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Chatting about the Writing Center

posted: 4.9.13 by Traci Gardner

Whether you are a writing center tutor, director, or referring teacher, you should know PeerCentered. It’s one of the best places to go to learn about writing center pedagogy as well as the practical details of working with and in a writing center. Even better, this month PeerCentered is sponsoring Meet the Author Discussions, video chat sessions with teachers and tutors who have written about their work in writing centers. Read on for the details and to learn how you can chat about the writing center with colleagues.

What is PeerCentered? As described on the site, “PeerCentered is a space for peer writing tutors/consultants or anyone interested in collaborative learning in writing centers to blog with their colleagues from around the world.” The site and related resources have been helping people learn more about tutoring and writing centers for over twenty years. The group began as an online chat and now posts regular blog posts, presents at national and regional conferences, and sponsors video chats (like this month’s Meet the Author Discussions).

Where can I learn more? You can read blog posts on the PeerCentered site. Most are written by active peer tutors who discuss their work and research. I’m sure they would appreciate questions and comments on their posts. You can also connect with the many members of the PeerCentered community by joining their Facebook group.

What are the Meet the Author Discussions? The Meet the Author Discussions are “a series of discussion groups with various authors of recent (well mostly recent) writing-center-related texts,” including Rebecca Day Babcock, Terese Thonus, and Frankie Condon. The first session took place yesterday, but six more are scheduled this month. Check the link above for topics, speakers, and times. The discussions combine video and text chat, using the PeerCentered TinyChat space.

What is TinyChat? TinyChat is a free online service that combines streaming video from multiple cameras with an online text-based chat. The PeerCentered TinyChat space is embedded on the PeerCentered site, so there are no distracting ads or other chats. Read the ProfHacker post about TinyChat for more information on using the tool for educational purposes.

Do you have a writing center where you teach? Have you tutored? How do you encourage students to take advantage of peer tutoring and writing centers on your campus? Please leave me a comment below or drop by my page on Facebook or Google+ and I hope to see you at one of the PeerCentered sessions this month.

[Photo: Tutoring. by San José Library, on Flickr]

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