Spencer writes in the library, part 6: WOW

Written by: Spencer Greenhalgh

Primary Source: Spencer Greenhalgh

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This episode of Spencer Writes in the Library took place on Wednesday, July 30th around 1pm.

The Spot

Where am I working today?

In the central part of the basement… I think this is technically in the west wing, but it’s right by the central staircase.

What’s a perk of this spot?

Well, being right by the central staircase is a pretty good perk. I’m just starting to explore the library, and starting in the middle is pretty nice.

What’s a problem with this spot?

I am actually pretty hard pressed to come up with any problems with this spot. I’ve been coming here a few different times over the past few weeks; the only reason that I haven’t blogged about it before is that I haven’t been doing research or writing. However, I did discover one particular problem today: The computers that are available in this area can apparently run some kind of MMO. I didn’t ask my neighbor what game it was, but I did get to hear his keyboard clicks and comments as he made his way through what I assume was a pretty intense raid.

What have I learned in this spot?

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The library is a mysterious place! Okay, maybe not that mysterious, but I can’t help but be curious when I see that the desks I’m working at have been set up in such a way to block a door… Do the doors not lead anywhere, or is there something hiding behind them?

How would I rate this spot?

6 out of 5 dentists. (Why dentists?)

The Work

What am I working on today?

A couple of episodes ago, I mentioned a book chapter that I’ve been working on, and today was another day to work on that.

What’s the highlight from today’s work?

My advisor and I decided to chuck a previous title and fully embrace the idea of the “pretty good practice” that we’d been referring to in the paper. We talk a lot about “best practices” in education, but that superlative doesn’t really seem to jive with the emphasis that we also put on individual contexts and specific situations. By embracing the “pretty good practice” instead of the “best practice,” we acknowledged that the recommendations we offer in that chapter are grounded in a particular situation and might need to be modified (or improved!) to be of most use to someone else. This is an idea that I’d like to build more on – maybe we’ll see it come out in future visits to the library!

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Hi there! My name is Spencer Greenhalgh, and I am a student in the Educational Psychology and Educational Technology doctoral program at Michigan State University. I came to Michigan State University with a strong belief in the importance of an education grounded in the humanities. As an undergraduate, I studied French and political science and worked as a teaching assistant in both fields. After graduation, I taught French, debate, and keyboarding in a Utah private school before coming to MSU, where I plan to study how technology can be used to help students connect the humanities with their lives. I have a particular interest in the use of games and simulations to promote ethical reasoning and explore moral dilemmas, but am eager to study any technology that can help students see the relevance of studying language, culture, history, and government.