#UsingDataSets

What possibilities can you envision for using datasets, maybe beyond literature? In gaming? In soci0-cultural study?

When I saw this question my mind went blank for a little bit at first but I then remembered something I did in my Teacher Cadet experience that I used data sets for. They were used to track students progress in the classroom. I would have to input data from the tests that they were taking in order for the teacher to track growth and understand the content that she needed to teach. Certain questions aligned with literature and some aligned with mechanics and she could track the growth of the student and then also track the classroom needs. Most of the students, in the seventh grade class still struggled a little but with reading comprehension and we knew this because of the data sets we had created. It made the classroom easier to navigate because then we could pinpoint the exact needs of the individual or the group. While this isn’t exactly what we did in class I think analyzing the data sets of progression can help teachers in the classroom. Although testing the students day one is not ideal, it may help give the teacher somewhere to start and then continue to track. It also doesn’t have to be an assessment it could be a series of assignments to track and have them do the same kind of assignments throughout the term to track. I would employ it the same test at different checkpoints during the year to measure the data sets and begin to understand the student’s achievements in the class. This test is not necessarily for a grade it is for measurement purposes more of a formative assessment to address over the course of the year. Also if I find one particular student struggling I know exactly what to give them to achieve more in the classroom.

Data points are helpful tool for organization of many items and materials. I think this is more of basic way of think about datasets, and I could have possibly misinterpreted the question, but this something could, once it’s set up, be an easy tool to use in the classroom. I think the set up would take a long time just like the data set we saw in the Journal but I creating data sets can help inform the teacher on what the students need. Create a team of teachers that use the same data sets and send them to other teachers to use as the student progresses through school that way the student growth because a data set and can show students too the growth they have made in school. This could be done easily once started but creating the data set would be the difficult part.

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#TwitterThoughts

As we had the discussion about Twitter in class I thought a lot about what it means to use Twitter or even a social media. How does on get their face out there? I have used social media for years and I actually had a twitter back when Twitter was in its infancy and you could only have an egg for a profile picture. I know I’m just so old. Although that egg picture still exist to some extent twitter has hatched into something completely new. Twitter can provide us with valuable insight about people’s lives business projects or even links that may be useful to us for to find information on topic relatively unknown. As I type this, my father sits next to me on his iPad, something he has just recently learned how to use. I looked over at the article he was reading, no doubt about something car related, and there on his screen was a screen-captured tweet from a relatable source. Has twitter ingrained so much that even my father reads about it on his online articles? I think so. I think back to the article “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” and how our brains are beginning to change. Our brains can only do certain things for a certain amount of time before we need to check the notification or, you know, your DH Twitter. Twitter provides use with 140 character news story that works with the way we are beginning to think about our culture. But how does one’s tweet get to the articles that dads read?

I think tweets travel if they make influence on someone or a group of someones much like when a book or theory becomes popular. Admit it, The Twilight Series made a huge influence on you whether good or bad. Tweets or most social media posts have become just as big as influence on us as books do. So how do I become the much-desired “Twitter famous person that one longs to be? Make an influence. Retweet the sh** out anything you find interesting use those hashtag. You are sharing information. Though I only have 7 followers on one Twitter account and 77 on the other, making connections is the first big part about becomes an influencer on Twitter. I sue to be very frugal about who I follow on most social media reserving it only for friends. But as the internet has expanded and we understand the nature of it a little more, you need to connect woth the starngers that share the similar thoughts about. Or for you Tumblr people follow people who share the same aesthetic as you. Mine is video games-stars-funny-quotes. (I know, get on my level.)

As we begin to discover out interests we need to continue the discussion. As soon as I followed a DH Blog they sent me this:

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A tweet from a trending DH Twitter

Then their partner twitter retweeted that and that’s the type of Twitter that we need to begin employing as we tweet. Of we see something worth noting we need to send it out to the world or follow them so others follow us and then we follow them to create our own twitter sphere.

As a special treat a #TeamInternet famous and YouTube personality infamously liked and unliked my tweet about his book and I screen-captured it so I could remember this forever. I then tweeted about the happening and gained, I think, two followers on my personal account. Progress is progress.

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“Migrating to Google”

I just got an email from my former institution’s IT department notifying me that all files stored in their cloud storage platform would be migrating to Google Drive over Spring Break. Just as the birds migrate to warmer climes, so do my files move to a more user-friendly and familiar platform. Home terrain. Comfort zone. Frustration free. Ah, Google.

I wonder what files of mine still exist on that institutional storage platform, as I long ago lost the login information and never bothered to reclaim it. I wonder too about those digital traces that I’ve left elsewhere, at another university several thousand miles away. Like the imprint of the self left on the skin of the city by the psychogeographer, urban wanderer, Woolfian seeker of pencils, a deCerteau-ian trace, I’ve left indentations in the digital fabric. The migration notification sparked me to think about how a move from a clunky, password protected, educational platform, upon which I’ve left files I don’t much worry over, to a streamlined, accessible platform where I’ve already got a presence, signals not only the importance of critically engaging with the intersections between the digital and human experiences of it, but also an implicit desire to de-silo the digital world, especially the world of the university. This seems like a really good thing. But, it also begs this question: if we all migrate to Google, learn and use its tools, build things with its platforms and resources, what does that imply about the future of our digital choices or lack thereof? Does de-siloing the flow of information within a university and into the world at large make sense? In broader terms, will migrating to Google mean losing an autonomous, creative, and independent focus on developing tools for DH research and pedagogy? What do the developers think?

It seems now is a pretty good time for digital humanists to return to some of the questions David M. Berry writes about in his 2011 essay, “The Computational Turn: Thinking about the Digital Humanities.” He suggests that a third wave of digital humanities might engage with getting truly collaborative and dismantling the hierarchy of knowledge dissemination and acquisition provided by the brick and mortar university. This new mode of thinking through the way information is remixed and remediated within born-digital environments should provide us (the humans) an opportunity to slow down and make space for pedagogical change and interdisciplinary collaboration.

Berry writes:

[R]easoning could shift to a more conceptual or communicative method of reasoning, for example, by bringing together comparative and communicative analysis from different disciplinary perspectives, and by knowing how to use technology to achieve a usable result – a rolling process of reflexive thinking and collaborative rethinking. Relying on technology in a more radically decentred way, depending on technical devices to fill in the blanks in our minds and to connect knowledge in new ways, would change our understanding of knowledge, wisdom and intelligence itself. (10)

How do we reconcile “de-centering” and “de-siloing”? As we continue to immerse ourselves both in creating born-digital content and thinking about how it alters our learning and collaborative possibilities on an every day level, let’s also be mindful about how we can engage the digital humanities to rethink persistent categories within, assumptions about, traditions, and expectations of higher learning.

Google University, anyone?