own with instructor approval) and track the theme/idea through our units
Select X readings from the textbook not covered in class and connect those readings to assigned pieces and class discussions
Explain why or why not a sophomore-level literature course should be a core requirement for all AA and AS students
Differentiating between tone and mood
Looking at syntax, diction, and details to find tone
Discussing the length and rhythm of sentences
Using tone to create mood