Tag Archives: DCS

Redefining Service for the Digital Academic: Scholarship, Social Media, and Silos

I appreciate the agility available to the digital academic, but there is something a bit fun-house about all of this to me.  Every day as part of my work as…

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Deliberate Practice and Digital Literacies

There are some phrases — “communities of practice” and “close reading” spring to mind — that we as educators tend to use automatically. It’s never just an “online community” or “reading.” Sometimes, this is because we’re not aware of the very specific meaning of these terms; sometimes it’s because we want to make what we’re doing sound more important or useful than it is. I have to confess that I was using the term “Deliberate Practice” (which I’ll capitalise for emphasis) incorrectly. I had been using it to mean “practice done deliberately.” My mother sitting me

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Southern New Hampshire Partners With Coding Boot Camp

Southern New Hampshire University and the Flatiron School, a coding boot camp, today announced a broad collaboration. The university and the New York City-based education provider will seek to expand the use of Flatiron’s recently created online learning platform. They also will create a joint academic program, through which Southern New Hampshire’s campus-based students will take three years of courses at the university followed by six months of Flatiron’s web development curriculum and a paid apprenticeship during the final semester before graduation. Finally, the two partners will create an in-person coding boot camp at Southern New Hampshire’s Nashua campus.

“Our mission is focused on the success of our students. By offering this opportunity, we can position our students for career opportunities and future growth and success in their selected fields," said Paul LeBlanc, Southern New Hampshire’s president, in a written statement.

Southern New Hampshire and Flatiron also announced that they will apply to participate in a recently announced experiment the U.S. Department of Education is hosting. That program will allow a handful of accredited colleges to partner with boot camps to offer academic programs that will be eligible for federal financial aid.

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Cultural Heritage Informatics as Rhetorical Praxis < Cultural Heritage Informatics Initiative

As a digital literacies and cultural rhetorics researcher, I came to the Cultural Heritage Informatics (CHI) Fellowship interested in developing the skills to hack (build) and not just yak (talk about). In other words, I was interested in how designing the experience and experiencing the design come to be pedagogical moments. How do these experiences illuminate facets of knowing and coming to know content, and heritage for that matter, differently? Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 5.43.34 PMLike many CHI fellows, I was unsure what cultural heritage informatics was. Who is it for? What does it do? In one of our earliest meetings, Ethan, drawing from Indiana University’s School of Informatics and Computing, highlighted that informatics was “the creative application of information, communication, and computing technologies to ________________.” Hence, cultural heritage informatics, if we take this working definition, is the creative application of information, communication and computing technologies to cultural heritage.

Cultural heritage informatics, I would argue however, is the nexus between digital and cultural rhetorics. As Samuels and Rico (2015) contend in their Heritage Keywords: Rhetoric and Redescription in Cultural Heritage, understanding rhetoric as cultural heritage mobilizes “within a wide array of social, political, economic, and moral contexts where it gives persuasive force to particular standpoints, perspectives, and claims” (p. 4). Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 5.12.16 PMCultural heritage, through a rhetorical lens, examines the affordances and delivery of mobilization and action. I would contend that cultural heritage informatics is a focusing device, one that charts possible action and seeks to launch that action through the digital application of new technologies and communicative landscapes. Cultural heritage informatics draws on the past (heritage) to suggest, build, and architect new social formations (digital rhetorics) for the future. But how do we qualify “cultural heritage?” What is its genealogy?

The UNESCO 1972 Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage took cultural heritage, quite simply, to mean monuments, sites, and buildings. These categories of “immovable cultural heritage” stood in contrast to what UNESCO then called “cultural property (e.g., paintings, manuscripts, coins, etc.). By 2003, however, the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage extended their concept. Cultural heritage came to include “practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills” as well as “the instruments, objects, artifacts, and cultural spaces associated therewith” (Article II.I). Thus, cultural heritage came to be seen as something that individuals and communities could sustain, something that should be shared with future generations. I would argue, however, that cultural heritage, with the “informatics” descriptor added to it, is also a rich site for pedagogical praxis, a locating mechanism for teaching, learning, and listening with communities.

Interested in how writing moves, my own work with cultural heritage informatics takes the latter definition of cultural heritage (e.g., expressions, cultural spaces, etc.) to examine how sound attunes us towards understandings of writing community. Curious how we “hear” and “write” difference, I am interested in interrogating how soundscapes of the everyday may capture the rhetorical features of cultural heritage. Hoping to build a participatory network for youth writers around the world, my project this year, tentatively titled #hearmyhome, seeks to not only yak (talk) about composing culture with sound, but to hack (build, fail, etc.) and design a pedagogical knowledge base and archive for writers to speak, compose, and listen to one another across the globe. Cultural heritage informatics, for me, is a site of transformative learning. An apt example of engaging in the Freirian praxis of theory, application, evaluation and reflection, cultural heritage informatics asks individuals to make, break, and hack cultures of yesterday and today as we mobilize for sustaining cultures into tomorrow.


Samuels, K. L., & Rico, T. (Eds.). (2015). Heritage Keywords: Rhetoric and Redescription in Cultural Heritage. Boulder, CO: University Press of Colorado
UNESCO, Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (1972)
UNESCO, Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (2003)

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Google Launches Cloud Datalab, An Interactive Tool For Exploring And Visualizing Data

9990024683_4c203d261e_o Google today launched Cloud Datalab, a new interactive developer tool for exploring, analyzing and visualizing data with just a few clicks. As Google tells us, the service is meant to help developers “get insights from raw data and explore, share, and publish reports in a fast, simple and cost-effective way.” The service uses Jupyter notebooks (previously known as… Read More

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