ruminators' ilk

faculty development, educational technologies, intellectual curieux, info provocations


Faculty Development News This Week:

This is the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, New York City, December 2005.


--Innovations in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning at the Liberal Arts Colleges

Hosted by St. Olaf College and Carleton College,Northfield, Minnesota.

April 1-3, 2005.

Read the conference announcement:

We invite you to join us for a conference that will bring together faculty members from liberal arts colleges to share innovations in the scholarship of teaching and learning. The liberal arts colleges are widely recognized for excellence in teaching and learning. Yet, the specific instructional practices that contribute to such excellence are not frequently shared publicly, nor are they often well documented.

We are particularly interested in soliciting proposals for papers and poster presentations that demonstrate a scholarship of teaching and learning in the liberal arts context. Proposals should connect a particular innovation to the existing literature on teaching and learning, and we encourage those proposals that provide an assessment of the outcomes of the innovation for student learning.

The Early Bird registration deadline is January 14. We look forward to seeing you in Northfield in April.

--2005 Great Plains Alliance for Computers and Writing Conference on April 15-16, 2005

The 2005 Great Plains Alliance for Computers and Writing Conference will be held April 15-16, 2005 and will be hosted by the English Department of Minnesota State University, Mankato. This conference is open to anyone interested in the teaching and learning of writing with computers. For more information on the conference, please visit the Web site: Computers and Writing Conference.

Registration information

--Leadership with Spirit: How Colleges Prepare Students to Lead with Moral Purpose and Commitment

February 3-5, 2005, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida.

The 2005 Institute on College Student Values is a national conference that focuses on research and educational strategies for promoting moral and civic responsibility in college students.

Leadership with Spirit

Download the brochure: Conference Brochure (This is a 5-page PDF file.)


--Shinto Web Site

Read an excerpt from this site's Statement of Purpose:

No one can claim to be acquainted with Japan without understanding Shinto, Japan's indigenous religion. The two ideograms which characterize Shinto are 'shin' or 'kami' divinity and 'to' (way), the path to divinity. The Shinto faith appeared at the dawn of Japanese history emanating from the mythical Sun goddess Amaterasu Ohkami. Shinto embarked as a faith of the Japanese imperial religious system but subsequently interacted with other religions, Buddhism and Confucianism, brought to Japan from neighboring Asian countries.

As the Kodansha Encyclopedia describes it: Shinto can be regarded as a two-sided phenomenon. On the one hand it is a loosely structured set of practices, creeds and attitudes rooted in local communities, and on the other it is a strictly defined and organized religion at the level of the imperial line and the state. These two basic aspects, which are not entirely separate, reflect fundamental natures of the Japanese national character as it is expressed in sociological structures and psychological attitudes.

Visit the site.

Shinto Web Site


--GoFish: Media Search Engine(second citation)

GoFish is a search engine that searches over 12 million media files: audio, video, mobile, and games.

Give it a try. In Beta.



CiteULike is a free service to help academics to share, store, and organise academic papers that they are reading. When you see a paper on the web that interests you, you can click one button and have it added to your personal library. CiteULike automatically extracts the citation details, so there's no need to type them in yourself.

Because your library is stored on the server, you can access it from any computer. You can share you library with others, and find out who is reading the same papers as you. In turn, this can help you discover literature which is relevant to your field but you may not have known about.


--Yahoo Images

This site provides "photos and illustrations from all over the Web." Yahoo
claims it provides access to over one billion images.

Yahoo Images


QuackTrack is "the world's largest browsable blog index330,000 links to 85,000 blogs in a thousand categories." In Beta.


Libraries / Knowledge Management

--Changing Patterns of Internet Usage and Challenges at Colleges and Universities

Read the abstract for this article:

Increased enrollments, changing student expectations, and shifting patterns of Internet access and usage continue to generate resource and administrative challenges for colleges and universities. Computer center staff and college administrators must balance increased access demands, changing system loads, and system security within constrained resources.

