Posts Tagged ‘proposed topic’

  • One+ Language: Three+ Scripts?

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    My research and teaching is based in Hindi and Urdu.  Although arguably different spectrums of the same language, they are written in different scripts.  Hindi, which in general has more Sanskrit vocabulary  is written in a left-to-right devanagari (देवनागरी) script and Urdu, which draws more on Persian and Arabic, in a right-to-left Perso-Arabic script called nastaleeq (نستعلیق).  Both scripts are generally but not entirely phonetic.

    In a series of small projects, I have explored the possibility of creating a meta-notation that will encapsulate enough information to allow the representation both scripts, as well as phonetic transcription and diacritic-based transliteration, of any given text (http://bit.ly/cYnMCi ; http://bit.ly/krcUT3).  The overall goal of my project is to use digital technology to override the limitations of the division between these scripts/languages.  My interest is in encoding more phonetic of etymological information about texts than Unicode will allow, so that digital texts can be used for both advanced humanities research as well as for language pedagogy.

    My  particular research interest is in Urdu poetry, which is among the most prized literary genres in South Asia.  I have explored ways of building on the class-based lexer/parsers used for script conversion in order to facilitate computational prosody of Urdu poetic texts.  Urdu meter is based on length rather than stressed syllables.  Using the meta-notion therefore would allow that these popular texts could be read not only in Hindi and transliteration but also exposed as sound in time.  How can that be visualized?

  • On The Possibilities of New Publications

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    Hi, all!

    I’m interested in having a conversation about emergent publishing models. Specifically, the way in which new media forms of publication have the potential to transform our definitions of scholarly work. Are traditional methods of academic publishing (e.g. journals, bound theses/dissertations) still the best way to share our ideas? The explosion of online print methods brings with it not only more options for getting our work out there, but different consequences, both positive and negative, for each option. In addition, authorship and readership are both transformed with each method we choose. Navigation of publications differ when we step into different arenas.  I can see this discussion fitting in nicely with Translating Text to Digital and Reviewing the Review.

    Some questions I’d like to explore: What do we stand to lose/gain when we move towards digital production and away from the old-school? If we choose to publish digitally, will we be taken seriously as scholars by people who are not yet DH converts (a question that lends itself to both To Tech or Not To Tech and DH Lite)? How do the possibilities for recognition of our work expand when our methods of publishing are less rigid, more undefined? For instance, does the value of a high quantity of readers on a blog exceed the value of potentially more influential readers of a printed journal? I have many more questions around this topic, and I’m sure you guys will think of even more!

  • Digital Databases, Oral History and K-12 Education

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    My interests are twofold.  First, I am interested in knowing how individuals have made oral histories available in a digital format.  What programs have you used and found successful or problematic for audio files? What meta-data do you include with your recordings? How do you tag your materials to make the database useful to users?  Have you had to make decisions to exclude certain materials from access to the general public?

    My second interest is in discussing how we make digital databases accessible AND useful to K-12 instructors.  In particular, I am interested in linking databased objects to State Educational Standards, so that teachers can quickly and easily find materials to supplement their curriculum.  Are there other ways to make digital databases useful for K-12 classrooms?  Should a certain level of contextual information be included with each object?  I’d like to discuss successes and failures that others have had interacting with K-12 instructors while trying to make their digital databases useful to a varied public.

  • Bibliographic connective tissue

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    “Instead of collecting from the vast information world for our patron base, we will collect unique materials from our patron base to preserve and present to the world” – Dorothea Salo.

    I’m in the small (but mighty) camp of librarians who hold that the future of librarianship is dependent on turning our collections work inside out.  While we deal with this profound re-understanding of our collecting and preservation work,  libraries must also, as Dave Lankes has recently put it, facilitate knowledge creation in our communities.  In other words, we need to re-consider and re-imagine how the library can act as a platform for research, scholarship, teaching, and conversation.

    At my place of work, we have an open source library catalogue (Evergreen), an open source learning management system (Sakai), and an open source course reserves system (Syrup). We are in the process of rebuilding the library website in Drupal 7 and developing our own discovery layer called jamun.  Creating and strengthening the bibliographic connective tissue between these systems so works can be readily found, read, used and re-used is what is consuming me at the moment (…that, and games and maps).

  • Embracing the multi-dimensionality of digital resources

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    Similar to some of the other posts that have popped up recently, my current work focuses on the impacts of digital resources in the classroom. Specifically (in my ongoing project), I’m interested in how students learn new languages when curricula incorporate a variety of multimedia tools developed specifically for students. This is especially interesting for nontraditional or endangered languages that do not command market development of resources for educators. These educators create resources to teach their students, but which also function as cultural artifacts of underrepresented languages.

    I’m also interested in the larger implications of putting these resources online for use by a wider audience. I’d love to talk with other THATCampers who create and use Open Educational Resources or other born-digital materials in their classroom. Can digital resources help bridge the gap between teaching, research, and collaboration online? How can we assess the long-term value of these materials and ensure their preservation into the future?

    More generally, I just wanted to say how excited I am for what I know will be an amazing experience. I can’t wait to meet everyone and discuss all of the exciting topics I’ve been reading about!

  • Facilitating a Rhetoric of Collaboration: A Resource for Learning/Teaching Research

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    I’ve been browsing through people’s posts so far and I’m particularly interested in those that deal with online archives for teaching and research (for example, this and this), as I think they relate closely to the project described below.

