Archive for the ‘Professional Conferences’ Category

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Technology, Genre, and the Alleged Death of Blogging

posted: 5.24.11 by Traci Gardner

I am a Blogger.I am a blogger. I’ve made myself an official badge. I publish on several sites, writing a minimum of four original blog posts and scores of microblog updates each week. When someone argues that blogs are dead, I take it personally.

Last weekend, some of my colleagues discussed the death of blogging in a roundtable at the 2011 Computers and Writing conference. Though I could not attend the conference, some of the presenters posted materials online before the convention. I first read Bradley Dilger’s Blogging isn’t dead, but blog commenting is, which links to the posts by other participants. His post brought to mind a piece I wrote last fall, 6 Reasons Blogrolls Are Dying.

I agree with Bradley’s exploration of why fewer people comment. It can be easier to comment on Facebook than it is to comment on a blog. In the case of Bradley’s piece, I saw his post on Facebook before it popped up in Google Reader, so I commented first on Facebook, and then later on his blog. Cross-posting, as Bradley did with his post, reaches more people, but it dilutes the opportunities for discussion. Part of the discussion takes place on Facebook, while some is left as comments on the blog; participants may talk about the post on Twitter, and still more may discuss the post in e-mail messages on discussion lists. I’m with Bradley. Blog comments are dying out. [read more]

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Categories: Professional Conferences
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Atlanta, Sweet Auburn, and the CCCC: A Multimedia Essay

posted: 4.25.11 by Susan Naomi Bernstein

We need to be writing the scholarship that inspires.” Of all the words at all the meetings I attended Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) in Atlanta, these from J. Elizabeth Clark’s detailed, live blog posts for the Council on Basic Writing (CBW) meetings struck me most. Scholarship can be brought to life in the most unlikely spaces and places. As students write in class; after grading one more paper; on the train; in the car stuck in traffic; in the grocery store shopping for dinner—we can imagine new scholarship waiting to be born in all these instances. Even on a long walk in a strange city as a cool spring morning melts into a warm and sunny afternoon.

As we walked toward Atlanta’s Sweet Auburn historic district, my friend Aaron and I enjoyed a brief respite from the engaging chaos of CCCC. I looked forward to seeing Dr. King’s childhood neighborhood in Sweet Auburn, but fretted over the crypt where he and Coretta Scott King are entombed. I knew that I needed to visit the crypt, needed to take in the material fact of his death.  Dr. King’s assassination had shaken me to the root as a child growing up in one of the most racially isolated and segregated metropolitan areas in the United States. But his work has offered boundless inspiration for my adult life.

Not long after reaching Auburn Avenue, Aaron and I met a gentleman who served as our tour guide for most of the rest of the journey. Our guide knew the neighborhood well, and Aaron’s photographs document a journey that is still difficult to describe with words.

Mme CJ Walkers

Sign at Mme. C.J. Walker’s Beauty Shoppe and Museum

[read more]

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Categories: Professional Conferences
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The Trauma Narrative

posted: 4.22.11 by archived

The Trauma Narrative is the title of a presentation I attended at a conference last week. That title set me thinking. It awakened the old issue of whether to assign personal writing in a freshman comp class, which made me nostalgic for some lively blog discussions from five or six years ago (at Mike Edward’s Vitia, for example, and Sharon Gerald’s Composition Southeast; my contribution from years past is here). But this presentation considered the issue in ways I had not, and raised some additional concerns as well.

I do typically assign a personal narrative as a first assignment, for some of the reasons Clancy Ratliff cites in her  comprehensive list. I do continue to struggle with how to move students beyond car accidents and dead grandmothers. But many of the most powerful essays I’ve received have resulted from some variation of the personal essay assignment. It can help students to find their voice on the page and to see the value of writing in their personal lives.

The panel discussion included both writing teachers and a college psychologist, whose presence served to remind us of the concerns we must face when designing assignments that invite students to write about traumatic experiences (cf. Virginia Tech and the Arizona shootings). From the teachers’ perspective, a key concern is how to respond to such narratives—how to separate one’s personal response to the difficulties in a student’s life from one’s professional judgments about the writing on the page. Beyond our own response as teacher, we also need to negotiate how (and whether) such material should be shared with the student’s peers and how to create a safe atmosphere for such sharing. The issue of safety issue is real, and it can be difficult indeed for a writing teacher to decide whether to report his or her concerns to a professional counselor. I came away with two maxims from the psychologist’s talk: “safety trumps confidentiality” and “resilience is the norm, not psychopathology.” [read more]

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Categories: Community College issues, Holly Pappas, Professional Conferences
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What’s up at CCCC?

posted: 4.19.11 by Steve Bernhardt

I was reminded at the Atlanta Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) that I have been attending the yearly conferences for thirty years, since taking my PhD from Michigan. It’s Bedford’s thirtieth anniversary, too, a nice coincidence. I spent some time at the conference being interviewed by Bedford/St. Martin’s in connection with Bits, which gave me a chance to reminisce about that spring thirty years ago, when I was writing my dissertation, applying for jobs, being a new father, and preparing to move from Ann Arbor to Carbondale, Illinois, to take my first job at Southern Illinois University (SIU).

