Computers and Writing 2011 – Day 1

Random notes and ideas from day one at Computers and Writing 2011:

Opening Town Hall

  • Susan Antlitz — how and why do we want interactive spaces for teaching?
  • Sharon Cogdill — how do technologies control us?
  • Bradley Dilger — reading and writing code, using small amounts of code to attain big results
  • Patricia Freitag Ericsson — break the silence and talk about what we do in our jobs: “Recuse yourself from knowing everything about everything.”
  • Dickie Selfe — encouraging us to think about the waste we create in techno rhetoric (literally, the garbage that our practices create and how toxic waste is affecting other countries and people)
  • Jeremy Tirrell — great data visualization using Google Earth to talk about geographic implications of our work; helping to construct multiple narratives about work in computers and composition
  • Janice Walker — are we still on the “lunatic fringe” of composition studies? Are we a field, discipline, or sub-discipline?
  • Q/A:
    • Gail Hawisher — maybe we should still be called computers and writing
    • Dickie Selfe — we need to move outside of our discipline to work with others outside, too

Session A: Student Production of Digital Media

  • Michael Neal, Florida State University Rory Lee, Florida State University Natalie Szymanski, Florida State University Matt Davis, Florida State University
  • Presentation Website and Description of the Major
    • Thoughtful assignments and annotated examples of student work
  • Notes from the conversation
    • Second year of the major and there are over 650 students
    • Support from Writing Center and Digital Studio
    • Students make choices about the technologies that they use to present different projects; can’t use the same digital platform more than once
    • What responsibility do we have to teach hardware/software in class? What should students do on their own or with other support?

Session B: Making Writing Socially Engaging: Asking Why New MediaDraws Us In

  • Presenters:
    • Eric A Glicker, Rancho Santiago Community College — blogging as a recursive process that moves students beyond the classroom
    • Gian S. Pagnucci, Indiana University of Pennsylvania and David Schaafsma, University of Illinois at Chicago — baseball poetry for a literacy project that is not academic
    • Dennis G. Jerz, Seton Hill University — are we in a post-blogging era now that Facebook is ubiquitous; is blogging becoming the new 5-paragraph essay?
    • Daisy Pignetti, University of Wisconsin-Stout — thinking about Twitter and active reading
  • Guiding questions:
    • How does social media create opportunities for writers?
    • Why is it that people find social networking pales as an engaging place to write?
    • How does social media invite peer-response and interaction?

Session C: Dynamic assessment practices for media and technology classes

  • Presenters:
    • Dickie Selfe, Ohio State University — wiki as a tool for intentional adaptive communities; determining how length and content of oral “nuggets” of one-hour interviews contributed to an overall effect in multimodal composition; assessment was modified based on experiences with audiences
    • Tim Jensen, Ohio State University — experimental assessment using digital media; students developing the rubric from the bottom up; discussing the assessment criteria that they developed helped describe group effort
    • Kathryn Comer, Ohio State University  — intro to digital media with a project proposal, informal studio discussion and formal workshops, and analytic reflection; could students make an argument for the composing choices that they made in their project?
    • Scott Lloyd DeWitt, Ohio State University — accounting for production by focusing on the final product (project title, genre description/rhetorical moves, technologies used, and materials/references) with students developing assessment criteria concurrently
    • Chris Manion, Ohio State University — how can we frame multimedia composition through a heuristic “habits of thought”?
  • Notes
    • Question in dynamic assessment processes: Do students actually participate in a democratic design, or do a few students dominate?
    • Do we only focus on the product? Is the writer her/himself the product? — Helping students focus on the process of assessment as a part of the instruction.
    • Improving student work not only over one term but, as instructors, improving our assignments and modeling excellent student work over time

Session D: Schools: Where the public and private collide

  • Presenters: Ann D. David, University of Texas at Austin Amy E. Burke, University of Texas at Austin Audra Roach, University of Texas at Austin
  • Notes
    • If teachers use smart phones themselves, and most students have access via phone, what is it that keeps us from using them in class?
    • Audience inquiry in social networks: search for patterns, examine self-representation, weigh affordances, author study
    • Writing in motion:
      • Writing in short bursts, different tempos
      • Moving between pieces of writing
      • Frequent peer response
      • “Revision forward”
      • Time and space to move

The luncheon keynote was Tim Wu, talking about his book, The Master Switch. The dinner keynote was Gail Hawisher, who gave a look back and forward on the field of computers and composition.


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