    I’m currently working on a web-based project of thematically-organized collections of link sources pertaining to contemporary cultural issues. The purpose of this site is to serve as a learning and teaching resource for college-level writing students and instructors. Moreover, it aims to facilitate a more collaborative understanding of how writing, research, and knowledge-making happens through an interface that enables user-contributed links as well as user participation across institutional and geographical boundaries; through this project, users will be encouraged to freely draw from others’ work, work together to build bodies of knowledge, and add to larger ongoing conversations pertinent to those bodies of knowledge.

    This project draws on the layout of Wikipedia in that its content will be driven primarily by user-contribution of links to news articles, scholarly articles, blogs, and other online media, which will be arranged by individual pages pertaining to specific topics, to which users can follow, or subscribe. Unlike Wikipedia, however, the site will not include a narrative accompanying the citations; the primary resource that this website will provide will be the links to sources aggregated around specific issues, encouraging students and other users to formulate their own narratives from the media sources provided. In this way, individual pages will put links to articles, blogs, and other kinds of pieces of a larger conversation into dialogue with one another. I’m currently thinking to begin with the content domain of intellectual property, which might include pages on: history of intellectual property, copyright/copyleft, remix, read-write culture, plagiarism, fair use, torrent communities, piracy, authorship/ownership, design imitation in fashion, and intellectual property across cultures. I’m interested in talking through the kinks of this project, especially with others who are working on structurally similar things.

    I’ve also been seeing a bunch of articles lately discussing the difficulties/ethical implications of user-generated content, which I think could be interesting to address.

  • Entry level historical mapping in the classroom

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    It’s no secret that the geographic knowledge of today’s students (as well as the general American) is not where it should be.  This is particularly noticeable in my history classes, where I have learned to include plenty of maps in my class discussions or lectures and–in my online classes–providing brief Camtasia-created voice-overs of historical maps.

    But just as I want my students to write as well as read, and talk as well as listen, I would like to develop a way for them to map historical events themselves rather than always relying on the maps which the textbook (or I) provide.  The issue I’m having, and what I would very much appreciate talking to fellow THATcampers about is how to best teach my students how to use resources like Google Earth to create maps which contain historical information.  While I’ve used Google Earth and Fusion Tables to play with creating maps of my own, I’ve gotten a bit stuck on how to make the transition to teaching these skills and developing assessment activites in the context of a 3 hour per week course that also needs to cover (for example) the history of the world from 1500 to the present.

    What tools, resources, and techniques have others used to teach basic historical mapping?  How do these activities fit into the assessment of course outcomes (Assessment!  Whee!)?  I have ideas (well, notions) and look forward to talking about them and learning more about this from colleagues from a variety of disciplines.

  • Full-Screen and Distraction-Free

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    Myriad full-screen writing programs and distraction-free text editors are available online. Each purports to be unique in its presentation despite often promising to deliver the same, basic thing: increased focus on the task at hand.

    Beyond the occasional rave review online, though, I haven’t come across much analysis or research about any one of these programs. So, I’m curious about them, their implications, and how they are pitched to users. Both the programs themselves and their descriptive pitches enable and frame the act, purpose, and value of writing in different ways. Some are very process-oriented; others are more expressive. Many exhibit a monochromatic visual style, hearkening back to simpler times.

    Certain programs invite certain kinds of writers. For instance, Writer for iPad implies concern about “destroying the voice and the organic structure of our original thought.” Meanwhile, Ommwriter “believes in making writing a pleasure once again, vindicating the close relationship between writer and paper.” Furthermore, WriteRoom “gets your computer out of the way so that you can focus on your work.” Such programs are pitched and presented more as environments than tools. They are more spaces for us to write from/within and less instruments facilitating the writing process, if it is a process at all.

    Many are available for free or at minimal cost. I encourage my fellow THATCampers to download a program or two and give ’em a trial run prior to (or even during) our time together.

    selected directory
    FocusWriter (Linux/Mac/Windows)
    JDarkroom (Linux/Mac/Windows)
    Marave (Linux)
    Ommwriter (Mac/Windows)
    PyRoom (Linux/Mac)
    Q10 (Windows)
    WriteRoom (Mac/Windows)
    Writer (iPad)
    Writer (internet browser-based)

  • This Proposal is Cloudy

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    Help me clear things up! Get it, cloudy – clear things up?

    The Cloud
    I can talk about either or both:

    1. What is “the cloud.” I can give a talk about what is meant by “the cloud.” I’d share what I’ve learned so far regarding outsourcing work to the cloud. I can also highlight some questions and concerns I have.
    2. I can talk more specifically just about the cloud service Google Apps which I administer at MSU. I just started running faculty training for Google Apps too. Therefore, I know about both the user side and administrative side. This would be less general cloud discussion and more practical Google Apps training.

    Getting Support in Open Source Software Communities

    I also have a strong background working with Open Source software. I gave a talk about a year ago regarding how support (i.e. help from people) differs between open source software and proprietary software. In order to trigger action:Open Source -> Rhetoric, Proprietary -> Money. I can tell you how to write a better bug report or feature request. I like thinking of this as hacking the community.

    If no one comments, I’ll pick something and put here or in the comments.