Town Hall: Computers & Writing 2009

Danielle Nicole DeVoss (She won prizes last night for being great.)
Cathy Gabor (She was the chair for my session.)
Sibylie Gruber
John Stenzel
Mike Palmquist (He’s someone big of whom I have heard.)
Praba Pilar

For our work to find eyes and ears beyond this conference… we need publishing. Chapter authors made the book great. First book for CCDP.

Are we now layout professionals? Coders?

Publishing with an online press increase the load for publishing. Good way, but more things to do. How we need to situate the work we are doing in publishing online.

When we are thinking about sustainability we have to look at shifting technological cultures.

As a new voice, CCDP is coming out.
Access to digital composing can provide traditionally marginalized groups to encode their own motherhood.
Creative and engaging programs risk losing their sustainability with new leadership.

As someone who is about to step into running a writing program, how can I, from a tech handicap, encourage and sustain…?

Is sustainability possible?

technology gets in the way. So many new things so quickly that we think we figure out that sometimes we think we just throw up our hands.

Do I really need the newest gadgets, programs, computers? But of course. Not really. Depends on how we see our priorities.

What are some of the sustainable elements?
Good pedagogical reasons for using tech.
Awareness of audience
Awareness of population, community

For whom are we sustainable?
school, work, politics, community?

Sustainability and SES
LA Times June 11, 2009
1/2 of California’s low SES homes have no access
Jobs are online. Requirements for announcements are online.

Barack Obama used computers.

Our role in computing for sustainability
reasons for computing
purposeful work
ethical uses of tech tools
start early, continue late

Writing part…
Since I got into this field, looking at the printing press to phonograph to computers, with this tech bullet we were going to suddenly slay the dragon of ignorance.
Hypo: “tool x makes better writers” has been extended fallaciously to think that getting our students this tech they will be better writers. But it makes them more productive bad writers.

Lots of tools don’t lend themselves easily to making students critically aware of how they should create their context.

Sustainability in terms of our own careers. Constantly aiming for behind the curve. Many of our students are not as far ahead as we think they are. Overestimate the student sophistication. Not only access but will it scale? How do we create a classroom space that is simpler than the info space of our students?

Anecdote: writing in food science and tech… Bright student, constantly texting. Took the time to take a break and went up to her. Did this quietly, on the side. Said, I know you’re used to texting, but disruptive to me. Class needs full attention. 4 or 5 wks later she came back to me and said thank you for talking to me quietly.

Is twitter and fb sustainable technology? What is appropriate in our classrooms? Where do we want to put our emphasis? Tragedy of late adolescence in the technology.

We need to make choices about what we want to do well. Do we want to divide our attention or do we want to make a focus?

Made me think about sustainability.
CSU project… website since 92, 93
highly collaborative project

WAC Clearinghouse

Personal … career emphasis. Lot of thought into sustainability.

How do we sustain our initiatives? How do we transition leadership?
WAC movement, really put energy in and then they’re gone. These programs go away. That’s a real issue. Have to think about transitions.

Activity Theory; Chuck Bazerman and ? old Soviet psych theory developed
in 1980s popularized again

notion of contradiction
discourse community assumes monolithic
activity theory says not monolithic, some contradictions

late 1990s, 65K pages, largest site
We had reinvented the wheel. Put together online handouts. Nothing innovative. Depressing.
Do something different.
Why don’t we shift our focus from developing help for classroom to instead helping our writers?

With the web, we could do more than CSU. As it turns out, you couldn’t get credit for working on a website on your annual activity report. T&P issue.

Academic writing… book instead of journal… Then resurrected WAC Clearinghouse.

contradictions useful when look where we’re going

So many good projects, Kairos, CCDP

Think broadly and collaboratively. We are identical to a print press until we publish. Everything else is same.

Different challenge. Compost bins.
Compost our computers and our cell phones.
One single computer can contain 100s of things.
Green Peace…
Silicon Valley Toxic Coalition
10% of computers are being recycled
toxic material shipped overseas
These recycling operations are extremely polluting.
What are we as educators to do?
She gave an org, but wasn’t the letters I understood.

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