Author Archives: jay

WordPress for GTC

WordPress is the most popular blogging system in use on the web. It started as just a blogging system, but has evolved to be used as a full content management system and so much more! Join us in this session for an overview of WordPress    

What is Word Press?

  • blog?
  • website?
  • service?
  • software?
  • content management system?
  • learning management system?
  • public?
  • private? :: Where you go to host your own site on your own or someone else’s domain. :: Where you go to have Word Press host your blog for you.

  • posts, pages, media.


  • what do you want to use WP for? think of a purpose and audience!
  • Start a blog or play with one on my server (admin/gtc42314)
  • write a post, add a photo, and a YouTube video
  • leave a comment on someone else’s blog
  • add sidebar content (links, text)
  • create an “About” page with a brief bio
  • create a category for your posts
  • create a menu with a page for that category

WTCS General Studies Conference: Multimodality and multimedia in composition

A presentation given by Skype on 11 April 2014.

Photo sources:

Coming soon: PDF of assignment sheets

Lynda Barry Multimodal Rhetorical Analysis sequence:

Assignment 3.2 Assignment 3.1 Assignment 3.3

Radical Remediation:

136 3.5


Placement Testing for WTCS Assessment Conf

The following are supporting documents and slides for a presentation I gave on 3/1/13 at the WTCS Assessment Conference at Waukesha County Technical College.

My colleague, Lisa Kusko, deserves a special thanks to acknowledge her contribution to the Fall 2011 data. We collaborated on a more robust project that examined placement from more than a single focus on testing.

Background Documents and Further Results

Fall 2012 Data Breakdown and Graphs: F12PlacementProject [PDF]

Fall 2011 Data Breakdown [Google Doc]


Prezi Workshop

Two important assumptions:

* Technology is not neutral. “The medium is the message.” – McLuhan

* Prezi isn’t a magic bullet; it has problems and concerns that are both similar and separate from SlideWare.


Perks and drawbacks (the “Why Prezi?”)

* NASA analysis by Tufte


What Prezi is capable of (the “How Prezi?”)


Good design principles

* Watch/play with the following:

What is Prezi?

Thoughts on Using Prezi as a Teaching Tool

The How to Make a Great Prezi Prezi

Fun examples:

Playing to Learn?

Now that we’ve discussed, watched, and played with some examples and thought about best practices, let’s start to build our own.

Think of a simple lesson plan (or presentation topic you might be responsible for). Try to limit yourself to 3-5 “points” or steps.



Next, give it a brief spatial outline on a piece of paper. Try to roughly mimic how you might design it in prezi.



Now, we’ll look for some media to accompany the presentation:


Pictures: Flickr CC search; reminder on copyright use for educational purposes


Video: YouTube – or convert to a FLV or SWF


Get to know Frames:

visible vs. hidden



Get to know Paths


New Features

Play!  …and as a challenge, see if you can incorporate pictures, video, zooming, and (only) 2 or three font colors!


Prelim rationale v 1.1

I’m working on a v 2.0 of my rationale, but thought I’d post this second version for the sake of posterity/transparency.

I’ve opted with the 1.1, as though it dose contain some substantial changes, I don’t feel as though it is necessarily more than a small departure from the first draft. Mostly, I’ve added some explication and connections.

In the upcoming (in a few days) v 2.0, I’ll largely try to do the opposite: discretize these blended areas in order to more clearly define them. I’ll also be following up with a reorganization of my booklist, which is currently on Evernote. I’ve been reluctant to match the list to my areas, as I personally cannot not see many texts applying to more than a single area. Alas, it is time to try!

Rationale after the break… And, as always, comments welcome!

Continue reading

Why Prezi?

In mid-October, I had the opportunity to lead an hour-long workshop for my colleagues about the use of Prezi in the classroom. It was a wonderful time, and I received enthusiastic feedback from both of my capacity sessions of about 20 faculty and staff members. In fact, I received so much interest about Prezi, that I’m now going to be leading a 3-hour extended intro and training with Prezi.

To talk about Prezi productively, I want to start a conversation that asks why we might use the form in certain contexts, as well as reveal its limitations. Basically, what advantages might Prezi offer in the classroom, but when might we resist using it just because it’s the “new” or “cool” tool?

In leading this workshop, I’m making two assumptions:

  • Prezi isn’t a magic bullet that immediately remedies the problems with presentation software or style. Allowing for conversation between presenter and audience–or for collaboration that further destabilizes those roles–isn’t something built into Prezi.
  • Technology is not neutral. Prezi allows and encourages us to structure the delivery and representation of information in specific ways. Some of these affordances are advantages in comparison to slideware.

Here’s where you come in.

I’ve listed out some of my reasons for preferring Prezi in my Prezi about Prezi (see below).(And, meta- much?) But, I’d like to know what you like about Prezi. In what circumstances do you prefer it to slideware or Pecha Kucha-constraints or anything else? Do you have any favorite examples of effective use of the form of Prezi with the content of a presentation?

I’d love to read your notes and incorporate them into my workshop.


Re: re-/mix and (res, rei)/mix

One of my prelim exam committee members pointed me towards Mark Amerika’s new work at (@remixthebook) last week. I have previously read–and read about–Amerika’s work, but that isn’t necessarily the focus of the thoughts to follow in this blog post.

Mark Sample has a (great) guest post on the blog this week, in which he deconstructs “remix” a bit, arriving at some questions and conclusions I thought interesting. And that’s what I’d like to hash out, ineloquently, here.

Sample writes:

What’s wrong with simply mix? Why the prefix? Why remix? Why use to describe some of the most innovative and startling work of our generation a prefix that evokes return or restoration?

To remix suggests that pieces are tossed and turned and tumbled and reassembled into a whole that more or less resembles the original in structure. Like a kaleidoscope, the parts shift, but they’re always contained and framed by the shaft of the scope.

These, I think, are pertinent questions, especially for someone who has thought about remix, appropriation, interactive narratives, simulations, participatory readers, blah, blah, blah. In my own understanding of how these pieces fit together (perhaps peek at my prelim rationale for a brief overview/context), there is always something that comes first, a ground state: whether it’s a context or mission in a simulation or game; a rabbit hole or puzzle in an ARG; a texton in ergodic lit, etc. The ground state is something supplied by the “author,” sometimes with the express purpose of making it available for derivative works and/or semiotic sequencing (or re-sequencing).

Admittedly, that’s a bit of a daft, simple response.

What really gets me excited by Sample’s post is the smart etymology of “re.” I’d like to move it a step… somewhere: I’m not sure if it’s further, closer, in a different direction, or whatever the appropriate spatial metaphor in relation to the “ground state” of the post.

I want to offer the Latin res in response to the Latin re- — more specifically and perhaps in the spirit of Derrida’s différance, the ablative of res, re. Continue reading