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Erin Sherrets

I am currently a graduate student at Wright State University studying English literature. I am particularly interested in environmentalism and ecocrticism in 19th-century to present-day American literature. Outside of academia, I enjoy running long-distance and backpacking through mountains.

Art Easier Than Expected

Do you not consider yourself an artist because seeing your hand drawings make you cringe? Tantalize your creative side and create art digitally. Sketchbook Pro makes being artistic easy by providing the necessary tools. Use Sketchbook for pleasure or even for school and professional platforms.

Check it out: http://www.autodesk.com/products/sketchbook-pro/overview

#cooltools #digitalart #interdisciplinarytools

Image from Sketchbook Pro’s webpage.

What would college be without the student? Ultimately, this question contains a rhetorical idea that couldn’t necessarily be answered. A school without it’s students would not be a school at all. Since students are essential to colleges, maintaining innovative approaches to teaching students is  indispensable. Different approaches on contributing to student’s learning habits is an interest to Alexander W. Astin. In “Student Involvement: A Developmental Theory for Higher Education,” Astin explains “student involvement refers to the amount of physical and psychological energy that the student devotes to the academic experience” (518). Astin argues that students who are involved heavily with the school are the most successful and suggests “the theory of involvement emphasizes active participation of the student in the learning process” (522).

 

Although it’s not entirely up to the academic institution to hold students hands to each class, involved faculty is vital to student’s education. Instead of the typical lecture hall classes that forces students to take notes on information that’s almost impossible to keep up with, lecturers are creating new and enticing classes that emphasize involved students. Lynda Barry is one professor who dabbles in the idea of student involvement by incorporating several subjects, such as science, art, and English into one course, typically called interdisciplinary studies. Here is a flyer Barry made to intrigue students to sign up for her class:

sylla

Barry incorporates art into her everyday class to get the students thinking about their own ideas and connects those ideas to the material in the classroom. The classes she teaches requires students to draw random people or events or write in a journal about observations made throughout their day. Barry’s approach somewhat forces students to be mindful in their studies instead of scurrying down notes from monotonous lecture. Astin and Barry might agree that getting students involved with the material at hand would greatly improve the experience and outcome of a college education.

 

Works Cited

Astin, Alexander. “Student Involvement: A Developmental Theory for Higher Education.” Journal of College Student Development. 1999. Web.

Barry, Lynda. Syllabus. Drawn & Quarterly, 2015. Print.

 

#traditionalpedagogy #innovativeteachers #involvedstudents #Astin #Barry

Check Out This Project

Four universities have collaborated sharing their intellectual experiences on exploring Walt Whitman’s writings through the project “Looking for Whitman.” Each university’s undergraduate course uses this website http://www.lookingforwhitman.org/ to distribute their research and ideas. Are you an American literature fan? You have to check out this inspiring project…

Thank You Gutenberg

It’s almost impossible to imagine how our lives would be today without technology. In more specific terms, how our lives would be without our portable computers allowing us instantaneous information at the tip of our fingers. Now that we have the capability to attain information almost whenever we need, we move onto how information is presented.  A recent collaboratively authored book “Digital_Humanities” presents the idea of editing being used as a design feature. When you write your papers, or blog posts, or whatever platform you choose to present your ideas, there is always the editing stage to check for errors and better form your thoughts. While this stage is vitally important, Digital Humanists are joining the rapidly changing way data is presented through data visualization. This incredible movement from processing information to networking information is distinctly changing the Humanities as “understanding the rhetoric of design, its persuasive force and central role in the shaping of arguments, is a critical tool for digital work in all disciplines” (Burdick 13).

From the printing press to the color handheld screen, it would make sense that the Humanities reassign itself as the Digital Humanities.  Matthew Kirschenbaum explains “digital humanities is also a social undertaking. It harbors networks of people who have been working together, sharing research, arguing, competing, and collaborating for many years” (Kirschenbaum 2). The digital world of sharing information and research has allowed individuals to create new initiatives and projects with others in completely different geographical locations. Wright State’s Humanities programs are already collaborating with the Digital Humanities by using blog sites and creating visual projects instead of the traditional research paper. We aren’t all artists, but through the help of these digital platforms, we can present our ideas in an attractive and enticing manner and join the Digital Humanities movement.

Works Cited

Burdick, Anne, Johanna Drucker, Peter Lunenfeld, Todd Presner, and Jeffrey Schnapp. Digital Humanities. Cambridge, MA: MIT, 2012. Print.

Kirschenbaum, Matthew. “What Is Digital Humanities and What’s It Doing in English Departments?” Debates in the Digital Humanities (2012): n. pag. Web.

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