Behind the lectern stands the professor, deploying course management systems, online quizzes, wireless clickers, PowerPoint slides, podcasts, and plagiarism-detection software. In the seats are the students, armed with smartphones, laptops, tablets, music players, and social networking. Although these two forces seem poised to do battle with each other, they are really both taking part in a war on learning itself. In this book, Elizabeth Losh examines current efforts to “reform” higher education by applying technological solutions to problems in teaching and learning. She finds that many of these initiatives fail because they treat education as a product rather than a process. Highly touted schemes—video games for the classroom, for example, or the distribution of iPads—let students down because they promote consumption rather than intellectual development.
Losh analyzes recent trends in postsecondary education and the rhetoric around them, often drawing on first-person accounts. In an effort to identify educational technologies that might actually work, she looks at strategies including MOOCs (massive open online courses), the gamification of subject matter, remix pedagogy, video lectures (from Randy Pausch to “the Baked Professor”), and educational virtual worlds. Finally, Losh outlines six basic principles of digital learning and describes several successful university-based initiatives. Her book will be essential reading for campus decision makers—and for anyone who cares about education and technology.
In recent years, the digital humanities has been shaken by important debates about inclusivity and scope—but what change will these conversations ultimately bring about? Can the digital humanities complicate the basic assumptions of tech culture, or will this body of scholarship and practices simply reinforce preexisting biases? Bodies of Information addresses this crucial question by assembling a varied group of leading voices, showcasing feminist contributions to a panoply of topics, including ubiquitous computing, game studies, new materialisms, and cultural phenomena like hashtag activism, hacktivism, and campaigns against online misogyny.
Taking intersectional feminism as the starting point for doing digital humanities, Bodies of Information is diverse in discipline, identity, location, and method. Helpfully organized around keywords of materiality, values, embodiment, affect, labor, and situatedness, this comprehensive volume is ideal for classrooms. And with its multiplicity of viewpoints and arguments, it’s also an important addition to the evolving conversations around one of the fastest growing fields in the academy.
Contributors: Babalola Titilola Aiyegbusi, U of Lethbridge; Moya Bailey, Northeastern U; Bridget Blodgett, U of Baltimore; Barbara Bordalejo, KU Leuven; Jason Boyd, Ryerson U; Christina Boyles, Trinity College; Susan Brown, U of Guelph; Lisa Brundage, CUNY; micha cárdenas, U of Washington Bothell; Marcia Chatelain, Georgetown U; Danielle Cole; Beth Coleman, U of Waterloo; T. L. Cowan, U of Toronto; Constance Crompton, U of Ottawa; Amy E. Earhart, Texas A&M; Nickoal Eichmann-Kalwara, U of Colorado Boulder; Julia Flanders, Northeastern U Library; Sandra Gabriele, Concordia U; Brian Getnick; Karen Gregory, U of Edinburgh; Alison Hedley, Ryerson U; Kathryn Holland, MacEwan U; James Howe, Rutgers U; Jeana Jorgensen, Indiana U; Alexandra Juhasz, Brooklyn College, CUNY; Dorothy Kim, Vassar College; Kimberly Knight, U of Texas, Dallas; Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, Ryerson U; Sharon M. Leon, Michigan State; Izetta Autumn Mobley, U of Maryland; Padmini Ray Murray, Srishti Institute of Art, Design, and Technology; Veronica Paredes, U of Illinois; Roopika Risam, Salem State; Bonnie Ruberg, U of California, Irvine; Laila Shereen Sakr (VJ Um Amel), U of California, Santa Barbara; Anastasia Salter, U of Central Florida; Michelle Schwartz, Ryerson U; Emily Sherwood, U of Rochester; Deb Verhoeven, U of Technology, Sydney; Scott B. Weingart, Carnegie Mellon U.