Posts Tagged ‘teaching’

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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!