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21st C Literacies: Digital Knowledge and Digital Humanities English/ISIS 891S: PhD Lab-Sponsored S13 Course

NOTE:  Here is a description of the doctoral course I'm offering this Spring, sponsored by the PhD Lab in Digital Knowledge and coordinated with some of the Lab's offerings and enhancements in Spring 2013.   I am limiting enrollment to 15 Duke students, reserving places for 5 students from other universities in the area.   It combines "yack" and "hack" and requires that students, from the first day of class, have an online presence and create their own online portfolio (for some, at an advanced level, for others using simple out-of-the-box tools such as Google Sites).   We'll begin by reading some of my own work and that of myself and HASTAC cofounder David Theo Goldberg since I bring a strong, challenging, polemical point of view into the class--and look forward to being challenged (not only from students but from other readings in the course).  Please note that my own books are either free as downloadable pdf's or I will supply copies to students enrolled in the class.   Asterisked books will be required.  Other books are among those that students may choose for our work in the second part of the class. 

English 890S/ISIS 890S Spring 2013 (#LiteraciesLab) 21st Century Literacies:  Digital Knowledge and Digital Humanities: Theories, Methods, and Tools for Research and Teaching  

Instructor:  Cathy N. Davidson
Spring 2013
Tuesday 4:40-7:10
DESCRIPTION: Like Garry Kasparov playing chess with Deep Blue, this course brings together the possibilities of the human and the machine for new forms of research and teaching.  Our emphasis will include theory and practice, the expressive and the constructive, the individual and the collective, immediacy and distance, humanities and the lab.  The premise of this class,  offered in conjunction with the new Ph.D. Lab in Digital Knowledge, is that much online learning is now excellent (sometimes better at tailoring itself to individual learning styles than even good instructors, and certainly better than poor ones). So is much online multimedia and multimodal interactive publishing.  We are in a time of transition from commonly accepted practices, in scholarship and in teaching, to new methods and metrics.  Some of these new phenomenon-- such as the Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) in 2012 or gamification in 2010--come with both exciting new possibilities and irresponsible hype.  One purpose of this graduate class is to offer students the tools to be able to sort out what is and what is not useful, what is intellectually inspiring and what unworthy of serious attention.  No one knows what will be the new big thing of 2013.   This course is designed to give students tools to evaluate--rather than to automatically embrace or reject--innovative ideas as they come along.

The course also practices what it preaches, will emphasize both “hack” and “yack.”  Students will work publicly on a class Wordpress site and, at the same time, those who do not come into the course with their own professional websites will  begin to build one in class on the very first class meeting.  We’ll work with out-of-the-box tools such as Wordpress or Google sites so that, throughout the semester, students can be building up a professional, academic portfolio representing yourself as a 21st century scholar, including vita, professional information, syllabi from courses you teach, a blog of your academic thinking on various topics, and other public presentations of your self.   As we think together about what is worth adopting and what not, it is essential that we all are practitioners in the online realm.  Issues such as security, privacy, intellectual property, copyright, electronic publishing, Creative Commons and other forms of knowledge sharing, and professional self-representation will be addressed theoretically and as a practice that you are building throughout the course.  

The course is further premised on economic realism: sadly, and for a variety of systemic social reasons, the biggest driver of change in higher education at the moment is economic exigency, not intellectual creativity.  We will discuss the retrenchment in university support from state, national, and corporate sources; the devaluing of the humanities (and theoretical sciences) within the research hierarchy of the university; and the unwillingness of many in the humanities to rethink their mission and to reconsider what should be their centrality (in mandate and purpose) in the Information Age.

Finally, there will be a pedagogical “hack” as well as a scholarly publishing “hack” component of the course.  This graduate course will be offered in the Ph.D. Lab in Digital Knowledge.  It will also be “teamed” with English 390-5/ISIS 390, an undergraduate class (“Surprise Endings:  Social Science and Literature”) team-taught by behavioral economist Dan Ariely and Cathy Davidson. The experiments in pedagogy and multimedia student-generated production in that undergraduate class will serve as a “pedagogical lab” for the doctoral students in English 890, ensuring “vertical” collaborations of faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates.  Doing will be as important as thinking about it, practice as important as theory, experiment as knowledge, context as content.  

Finally, students in the PhD Lab, as well as students registered for English 890/ISIS890, will be offered the (optional) chance to turn the work of the undergraduates in their online public webcast into an official MOOC.  This means understanding assessment and assessment tools, researching the literature on new modes of online assessment (beyond the multiple choice test), and crafting valid means of grading student work.  

Course Tools

Sakai Duke site--for copyrighted “reserve” materials from the library and grading
Wordpress--for class-specific (access limited only to our class) assigned materials, blogs, resources, multimedia archiving, wikis, rating systems.  
Google Sites--the easiest tool for building a professional website
Tumblr--for public access of papers, articles, videos, url’s, and annotated bibliography for the general public, to accompany our MOOC
eRubric--a customizable grading tool where students, together, can set the criteria for what counts as a high-quality product, and (possibly) use the eRubric to evaluate final projects together.
QUALTRICS---Duke Survey Tool
Twitter & Storify-- #Dukeliteracies  
Google Drive--for shared course notes, collaborative writing
MAC Video Editing Suite--available for use in the Smith Warehouse Franklin Humanities Institute
Mozilla Popcorn--Video web editing  TED talk by Ryan Merkley on Popcorn; and here’s a TED talk by Prof Beau Lotto on “Science as Play” annotated with Popcorn:
Screen Flow---animated slides.   Video editing program.

READING LIST:  Required readings *
*Anne Balsamo, Designing Culture: The Technological Imagination at Work
Yochai Benkler, Wealth of Networks, “Coase’s Penguin”*
Tim Berners-Lee,Weaving the Web
Ian Bogost, How To Do Things with Video Games
danah boyd apophenia, “making connections where none previously existed”
James Boyle, The Public Domain:  Enclosing the Commons of the Mind
Chen, W. & Wellman, B. (2004) The global digital divide within and between countries. IT & Society, 1(7), 39-45
*Cathy N. Davidson and David Theo Goldberg, The Future of Thinking:  Institutions in a Digital Age (free pdf download)
*Cathy N. Davidson, Now You See It:  How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn (free copies provided by instructor)
John Dewey, Democracy and Education
*Matthew K. Gold, ed., Debates in the Digital Humanities
*Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Planned Obsolescence:  Publishing, Technology, and the Future of the Academy
*N. Katherine Hayles, How Do We Think: Digital Media and Contemporary Technogenesis  
*Lisa Nakamura and  Peter Chow-White, Race After the Internet
*Christopher Newfield, Ivy and Industry:  Business and the Making of the University, 1880-1980
*Howard Rheingold, Net Smart:  How to Thrive on Line
Howard Rheingold and others:  Peeragogy Handbook:
Douglas Rushkoff, Program or Be Programmed
*Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown, A New Culture of Learning:  Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change
Siva Vaidhyanathan, The Googlization of Everything
Barry Wellman, Connected Lives Project (articles, posts)
David Weinberger, Too Big To Know:  Rethinking Knowledge ...
Ian H. Witten, Data Mining:  Practical Machine Learning Tools and Techniques
Jonathan Zittrain, The Future of the Internet—and How to Stop It



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