Sunday, February 27, 2011

RSS Widget in Blog Post?

Just testing here to see if possible to put an RSS Feed widget in a blog post.  I got this RSS feed widget from one of Suzie Vesper's educational technology wikis - the page where she talks about her blog and has a news feed widget.  I clicked "Get this Widget" at bottom and copied the Embed Code here.  I presume that I get to specify what blog to feed from - No, get feed of Suzie Vesper's blog.  I guess have to go someplace else on Web to get this form of Widget and be able to specify feed of blog of choice.  I note this is a Javascript widget.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Why Women Don't Write for Wikipedia, etc.

Last week's assignment on the Digital Divide focused on exploring alternative search engines by entering the same search term in each.  One student, using the search term  digital divide gender  at the social bookmarking site uncovered a Jan. 31, 2011 New York Times article "Wikipedia Ponders Its Gender-Skewed Contributions."  The article reported that less than 15% of the contributors to Wikipedia are women and explored possible explanations.  The author interviewed Jane Margolis (who has done wonderful work on institutional sexism and racism in computer science classes) who opined that women are less willing to assert their opinions in public. 

Little mention was made of WHY women might be less willing to assert their opinions in public.  The cartoonist Gabby fills in some of these blanks.  In the excerpt below from Gabby's much longer cartoon, we see the all-too-common reaction women experience when they do assert their opinions in a male dominated blogosphere.

See also the post "I’m a woman, and I’ve edited Wikipedia" on the Geek Feminism blog of 2/11/11 and the many comments by women who formerly contributed to Wikipedia but left in response to what they perceived as an unwelcoming environment.

A full size wall poster of Gabby's entire cartoon (6.75″ wide by 43″ long on rich matte cardstock) can be ordered here.  Gabby's comic books (written under the name Ken Dahl) can be purchased from Microcosm Publishing.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Boys are Like Microwaves

Need a good laugh?  Check out this video.  Based on actual lessons from an Abstinence Education course.  The video can be found on YouTube.

I showed in class on Feb. 16 as illustration of the free online tool which allows anyone to create a "movie" by choosing from small selection of characters (has some people as well as these bears) and typing in the dialog.  The website converts into a spoken "movie."

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Comic Books & Social Action: Egypt

In class we have been talking about using cartoons and comic books as a medium for reaching a larger audience with feminist points of view.  Imagine my surprise when today's email provided a link to Egyptian Activists Inspired by Forgotten Martin Luther King Comic, which tells how an Arabic translation of a 1958 comic book about Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Bus Boycott has inspired nonviolent action around the Middle East.  The comic book was originally translated into Arabic in 2008 by the American Islamic Congress (and later into Farsi).  Over 2000 copies have been distributed.  And Dalia Ziada, the Egyptian Director of the AIC, distributed more copies in Tahrir Square during the recent demonstrations in Egypt.

The comic book can be viewed in the original English, in Arabic, and in Farsi here.

[Updated 10/8/16 to supply updated links - URLs have changed since I originally wrote this post.]

Monday, February 14, 2011

Fourth Wave Feminism - Learning from Students

One of the reasons I enjoy teaching this class so much is the opportunity it provides to learn so much more - about feminism and about computers.  When discussing a video interview with a Lebanese activist in her blog, one of my students raised the issue of Fourth Wave feminism - which I had never heard of before.

Fourth Wave feminism "is made of online bloggers and internet communities. We are the most inclusive movement yet, and we understand that all oppression is connected. We believe that my liberation is tightly tied to your liberation. We aren’t just fighting to end sexism; we’re fighting to end racism, classism, ableism, body shaming, cissexism, heterosexism, and other harmful -isms." says a blogger on Tumblr.

As my student said in her blog, how can Fourth Wave feminism boast of its inclusivity if it is limited to those who are using the Internet.  Internet access is very limited for women in Lebanon and elsewhere.

On a side note, how is a person supposed to understand Tumblr?  I have to get some more explanations from my students.