Tag Archives: Computers and Writing

Computers and Writing Online 2009 Opening Session

Synchronous Session I, Opening Panel: “When Computing Is Sustainable and Ubiquitous”

  • Daniel Anderson, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • David Blakesley, Purdue University
  • Danielle Nicole DeVoss, Michigan State University
  • Karen Lunsford, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Don Meisenheimer, University of California, Davis
  • Rich Rice, Texas Tech
  • Carl Whithaus, University of California, Davis

 About 20 audience members and 7 presenters

Rich interface Adobe Connect – real time audio/video (presenters) with “Share” space (slides) and real-time text-only chat. These notes were taken while the presentation was ongoing, and may include chat, verbatim voice, or whatever-and may not always make sense. Plus, of course, sometimes typing in chat or in these notes distracted me from what was being said, so please pardon what’s missing!

Daniel Anderson begins with a scene from Spinal Tap (Final Tap?) about guitars and the sustain in music. Which approaches and which questions in c&w have sustained? If we look back 15 years ago, what are the approaches we used to take that are still valuable now?  Teaching, access, literacy, and creativity, for instance.

 Ambient Innovation, Sustainability, and New context for Writing – David Blakesley.  Issues relating to innovation. C&W as a field full of people who are great innovators. But we often struggle with our institutions as a result. How does innovation define us as scholars? Teachers? How does the institution help keep it operating-or work against innovation? Ambient intelligence, field in computing, defined in Wikipedia. Reference to movie Matrix, ads responding to Tom Cruise’s presence with “targeted” or “ambient” advertising. Changing message based on what the computer knows about the user.  Ways that we can create contexts that encourage innovation. Questions about the environments we work, teach, and write in?  How much innovation is possible? Don’t we often have to adapt our work to the system in such a way that it can be evaluated? What’s the loss there? ARE universities (and computing environments) sustainable and supportive of innovation?

Karen Lunsford http://www.writing.ucsb.edu/faculty/lunsford/.   Ubiquity, in relation to international writing studies. Part of a team at UCSB that set up an international conference, as well as working in Norway to help them set up a WAC/WID program. Based on these experiences, would like to argue we are starting to see an “international turn” in writing studies, similar to the “rhetorical turn” about a decade ago. Ubiquity in terms of international interests in writing studies. Marked uptake in interest in writing/writing studies. Reasons, one related to digital communication, esp. change in publication practices. Esp. in the sciences English has become the lingua franca for the sciences, in part because of the impact of journals (quantifying number of citations, etc.-esp. as databases have made this kind of tracking easier). Scientists in Europe earned “points” based on the caliber of the journals in which they publish in order to gain tenure and promotion. Hence, online journals in English, which rank highly in this system, is prompting internationals to bring in writing studies instruction (particularly rhetoric of science courses) as well as ESL. Secondly, the “The Bologna process” – about 1999 – a group of about 2 dozen nations in Europe and Scandinavia – aligning requirements for their universities to facilitate student transfers within a European bloc. Norway has taken the lead in writing reform, mandating the use of digital portfolios in all universities as campus-wide assessment tools.

(Danielle Nicole DeVoss:  Where writing happens, and how it is sustained, we need to equip students with an understanding of how writing happens, where it happens, esp. in an international age.)

 (Carl Whithaus – tech writing databases, often writer doesn’t know who the reader is anymore. Re-purposing of individual chunks of writing. Are we doing a good job educating people in tech comm and prof writing programs in how to write for databases? Design of information.)

(KarenL – download IEEE journal writing templates – click here and put your data in)

(some IEEE templates http://ewh.ieee.org/soc/pcs/index.php?q=node/523)

(Daniel A – what kinds of powers do tools, writing tools have?)

 (Templates pulling apart design from content.

 (Rich Rice: but a desktop and a wordprocessor are “template” environments, too. We use them all the time.)

 Danielle Nicole DeVoss – Technological Ecologies and Sustainability. Book/multi-modal project (Computers and Composition online press).

  • Section 1 Sustaining instructors, students, and classroom practices
  • Section 2 sustaining writing programs
  • Section 3 sustaining writing centers, research centers, and community programs
  • Section 4 sustaining scholarship and the environment

 Think theoretically, practically, curricularly, programmatically, locally, and globally.

  • Supporting techno innovative faculty
  • Sustaining new media writing
  • Understanding the effects of resource-poor techno ecologies on students
  • Sustaining new media writing practices across courses
  • Thinking more deeply about and creating sustainable ecologies for digital portfolios
  • Understanding roles of technorhetotrician wpas
  • Designing writing programs that are tech rich and tech sustainable
  • Supporting university-wide cultures of techno innovation
  • Crafting and sustaining tech rich literacy programs in 2-year contexts.