To assess the changing academic computing environment, computer center directors from several geographic regions were asked to respond to an online questionnaire that assessed patterns of usage, resource allocation, policy formulation, and threats. Survey results were compared with data from a study conducted by the authors in 1999. The analysis includes changing patterns in Internet usage, access, and supervision. The paper also presents details of usage by institutional type and application as well as recommendations for more precise resource assessment by college administrators.

Changing Patterns of Internet Usage

--Libraries and National Security: An Historical Review

Read the abstract for this article:

The September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks launched the United States into a new era of defensive preparedness. The U.S. federal government’s first legislative action in October 2001 was the passage of the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (USA PATRIOT Act). The USA PATRIOT Act introduced a greatly heightened level of government intrusion into many aspects of ordinary life, including library use. When, in the past, authorities called upon the library profession to serve national security interests in these ways, individual librarians and the profession as a whole have experienced an evolving tension between their roles as guardians of public well–being and as protectors of intellectual freedom. This is a fundamental issue, one that reflects upon the profession’s view of itself and of its place in American life. Librarians once again face this challenge. An inquiry into the similarities and differences with the past may aid in suggesting a response that is both professionally sound and individually appropriate.

Libraries and National Security

--Pulling Sense Out of Today's Informational Chaos: LiveJournal as a Site of Knowldge Creation and Sharing

This article discusses how blogging, via LiveJournal, is a new and more applicable way of managing information and creating knowledge in today’s society.

Pulling Sense Out of Chaos


--Anonymity is Part of the Magic: Individual Manipulation ofComputer-Mediated Communication Contexts

This article examines the power of anonymity in learning situations.

Anonymity is Part of the Magic

--Interview: McKenzie Wark, Academic Rogue

McKenzie Wark teaches media and cultural studies at the New School University in New York City. His most recent book is A Hacker Manifesto (Harvard University Press, 2004). For many years he was an active participant in the nettime listserve, and also on fibreculture, syndicate, and a few other experiments in "collaborative filtering." A Hacker Manifesto grows out of that experience, and attempts to provide a theory to go with the practice of creating and sharing free knowledge in a digital gift economy. He is the author of a number of other books, including Dispositions (Salt Books, 2002) and Virtual Geography (Indiana University Press, 1994) and was a co–editor of the nettime anthology Readme! (Autonomedia).

This interview was conducted with First Monday’s Chief Editor Ed Valauskas, stimulated in part by A Hacker Manifesto.

McKenzie Wark


--The Nature of Computer Games

This article is research on impacts of human cognitive play.

The Nature of Computer Games


--Six Myths about Creativity

Little is known about day-to-day innovation in the workplace. Where do breakthrough ideas come from? What kind of work environment allows them to flourish? What can colleagues do to sustain the stimulants to creativity -- and break through the barriers?

This article from Fast Company discusses six myths about creativity in work environments.

Six Myths about Creativity


--Love Relationships on the Internet

How many people do you know who fall in love with others on the Internet and frequently use language involving phrases such as soul mates, reason for living, or my greatest love when speaking about their new relationships? These people, who are not sexual predators, became wholly entangled in thinking about the time they could re-connect on their computer screens with their cyber-loves. Then a few weeks or a few months later, when you see one of these people again and enquire after his / her new love, you are told “Oh him; it didn’t work out” or “Don’t mention her name again--ever.”

What is going on here?

This article, "I’m Not in Love…Just a Little Bit Limerent…", offers a perspective on the phenomena of cyber love affairs.

I’m Not in Love…Just a Little Bit Limerent…

This is a 4-page PDF file.

--Public Displays of Connection

Read the abstract for this article:

Participants in social network sites create self-descriptive profiles that include their links to other members, creating a visible network of connections — the ostensible purpose of these sites is to use this network to make friends, dates, and business connections. In this paperwe explore the social implications of the public display of one’s social network. Why do people display their social connections in everydaylife, and why do they do so in these networking sites? What do people learn about another’s identity through the signal of network display? How does this display facilitate connections, and how does it change the costs and benefits of making and brokering such connections compared to traditional means? The paper includes several design recommendations for future networking sites.