Being interviewed ahead of me was Andrea Lunsford, and that triggered another memory—being interviewed by Andrea for a position at the University of British Columbia that same year. I didn’t get the UBC job, but I recall my first encounter with Andrea well, especially the noise of the interviewing cattle pens at MLA, a huge room with tables where anxious applicants sat across from interviewers, each shouting at the other. [read more]

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Categories: Professional Conferences
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CCCC 2011

posted: 4.14.11 by Andrea Lunsford

Like many in the field of rhetoric and writing studies, I packed up and headed to Atlanta last week for the annual meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication.  If my math is correct, this was the 62nd meeting of the group, which began in 1949 when a few scholars got together to share concerns about “freshman English.”  When I was in graduate school in the 70s the CCCC program chair called my advisor Edward P. J. Corbett to say he had only a few proposals and to ask for help in recruiting presenters. What a difference a few decades make!  The first CCCC program was a tiny little pamphlet: this year’s is nearly an inch thick!

I attended my first CCCC meeting in Boston in 1972 and have been at nearly every meeting since. So going to this conference is in a way like going home to me: I get a chance to see so many friends and so many former students that it is always a highlight of my year.  And this year was no exception.  Atlanta had put on her most beautiful spring face for us, and the program was, as always, packed with many more sessions than I could possibly attend.  As I look back on the conference, I am struck by how much wonderful work I saw relating to new media or multimedia or multimodal writing—and to performance. It seems that writing teachers and scholars are in the forefront of bringing new genres and new forms of writing into the college classroom. I saw inspiring demonstrations of student work: podcasts, films, audio essays, video collages, graphic essays, techno performances that fairly made my head spin. These new possibilities for student writers are tremendously exciting, but they also remind me of one of the biggest challenges facing writing teachers today: how can we hold on to and teach the very best of the old literacy while offering students an opportunity to embrace the best of what the new literacy presents? Finding a way to establish and maintain this balance, as well as finding the best ways to teach new literacies and to evaluate them, may well be the most pressing issues of our time.

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Categories: Professional Conferences
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Disability and the Teaching of Writing

posted: 4.4.11 by archived

I’m going to use today’s post for a bit of what may seem like self-promotion. But I hope I am providing links and directions to some resources you’ll find helpful for teaching students of varying abilities.

Studies tell us that somewhere between 9 percent and 11 percent of undergraduate students have a documented disability. We can safely assume that many more students either choose not to be tested, do not seek accommodations, or have undiagnosed disabilities. We know that according to these same studies, the number of students with disabilities has increased a lot: by one account, fivefold in the last 30 years; 9780312447250another study suggests an increase from 3 percent in 1978 to 9 percent in 2000. So the issue of how to accommodate students with disabilities in the classroom is an important one. I’m not going to offer advice and ideas here—instead I want to point to some resources that writing teachers might find useful.

Back in 2007, I worked with Cindy Lewiecki-Wilson and Brenda Brueggeman to edit the Bedford publication Disability and the Teaching of Writing. (You can request copies of this book from Bedford—all professional resources are free to instructors.) That was just a few years ago, but at the time the book was a major step forward: it was the first book to really bring together disability studies and composition pedagogy. Since then, such resources have been popping up all over the place. [read more]

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Categories: Campus Issues, Jay Dolmage, Professional Conferences
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Congratulations to the Kairos Awards Winners

posted: 6.23.09 by Nick Carbone

On behalf of Joan Feinberg, President, and all of Bedford/St. Martin’s, we want to recognize and acknowledge how important the work of TAs and Adjuncts is. We support these awards, funding the three $500 prizes, because the innovative work of TAs and Adjuncts in the Computers and Writing community is so important to the field. We’re especially gratified to be working with Kairos, a journal founded and sustained by TAs and Adjuncts. It’s a journal that is fun to read and write for because its ideas excite.

