Posts Tagged ‘word processor’

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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!

Comments: (1)
Categories: Document Design, Learning Styles, Professional Conferences, Student Success, Visual Argument, Visual Rhetoric
Read All Traci Gardner

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Tracking Revision

posted: 4.3.08 by Barclay Barrios

As they work on revising a draft, ask your students to turn on the track changes function in Microsoft Word (or any other similar feature in other word processors).  Have them submit their revised drafts electronically so that you’ll be able to see the extent of the changes in the draft.

Comments: (1)
Categories: Assignment Idea, Drafting, Revising, Teaching with Technology
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The Hyphen Today

posted: 12.10.07 by Barclay Barrios

Used to be used to divide words at the end of sentences, but word processors take care of that for us now. So how is the hyphen used today? Have students review the material in the handbook on this punctuation mark and then have them bring in examples from outside the classroom that demonstrate correct or incorrect uses of the hyphen. As part of this discussion, ask students to consider the dash as well. What’s the difference between the two? When might they use either in their writing?

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Categories: Assignment Idea, Punctuation & Mechanics
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Colorful Quotation Marks

posted: 12.3.07 by Barclay Barrios

Students often forget to use single quotation marks for quotations within quotations. Have students search for quotation marks using their word processor. Ask them to find the first one and change the font color for that quotation mark to green; then have them find the next one and change it to red. As students repeat this process, alternating green and red, they build a visual record of where quotations start and end. They can then review their drafts to make sure they didn’t unintentionally end a quotation by failing to use a single quotation mark.

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Categories: Integrating sources, Proofreading/Editing, Punctuation & Mechanics
Read All Barclay Barrios

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Worst Formatting Ever

posted: 2.21.07 by Barclay Barrios

Challenge students to bring in the most unreadable draft ever by playing with the format of their papers in a word processor. As part of the assignment, students should read the material in the handbook on formatting papers and/or document design. Have the class vote on which reformatted draft is the most unreadable and use that to start a discussion about paper formatting and what makes a paper readable.

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Categories: Assignment Idea, Document Design, Drafting, Teaching with Technology
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Replacing Commas

posted: 1.26.07 by Barclay Barrios

Have students use a word processor to search their drafts for all commas and then remove them with the replace function. In peer review, have students insert the commas in their peers’ drafts, noting in the margin the section of the handbook that justifies the use of the comma in that place.

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Categories: Grammar & Style, Peer Review, Punctuation & Mechanics, Teaching with Technology
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Punctuation Mix-Up Fix-Up

posted: 1.26.07 by Barclay Barrios

Have students use a word processor’s find and replace function to switch punctuation around, exchanging commas for periods and quotation marks for apostrophes. In peer groups, have students restore the proper punctuation.

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Categories: Peer Review, Punctuation & Mechanics, Teaching with Technology
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Indexing Drafts

posted: 1.16.07 by Barclay Barrios

Ask students to look through the index in the handbook. Word processors usually incorporate a tool for creating an index of a document. Have students use the help files of the software to learn how to use this tool. Then have them produce an index of their drafts: What terms do they use the most? And what terms, ideas, or names do they feel are important enough to list in an index?

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Categories: Document Design, Drafting, Revising, Teaching with Technology
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The Never-Ending Sentence

posted: 11.6.06 by Barclay Barrios

Ask students to use their word processor to first convert all text to lowercase and then to replace all periods with a space. Have them review the section on fused sentences in the handbook. In class, have them work in groups on one of the “period-less” drafts to restore the proper punctuation.

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Categories: Collaboration, Grammar & Style, Punctuation & Mechanics, Teaching with Technology
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Checker Challenge

posted: 10.9.06 by Barclay Barrios

Go over the material on grammar checkers in the handbook. Have students pay attention to the sentences that their word processor’s grammar checker flags. The challenge is to come in with a correct sentence the grammar checker thought was wrong. Students should use the handbook, comparing what the grammar checker flagged as wrong to the handbook definition.

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Categories: Assignment Idea, Drafting, Grammar & Style, Teaching with Technology
Read All Barclay Barrios