Public Displays of Connection

This is a 12-page PDF file.

--Her So-Called Digital Life

Read the beginning of this article from Wired Magazine, 2 December 2004.

Mary Hodder owns two printers, but hasn't used either one in more than a year. To tell the truth, she can't remember the last time she printed something.

Instead, Hodder, a 37-year-old internet consultant, spends almost her entire life on-screen. She carries her laptop almost everywhere she goes, traipsing from cafe to cafe looking for Wi-Fi to hook into. She downloads pirated movies and even television shows off the net, shops there and pays all her bills, too. Her blog,, explores how technology alters the media landscape. Although technically based in the San Francisco Bay Area, she lives, works and plays on the web.

Her So-Called Digital Life

--Artists, Musicians, and the Internet

Surveys by the Pew Internet & American Life Project show there are 32
million Americans who consider themselves artists and about 10 million earn
at least some level of compensation from their performances, songs, paintings, videos, creative writing, and other art. The report includes special analysis of “Paid Artists,” those respondents who are musicians, writers and filmmakers and earn some income from their art.

A Project survey in November and December of 2003 finds that substantial numbers of these artists use the internet to gain inspiration, build community with fans and fellow artists, and pursue new commercial activity.

# 77% of all artists and 83% of all Paid Artists use the internet, compared
to 63% of the entire adult population.

# 52% of all online artists and 59% of Paid Online Artists say they get ideas and inspiration for their work from searching online.

# 30% of online artists and 45% of Paid Online Artists say the internet isimportant in helping them create and/or distribute their art.

# 23% of all online artists and 41% of Paid Online Artists say the internet
has helped them in their creative pursuits and careers.

# 3% of all online artists and 6% of Paid Online Artists say the internet has had a major deleterious effect on their ability to protect their creative works.

Read the full report:

Artists, Musicians, and the Internet

This is a 61-page PDF file.


--Study Looks at How Latinos Identify Themselves Racially

This study is by the Pew Hispanic Center.

Study Looks at How Latinos Identify Themselves Racially

I acquired this resource from Academic Impressions, 6 December 2004.



Launched in 2003 by Edizioni Unicopli, an Italian publishing house in Milan, Ludologica. Videogames d’autore is a new series of books that honour the most significant video games of the last 40 years. Available in two formats (Monographs and Readers), these volumes discuss video games from a broad academic and critical perspective, setting characteristics, themes and techniques in context and exploring the game's significance. Focusing on one game on one series rather than an entire genre, the books dispense with the standard historical background that players know already, and cut to the heart of the game.


--Species of Spaces

This thought-provoking article on the reality of video-game space for learning and living begins with the following quotation by Marshall McLuhan 1964.

"The artist tends to be a {person) who is fully aware of the environment.... The artistic conscience is focused on the physics and social implications of technology. The artist builds models of the new environments and new social lives that are the hidden potential of new technologies"

The bibliography for the article is also interesting:

Augé, Marc (2002) In the Metro. Minneapolis: Univ of Minnesota Press.

Augé, Marc (1999) An Anthropology for Contemporaneous Worlds. Stanford:
Stanford University Press.

Augé, Marc (1995) Non-Places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity(Cultural Studies). New York: Verso.

Bernardi, Sandro (2002) Il Paesaggio nel Cinema Italiano Genova: Marsilio.

Lefebvre, Henry (1991) The Production of Space. New York: Blackwell Publishers.

Massey Doreen (2000) Cities Worlds. New York: Routledge.

Newman, Kim (2002) Apocalypse Movies. London: St. Martin's Press.

Olalquiaga, Celeste (1991) Megalopolis: Contemporary Cultural Sensibilities Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Sorkin, Michael (1992) Variations on a Theme Park : The New American City and the End of Public Space. New York: Hill and Wang.

