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Professional Writing and Codes of Ethics

posted: 6.9.15 by Traci Gardner

This week, I want to talk about an activity for a professional writing course that explores the ethical principles that apply to professional writers. Students will return to these principles throughout the term. This idea grew from work I did last week at the Pathways Summer Institute, sponsored by the Virginia Tech Office of General Education. [read more]

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Categories: Activity Idea, Business Writing, Traci Gardner, WAC/WID
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Snapchat in the Classroom?

posted: 6.4.15 by Andrea Lunsford

Recently, I read an article in the New York Times about Snapchat, the video messaging app that has barnstormed its way toward valuations in the billions of dollars. The article’s title, “Snapchat: A New Mobile Challenge for Storytelling,” caught my attention and got me looking around the Snapchat site and watching some of their “stories.” The ones I watched were mostly reportorial, with someone giving information accompanied by images. But they got me wondering about other kinds of stories and how they might be told and circulated via Snapchat. [read more]

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Categories: Andrea Lunsford, Popular Culture, Teaching with Technology
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Who's Doing the Work?

posted: 6.2.15 by Traci Gardner

At my presentation at the Computers and Writing Conference last week, I shared ten narrative remix assignments and related student work (example shown in the picture on the right). When it came time for the Q&A session, someone asked, “How do you know that students are doing the work?”

When I heard that question, there was a moment when I stopped and panicked. What if they were cheating? What if it wasn’t their work? Who was doing the work? How did I know for sure? [read more]

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Categories: Plagiarism, Traci Gardner
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Have You Read "Vernacular Eloquence"?

posted: 5.28.15 by Andrea Lunsford

I don’t know how or why it took me so long to find this book, but once I did, I read it straight through (even though it’s nearly 450 pages long). It’s Peter Elbow’s latest work, and surely some of the best work he has done in his long and brilliant career. Check it out!

As you no doubt know, Elbow published Writing without Teachers way back in 1973, making a case for allowing students to write freely as a way to find their voice. He is an ardent and eloquent proponent of freewriting (a term coined by the late Ken Macrorie), and this latest book (published, like Writing without Teachers, by Oxford UP) carries on this tradition, but now with a decided twist. The subtitle of the book is “What Speech Can Bring to Writing,” and his answer is summed up in two words: “a LOT.” [read more]

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Categories: Andrea Lunsford, Drafting, Professional Development & Service
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TED Talk Teaching: Part IV

posted: 5.27.15 by Barclay Barrios

TED Talks are great teaching tools.  Each is visual, engaging, focused, and contemporary.  I think they make excellent supplements to the readings in Emerging, particularly because many of the text’s authors have been TED speakers.  And the interactive transcript is a bonus feature, letting students work with the text of each talk.

In this series of posts I want to highlight some particularly useful TED Talks and suggest some of the ways to use them in the classroom.

The Talk: Pankaj Ghemawat: Actually, The World Isn’t Flat [read more]

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Categories: Assignment Idea, Barclay Barrios, Critical Reading, Emerging, Teaching with Technology
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Mentoring Resources

posted: 5.26.15 by Traci Gardner

This week, I want to share the resources I developed, with help from some colleagues, for mentoring new attendees at the 2015 Computers and Writing Conference in Menomonie, Wisconsin this weekend. Even if you are not going to the conference, I think you’ll find resources that could be helpful to you or someone you know.

We built a website, Computers & Writing Conference Mentoring, which features a collection of resources for first-timers and mentors. The site includes tips and advice, first-timer stories, and suggestions for documenting participation at the conference. [read more]

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Categories: Professional Conferences, Professional Development & Service, Teaching with Technology, Traci Gardner
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Advice for New Teachers— and the Rest of Us

posted: 5.25.15 by Susan Naomi Bernstein

For a crowd-sourced blog post for “Beyond the Basics, ” I invited participants on the Council on Basic Writing Facebook page to respond to the following question: What one piece of advice would you offer to new teachers of Basic Writing? Why?

The responses clustered around three main themes:

  • Create classroom community
  • Draw on compelling pedagogy
  • Offer compassion, empathy, and transparency [read more]

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Categories: Basic Writing, Susan Naomi Bernstein, Teaching Advice
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What I Learned in (High) School

posted: 5.21.15 by Andrea Lunsford

In March, I attended the 55th reunion of my class at Ketterlinus High School in St. Augustine, Florida. There were perhaps 25 of us there, out of a class of around 100, which seemed pretty darned good to me. Being with people I hadn’t seen—some for 55 years—was, well, bracing. [read more]

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Categories: Andrea Lunsford, Teaching Advice, Uncategorized, Writing Center
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Mad Men: The Finale

posted: 5.21.15 by Jack Solomon

I swear that I am not a fan of the now finally concluded television series, Mad Men (indeed, my returning to it provides an example of how popular cultural semiotics is not driven by what one likes but by what one finds significant), and danged if the much-anticipated final episode hasn’t proven to be strikingly significant. [read more]

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Categories: Jack Solomon, Popular Culture, Semiotics
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TED Talk Teaching: Part III

posted: 5.20.15 by Barclay Barrios

TED Talks are great teaching tools.  Each is visual, engaging, focused, and contemporary.  I think they make excellent supplements to the readings in Emerging, particularly because many of the text’s authors have been TED speakers.  And the interactive transcript is a bonus feature, letting students work with the text of each talk.

In this series of posts I want to highlight some particularly useful TED Talks and suggest some of the ways to use them in the classroom.

The Talk: Kwame Anthony Appiah: Is Religion Good or Bad (This Is a Trick Question) [read more]

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Categories: Assignment Idea, Barclay Barrios, Critical Reading, Emerging, Teaching with Technology
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