Secondary Worlds

Teaching, Technology, and English Education


Transmedia Storytelling

What is Transmedia Storytelling? Transmedia storytelling uses multiple media platforms to narrate and expand a story. As digital and social media have expanded in the last decade, transmedia storytelling has become a popular way to enrich television series, movies, works of fiction, and even classic literary texts by creating larger worlds for fans to explore […]



Teaching and Social Media in the Age of Trump

Revised 1/31/2017 The election of Donald Trump has forced many progressive teachers into a quandary: they disagree with everything he stands for, understand the role of social media in contemporary American political discourse, and view their own classrooms as a space to teach social justice. And yet, they also feel stymied or even terrified at […]



Has Commercialism Killed the Web?

For the past three years or so, I have concentrated on topics other than technology, beginning with comics/graphic novels and moving to neurodiversity Some of this change can be attributed to life circumstances: the autism diagnosis my son received almost exactly five years ago has led me to read as much as I can on […]



Thoughtcrime Strikes Again

In light of several recent inquiries regarding Thoughtcrime, I’ve updated everything. Here’s all of the new information, including a link to the board game version. Introduction Thoughtcrime is an online role-playing game that I designed for use in secondary literature classes studying the novel 1984. Played in a text-based virtual world that attempts to replicate […]



Possible Podcast Project

I’m a little behind the times, but I finally listened to Season One of Serial, the wildly popular Sarah Koenig podcast about the murder trial of Adnan Syed. I’m not going to weigh in on his guilt or innocence, but listening to such a well-done podcast has got me thinking, again, about the viability of […]



Digital Literacies Resources

My U is developing a minor in Digital Studies, and as one component in that minor, my department will likely be offering a course in Digital Literacies. This post serves as a gathering point for resources on this topic. Digital Literacy Course Syllabi Digital Literacy, Erin Dietel, Bowling Green State University Digital Literacy, Kristin Scott, […]



New Look, Hyperlinking PDFS, and If This Then That

I’m trying to breathe some new life into this old blog. Maybe I’ve been inspired by some of the older competitors at the 2016 Olympics, like the 35-year-old Anthony Ervin who just won Gold in the 50 meter free style. Or maybe I’ve been missing technology a bit, focusing as I have, recently, on graphic […]

Cloud Computing, News

Blankets by Craig Thompson

Teaching Comics–A Reading List

Many of my students and former students have asked me which graphic novels they should consider teaching in their middle and high school English language arts classes. I’ve also been working with students in the GVSU MA to formulate reading lists for comprehensive exams. The result is a compilation, included below, of works that I […]

Courses, News


The PRE is a Bad Test. Here’s Why.

For the past six months, I have been studying what I have facetiously named the PREblem: the high failure rate of preservice teachers in Michigan taking the Pearson Professional Readiness Exam. In October 2013, this test replaced the Basic Skills Test, and as a consequence of its allegedly more rigorous content and its higher cut […]



Twitter On Its Last Legs?

Ignoring for the moment that blogging, too, is on its last legs, and that this blog is living (or dying) proof of that demise, it is looking more and more like Twitter is being abandoned. The Atlantic ran this eulogy for the micro-blogging platform this past summer, and other bloggers (like Bad Words) have made […]

News, Web 2.0

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