Monday, October 31, 2011

Paper Rater and Student Self "Peer" Reviews

I follow a blog called, "History Tech." It discusses new ways to incorporate technology in the classroom. A recent post talked of a service known as Paper Rater. It claimed that it helped professors grade essays.

(I wish to give a giant disclaimer: I do not think this is a good resource for grading. I do not use it as such. I would never use it as such.)

Now that we all have gotten over the shock that a computer can grade, maybe take a step back and try to figure out how this excellent program can be used in a positive way.

I have yet to try it in class, but for the next essay, I plan to incorporate this with my peer review day. It is a free service so I had to try it out. I have digital files of my students' essays. The site is simple enough. Simply cut and paste the essay into the box provided. Then it asks more questions, such as type of writing and grade level. You can even submit your Works Cited. After you submit your writing, it produces some very intriguing comments ranging from spelling and basic grammar to use of vocabulary, transitional words, etc. It even counts the number of pronouns, which I find useful since students can easily bog down a paper with pronouns.

In the end, it gives a "grade" with a disclaimer that in no way this means the essay should get this specific grade. I tried it with a few of my essays and the grade was "in the ballpark."

Again, I do not think an instructor should use this to grade. Repeat, do not use this to grade, but I think students could find this site extremely helpful. Another set of eyes (even though it is a robot) is beneficial for writing. So give it a try and let me know what you think.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sunday, October 16, 2011

New Recipe: - Maple Cornbread Muffins

My wife posted a new recipe  for Maple Cornbread Muffins on her site, She woke me up with these this morning. They were great for breakfast. Please check them out and other great recipes on her website.

You can also follow her recipes on Twitter and Facebook.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Recent Movies Based on Literature

Coming in 2012 is the fictional movie based on Edgar Allan Poe. It appears a series of murders start happening based on the stories of Poe. Poe becomes a quasi Sherlock Holmes. The movie is called Raven. John Cusack plays Poe, which should up the entertainment level of the movie.

Here is the just released trailer:

Also, released recently on DVD is Everything Must Go based on the short story, "Why Don't You Dance," by Raymond Carver. The movie stars Will Ferrell.

Woodberry Poetry Room - Poetry Recordings on the Net

I have posted before about the great audio recording of poets on Pennsound. I found an new place today: Woodberry Poetry Room. Please check out their The Listening Room for audio/visual recordings.

Check it out.

Also to note, check out The Poetry Project. They have uploaded videos from Public Access Poetry. Pennsound is hosting the files.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

WTF? - Music Videos

I find myself, probably like many of you, combing through for new music. Many times I find real gems that I just do not know how to respond. I am glad we exist with a variety of music, but damn, some of these really boggle my mind. I thought I would share some of my latest finds. What I find more amazing is that most of these bands have huge followings. Love to hear your opinions.

TISM - I'm on the Drugs that Killed River Phoenix

I have to post one more from these guys.

TISM - Saturday Night Palsy

Ariel Pink - Gray Sunset

Tune-Yards - Real Life Flesh

so I kind of dig this group. Yes the video is strange. Below is another video of the group performing.

Tune-Yards - Real Life Flesh (4AD Sessions)

Die Antwoord - Enter the Ninja

Ok, to show that I even dig stuff that many people do not, this next video is a guilty pleasure of mine.

Kreayshawn - Gucci Gucci

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Zeke Roland - Singer/Songwriter

I apologize for the lack of posts lately, but I hope today makes up for it. I have a real treat. I few weeks ago I was able to record Wilmington, NC native, Zeke Roland playing a new original, titled "Burn Down," and the Josh Ritter cover, "Wolves."

I have a small stage set up in the back on my new house. I hope in the future that I can have other musicians over and record them playing. If interested, please let me know.

Zeke gigs regularly in Wilmington. I will post some future show dates soon.