Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Political Economy Resources

Here are some of the materials we will be using in class on Wednesday... no need to check them out ahead of time. But they are here for your reference:

The Mickey Mouse Monopoly

Disney's Celebration

Disney's First Black Princess

Tim Wise, Between Barack and a Hard Place

Reading for Tuesday Night

For your reading tonight (Tuesday), please read the Giroux article posted here:

Henry Giroux on Disney

(And if you want more of his critique of the comodification of childhood, read this.)

Your blogging assignment for tonight is to reflect on Giroux's points. What do you make of his critique of the Disney Empire?

Monday, June 29, 2009

Monday Night

Thanks for a great first day!

Tonight (Monday), your assignment is this:

1. Spend about 40 minutes searching online for resources related to "critical pedagogy." Bring some notes about what you found with you to class on Tuesday. (Optional: post those links on your blog.)

2. Create a new post on your blog reflecting on the first day of this course. What resonated most with you? What questions do you have? How does this relate to your teaching and your life, if at all?

If you own a laptop, a digital camera, digital video camera, cell phone with camera, flashdrive, or other digital technologies, bring them with you to class on Tuesday... we will be playing with technology in the afternoon!

See you in the morning...

LB :)

Schoolhouse Rock!

As promised... here is a little taste of media history.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Welcome CURR 580!

By the time you read this, we will have already started exploring the basic terrain of this course in person, face-to-face. And now we begin our online adventures together...

A blog is your very own, personal online journal. It is public, in that I and your classmates can read it and comment on it, but it is your space and you can control most everything about it. (If you want to make it private so that *only* members of this class can read it, I can show you how to do so).

In the context of this course, your blog has two purposes:

1) Your blog will provide a space for you to keep all of your thoughts and analysis over the course of our week together. You will not hand in written assignments to me each day; rather you will post them on your blog. In this sense, your blog is merely your assignment notebook.

2) Creating your own blog will also introduce you to the blogisphere if you don't know this place already. I hope that you will discover creative educational uses for this online medium. You will see how easy it is to use blogger.com, and perhaps it will inspire you to bring blogs into your own classroom in the fall. (Or at least you will be all the more hip for knowing about them!)

So here's how it works:

Right now, you are going to set up your own blog. If you don't think of yourself as very "tech-saavy," don't stress! The site below makes it very easy for you to get your own personal space up and running in no time at all.

Once you get your blogs up and running, I will provide a blog-roll on the right column of this page. You can come here to this page (my blog) to read what I write, or to read one another's blogs as well.

To start your own blog, you will go to:


The big orange button at the right of the page will direct you to creating your own blog on a site called blogspot.com. Follow the instructions to open up a free account. (If you already have a Google Account, just log in at the top of the page.)

Don't forget your Username and Password!!

You will need them to login everytime.

As you fill in the info, you will be asked to name your blog. This title will appear at the top of your blog. (Mine is called "Media Literacy 2009")

Then, you need to choose an address:


This will be the web address associated with your site. you can call it anything you like. Be clever or simple (or both) -- it is up to you.

You will also need to choose a design template for your blog. Look through the options listed and see what appeals to you. You can change this later and can even find fun, creative templates at sites like PYZAM.

Once you have the account set up, you can start posting. A “posting” is an entry on your blog. (For clarification, you have one blog, but many postings). Give the post a title and then compose as you would any journal entry. When you are finished, hit the button at the bottom that says Publish Post. It will not appear on your blog until you publish it. You can always go back and edit old posts and create new ones.

Your First Post:
Your first post should be a short introduction to you: who are you, where you teach, what do you do when you are not in class, etc. (Just a short paragraph — no big deal). Then, drawing from our discussion on Marc Prensky, talk about how you see yourself in relation to the digital and mediated world. Do you think of yourself as a "digital native?" What kinds of media do you include in your daily life, and do you bring those media into your teaching at all?

Your First Comment:
When you are done creating your site and posting your first entry, please come back to this blog and post a comment at the end of my first posting (scroll down) that includes your blog address so that I can post it in the link list to the right.

Some Tips and Helpful Hints:

  • Once you are in your blog, look at the top right corner of the screen. If you click on the word CUSTOMIZE, you will be able to make design changes, create new posts, edit old posts, etc.
  • Once you are in the CUSTOMIZE screen, you can do all kinds of things to make your blog a bit more interesting. Change your fonts and colors, edit a post, change your settings. See the tabs at the top of the screen for all kinds of options.
  • Poke around online and make a list of websites related to education, diversity, social justice or anything else relevant and post them on your blog. You can add all kinds of things by ADDING A GADGET from your LAYOUT tab.
  • Just do the best you can with this. If you get stuck, don't fret... I am happy to help you anytime as you work on getting this started. And remember: you can't break it. It is just a blog. Everything can be changed if need be!
Good luck!!

LB :)