From C & W 2009

Panel E2–Blogs2

Elizabeth Davis’ Blogged Presentation about Blogging:

Discussion is beginning on the issue of privacy and blogging and FERPA, so a question for me is “does LJ use allow for a better model of blogging in a classroom model? Or is it the same as stuff like Blogger?”

Audience Question: is it even fair to ask students to do play with us on the blog space?

suggestion (Dennis Jerz): getting students to try lots of different ways to blog and then encouraging them to consider which one is most in tune with who they are?

My question: to what extent does the classroom context affect success of the blogging effort–shared interest communities? Interest in material vs requirement for course?

Kathy Yancy: purpose is the key–get students to think about “what a blog is”

Dennis Jerz: Students don’t think of blogging in writerly terms

Town Hall III: @School, Work, and Play (6/20/09 5:15 p.m.)

Jeff Grabill, Michigan State University

Sustainability difficult problem to think about. Have to produce valuable outcomes (research, learning) in university or we put ourselves in great peril.

Do we have any shared concerns? What big ideas are at stake that we’re willing to argue/wrangle over?

Shared Concerns Heard:

  • What do digital writing processes look like?
  • What is the value of technological development of writing programs?
  • What precisely is digital rhetoric?
  • How is digital meaningful in communication theory?

Need to think carefully about platforms and less about applications.

Useful and sustainable things:
system, standards, platforms, theories

Virginia Kuhn, University of Southern California

The virtual is the real (concerned with materiality)

mirror neurons–
intentionality–images can impact us in unconsidered ways

line between what we create and us are blurry

Charlie Lowe, Grand Valley State University

Question of agency
-encourage students to engage in activities of interest to community (blogging)

Bring agency back into discussion

Dan Meltzer, Sacramento State University

Benefits of merging computers at school/at play

Bring self-sponsored digital literacies into the classroom

Blurring personal, public, academic

Steve Krause, Eastern Michigan University

“Surrendering”–UC-Santa Barbara presentation this morning–discussed 1st time opportunities of teaching online classes–jumping off that cliff

Cindy Selfe, Ohio State University

Large scale disciplinary undertakings: take years to establish, involve great human effort; sustainability involves compromise.

Strategies to Consider:

  1. Make sure efforts are institutionalized within some supporting structure that itself will outlive us (comes with some catches–you are bound into their needs/issues/concerns)
  2. Building on margins of existing university infrastructures. May limit what can do, but what is built will be preserved.
  3. Involve large range of collaborators in projects–different generations.

Kathleen Yancey, Florida State University

Work–totally ubiquitous
Play–how people learn
School–place where play becomes work BUT school could provide a place where the play of work is rewarded

2 suggestions:

  1. is it possible to create context/framework around learning so that students would work this way? (transfer research–must be explicit)
  2. there are moments when school does this already–need to document such moments and document widely. Take up questions about why approaches matter. Meta: we want to work on this by playing with possibilities.

At the same time that we’re talking about these topics–Iran using these tools for social action that is in some cases life-threatening–Will be much to be learned from that.

Q/A of Interest (or just the ones that I catch):

If you undertake a project for the profession, it is not your own. –C. Selfe

We need to redefine what it means to be a teacher (person from audience).

That’s a hard sell. [. . .] People listen to you when you speak their language. –K. Yancey

Cheryl Ball

Submit to Kairos!

Disputatio section of Kairos–if you have something to say to the field (challenge, issue) (from Lex–it’s like secrets)
Challenge–think of your webtext as a story/picture book—what can that say to the field

Kathie Gossett

Collaboration with colleagues, with students–important to consider/remember
Have made arguments about why we need to teach code & computer literacy–gap in convincing our students the importance of that literacy
Making pedagogy more explicit

Jim Kalmbach

Things to think about for next conference:
better ways to talk about intersections between work and play
Play as performance/being on stage: intense rhetorical listening