Virilio, Paul (1991) The Aesthetics of Disappearance. Cambridge: MA: Semiotext(e)/MIT Press.

Kathy Willie , interlibrary loan person extraordinaire, can assist you with accessing any of these texts.

Species of Spaces


--Literary and Cultural Studies Mailing List

The English Department at the University of Pennsylvania hosts an electronic mailing list ( and website for calls for papers on English and American Literature and Culture. They encourage conference or panel organizers and volume editors to find the largest possible audience for their announcements by posting them on this list and Web archive.

To subscribe to the list, address an E-mail message to upennlistserv

--Open Source Art

OPENSOURCE is an alternative art space accommodating a variety of non-traditional, community-oriented art projects and events within Champaign-Urbana, Illinois.

This site is an interesting role model for digital exhibition.

Open Source Art

--Cup of Chicha

Cup of Chicha is an arts and culture weblog, started in January of 2002 by Nathalie Chicha, a MFA candidate in fiction at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. In the left column, you’ll find commentary on literature, art, film, TV, and critical theory. In the right column, you’ll find navigational links and a link “cupboard,” a constantly updated index of interesting sites and articles. Click on for a list of recommended weblogs and use the to access Cup of Chicha’s past entries.

Cup of Chicha

--Free Credit Reports

Soon you’ll be able to get your credit report for free. A recent amendment to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months. The FCRA promotes the accuracy and privacy of information in the files of the nation’s consumer reporting companies. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency, enforces the FCRA with respect to consumer reporting companies.

Free Credit Reports

--Government Gazettes Online

Government Gazettes, which are published by federal governments worldwide, are the means through which the government can communicate to officials and the general public. Although most countries publish a gazette, their regularity and content varies widely, which is noted in the description of each gazette. Gazettes are useful not only to monitor the actions of the government, but also as primary source documentation in research.

Government Gazettes Online

I acquired this resource from Marlaine Block's NeatNewStuff, 3 December 2004.

--The Footsteps of Alexander the Great

This is the Web site for the PBS series.

The Footseps of Alexander the Great

--Paintings by Lyn Nance-Sasser

Nance-Sasser's current medium of choice is acrylic on canvas and her subject matter is very personal. Her latest work has been centered around the concept of being "blind-sided" by life,surprised by events that are out-of-our-control. Her method is to paint potentially threatening situations within a style that is reminiscent of children's art of the 1950s. Consequently the work tends to "blind-side" each viewer as they are drawn into an innocent looking canvas only to realize that there is an impending incident of doom depicted.

The illustration above is titled "The Happy Little Bird" (acrylic on canvas, 36"x28", © 2001) or L'oiseau est I. (just kidding!).

Lyn Nance-Sasser

Pig Racing

Class, who is the audience for this sporting event?

I did not know pigs race but apparently they do, according to this article from The Independent(London, England), 4 September 2004.

Read the article, "Saddle-up, Whether it be on a Bull, a Horse or a Sheep, at the Annual Colorado State Fair."


I acquired this resource from Chief Blogging Officer, 3 December 2004.

--Digital Apoptosis

This is a wonderful digital photography blog.

Digital Apoptosis

Until next week!

Blog editor

Image Credits

--"Christmas Tree at Rockefellar Center, New York City,
--"Creativity," 480 x 480 pixels - 13k just-say-no/images/log...
--"Cup Of Chicha Logo,"
--"Cyber LOve," Images/cyberlove.gif
252 x 43 pixels - 4k
--"The Happy Little Bird", Acrylic on canvas, 36"x28", © 2001
--Japanese Carp Windsocks,"
--"Knowledge," ai/timeline/pergamon.gif
268 x 267 pixels - 16k
--"Mario Brothers Solid Landscape,"
--"Pigs Racing,"
--"Tools," 150 x 150 pixels - 12k topics/digital.html


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