Thursday, February 28, 2013

Online Courses Hurting Students of Color Most?

From Tech Crunch:Study: Online Courses May Be The Worst For Minorities And At-Risk Students

When Noam Chomsky spoke at the UA, he said that he wasn't really in favor of MOOCs because he said he didn't really believe in that kind of pedagogical dynamic without a teacher in a classroom. A new study out of Columbia affirms Chomsky's doubts, especially with regard to students of color. The research I've read on online courses, specifically Todd Ruecker's study looking at two Latina/o students in El Paso, found there were numerous factor affecting the success of students with courses requiring online literacy--surprisingly, language wasn't as large a factor as the issue of "self-sponsorship," which I believe others might define as agency, when it comes to accessing technology online.

From the article:
"Di Xu and Shanna Smith Jaggars of Columbia University [writes,]“Specifically, we found that males, black students, and students with lower levels of academic preparation experienced significantly stronger negative coefficients for
online learning compared with their counterparts, in terms of both course persistence and course grades.”
The research team controlled for an impressive array of student characteristics, class types and demographics, and found a negative impact across most of their variables. Interestingly, they also looked at courses where more than 75 percent of the students were at risk, and found that the presence of at-risk peers made drop out all the more likely."

 Read the entire article here:

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Tex[t]-Mex Strikes Back: Star War Loteria

Return of the Rascuache Aesthetic: Star Wars Gets the Loteria Treatment

How many puns on Star Wars titles can I come up with? Let's just hope it stops before los ositos Ewok get involved. On SDSU Prof. William Nericcio's Tex[t]-Mex blog, he posted this loteria of Star Wars that he points out having procured from Ph.D. Carlos Amador, UT Austin--a copy of a copy of a simulacra indeed. A testimony to the mainstream recognition of the loteria template, or proof that the Star Wars mythos extends beyond the limits of popular culture that it is enmeshed in non-hegemonic cultural artifacts?

The good news is that yes, Mexican Americans actually make it into space (see Edward James Olmos below.)
Sure, Olmos has made it into the future before, but that was when he was more of a cyber-vato, leaving origami in his wake like some kind of multi-cultural-without-discernible-ethnicity 'Other.'

A clear jpg of the loteria in the screenshot above:

Monday, February 18, 2013

Tucson Migrant Rights Activist Arrested

"This is Supposed to be an Immigrant Friendly City"

Yesterday, there was significant discussion by U.N.I.D.O.S about the arrest of Raul Alcaráz Ochoa, a migrant rights activist. I know some people who were going to the rally held today outside of Tucson Police Department, although the coordination between Tucson Police and Border Patrol demonstrates enforcement of SB 1070, which was supposed to be stripped of power.

From the petition to release:
"On February 17, 2013, Rene Meza was pulled over by Tucson Police, and when he couldn't produce a valid driver's license, Border Patrol Agents were called to detain Rene. Raul Ochoa, a long time resident and immigrant rights activist in Tucson, witnessed the incident and simply tried to stop the separation of yet one more family.    Both Raul and Rene were taken into custody by Border Patrol. 

In the meantime, you can sign the petition to release here:

 (Photo by Sean Arce)

Excerpts from the Tucson Weekly:
Read the entire article here:

Posted by on Mon, Feb 18, 2013 at 2:48 PM

"As of this morning, Tucson immigrant rights activist Raul Alcaráz Ochoa remained in U.S. Border Patrol custody after being arrested yesterday. However, the Range has learned that Ochoa was released this afternoon and will attend today's rally in front of the Tucson Police Department, 270 S. Stone Ave., at 4 p.m.
The Range first reported on Alcaráz Ochoa's arrest yesterday afternoon and continued to post updates through the night..."

"According to a statement last night from immigrant rights organization Corazón de Tucson, Ochoa, a community organizer with the Southside Worker Center and Corazón, placed himself under a Border Patrol vehicle to prevent BP from detaining and deporting Tucsonan Rene Meza Huertha.
Meza Huertha was reportedly stopped by TPD at 1:30 p.m. and was unable to produced a valid driver's license. TPD called Border Patrol to detain Meza Huertha. Ochoa witnessed what was taking place, noting that Meza Huertha's six children and his pregnant wife were with him when he was stopped by police.
At least six Border Patrol agents and four TPD officers on the scene when Alcaráz Ochoa was pepper-sprayed by Border Patrol, dragged out and then arrested.
Although Ochoa was released today, Meza Huertha remains in custody, and supporters at today's rally are calling for his release and an immediate halt of the cooperation between TPD and Border Patrol.
"This is supposed to be an immigrant friendly city," Garcia told the Range this morning. "TPD didn't have to call Border Patrol. They are going against their own counsel. We can no longer point fingers at Pearce and Arpaio. It's here, too. It's TPD. These kinds of actions are damaging to Tucson."

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Monday, February 4, 2013

Technical writers who can create instructional video content

Tom Johnson's I'd Rather Be Writing's: "Four Less Common Types of Technical Writers Companies Are Looking For"

Tech writer Tom Johnson spoke with someone interviewing Silicon Valley companies about the technical skills they will need, which remain somewhat uncommon. Because of my interest in digital storytelling, of course I was interested by "Writers who can create instructional video content"--the skill acquired through digital video editing, scene-sequencing, and narration transfer over to this kind of tech communication.

In addition, my interest stems from an upcoming edited collection on the intersection of race and technical communication in which I have a chapter on the use of Twitter by Latin@ students as a response to the growing attention of the Latin@ marketplace. More on that collection later!

 Johnson identifies all four skills as:
  • Technical writers who can write documentation for APIs and SDKs.
  • Technical writers who can write with brevity for mobile devices.
  • Technical writers who can create instructional video content.
  • Technical writers who can interact with the community about products.
Read the entire article here: