Secondary Worlds

Teaching, Technology, and English Education


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The New Barrier to Equality: What I Don’t Like about eLearning Systems

Last year, I saw e2020 in action for the first time. If you don’t know what e2020 is, you probably should: it is currently serving about 4 million students nationwide, and it got its start in Michigan in 1998. E2020 is an e-learning platform that offers content courses for secondary education, including the English language […]


How I Roll, Music-Wise

The cloud–or the portion of the web devoted to online storage and computing–is supposed to make things simple. And by and large, it does. I love Dropbox, as many of my posts here will attest. As far as music goes, however, there is not a single solution with the elegance of Dropbox. Ideally, I would […]

Multimedia, News

YA Reviews

Cleaning Up An Old Wiki

Just over five years ago, I set up a wiki at Wikispaces. The idea was to create a place where my students, future English teachers, could write collaboratively about young adult literature. Since that day, many Grand Valley students have contributed to the Young Adult Literature wiki, reviewing over 100 young adult works and graphic […]

Web 2.0

Maybe Sherry Turkle is Right

I am finally reading Sherry Turkle’s latest work–Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less From Each Other. Turkle’s Life on the Screen was an important reference work in my dissertation, so I have been eager to sit down with her new treatise on technology and the human condition. So far, it is […]



Dropbox Doubles Storage for Free

Sometimes, a little capitalism is not such a bad thing. All of the new entries into the cloud storage market have forced Dropbox to offer a little more–actually, a lot more–to keep its customers happy. Dropbox just doubled its storage for the Pro plan. For only $99 per year, I now get 100 GB of […]

Cloud Computing

from Habibi by Craig Thompson

Graphic Novels are the New . . . Books

Teaching a course on graphic novels has allowed me to spend these opening weeks of summer immersed in comics. I’ve visited quite a few comics stores in Grand Rapids. By far the best bang for the buck is the Grand Rapids Public Library, which has a huge selection of graphic novels by classic and contemporary […]


Teacher Certification Going Corporate–A Troubling Trend (Unless You’re Pearson)

Occasionally, I’ll repost articles in their entirety on this blog. I do this when I find (or am forwarded) an article I judge to be of critical importance to the field of English education. The article below, from the May 6, 2012 New York Times, details how many states are signing up for a national […]


Google Gets into the Cloud

For the past couple of years, I have been using Dropbox for data syncing and file sharing. It is an elegant, easy-to-use service that has saved me on more than one occasion. Dropbox is particularly good at saving earlier versions of a file, which is great if you tend to overwrite files like I do. […]

Cloud Computing


The Most Artistic Video Game Ever: Now Only $3.99

This past week, I’ve been playing one of the most critically acclaimed game of all time–Jonathan Blow’s Braid, an indie game with gorgeous aesthetics and a compellingly unconventional plot. I will confess my ignorance of this game until now: it was only the recent Atlantic Monthly article on Blow’s newest project, the forthcoming Witness, that […]


When Hacking is a Good Thing–Using Hackasaurus to Teach Argument

Yesterday, I gave my e-poster session at the annual GVSU Technology Symposium, an event I’ve participated in every year since my arrival at GVSU in 2004. The Tech Symposium is a great place to pick up new ideas from colleagues and show off the work your students have been doing. This year, I focused on […]

Web 2.0

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