Hello Twitter! Again.

Okay, I’ll admit it.  I’m glutton for punishment.  What does a writer who has just finished her biggest writing project to date do?  Does she take some time to rest?  Not this writer.

Instead, I joined a MOOC.  Say what?  Yeah, that’s what I said, too.  Regardless of the format of the class, the class title was too inviting for me to ignore:  Welcome to Understanding Cheating in Online Courses.   There was no way I could ignore a class like that, especially when the class was *free*, even if the class is two months long.  So from May 6 through June 30, I’m enrolled and involved.  In fact, upon enrolling, I was immediately asked if I’d be a guest speaker.  It seems I’ve become an expert on the topic of plagiarism.

MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course.  And the class is massive.  Today I learned we’ve got 600 plus students.  One of future assignments is that we have to post something where we have cheated, and then describe how we cheated.  Dr. Bernard Bull was kind enough to add me to the closed roster, and in the last two days, I have a learned a lot.   I learned even more when the class got written up in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

In the meantime, I’m doing what I do with every new program.  I’m clicking on every link, clicking on anything that can be clicked, seeing what happens, where I’m taken.  I peek into the future assignments, go read other students’ bios, and become familiar with the Canvas platform that Dr. Bull is using for this class.  I have to say it’s familiar to the Blackboard platform we use at school, just better arranged and more student friendly.  I’m not sure how friendly it is for instructors though, not being on the side of the platform fence.

Once upon a time I had a Twitter account, where I tweeted fairly regularly, and I had even become synchronized through TweetDeck, an app that allowed me to see Facebook (FB) and Twitter at the same time.  But then, I got extremely busy and frankly, I didn’t see much use for Twitter.  I guess I’m old school and prefer regular e-mail, the phone, or FB.  I mean, Twitter limits you to only 140 characters.  If you know anything about Libras, which I am, you have to know that we like to talk!!!!  Limited to 140 characters.   Not fun!  Especially since as an English professor it just goes against my grain to text, you know, like:  Will u b ready 2 go shop this aft?    Ewwwwwww!

Unfortunately, if I want to communicate with my MOOC classmates, I have to tweet, which means I had to open a Twitter account again.  So, I did.

This time I picked a better name:  ScreenWryter13.  My last name was Scriptease and someone else is using that moniker now.  I am a writer (wyrter) and I am returning to my screenwriting first love, plus 13 is a lucky number for me.  After all, I am graduating in 2013 with my last degree.  So, ScreenWryter13 is it.  The name is working.  I’m already getting other writers following me, which is a good thing.  I’m getting Hollywood entities following me which is even better.  I also have some Brit writers following me, which is excellent.   I am everything England, Great Britain  Victoria Literature, and medievalism, after all.  This new adventure could actually be fun!  Especially since I’m planning on attending the next international conference on plagiarism in English next summer.

So, now I’m awash in technology.  I’ve always been intrigued with technology, having a computer by the mid-80s.  I love my Kindle and iPad, having recently upgraded so I have iPad photo capabilities and hope to grade papers on it through iAnnotate.  I’m even editing my own work on my iPad having synchronized my Dropbox account with iAnnotate.  And putting my work and home computer bookmarks on Cloud–well, let’s say I’m in bookmark heaven!  I’m still behind the curve with some technology BUT I’m way ahead of the curve considering I’m a boomer and know more than many of my much younger students.  They tend to get stuck on their iPhones and don’t know how to operate something basic like Microsoft Word or Excel.

Now that’s sad.  Worse is when they ask who’s Charleton Heston?   It’s just plain sacrilegious when they tell me they’ve never seen Gone With the Wind or even Titanic.  But the worst?  I had students this past semester who had no idea what Moby Dick is.  Never heard of the book either.   That’s really sad.

Kids these days.

P.S.  Anyone can get involved in the cheating discussion.  Just use #cheatmoo as part of your 140 characters somewhere.

About Diana Stout

Screenwriter, author, former English professor
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