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I'm an Associate Professor of English Education. My time is spent preparing to teach, teaching, reading, writing, working with pre-service and practicing teachers, serving on various committees, and trying to keep my office from over flowing into the hallway.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory | This American Life

I promise I hadn't listened to this week's episode of This American Life when I posted yesterday. The news story is what prompted my long neglected return to my blog. However, I now see the importance of maintaining a thread for what I find online and in mind.

The news story coupled with the podcast have me thinking about using these in my comp class as an issue-driven discussion and writing exercise. As Daisey notes, few people stop to think about who makes their technology. Daisey's counterargument to Kristof's defense of sweatshops, that the U.S. sold manufacturing jobs out of this country without the workers' rights that went along with them, seems to bear out in the current global market.

I do have to comment on Ira Glass's insistence that they fact check because Daisey wasn't a journalist. He did, however, seem to have quite a concise interview protocol. Interviewing 100 people is pretty significant, especially for qualitative design. I guess he didn't try to record it, though he should have since he had his iPhone.

Perhaps this might be the way to introduce the "social justice with your discipline project." In many ways an issue like this transcends disciplines, as those who are in technology, education, business, and the human and social sciences all have a stake in 1) people who create and consume, 2)the current and future state of our global workforce, and 3) developments in technology. By providing an example such as this, I scaffold the students to find their own social justice issues within their fields. I do want to be aware to focus on the those who are actively seeking to solve the problem, such as the SACOM mentioned in the TAL piece. Awareness without action is demoralizing.

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