Tag-Archive for » course planning «

Thursday, September 10th, 2009 | Author:

Hey Whitmaniacs,

This post is really a series of reminders and guidelines.  Boring (and overwhelming?  I’m trying), but read on:

  • Don’t forget to log on to your own individual blog and post from there rather than posting directly on the Digital Whitman blog, which is creating problems for some folks.
  • Dr. Earnhart has confirmed the start time for our first set of field trips on October 3.  We will begin at the Visitors’ Center on the Sunken Road battlefield at 1:00 that day with a movie, followed by a tour of the battlefield, after which we will carpool over to Chatham to see the mansion that served as Union headquarters/hospital/Whitman’s nursing inspiration.  We should be done by 5 that day.  Stay tuned for more details but please block out your time now.
  • As announced in class, the readings for Sept. 22, when we begin work on the 1867 edition, have been focused more narrowly.  On the syllabus page, there will be an addendum document you should use for that week’s assignments.
  • And speaking of readings… Let me remind everyone to budget weekly time efficiently to make sure you complete all readings thoughtfully before class (as MAY not have been the case this past Tuesday…).  We have not required written summaries of articles, but it would be a great idea as you read to use your blog to record a very brief summary, some personal notes or responses, or a few key phrases/quotations.  That will give you a better record for class, and it will benefit your classmates as well in our ongoing collaboration.
  • And speaking of readings one more time, they do lighten up in most of the remaining weeks.  One exception seems to be Sept. 29, which has a heavier assignment again.  Please plan ahead to budget appropriate time that week.
Thursday, June 18th, 2009 | Author:

Random notes from training:

Tech support is new group where faculty and students can post tech questions for help from members and Jim.

Matt and Jim will add tabs for fora and will fix course blogs so they draw in essential feeds.  We should each think about what feeds we want for course blogs and individually arrange them with techies.  (Grab URL for RSS feed of specific tag on a site like delicious, then go to widgets in dashboard of own blog to add RSS feed and  paste in address.)

Note re: Delicious.  Use bookmarking tools to add buttons to browsers and then you can just click the button from website you want to save and it will automatically save to account and will let you add tags, description, etc.

Tab for Resources on frontpage which we will build together– links to MLA citation, WW Archive, etc.  Also a Press tab for articles etc.

Two central sites for aggregation: course blogs and LFW home site.

Jim and Matt will set up various editions for annotation for each class.

Mechanics/Ideas for shared annotation assignment:

  • we will all start with 1855 Song and use it for image gloss assignment so classes complement each other.  Specific words from text will be linked to blog post glosses. 
  • March planning notes divide eras of WW writing for different classes– after the initial image gloss annotations of Song, class annotations will focus on additions to Leaves for particular era–e.g., Camden may do very late poem additions, or Fred may do Drum Taps, Lincoln poems, etc.  Annotations can be linked to visual, will be researched as appropriate, could be secondary criticism, primary or historical research, local geographical supplements, etc.  Jesse Merandy’s article on “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry” in Mickle Street Review is an example of deep annotation of single poem.
  • faculty should communicate schedule for annotations and exact poems as those are decided in course planning over summer

Some final product ideas: video, mp3 reading, online museum entry, essay, deep annotation or scholarly edition, wikipedia entry, cinepoems or mashups like documentary on WW and Camden——> projects that are designed to educate wider public

Thursday, June 18th, 2009 | Author:

Groups and BuddyPress:  Fora.  Can be public or private.  Could be used e.g. by students working on shared projects for discussion.  Group wire is like Facebook wall; can also notify by email that something has been posted on the wall.  Archiving group information.  Groups could be formed across class/campus lines–e.g., for students interested in Whitman and sexuality.  Member profiles can be way that students find each other by clicking on terms that will identify shared interests.

 Change profile by going to My Account.

Planning blog now has summer assignments for faculty.

Collaborative work: supplementary, collective knowledge building AND dialogic exchange

  • Material culture entries across campuses: ask students to compare, to consider two together, to take two from other campuses and discuss re: WW text, etc.
  • required comments and reading
  • shared projects like annotations
  • field trip documentation
  • feeds: Matt and Jim will work out best way that each person in/teaching a class will be able to view in one place all the posts happening across the site.  Will include group wires– can and should it include forum posts?

