Great quotation tonight from Canadian professor David Humphrey:

…let it be said that if you don’t blog it, it’s not happening. For the web to know about your work, you have to tell it… the web isn’t something you use or something you read; it’s something you create. You become a part of it by deciding to do so, and when you do, no one will argue with you about whether you belong.

Via Ryan Paul’s article for Ars Technica, “Academic source code dust-up symptom of CS education ills.” The referenced case of a San Jose State University student who won his case to be able to post his computer science code online, contravening the threat of his professor to be given a failing grade for doing so, is worth further investigation both via Ryan’s article and Cory Doctorow’s Boing Boing post, “Student challenges prof, wins right to post source code he wrote for course.” Cory makes a strong case for not only students blogging but also creating online portfolios of work, writing:

The most important lesson from it for me is that students want to produce meaningful output from their course-assignments, things that have intrinsic value apart from their usefulness for assessing their progress in the course. Profs — including me, at times — fall into the lazy trap of wanting to assign rotework that can be endlessly recycled as work for new students, a model that fails when the students treat their work as useful in and of itself and therefore worthy of making public for their peers and other interested parties who find them through search results, links, etc.

In a different context, again we see the case for non-traditional assignments, tasks which require real engagement, and potentially a new litmus test for the value of a course project: If a student posts the project result to his/her blog, will the post add value to the googlable “digital sum of human knowledge” represented by the Internet? If so, what is the value add? If there isn’t a value add, could an alternative assignment be conceived which could have this “value add?”

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