 (Don – how SmartSite and similar interfaces force people to adapt their pedagogy and how it changes the nature of the teacher’s work).

 (David – CMSs often hard to modify, and can stifle creativity – even though there are benefits. Open source software might be a better choice-but it also has a “cost”-

Rich Rice – How many people have iPhones – ubiquity w/mobile devices. Teaching a class on how to read and write for mobile devices. Nexus between just-in-time ability and location and its affect. iPods, Facebook, YouTube, etc. – how do we bring these into our classrooms? Hybrid, online (distance ed), traditional, and “buffet model” – students (?) can choose different types of essays/assessments/etc. As long as you achieve the end goals you’re “good” (interrupted by a phone call – ha!).  Virtual ipod system w/chunked, tagged videos categorized by student needs, given access to videos, and students can choose more if they perceive a need. Like ubiquitous ipod on campus, students are taking charge of their own education by determining for themselves what content they need to achieve the stipulated goals. Finding that students prefer the “quick” you-tube-type videos over more professionally produced videos. Creating video database available to teachers. http://richrice.com/cwonline09.mp4 or http://richrice.com/cwonline09.swf for the video demo.

Carl Whithaus – multitude of ways to “connect” and communicate now, no single model. Makes it very difficult to keep end users engaged with the technology when the technology itself is always changing.  Can challenge the authority of the teacher/presenter (which may not always be a bad thing-more active students–but certainly does not always make the teacher’s life easier!).  Very much about reaching students where they are.

 (CCCC position statement on teaching, learning and assessing writing in digital environments http://www.ncte.org/cccc/resources/positions/digitalenvironments)

 (Kate Deibel – how do the issues of c&w change when we shift from focusing on undergraduate studies to graduate studies?)

 (David Blakesley – look at Kairos, created and sustained by grad students, as a model? One of the things we want to do is to keep encouraging that kind of work from our graduate students, creating the opportunities for them to be involved in that way. Cross mentoring, with undergraduate/graduate students perhaps)

 (Carl – C&W for ugs more a focus on producing a particular project whereas w/grad students more of an introduction to a field)



(David Blakesley: Content Strategy (very interesting): http://www.alistapart.com/articles/thedisciplineofcontentstrategy)

Some Final Words:

Daniel Anderson: teaching, adapting, helping, thinking

David Blakesley: evolution and meaning of “digital humanities”; focus on history of the book and printing technologies, but not enough on future of digital humanities and the book. Economic issues for scholarly publishers-much more bleak than people realize. Innovations in C&W (such as Kairos, new CandC book series – leading the way for our discipline-need to spread the word on these kinds of initiatives. Publishing; economics; modularity; future innovation

 Carl Whithaus: global contexts; sustainability

Don: collaboration

Danielle: commitment to students and student learning; interest in emergent tools; what’s worth sustaining and how do we decide? Communities and forums (like this one).

 Wow – there’s SOOOOO much here that I left out. But somewhere I think there’s a log-go find it!

More Randomness from C&W 2008

May 24, 2008

More random notes (I wish I could remember more!).

Keynote Address by Kathleen Yancey, “Inventing the Self, Co-Inventing the University: Electronic Portfolios, New Composings, and the 21st Century University”

  • Model One: “Stickiness”
  • Model Two: Assessment
  • Model Three: “Integrative” Learning
  • Model Four: The Future

Mark Twain: “Why  not go out on a limb? that’s where the fruit is.”

Association of American Colleges and Universities: “VALUE: Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education,” http://www.aacu.org/value/outcomes.cfm



  • Blogger, Google – Free, but proprietary
  • WordPress – open source
  • typepad – for-pay


  • Critical technological literacy, a la Selfe et al.

Student resistance to C&Wers “jumping on the Wiki bandwagon”

* * *


  • Sharepoint ePortfolio
  • Writing community (students)
  • Teaching community (teachers)

Taylor Mitchell & James Ricci

Me:  Ideas

No, I didn’t present anything.  These were just random thoughts in my random notes:

  • Course idea? LILAC post? “Wikipedia is a Wiki, too!”
  • For LILAC : develop surveymonkey surveys – teachers, students, librarians
  • Ongoing project: Anthony Atkins, GRN book (David Blakesley, Parlor Press?).  Invite articles; proceeds donated to GRN Travel Grant Fund.
  • With Angela Haas?  Video “book” – GRN 10th aniversary (or Kairos special issue?)
  • GRN Online 2009 – Angela and Mialisa and CarlC?  Facebook GRN!

Okay, so if anyone has any idea what my notes are about, let me know!