This is really awesome!

Hey guys! If any of you are easily distracted and are prone to hyper-attentive tendencies, check out this awesome word processor called omm writer.  It lets you write in a space that is essentially blank and distraction free, and it has some relaxing music settings you can choose from, too! It used to be a mac only application, but I noticed they have it for PC now.  Anyway, I thought I’d share in case you want to download it during the finals crunch.

Link: Omm Writer


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B-log Portfool

Dear Professor Vee,

1.) After reading Hales’ “Hyper and Deep Attention: The Generational Divide in Cognitive Modes” and talking about it in class, I was thinking a lot about the attention spans that are changing based on our evolutionary literacies of the world.  After wondering whether or not I fit into the category of skimmers and hyper/deep attention, I realized that I’ve got a bit of each in me. As much as I would like to be attentive to it all, I most-certainly am not.

2.) Now this post was the party of the blog. Nick’s post received a lot of attention because so many people could relate to it by either having a successful experience in foreign language or took it for many years and can only remember kitchen-phrases (“where is the bathroom,” “what is your name?”). I chose to include this in my portfolio because of the relevance that it had to the literacy interview with father John about the importance of communication and cross-cultural exchange.

The final post was about saving the school system. Towards the first half of the semester, we talked a lot about standardized testing and how literacy rates are measured. This article that I read, from Businessweek, talked about creating a tool that measured the students’ achievement more accurately. This tool would have to consider external factors, such as the environment, family, teacher, district, etc. I found it very interesting and wrote about it. I’m curious as to why this didn’t stir discussion, but I am interested to see what is to come in creating this tool.

Blogging felt more like a discussion than an assignment. It’s funny because I still do not know who’s with most of the usernames. The anonymity is freaky to me, but it’s interesting to not know who is talking, so this wipes out expectations and surprises. I did not look at the spreadsheet to check whose posts I responded to so I could keep it unbiased.

This form of technology in the classroom was one that I was able to squeeze some personality into because we are all coming from the same foundation of literacy studies. We were writing about the same articles and the same discussions.

Happiest re-reading,


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Awwww yeaaaa, two posts in a row

HK’s final blog portfolio

5 December 2011

Dear Professor Vee

As I discussed in my “Future of Literacy” piece my feelings about technology and education are changing. In all honesty at the beginning of the semester I was completely disenchanted by the idea of a class blog, or any blog for that matter, which I had previously envisioned as the product of any narcissistic computer geek verbosely spouting out his opinions on (insert subject matter here) in a manner that might make him seem cool to unknowing readers while simultaneously stuffing his face with potato chips, (which actually happens to be what I am doing at this very moment.) “I will not be fooled!” I promised myself and continued to scorn the blogosphere.

Now, however, I am beginning to view our blog as a medium, as a continuation of our class. I am trying to put technology in the classroom into the context of an enhancement rather than a replacement. I’m trying to see technology as an additional texture of academic communication and production.

That being said I believe that my posts during this second semester have been more genuine. I’ve tried to pay attention more and respond better. I post things that previously I may not have considered pertinent to our course. I also included more pictures as per both your request and my personal preference. All of the above are things I wish I would’ve done sooner.

The theme of the attached posts and comments is Literacy/literacy and power. In my post Laughable intellectual endeavors (sidebar: I just learned how to term words into links last night and I am so excited!) I talk about Losing Our Language by Sandra Stotsky, a book which asserts that multicultural curriculum, specifically in literary studies, is eating away at the great young minds of America—an obvious and desperate attempt to keep academic power in the hands of Anglophiles by basing learning materials off of imperialist European traditions and values. Similarly, in my response to Lexicon’s “Learning” German (sidebar: AHH! It’s still so cool!) I talked about the power of language to both connect people and enlighten the learner to new ways of thinking. I also indirectly touch on the control of language, (read: high school foreign language instruction falling into the hands of menopausal hags,) and how that affects one’s feelings and behavior in the learning process. Finally, in response to AndrewZ’s Literacy and Healthcare I get all heated up about English only policies in federally funded literature, (if it’s fair to call Driver’s Education packets as such,) and how these policies strip people living in the United States whose primary language is not English of their basic right to be informed and, thus, healthy.