Rik Hunter, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Annette Vee, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Krista A. Kennedy, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Jerz’s Literacy Weblog by Dennis G. Jerz, Seton Hill University

Expanding the Space of f2f: Writing Centers and Audio-Visual-Textual Conferencing
Melanie Yergeau (who also received an award last year), The Ohio State University
Kathryn Wozniak, DePaul University
Peter Vandenberg, DePaul University

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Categories: Professional Conferences
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Jazz Up Your Next Presentation

posted: 6.10.09 by Traci Gardner

Want to jazz up your next slide presentation? Modea Share is a great mash-up of Twitter and SlideShare that will do the trick!

Just released this week, Modea Share lets you project your SlideShare presentation on the left side of the screen and all the related, incoming Twitter updates in a column on the right. Here’s a screen shot. Click to see the full-sized image:

The tool finds the related Twitter updates by using a hashtag, a metatagging system that people include when they post to Twitter. TwiTip’s Tweet Your Message to a Larger Audience with Hashtags explains how the tags work. Many events and organizations announce related hashtags and encourage people to use them when they post. For instance, people are using the hashtag #cw09 for status updates related to Computers and Writing 2009.

It’s easy to set up—and the Web sites you’ll use are all free.

  1. Create your slide presentation in PowerPoint, OpenOffice, or Keynote.
  2. Upload the presentation to SlideShare.
  3. Copy the embed code for your presentation from SlideShare.
  4. Go to Modea Share and enter the details on your presentation:
    • Your Twitter Username (so people can contact you later)
    • A hashtag (e.g., #cw09 if you’re presenting at Computers and Writing 2009)
    • Your SlideShare embed code
  5. Ask people attending your presentation to tag their comments so that they will appear on screen.

Modea Share really is that simple. Set it up as part of your presentation, and Modea Share will quickly foreground that back channel conversation and allow you to respond to your colleagues.

To focus the Twitter updates that appear alongside your presentation, you can create your own customized hashtag. For example, #cw09 would be great for a keynote speaker’s presentation, but someone presenting at the Graduate Research Network workshop might ask people to use the hashtag #grn09 to narrow down the comments to just those people in the session.

You can use Modea Share in the classroom too. Use the tool with any slide presentation to encourage more discussion and engagement. Create basic slides that students can respond to at the beginning or end of class. Post a brainstorming prompt on a slide, and have students respond with a hashtag via Twitter so that everyone can see the responses. If you can use Twitter in your classroom, Modea Share can be a great new way to increase participation.

Oh, and if you’re worried about the stream of status updates becoming a distraction, read “Twittering in Church, with the Pastor’s O.K.” from TIME. If folks can Twitter in church without being a distraction, I know we can do it in the classroom.

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Categories: Collaboration, Discussion, Professional Conferences
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Ten Ways to Use Twitter with Colleagues

posted: 5.6.09 by Traci Gardner

In my last post, I shared Ten How-To Resources that explain how to use Twitter, and if that’s not enough, here are thirty more Twitter tutorials. There’s no end to the number of Web pages that explain the technical how-tos of using Twitter. You’ll also find quite a few sites that explain how companies are using Twitter for marketing, customer support, and more. But how are language arts and college English teachers using Twitter?

Twitter makes a great tool for professional development, for keeping in touch with colleagues, and for promoting yourself. Try these tactics to share what you’re doing with the world, and stay tuned for more tips later this week.

  1. Pass on news stories and educational articles. Be sure to read what you post, and send only the best stuff on to your followers. And, just as important as posting the URL to the resource, say why people should read it. Tell them why you’re passing the story on.
  2. Send out reminders and updates to your colleagues. Twitter is a great pipeline for departmental (and even school-wide) updates. You can post last-minute changes, share emergency and weather postponements, and remind everyone about committee meetings.
  3. Tell people what you’re reading. What’s the book on your night stand? What pedagogical book are you immersed in? What’s the blog that you can’t stop reading? Tweet (that means post a message on Twitter) about what you’re reading, where you are in the text, and why it’s captured your attention.
  4. [read more]

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Categories: Collaboration, Professional Conferences, Teaching with Technology
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Teaching & Web 2.0: Call for Proposals

posted: 5.5.09 by archived

This just came across one of my mailing lists.  I’m pasting it in its entirety.




