Using Asynchronous Video in Online Classes – Griffiths

June 28th, 2010

Griffiths, M.E., & Graham, C.R. (2009). Using Asynchronous Video in Online Classes: Results from a Pilot Study. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, 6(3).

Recently, I discovered that Michael E. Griffiths, Senior Project Manager in the Center for Teaching and Learning at BYU and Charles R. Graham, an Associate Professor of Instructional Psychology and Technology also at BYU, conducted a study that is extremely close to my own dissertation research topic, even drawing on many of the same theories and scholarship. While such a find could prove to be frightening if it were an exact replica study and intent, rather, I find that their study supports and accents my own research, as oppose to preceding any points I was trying to discover, glean, or even prove.

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Avatars of the Word – O’Donnell– 2: The Instability of Text

June 22nd, 2010

O’Donnell, J. J. (2000). Avatars of the word: From papyrus to cyberspace: Harvard University Press.

In this chapter, O’Donnell discusses the instability and, in some ways (un)reliability, of the written word in both printed and electronic form. The printed format is generally a far cry more consistent than the pre-Gutenberg manuscript format. However, upon closer examination, there exists a possibility for much inconsistency and even access ephemerality. “It is surprising what variations can occur between one printed edition of the same book and another…” (44). Read the rest of this entry »

Avatars of the Word– O’Donnell– 1: Plato’s Phaedrus

June 21st, 2010

“A drug of ambiguous power may heal or poison.”
– highly paraphrased Derrida

O’Donnell, J. J. (2000). Avatars of the word: From papyrus to cyberspace: Harvard University Press.

A point that O’Donnell raises early in this text is the public-vs-private setting of the pre-Gutenberg writer, who wrote, copied, and distributed his texts in hand-written manuscript form. “There was no divorce between private and public” (11). In this way, the writer was quite in the public, as opposed to the printed book one now buys off the shelf, which has no physical tie to the author; although penned by he or she, it has gone through an editor, and an elaborate printing-publishing-packaging-distribution process. With the arrival of printing, the idea of the “author” was born: one who sits alone, working through the manufacture of the text and then turning it over to a publisher. Read the rest of this entry »

Is a blind man’s cane part of the man?

June 20th, 2010

Based on a question I found in Hayles’ book originally posed by a professor (Gregory Bateson) to his graduate students, I queried “Is a blind man’s cane part of the man?” on my Facebook page. This launched one of the longer conversations I’ve had on FB, the culmination of which is worth repurposing into a post. As Socrates would see it, it was a rubbing together of minds through dialogue lead to a spark of illumination. So, here is an essay of my perspective on the matter formulated due to, and based on, that conversation with special thanks to Ronda W., Duglas K, Amanda B., Mark C., Lisa C-S, Cris B, Michael S., and Kim E.

This question stems from my reading this week of Hayles’ “How We Became Posthuman.” From my perception, the cane is part of the man. It is merely one example in the discussion that all tools are extensions of ourselves (a point I’ve touched on in last week’s blog posts on McLuhan and Hayles). The cane operates as part of the man’s body, it acts as an extension of his hand, being part of his working perception of the world (perception of the working world?). Read the rest of this entry »

How We Became Posthuman 2 – Virtual Bodies and Flickering Signifiers – Hayles

June 18th, 2010

Hayles, N. K. (1999). How we became posthuman: Virtual bodies in cybernetics, literature, and informatics: University Of Chicago Press.

In chapter 2, Virtual Bodies and Flickering Signifiers, Hayles discusses virtual reality settings and models of signification. My research has nothing to do with virtual reality as we understand the term–a computer-simulated/generated environment into which one can travel and interact, such as with 2nd life or even more physically interactive where one dons special goggles and gloves and can actually move around within the environment. However, as Hayles notes, there is a certain virtual reality experience by just using the internet. Read the rest of this entry »