Invisible Knowledge

Amy Tuttle

Accessibility, Data, Devices, Digital Archiving, Locative Media, News, Pedagogy, Social Media

Screenshot shows that "trump meme" is the top result.

Since you’re reading this online publication, I imagine that you, like me, leave hundreds of digital traces every day. A lot of these traces are things we can see–things like emails, texts, blog posts, twitter posts, photographs, Youtube comments, or Facebook likes. But today I’m particularly interested in the invisible, unintentional digital traces we leave–things like records of our internet searches and website visits, or the location data that logs our movements and phone calls. There’s knowledge in the invisible

Data Visualization: Visualizing Sound Texts

Ansley Colclough

Data, Multimodal Writing

     In an upcoming lesson plan, I introduce some ways in which visualization be used to analyze elements of a literary text such as genre, theme, motifs, or plot structure. However, that lesson plan focuses predominantly on visual works. What are some of the ways in which visualization could be used to explore sound compositions, such as music?       Visualizing audio texts allows students in literature classes to convey information without requiring a background in musical theory.

Machine Communication: Using and Understanding MIDI


Devices, Multimodal Writing, Tools

  When multi-track recording was developed in 1955, it allowed for the concept of “production” as we understand the term in contemporary music-terminology. By recording the individual elements of a performance, one could alter and edit each part of the whole composition, or start from individual parts and construct an entire composition. This not only changed the musical process, but the product as well, unlocking new and previously impossible feats of musical arrangement and production. On a smaller scale, the

Think-Alouds: Charting How Students Think


Pedagogy, Tools

As an instructor, I have often wished that I could examine my students’ thought processes. Are they questioning the author’s bias? Are they drawing connections to other sources? Fortunately, many pedagogues have engaged cognitive psychology to do just that. Think-aloud protocols were adapted in the 1970s and 1980s to help writers adopt certain strategies, and understand their own processes, in composing their work. Through the 1990s, pedagogues from the fields of rhetoric to psychology adjusted the protocols to suit the

On Break

Beck Wise


Macro image of a snowflake

Our staff are taking a well-deserved winter break. We’ll be back the second week in January with a collection of lesson plans for teaching with wearable technology, as well as exciting new posts about sonic rhetorics, student think-alouds, and more. Featured image: “Onward and Upward” by Lady Dragonfly.

Remixing the News

Mac Scott


Banner that reads Citation Needed

In the last couple weeks, we’ve heard a lot about fake news, and “post-truth” was recently named by Oxford Dictionaries as its word of the year. One of the things this has had me thinking about is not only how news stories proliferate online, but how information transforms as it circulates. In particular, I’m interested in how information from one text is translated or “recomposed” into another–whether it’s commenting on an article shared on Facebook, summarizing an argument via a

We Need to Talk About Credibility

Sarah Welsh

Pedagogy, Social Media

Clickbait article from conservative news site Freedom Daily titled Muslims See a Christmas Tree, Then Start Attacking It!

Last week I hid someone from my Facebook news feed. We’ve all done it, and I’m sure people have done it to me. I was tired of seeing things that I found obnoxious or insipid or offensive or false or all of the above, and rather than unfriend them, I simply silenced them. This is not something I make a habit of, but it’s amazing how easy it is to block out what you don’t want to see. It literally

Reading in the Digital Age: Audiobooks by Librivox

Reinhard Mueller

Multimodal Writing, Pedagogy

This image shows eight books of different colors in a row (as if on a bookshelve) next to each other. They are embraced by headphones. The background is white.

Tired eyes from pushing through your reading list? Planning a road trip? Or just trying to cram some productive time into your commute? Long reading lists of classic texts might appear long and daunting. But for over 11 years, Librivox has made our lives easier by providing a digital platform for free audiobooks — perhaps not the latest thriller (try your local library!), but maybe including something from your comprehensive exam list or next semester’s syllabus. Started in 2005 by

Lesson Plan: Narrative Numbers

DWRL Staff

Data, Lesson Plans, Pedagogy, Tools

By Sierra Mendez & Sarah Welsh Maybe we can begin by blaming Plato for his view that math, specifically geometry, was the one perfect truth in the world–a belief systematically strengthened by science’s insistent reliance on empirical, numerical data as “truth.” These notions have been adopted into the public conscious, leaving people with the tendency to treat quantitative evidence as unquestionable facts that are above argument. Most students tend to say things like “numbers speak for themselves” when instead they

Lesson Plan: Visualizing and Analyzing Texts with Voyant

Ansley Colclough

Data, Pedagogy, Tools

In writing and literature classes, we teach our students to gather evidence from close reading in order to support their arguments. In what ways could data visualization charts actually aid processes of reading? The visualization tool Voyant allows the user to track the relative appearance and context of specific words and phrases in a specific body of text, from a poem to an entire corpus. While digital tool analysis by no means replaces close reading, it can be useful for