Posts Tagged ‘Computers and Writing Conference’

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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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Notetaking for Visual Learners (and Everyone Else)

posted: 3.25.09 by Traci Gardner


SXSWi 2009: Sketchnotes
Originally uploaded by Mike Rohde

Someone else’s notebook usually leaves me B-O-R-E-D, but the ReadWriteWeb post on Mike Rohde‘s notes from South by Southwest Interactive has me glued to the screen.

I want to read every image (and fortunately you can see them one-by-one on Flickr). I’ve considered printing them all out so I can add my own annotations. If I were a better Delicious tagger, I’d add them all and mark them up so I could find them later.

Why am I so entertained by scans of a plain, old-fashioned notebook? Some of the notes make me giggle. Take, for instance, “Kindle is like a cassette for an ATARI 400” (on Flickr). “Exactly,” I want to shout through my snickering.

Other notes impress me with how well they capture what appear to be the key events and comments at different SxSW presentations. Consider “CONNECTIVITY will be an indicator of poverty rather than an indicator of wealth” (on Flickr). Yup. We technorhetoricians have been saying that for over a decade. And how about “The minute you open up Microsoft Word you are constrained” (on Flickr). No argument there.

More than anything though, it’s that the notebook is so real and honest. No question that Rohde (the author) was there, that I’m jealous of his skill, and that I wish we could send him out to document CCCC, WPA Conference, and the Computers and Writing Conference. If I can’t be at a conference, I want a notebook like his to show me what I missed.

How would you use these great notes in the classroom? It doesn’t matter if the topic of the pages isn’t relevant to what the class is studying. Use the notebook to talk about techniques. The pages are a treasure chest of ideas for visual cues, attention-getter techniques, and readability. Together and in small groups, students can identify techniques that help make the ideas clear and concise.

And that’s not all. Ask students to notice the kinds of things Rohde records. For instance, have them consider when he writes down direct quotations and when he paraphrases or summarizes. Rohde’s notes are a great example for those embarking on research projects.

Finally, you might encourage students to recast notes from a recent class they’ve attended into a format similar to one of the pages in Rohde’s notebook. If students aren’t comfortable with paper and pen, suggest they try playing with layouts and style options in a word processor. Suggest clip art illustrations for those uncomfortable with doodling their own caricatures. Ideally, provide some other options that allow for different learning styles—students might create podcasts, videos, slide shows, or posters, for instance.

No matter what they come up with, it’s bound to be more fun than the customary notetaking we see in the classroom!

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Categories: Document Design, Learning Styles, Professional Conferences, Student Success, Visual Argument, Visual Rhetoric
Read All Traci Gardner