Welcome Back Roback

First, I know it’s been a while since my last post, but I have been working hard on Ph.D. student exam stuff and getting used to working in diverse development environments (including my new Ubuntu Linux operating system on my home computer). Figuring out a way to compose across PC/Mac/Linux operating systems while retaining rich text formatting and not creating a Frankenstein monster of a document has been a challenge (I think I have it solved with LaTeX, but that is another post).

I finally imported my old Blogger posts to this site and updated the scheme (though the CSS could be better–project for later). I have watched so many fun films and read a lot of books this year that I am way behind on writing about, but I’m also hoping to improve / expand this blog with descriptions of what I am working on and researching.

Today I applied for a conference at Loyola University to discuss and give a demonstration about using technology in the classroom. Right now, the panel session will cover community, customization, and collaborative writing in the classroom.┬áThe technologies I plan to talk about include Moodle, WikkaWiki (which at least two of my profs. at IIT use in their courses), phpBB (where I will demonstrate the course evaluation site that my teammates and I developed last semester), as well as good ol’ Google docs and typewith.me. Additionally, I plan to show off the Research Paper Toolbox that a dream team of tech comm students and I developed last year.

If anyone knows of other free or open source technologies that I am leaving out that relate to collaborative writing, please let me know, though I’m not sure how long the panel session will last…

I observed the Moodle.org development community for a long time, and set up an installation last year, but I definitely need to do a lot of work to have a live site by the conference (August, 2011). I’m hoping to use Moodle for my 100-level course next semester and WikkaWiki for my 300 level course on graphic novels. It’s probably insane to try to use two new course management apps that I have no experience administering in the same semester, but I’m sort of out of my mind like that. I plan to blog about my successes and failures and I will try to blog about the technology in education presentation (provided my fellow panelist and I are accepted).