[CITASA] are you teaching "It's Complicated"?

Rebecca Adams r_adams at uncg.edu
Tue Aug 12 12:37:57 EDT 2014

This posting reminded me of something I used to do when I first started
using Blackboard.  I was teaching a freshman seminar on the Deadhead
community (main purpose to teach writing).  One of the assignments was for
them to attend a cover band performance early in the semester.  They went
to a  DSO concert and came back wanting to exchange email with the band
about cover bands.  I contacted the band and the key board player (an
ex-high school history) teacher agreed to participate in a threaded
discussion on Blackboard.  He was an excellent discussion leader.  After
that one of the STUDENTS asked if I could get the authors who contributed
to my co-edited book on Deadheads to “visit” as well, and I did.  The
students posted questions to Blackboard and the authors answered them. The
students read EVERYTHING. I did this in other classes on standard topics
and it worked there as well. Now of course it would be Skype.  I am glad
for being reminded that I used to use this technique. I will work Skype
visits into the next syllabus I develop.

Rebecca G. Adams

Professor and Gerontology Program Director

212A Ferguson Building

P.O. Box 26170

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Greensboro, NC 27402-6170

Voice: 336-334-3578

Email:  r_adams at uncg.edu

*From:* CITASA [mailto:citasa-bounces at list.citasa.org] *On Behalf Of *Gina
*Sent:* Tuesday, August 12, 2014 9:00 AM
*To:* danah boyd; citasa at list.citasa.org
*Subject:* Re: [CITASA] are you teaching "It's Complicated"?

One thought on this very interesting thread: A couple of years ago when I
was first teaching Christakis and Fowler’s Connected I was, er, um,
thrilled to learn that they had produced chapter by chapter powerpoint
slides for the book. Having their visuals premade for the screen made the
work really engaging for the students and made my job a little easier, even
though I adapted them for what we needed in the class. There’s great public
writing about the danah’s book available.   I know Barry has offered to do
Skype visits to classes that adopt Networked. Has anyone else experimented
with such add-ons that increase the value of the text for learners and
their teachers? As monographs try to find an open access publishing model I
wonder to what extent we will see these kinds of hybrids increase.


*From:* danah boyd [mailto:danah-asa at danah.org]
*Sent:* Tuesday, August 12, 2014 2:26 PM
*To:* David Nemer
*Cc:* Karine Nahon; Gina Neff; citasa at list.citasa.org
*Subject:* Re: [CITASA] are you teaching "It's Complicated"?

This is exactly the kind of reality check that I was hoping for.  It's hard
from a single university perspective to get a broad sense of the economic
logic of college students writ large but I too noticed that students rarely
bought the books (diligent ones scrambled for library copies) and, often,
didn't even buy the course reader. One of the main reasons that I wanted my
book to be 100% freely available was because I wanted anyone with an
interest to be able to read it.  But I've run into interesting barriers
around this so far. Even though the free copy is available online,
universities don't accept CC licenses when producing course packets which
means they use the physical (and pay the royalties, increasing the costs).
 And faculty often assign the book in a way that requires the purchase of
it. (I was originally just going to ask for syllabi to see if y'all pointed
to the URL but then I tipped my hat.)

I wrote this book to be read, not purchased. But, obviously, I have to play
nice with my lovely publisher who has been amazing to me.

As for David's question, I also wrote it to be read in chunks, knowing
fully well that different chunks could easily be assigned to a classroom.
 For example, the chapter on "Privacy" and the chapter called "Inequality"
are the two that I wrote with an eye towards undergraduate classroom
assignments because these chapters help provide context for youth (and,
truthfully, adult) practices in ways that can prompt good discussions.
 Each chapter is stand-alone (although the Intro does pull it together). Of
course, y'all will have to tell me if I'm successful on that front.

Also, since a few people privately asked where the free copy is, it's off
my website. But here's a direct link:


On Aug 11, 2014, at 1:58 PM, David Nemer <dnemer at indiana.edu> wrote:

Good points Karine.

I echo your guys' thought. Although I'm just a PhD candidate / TA, the
engagements with the readings usually take place in our discussion
sessions, and as far my experience goes, trying to get undergrads to read
is really hard. Buying the books has never been a problem to them, and now
with e-books embedded in the University's academic systems (Blackboard,
OnCourse), most of the time the students don't have a way out.