Michael Thomas Ph.D.
Nagoya University of Commerce & Business, Japan


Much has been written over the last few years about the potential of Web 2.0 technologies (wikis, podcasting, social networking sites, virtual worlds, photo- and video sharing, etc.) to produce a transformation of pedagogy. Web 2.0 applications are portrayed as technologies that will enhance collaboration and participation in the classroom and develop students’ new digital literacy skills. Though Web 2.0 technologies are becoming increasingly prominent, few longitudinal or empirical studies have been carried out to date and many of the alleged benefits of the technologies have yet to be substantiated. Moreover, frequently cited terms such as “digital natives,” “digital immigrants,” and “collective intelligence”, to name but a few, while intuitively significant, have been supported by little in the way of actual studies. Where such studies have emerged, they have cast into doubt the wider significance of these terms and deconstructed some of their most important foundational claims. Most of the existing literature on Web 2.0 is descriptive in nature, and while this is useful for actual teaching practice, it is now necessary for studies of Web 2.0 to engage with a more substantive research agenda in the educational domain.

Web 2.0 in Education: Applying the New Digital Technologies is a collection of content-based chapters and case studies examining the pedagogical potential and realities of Web 2.0 in a wide range of disciplinary contexts across the educational spectrum. The book aims to examine a number of foundational aspects of Web 2.0 technologies and to understand the implications for teaching, learning and professional development. By mixing content-based chapters with a theoretical perspective with case studies detailing actual teaching approaches utilizing Web 2.0 in the classroom or on campus, the book will provide a valuable resource for teacher trainers, academic researchers, administrators and students interested in interdisciplinary studies of education and learning technologies.


Chapter proposals are being sought for the first section of the book (6-10 chapters). Chapters should focus on a substantive area of pedagogy related to the use of Web 2.0 technologies in education. Completed chapters should be between 6,000 – 8,500 words in length, and fully referenced following APA style guidelines. Possible subject areas to be addressed by the chapters include but are not limited to the following:

(i). Research on digital natives and/or digital immigrants

(ii). Web 2.0 and digital literacies

(iii). Web 2.0 in open and distance learning

(iv). Web 2.0 and professional development

(v). Virtual and/or Personal learning environments

(vi). Research on particular applications (Flickr, wikis, podcasting, virtual worlds, social networking etc.)

(vii). Mobile learning

(viii). Literature reviews of Web 2.0 research

(ix). Administering Web 2.0 in education, security issues etc.

(x). Deconstructing Web 2.0 in education, critical perspectives on the potential of emerging technologies

Proposals on other topics in addition to those listed are of course welcomed.


The second section of the book includes 12-20 case studies that develop and compliment the themes of the first section of the book by exploring instructors’ practical experiences.

All of the case studies are organized according to a similar format thus enabling comparison. Case studies represent first-hand accounts from those involved directly in the projects described. The case studies should be based on research done with Web 2.0 technologies in the last four years. Each case study should address the following sections where appropriate:

(i). the context of the project
(ii). the rationale of the project
(iii). the teaching and learning aims and objectives of the project
(iv). the technology infrastructure
(v). the evaluation and assessment criteria used
(vi). the learning outcomes and findings of the project
(vii). future implications of the project (institutional, for teaching, for learning, for professional development)

The final word-length of each case study is expected to be in the range of 3,500 – 6,000 words


Please send a 1-2 page proposal outlining the main features of your proposed chapter or case study and how it is relevant for the collection. Proposals should be sent as MS Word documents by email to: Michael Thomas, at: <>. The deadline for the receipt of a proposal is May 31st, 2009. The subject line of the email should read, “Web 2.0 Chapter/Case Study Proposal.”

All proposals should include the following information:

(i). Full name and title of the author(s)

(ii). Professional status (Teacher, Lecturer, Professor etc.)

(iii). Professional affiliation (Name of your educational institution)

(iv). Professional address
Email addresses

(v). Please attach a short biographical statement of each author (ca. 50-100 words).

All proposals will be vetted and returned to the authors within 2 weeks of receipt with appropriate feedback.

The first draft of the chapters and case studies is due on or before November 30th, 2009. All submitted work will be subject to a double-blind refereed process.

Authors of accepted proposals will be sent further guidelines for the development of their chapter or case study. Prospective authors may submit more than one chapter and/or case study proposal. However, only one chapter and case study can be accepted per author.

The book has attracted interest from a number of educational publishers and it is expected to be published in 2010.


Michael Thomas Ph.D. is Professor of English Language (special emphasis on learning technologies) at Nagoya University of Commerce & Business in Japan. His research interests are in the philosophy of language, digital literacies, emerging technologies and education, and the Internet and society. He is author of The Reception of Derrida: Translation and Transformation (2006), editor of Handbook of Research on Web 2.0 and Second Language Learning (2009), and co-editor of Interactive Whiteboards: Research and Practice (forthcoming 2009) and Task-Based Language Teaching and Technology (forthcoming 2010). He is editor of the International Journal of Virtual and Personal Learning Environments.

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Categories: Adjunct Advice, Gregory Zobel, Professional Conferences
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