Conversations on the evolution of social media, learning & the web

I’m a retired professor. At Sheridan College I taught writing (for a variety of purposes), the structure of poetry, reading (using Thomson’s Understanding Teenagers’ Reading), computer & web use for business, and the structure of story in popular movies (using Seger’s Making a Good Script Great). At the University of Toronto in Mississauga, I taught public speaking and presenting (rhetoric using Heinrichs’ Thank You For Arguing), and podcasting, using class wikis and other web resources.

Below you can read some of my latest thoughts on learning, the web, social media, aging, spiritual struggles, and other observations. If you want to dig deeper, I invite you to join the conversation for more posts and thoughts.

learner, web wanderer, edu-web-consultant, speaker

Posts

40 Years Teaching College Composition

 

I’ve been fully retired for a year and a half now, and I deleted all my teaching files a couple of months ago, so I can’t pass along any specific course materials. For Labour day, though, I’m going to share the distillation of my 40 years of teaching college composition and other language skills to college and university students, and my studies on how people learn to write from two advanced degrees in mid and late career.

1. Many community college students come in already resistant to taking English,… Read more 40 Years Teaching College Composition

My iPad Mini

A friend asked me for advice on buying a tablet. Here’s what I wrote:

I have a mini iPad and I love it! I’m using it right now.

I use it for email when I’m in a wifi environment. I don’t have a data plan, but I can use the web when I’m in a wifi environment. I can also use my phone as a wifi hotspot for my iPad if I really need to access the web or my email and I’m not in a wifi spot.

Read more My iPad Mini

Facebook, my Porch

Facebook is the new porch, the place where you relax and communicate with friends who drop by. It’s the club for people who don’t “do” clubs, it’s the Social Hour organizations try to set up, it’s the place to mingle. Not all of my friends are “friends, and not all of my “friends” are friends. But what I like is seeing aspects of people I hadn’t previously seen, and feeling connected to them, at least potentially.

Some of my “friends” are from my past –

Read more Facebook, my Porch

Lars and the Real Girl

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0805564/mediaviewer/rm3981480704

Lars and the Real Girl” was intriguing, a kind of treatise and/or metaphor on how someone can be healed when in deep, debilitating pain. Lars, probably Asperger’s, whose mother had died at his birth (I think) cannot stand to be touched socially or physically, but yearns for connection. He buys a blow-up doll, and treats it as a real girl, introducing “her” to his brother and sister-in-law, and eventually almost everyone he knows in his small rural-appearing town.

Read more Lars and the Real Girl