Karen Lunsford

Our research is not ubiquitous–not known in other areas/across borders
Computers & Education–sister journal to Computers & Composition, but no cross-citation
Hurray for international scholars here at the conference–different contexts for writing teaching may not be bringing people into our discussions
How to get more people into our communities? Need more traditional review essays with an eye toward the international audience.
Reminder: on committee for Writing Research Across Borders 2 (George Mason University, Feb 17-20, 2011)

Scott Reed:

What the Gamer Knows:
-play is big (seams, gaps, attitude stops work from being working, school from being schooling)–do we really want to give play that much credit? Most of the time we talk about play as productive, vibrant–what we really are talking about is games–easy to conflate play and games

2 things gamer knows about play:
1. play continues from game to game to game until the gamer runs out of games; productive value of failure–but that moment when you’ve reached the end of the game and there’s a delay or offset between then and finding the next one. Fear of being without game.

2. Real moments of play–real productive play–is within the game but rarely, if ever, because of the game. Real play occurs to me; happens when I’m not looking.

Michael Joyce–that moment when the seams of hypertext were visible;

If we’re going to talk about play–does wow have an audience? What other ways can we find to wow each other?

Liz Losh

Study institutions as digital media makers; interesting to think about how institutions suppress both labor and play–How do we do our work at a time when writing is changing and institutions are changing.

The Future of Learning Institutions in the Digital Age–recommendation

4 Questions ( on Liz’s site)

Ian Bogost–blocked from twitter due to Google (on Bloomsday)

Teaching students to put stuff up on the web…and to take it down.

Michael Salvo

Computers & Writing 2010: Virtual Worlds

What’s the engine going to be to drive us into the new millennium? How are we defining our space/world? What message do we want to get out before we figure out how to get it out?


How do we encourage students with regard to understanding necessity of understanding “old school” tech?

Losh: have them make html page to introduce selves; usually a botched effort clearly made in MS Word and saved as html document; need to figure out balance–how much consciousness about old way do they need to have; need to understand constraints–size of files, how fast something is, for example; warn them in advance about expectations for genre/literacies
Gossett: yes to the advance warning; direct them to research history of current typographic conventions (one inch margins, etc.)–discussion of control of various interfaces
from audience: students don’t like fact that their work doesn’t look “professional” so the wysiwyg is appealing–don’t make distinction between beginner/failure
Losh: Tufte on Powerpoint makes good assignment
Gossett: repackage failure for students so they don’t equate failure with an F

N. Carbone–Comments & Question: on failure–if you make it a game and have contests–low stakes deep learning; offset bad grade with reflective piece where articulate what they haven’t done well

Doug Eyman: we do cite other fields, but they don’t seem to do as much.
Following up on failure issue: in discussion about peer review–they were all about peer review; considering telling students that to get an A in the class you have to make a glorious failure; students acculturated to see grade, not knowledge, as the take-away from a class

Charlie Lowe: may want to step away from rhetoric of failure–more that you can make mistakes

[conversation here about failure/not-failure/student anxiety over grades]

from audience: Stop assigning “papers”–projects, arguments–stop giving length requirements–opening up options; students begin announcing the skill sets they have (a video, for example).

Losh: getting rid of paper makes some nervous (administrators/faculty)

Gossett: students also are uncomfortable with getting rid of paper; question of “how do I know when I’m done?”

Losh: use rubrics as a solution (google “upper division writing rubric”–look for Irvine link

Meltzer: use reflection to help diffuse anxiety about failure

Eyman: tells them they’ll all get As–not interested in institutional ways of evaluating, but in seeing that there’s productive learning; resist institutional constructs

Carl Whithaus: loves grading; try to incorporate discussion of grade in comments

[Sidenote: it’s fascinating how this discussion has left the realm of tech and moved to discussion of grading]

Alexis Hart: withholds grade until student has read and responded to comments

Cheryl Ball: What do we fear? What design reports do we do on our own work? What challenges/risks of failure are we taking?

Andrea Lunsford: bringing my students into dialogue about my work

Losh: my blog is closely related to articles and books

From audience: we risk teaching evaluations, we risk time put into the work we do with students

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