This is an addition to my electronic resources list that deserves its special mention. I might be biased because I studied at UT, but UT Watch is a great resource in many ways. Its archive of “student publications, theses, dissertations, and research guides” is full of interesting resources and memories of a history of student public engagement at many levels. Engagement in the sense of activism, of establishing connections, of thinking, speaking acting and responding. The writing is serious and engaged.
The archive has a rather complete PDF collection of many student documents and publications, including Polemicist (1989-1992), The Other Texan (1992-1993), Tejas (1989-1996), (sub)TEX (1994-1995), The Working Stiff Journal (1998-2000), Issue (2003-5) and The Rag (1966-1977). Continue reading
My new certificate
I am very happy to have received this certificate. Taking this MOOC was a very interesting experience for me at many levels. I was able to learn the basics of HTML and CSS. It also gave me the opportunity to be a student on the other side of Moodle, the blackboard learning system we use at UMass. Being a MOOC student also allowed me to explore some of the potential and limitations of this new form of education. I still want to think about them as tools that can help democratize education; this as long as teaching institutions do not take advantage of them to eliminate living teachers in the classroom or focus exclusively on their revenue generating potential.
While working on my list of electronic resources, I ran into this very interesting digital project: History Is a Weapon. It is already listed on the page, but I was so impressed by it that I think it deserves its own blog post. I simply quote what I wrote for its entry:
Not precisely a digital library or archive, this is a very interesting project gathering a wide collection of books and other texts addressing world history from a critical perspective. I ran into it when I found this on-line edition of Howard Zinn’s foundational A People’s History of the United States. The collection might be a bit difficult to navigate, but this “Starter Page” serves as a useful introduction. The “Author List” page is another helpful way to enter the site, as it reveals the wide range of resources available here.
One of my major inspirations to start a blog was realizing the great potential that new electronic resources have for both communication and scholarship. While I am only now beginning to blog and actively engage with social media, I am not a complete novice to this medium. My first personal experience with it came in 1994, when the Zapatista uprising in Chiapas opened our eyes to the role that emerging cyber-technologies would play in the redefining of communications and political participation around the world. Back at a time when (now apparently archaic) tools like Archie, Veronica and Pine were astonishing new means to search and communicate, cyberspace completely transformed our way of learning and communicating. It is quite interesting to see this essay written by Harry Cleaver when the EZLN unleashed this new power. It was a time when the internet began to complement other means of communication, like alternative print journalism. Back then journals like (sub)TEX began discovering what we now take for granted, the “synergy” between electronic and print journalism.