I've had a couple of good experiences. One with a text book in which the
publisher provided a series of videos and multimedia quizzes that coupled
well with the book. The down side of that approach is if the instructor
relies too much on it, then it won't leave much space for her / his
teaching. The other good experience has been with my own book, in which I
provided the students with free e-copies. Since I knew the material well
(and had already in my mind how to use it in class) and the book was
heavily based on engaging photos and short text, then I was able to get the
students to read it.

With that said, danah, as you were writing / designing your book, did you
ever think about how you would teach your book to undergrads or about how
you'd advise others on how to embed your book in their lectures?



*David Nemer*
PhD Candidate in Social Informatics
School of Informatics and Computing, Indiana University
Author of "Favela Digital: The other side of technology" -

Editor of the Social Informatics Blog - http://socialinformaticsblog.com

On Mon, Aug 11, 2014 at 11:10 PM, Karine Nahon <karineb at uw.edu> wrote:

Thanks Gina and danah for starting this stimulating conversation.

In general, I don't assign monographs/books to students (undergrad and
grad), but give them a list of articles/chapters from books for 3 reasons:

1. An ideological reason -  I believe that we (as teachers) should allow
students free and open access as possible to materials. It will help to
minimize some economic gaps that exist among students.

2. A fabric of articles and chapters tailored for the purpose of the
course, would suit the different teaching styles and goals that different
teachers have.

2. Finally, in many cases I find that one monograph/book doesn't cover all
the complex facets of phenomena I teach. It is much more easier to get a
more comprehensive picture by using articles with different
narratives/writers/paradigms, and at the same time, it allows a better
basis for academic debates on these topics.


Karine Nahon/Associate Professor/Information School/University of
Washington/Author of Going Viral/eKarine.org

On Aug 11, 2014, at 2:21 AM, Gina Neff wrote:

Replying to the whole list on this one: I’ve noticed quite a bit of
push-back recently on buying monographs. For years, I’ve had an informal
policy of assigning at least one monograph for each of my large
undergraduate courses (and many of you have been the beneficiaries of
this). But a recent experience with an “instructional designer” for an
online course left me a bit sour – she said that students are not buying
even inexpensive monographs for the online courses and balk at paying
Amazon, itunes etc for a copy of a movie. Overall course material costs
have plummeted – students no longer pay for course packs. But still I’m
feeling a weird pressure to keep the monetary cost at zero. Anybody else?


Dr. Gina Neff

Associate Professor, Department of Communication

University  of Washington

Senior Fellow, Institute for Advanced Study

Central European University

Twitter: @ginasue


Author, *Venture Labor: Work and the Burden of Risk in Innovative

*From:* CITASA [mailto:citasa-bounces at list.citasa.org] *On Behalf Of *danah
*Sent:* Monday, August 11, 2014 2:13 AM
*To:* citasa at list.citasa.org
*Subject:* [CITASA] are you teaching "It's Complicated"?

Many of you have mentioned in passing that you're teaching my new book in
your fall classes (*thank you*!!!).  If you are, I was wondering if you'd
be willing to send me a copy of your syllabus?  One other question: If you
are teaching my book, are you encouraging students to buy it or are you
sending them to the free version?  (I'm fine either way but, as you can
imagine, folks are asking me how giving away my book is impacting classroom
adoption and I have _zero_ clue.)



My New Book: "It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens"

"taken out of context / i must seem so strange" -- ani
http://www.danah.org/  || @zephoria <http://www.twitter.com/zephoria>

CITASA mailing list
CITASA at list.citasa.org

CITASA mailing list
CITASA at list.citasa.org

CITASA mailing list
CITASA at list.citasa.org


My New Book: "It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens"

"taken out of context / i must seem so strange" -- ani
http://www.danah.org/  || @zephoria <http://www.twitter.com/zephoria>
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://list.citams.org/pipermail/citams_list.citams.org/attachments/20140812/91f55706/attachment-0001.html>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: image001.png
Type: image/png
Size: 2481 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://list.citams.org/pipermail/citams_list.citams.org/attachments/20140812/91f55706/attachment.png>

More information about the CITAMS mailing list