THAT Camp Session Topic Ideas – Digital Media

  1. My initial abstract was about discussing rhetorical strategies for engaging our colleagues who might be on the fence about the value of digital networked media in the classroom, especially at the expense of already established assignments, workshops, and other pedagogical tools.  I’d like to see a session in which we really try to attend the most salient concerns against technologies in liberal arts classrooms, so we can think seriously about how to address them.
  2. I would happily lead or facilitate a discussion on the specific form of “digital storytelling” and its value in coursework that involves iterative, experiential learning.  I’ve been doing it for several years at Austin College where I teach and have also recently started a DS working group with other LAC faculty, so if folks are interested, that’s a very real possibility.
  3. What if your IT staff are unreceptive or slow to act with regard to generating and maintaining the infrastructure for digital media in the classroom?  When your Media Services staff have only one camera available for checkout by faculty, and its a shoulder-mounted VHS recorder, there’s a problem.  Could we talk about that? (OK, this is really probably more of 1. above.)
  4. How about “gamification” or “exploitationware” as Ian Bogost recently called it?  I’d love to participate in a discussion about the use of game-like systems (or students’ recognition of the inherent game-like nature of existing college systems) in LACs today.  What is their value, what resources are necessary to really make them go, and what research is there to suggest they can be helpful (Gee, McGonigal, etc.)?
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13 Responses to THAT Camp Session Topic Ideas – Digital Media

  1. B”H

    Wow! I love your ideas. #1 is a big problem at my campus, where anything digital is seen by many of the humanities professors as somehow “polluting” the field. They really don’t want to do anything beyond e-mail and WebCT class-management stuff.

    I have no experience at all with DS, well, except for a few small things. My students prepared short video presentations for the class this year and posted them on their blogs, but it wasn’t more than glorified speeches. I have done some digital storytelling of my own, but not in a AV way . . . instead, I am writing a twitter novel! If you want to check out my progress so far and read my impressions of the process, see .

    #3 is a SERIOUS problem, along with the “We don’t want to install that program because we think it is a security risk/we don’t know how to maintain it.”

    #4 I’m not sure I know what you are talking about completely. In my program we use SecondLife, and CivilizationV–is this what you are talking about?

    • OK. Here is that website again. Just put the http on the front without a www . . .

    • bboessen says:

      Damn — I just wrote a much longer response to this that didn’t take.

      Sooo, the shorter version: gamification is a way to add a game-like layer to things (usually for PR/marketing types who are trying to generate consumer loyalty). I’m interested in talking about how such layers have been or can be added to practices in higher ed, and to what extent people find it useful or problematic, and what directions we might move with such systems in the future.

  2. civicsam says:

    Definitely agree that a conversation around #1 would be helpful! By engaging salient concerns, I/we might improve my/our tech pedagogy and brainstorm new methods.

  3. shawndoyle says:

    I think that there’s a way to link your first and fourth points because I think that they both address a type of technophobia that is actually a fear of the new. I think that the discussion you suggest of games might be a great tack to take with the first point. In other words, what problems do people who teach encounter over and over again and how do technology and games help solve that?

    McGonigal’s a great person to look at here. Her book really does a good job at explaining the positive psychology and sociological basis for why games are so popular and does a great job at thinking about how great game design taps into those tendencies. Because of that, the games she designs and writes about don’t work because they’re games. They work because they’re addressing the way people learn, think, and interact in the world.

  4. sallystamper says:

    Your #1 is crucial – and I’m especially interested because this is something I am concerned about, myself. I am leery of technology for its own sake…

    I’m very intrigued by #2, as I tend to do a fair amount of storytelling, but haven’t thought of the digital possibilities.

  5. I’d love to learn more about digital storytelling. (More as in “anything.”)

  6. audreybilger says:

    I’m especially interested in #1 and #2. I agree that, in the humanities especially (I’m in English), we have to overcome faculty biases against technology per se. I love the idea of a session on digital storytelling. #4 intrigues me. I want to hear more about what people are doing with “gamification”–thanks for the explanation, bboessen!

  7. Dave Carroll says:

    I’m in for #4 as someone who has perhaps spent too much of his past life playing games. Ian Bogost is a smart guy and that article gets the ball rolling.

    @Michelle I would love to hear how you use Civ V in the classroom!

    @bboessen Now I’m going to go read McGonigal, thank you!

  8. B”H

    Dave, using Civilization V is an awesome thing in the classroom. I wasn’t willing to believe it could make such a big difference with our students, but once we started to teach them the game, require they played certain time-limited, or character-limited scenarios, and started to require that they analyze those games–we began to see something we really weren’t prepared for! Our students started to connect dots in their history course.

    They suddenly started to CARE about aquaducts and centralized farming practices. They begin asking questions that showed true understanding like, “How do you think introducing democracy affected the educational system in Rome? Did it make education suddenly more popular? Did a lot more people start searching out teachers?”

    It was an amazing transformation that, thankfully, I have begun experiencing on each fall semester in our linked courses!

  9. I was going to propose #1 if you didn’t! A session about how to position ourselves and argue for our work at institutions or in departments that have skepticism or pessimism about the merits of siad work would be utterly appropriate at this THATCamp.

  10. I think each of these points would make for an interesting discussion, but I would be particularly interested in hearing a range of thoughts regarding #1. Even though I direct a Center for Digital Learning and Research at a SLAC I work hard to make it clear that I am not a wild-eyed techno-evangelist. I think this session could both address weaker concerns regarding technology and perhaps validate a few of them.

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