Flickr account for each class.  Make album, make slideshow, and take embed url to make it a blog post.  Flickr feed on LFW homepage sidebar.  Tag all images that go to Flickr Whitman20 to feed it in.

whitman20 is now tag for all outside sites (flickr, delicious, etc.) to draw in to project




Wednesday, June 17th, 2009 | Author:

Various course ideas:

  • one blog post per week that will be more structured on focused short writing task/question (post two days before class) + 3 comments by class, at least one on post from another course (self-report in class?)
  • frontispiece as start to blog– of self in clothes and pose that they consider apt intro of self to world and LFW community.   Discuss week one and due week two.  Accompany by 6-10 lines of Song they identify with most (this would replace March idea of using image from internet to illustrate the passage) .  Possibly chart on google map.  Personal, familiar contact with WW.
  • UMW final project of “My Walt Whitman” (research paper or digital equivalent)
  • group annotations of assigned sections.  Randomly reviewed by peers/teachers each week to chart progress.
  • Note to Brady and Mara: redistribute readings but make sure to get to Civil War stuff before field trips.  Schedule Chatham and battlefield visits.
  • historical context readings possibly handled in teams that will blog/summarize and do oral report.  Where do we put these?  Up front for those things that fertilize the ground for WW. 
  • Image gloss.  One related to Song–students choose any image and do annotation or context or gloss (e.g., The Alamo) that includes image, audio, or video.  (Artifact more closely related to Camden and with deeper research later–see below.)  **** See this as starter project for shared annotation project.  Focus on unfamiliar, historical vs. earlier personal assignment.  Quicker gloss than more polished and rich discussion of material objects.***   What is its significance or what does it add to our knowledge base?

 Tyler’s sample schedule:

  • First week: intro and tech training
  • Second: preface and start to Song, frontispiece due and favorite lines chosen and explained
  • Third: Song  + image gloss explained above
  • Fourth: Song + rest of 1855 LoG

Common assignments still in play:

  • frontispiece/signature image (use as avatar?) to introduce themselves and i.d. passage that speaks to them
  • cultural contexts/artifacts assignment from March planning post by Matt– choose appropriately for your geographic space.    May include historical sense of places WW references.  Include image.  Use tag digitalmuseum to aggregate into space that will draw across campuses.  List generated by instructors.  Probably individual student projects.  Stagger digital museum artifacts assignment to point that makes sense to individual courses.
  • annotations of LoG. Can be linked to image glosses and digital museum for references.
  • video: “This is where I found Walt Whitman” –read-aloud in specific place by end of semester
  • documentation of/reflection on field trips
Wednesday, June 17th, 2009 | Author:

General info and planning:

  • International Whitman Symposium in Italy focus on 1860 edition, esp. for graduate students– Karen will post link when website is ready
  • Library of America + WW archive for other editions, facsimiles, etc.
  • Begin with 1855 as shared base text
  • WW archive has summary descriptions of various editions

From Jim:

Looking for Whitman as immediate, collaborative space.  Disorientation because your blog is portal or home page but actually we have linked spaces controlled by individuals that feed into readable central site.  Individual–>course—> uberblog of all five courses (Looking for Whitman).  Clicking on individual posts links you back to place it was first written (Ty’s, student’s, course, etc.). 

  • Support tab on LFW site has FAQs and instructions for using WordPress, in text and video. 

If our students make videos (e.g. reading at sites for “where I found Whitman” assignment or cinepoems), they can put it on youtube  (10 minute time limit) or blip.tv (unlimited time, can set up own site or course site) and then upload it through Anarchy onto blog: simply uploading from computer may not work because of size of videos.  Audio files such as podcasts can be uploaded with Upload/Insert Audio button right from computer (own files or downloaded from internet) or with URL into Anarchy.

 LibriVox as resource for audio files (mp3 advised over ogg or mediaplayer files).  Archive.org as another source.

  • Possible or optional collaborative project for our classes: good recordings of WW texts for Librivox.
  • Consider making a Help group on our site for collaborative support on tech issues.


  • TAGS: Frontpage as tab that will send any post to the main LFW site; this is functional use of tagging to send posts to specific spaces.  Tags as key terms and issues also may be used by students to help follow shared interests.  We can have a tagcloud that will include tags from all campuses.  Encourage students to use tags generously as key words for their thinking.  Adding tags is one way to get students to think critically about what they are writing/reading.  Choice of keywords/tags can be topic for discussion in classes since it indicates students’ critical processing of work.