There are an amazing amount of student speeches on YouTube. There are not many examples for public speaking students to watch for class, though. I’m looking specifically for examples that don’t have that polished, produced look common to publishers’ supplementary materials. Unfortunately, most of examples seem to be videos of students delivering their speeches to their sofas. Clearly, this is the product of online public speaking classes, something I have mixed feelings about. Ever since I taught an Intro to Women’s Studies class through distance learning about fifteen years ago, I’ve been wary of online teaching. An MSN Money article talks about whether or notRead More →

Today Rupert Murdoch called Obama “dangerous” according to an article in the Huffington Post: “I think Barack Obama would describe himself as a pragmatic leftist but he’s not an extremist,” Murdoch said. “I think he sees himself as a president for change and that involves bigger government. He’s made no secret of that. I think that’s dangerous.” This statement reminded me of something I read in the YWCA Dialogue on Race reading packet. I first heard this phrase of “dangerous negro” in an article called “Struggle and Transformation: The Challenge of Martin Luther King, Jr.” by Vincent Harding, written in the mid-80s. Vincent Harding isRead More →

We don’t read on line, we skim. According to Michael Agger’s article in Slate, that’s how we read on the web, and he bases the claim on some interesting research. He gives guidelines about making your website appealing to audiences who don’t read, but skim. I don’t follow any of those guidelines, which explains my low readership. But then, I’m journaling, not blogging. Also, this month’s the Atlantic Monthly asks Is Google Making Us Stupid?, which takes a media ecology approach to the web, citing the Phaedrus, McLuhan, and Mumford, among others. The article was a long column, which I had to scroll over, andRead More →

Today in class, students were supposed to bring an editorial from a newspaper. More than half the students didn’t know what an editorial was or where to find it. What kind of education system do we have in this state? When students can’t tell the difference between an editorial and a news article, I get scared. I’m not talking about the more sophisticated position that questions the difference between information and persuasion, either: “there’s no such thing as information; all information is perspectival.” The students simply didn’t know the kinds of writing in a newspaper. It means that our educational system is not teaching studentsRead More →

From deep in the heart of Gen Y in higher ed: It’s time to rethink teaching public speaking, though with deeply mixed feelings. Do I teach to the new, more visual, more “parallel” (rather than linear) thinkers? Or do I try to drag them to the 19th century way of thinking, as Kathleen Jamieson would have us do in Eloquence in an Electronic Age. It’s a puzzle.

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