So enjoy (re)reading my posts! Thank you for the opportunity to expand my little l literacy in blogging, which I actually—and I wince at the thought of concretizing this in writing—sort of enjoyed just a little bit.

Your friend,


P.S. Oh my god, blogosphere is a word in Microsoft Word’s dictionary.

P.P.S. I know I still overuse parenthesis.

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[Eric’s Convinced Me] The Big Finale: Blog Portfolio

Professor Vee,

This semester has definitely been an introducing one, and it’s made me think about literacy in ways I had not before considered. My definition, surprisingly enough, has remained the same, for the most part, but I’ve come to realize the definition is not the important part. I have my definition, and the rest of the class has their individual definitions. These are useful only if we study the areas surrounding literacy, i.e. the uses of literacy. Each person’s individual definition allows them to focus on different areas to focus upon; for me, I’m primarily concerned with reading and writing, as per my definition, and my dream of being an English teacher usually has relating literacy to a classroom setting. Additionally, as a lit and fiction major, I have a passion for writing, reading, and self expression, which raises concerns about the preservation of the artist in a world of changing literacy.

My posts on the blog became more interested on these subjects after the midterm. For example, I found I did a post entitled Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Internet? that focused on Carr’s “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” I found his article to a list of excuses for laziness. Google, and technology, is not to blame for a person’s new lack of interest in tackling large articles or books. It’s a scapegoat to make the author feel like he has no control over his reading habits, which is completely and utterly false. I think, despite all of the changing technology, the way a person pursues literacy and challenges himself lies completely within the person. Blaming technology is easy, but it’s wrong.

We saw this again in the “Why Johnny Can’t Write?” article, which I also felt was trying to blame television for the shortcomings of student. Aside from being an article that did not address the overall positive trends of literacy, the article didn’t offer any kind of solution to the problem it presented. I think instead of blaming technology, we should embrace it and find ways to use technology to increase our literacy as a society. People learn in different ways, through different media; we should acknowledge this and use this to our advantage. Technology is a big scary word to some scholars, but it doesn’t have to be; Richard E. Miller encourages his students to use technology outside of the class, which is a small step in the right direction. Unfortunately, I disagreed with him when he made bold claims about how students are not longer able to interact with texts on a deep level and think about what they’re reading in creative and interesting ways. I think our blog proves this claim to be false; we’re all capable of interacting with texts and thinking and expressing these ideas.

With embracing technology, we need to be aware of how it’s changing. I brought up the question: Can Kindles and Books Coexist? The English nerd inside of me jumped for joy when people replied with faith that books will never disappear. At another point I responded to a concern about how technology affects the artist (Cursive By Candlelight Response). I think technology can really help artists and allow for more efficient creations; I don’t think the personality of the author is lost by using modern technology, but I feel like each artist is capable of making his own decision on how to preserve his authenticity.

The definition of literacy doesn’t matter to me; what’s important is how we use literacy, how the media surrounding literacy is changing, and how we have to have to be aware to take full advantage of these changes.


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[I’m brave! I’ll do it!] Final Blog Portfolio


Professor Vee,

I am happy to report that since October 19th I have really made an effort to dive a bit deeper into our class blog. And in doing so, I feel that I have a better understanding to not only the material we’ve discussed since midterm, but also an enhanced relation to the class (and my classmates) in general. I have focused my energy on being more involved within our blogging community and this has pleasantly resulted in a stronger connection to all aspects of this course.

I can easily relate this shift of energy and focus regarding my blog participation to Katherine Hayles. She discusses “Hyper vs. Deep Attention”, and throughout the course of this class, I have demonstrated both in terms to my commitment to blogging. Whereas earlier in the semester I felt as though our posts and commenting was perhaps “busy work”, resulting in hyper attention in an effort to just “get through with it”, now my opinions have changed, and I find myself (when the time comes) focusing solely on the blog, giving it my deepest attention, thus, resulting in a higher level of dedication and participation…not to mention, fondness. Blogging is no longer a challenge or a chore, but something I have come to enjoy, and I believe that was apparent even in my first post after midterms:

In a Follow-Up to Class Discussion, I feel that I sparked a lot of interest in my classmates. I related my post to our in-class ‘apathy-turned-stimulated’ discussion of the Amish community and the sponsors which exist within. I questioned if it is as “terrifying” (as Fishman put it) to live a life like the Amish, and if there are any other groups that are similar. The responses to this post were plentiful, and it caused for a great conversation for all of us involved.

