When Susan Miera—who did her MA degree at the Bread Loaf School of English and is a leader in the Bread Loaf Teacher Network—invited me to join her and colleagues and students in Santa Fe, I jumped at the chance. I’ve known “Ms. Miera,” as she is lovingly known by legions of high schoolers, for many years, and I’ve worked with a number of Native American students she has mentored—and sent to Stanford. She’s a whirlwind of energy, and I know that I will always learn something new from her. This visit was no exception. [read more]
“Drawing the Argument” is one of my favorite class activities when discussing a new reading. Working in groups, students draw the argument of the essay, locating quotations that support their visual interpretation. [read more]
I suspect we all use peer review in some form or other. If we can help students become effective peer reviewers, then we give them a skill that helps them improve their writing without a teacherly intervention. Peer review makes writing public, so students see what others are doing and learn indirectly. We also help students become valuable workplace writers, because they know how to interact with others to improve writing within an organization. [read more]
I spent the weekend in wonderful Savannah, Georgia, at the Student Success in Writing Conference. The wonderful event led me to conversations with teachers from high schools, two-year colleges, and four-year colleges.
I got to meet Bits guest bloggers Kim Haimes-Korn and Jeanne Bohannon, who presented on “Transcending Tech-Tools: Engaging Students through Critical Digital Pedagogies.” Jeanne shared a video animation project that focused on “A Day in the Life” stories that developed students’ critical thinking skills by requiring them to consider another point of view, and Kim talked about an assignment that asks students to use digital timeline tools to publish literacy narratives. I’m hopeful that they will share more details in a future post. [read more]
Today’s guest blogger is Monica Miller, a Marion L Brittain Postdoctoral Fellow in the school of Literature, Media, and Communication at Georgia Tech, specializing in digital pedagogies and multimodal composition. She received her Ph.D. from Louisiana State University in 2014, where she studied American literature, with concentrations in Southern Literature and Women’s and Gender Studies. Her work focuses on the intersections of region and gender. Her current book project, Don’t Be Ugly: The Ugly Plot in the Work of Southern Women Writers, examines the ways in which ugliness marks fictional characters who are excluded from traditional gender roles of marriage and motherhood.
“My friend said that his 1101 class was the best, because they watch videos all day—but he doesn’t get to play with Play-doh like we do!” –Overheard in my first year, multimodal, “maker culture”-themed composition classroom. [read more]
So Mad Men is in its final victory lap, and I really have to hand it to Matthew Weiner. I mean, imagine trying to pitch a television concept about a group of more-or-less middle-aged characters struggling to make it in the advertising business to a bunch of age-averse entertainment industry executives. And set it in the 1960s—which means that the lead characters will all belong to my parents’ generation. And don’t even try to frame it as a comedy.
Wow, that took a lot of imagination, not to mention perseverance. [read more]
This month found me returning to Canada, land of dreams for me ever since I taught at the University of British Columbia for ten years (1977-1987). This time I was in Calgary, at Mount Royal University, where I gave a talk as part of their Distinguished Lecture Series and then participated in a colloquium on writing and teaching writing that brought together scholars and teachers from other Alberta Universities. Calgary still has a frontier feel to me and I loved being in “big sky” country once again. [read more]
In my last post, I suggested ways to use highlighters in peer revision. In this one, we’re moving into dangerous territory—dangerous because scissors are involved (no running!).
Bring a few pairs of scissors to class and some tape. Ask students to cut up a copy of their paper into individual paragraphs and then to shuffle them. (You can also ask them to do this part before class, bringing in the cut up paragraphs in an envelope.) Peers are given the individual slips of writing and then asked to put them in the right order, taping them back together. [read more]
Students in the writing and digital media course that I teach have started work on their final project, the “remix a story” project that I have mentioned in previous posts. For this project, students choose a story (fiction or nonfiction) and retell that story using digital composing tools. The goal is to get beyond primarily linguistic stories to create stories that engage multiple modes of communication fully.
Many students will include social media as part of their remix. I have had projects that included things such as Twitter updates from Little Red Riding Hood and Facebook updates from characters in The Little Mermaid. As creative and fun as these projects are, they bring challenges [read more]
As I write this week’s post, I am wrapping up an illuminating weekend at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa and its library’s conference Digitorium, where I engaged with colleagues who use critical pedagogy to “do the work” of digital humanities (DH). There were so many different kinds of re/mixing and re/envisioning happening, that I felt, for the first time, the true interdisciplinarity of DH. My colleagues were leading students in geocaching and visualizing distance reading data from biblical texts (see Bo Adam’s Presentation). So much of what I saw made me think about how our students really do produce texts for various publics, more and more frequently in digital spaces. And it also made me think hard about the “doing of DH” and how we, as instructors, don’t have to be IT professionals to find a comfortable praxis in this “doing” and “re/mixing.” [read more]