Another question I posed to my classmates, which seemed to spark a great deal of interest as well, was: Will Santa Survive? In fact, this idea was even brought into the classroom. It addresses the idea of technology’s advancements and the fear that they may have the power to dismantle dreams.

Speaking of which, a post that immediately struck my interest was, “Aha” Moment…Oprah would be proud. Here, Elle10a20 brings up the idea of separating technology from literacy and vice-versa. I found this idea to be intriguing because over the course of the semester I have found that, by linking everything to literacy, we have (at times) lost our way and made things more difficult. I discuss that in my response.

As I said at the start, my participation on our blog has certainly increased. Not only am I completing the obligatory posts/comments, but now I find myself checking back and continuing on with discussions/conversations. This amplified involvement has led me towards a “pro-blog-in-the-classroom” stance, and I really see no future classroom of mine without some online interaction!

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Hey Everyone!

I just wanted to THANK YOU all today for the positive feedback on my video, and furthermore, for your interest in my adventures and online journal. I love talking travel so please don’t hesitate to talk my ear off or ask any questions! Here is the link to my travel-blog, and again, THANK YOU so much for your enthusiasm! I had a lot of fun sharing that part of my life! And…GREAT JOB to everyone else that presented today! Great work!!!

“Where in the World is Erich Roger DiCenzo?”




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Literacy in Our Families

Hey Everyone,

Due to the fact that everyone was trying to get back this weekend from the holiday my flight got cancelled then delayed… profusely, ergo I was not able to attend class yesterday. Anyway I hope everyone’s Thanksgiving was great! In this post I actually wanted to carry over something I learned over the holiday break.

Every Thanksgiving my mother and I spend a day cooking for our family, and this Thanksgiving my mother let me use her great-grandmothers rolling-pin (I know you’re all jealous). As I was using the rolling-pin my mother decided to tell me the story behind it. I just thought it was a normal cooking utensil, little did I know this rolling-pin was full of illiteracy. This rolling-pin was a wedding gift from my mothers great-grandmothers brother, I hope you all followed that. Anyway, he couldn’t write, but he wanted to some how sign his name on this gift he carved for his sister so he created a symbol for himself. There was an arrow carved in the ends of the rolling-pin, apparently this arrow could be translated as George, but I just thought it was so fascinating that I had this story of sweet illiteracy within my family.

This story made me wonder if anyone else had any stories of direct illiteracy in their family?

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“Aha” Moment…Oprah would be proud.

During class today I kind of had this…wait for it… ‘aha’ moment.  I was listening to some of my peers talk about the future of literacy with a large focus on technology as a tool of literacy, and I began to wonder if we separated the two, literacy and technology, and considered our future of literacy this way.  In discussing the future, innovative advances in technology are what we focus on when it comes to literacy, or really anything for that matter, because it’s out never-ending quest for a fast-speed, uncomplicated and efficient Utopia.  To me, the future of the literacy remains and will remain the act of reading or writing (a tentative definition, of course) while, in regards to literacy, the use of technology has just simply been this evolving mold over the form or structure of literacy.  It may be valid to argue that the function of literacy will remain the same in the future but the technology that surrounds, alters, and fosters these functions of literacy will change and advance rapidly.  So to say that the classrooms of the future will have 12 40” television screens with smart boards everywhere and ipads at every desk may just be a prose solely for the advancements of technology.  Whether to say that the actual practice or concept and function of literacy as reading or writing will or will not change may define the true future of literacy.

To pose the question like this: is it true to say that the advancements of technology inevitably alter or affect the function and future of literacy?

I know that in class discussion and with the scholars we have heard from the two concepts of literacy and technology, when considering the future of literacy, have kind of come hand-in-hand. But let me know what you think about separating them…? Do you think it is it even possible?







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