The Second Panel: Computers & Writing

Notes: I am using blockquotes for my comments on the notes, because I don’t want long blocks of quotes and because I do want to differentiate between the notes and my comments.

I came in late because I am teaching a miniterm course. So I arrived on Friday. I didn’t see much on Friday and will be getting back to that later.

Here are my notes on the second panel I attended, a pedagogy-oriented panel, which is what I decided would be most useful and interesting to me here.

We all have IDs and passcodes and I cannott log in on the PU web. Unfortunately, neither can one of the presenters. Not such a good idea.

red-computer-keys*The chair said, “One of the issues with technology is that it often does not work. We are having that trouble this morning.”

Lynn Jettspace PUI Associate Coordinator of the Writing Center
“The Tyranny of Virtual Worlds”
Surprised her proposal was accepted.
A history of the conference showed that lots of presentations were concerned about the problems with tech.

Example 1: TutorTrack
Her Writing Center requires a 3-hr class for training.
Graduate students are tutored by faculty. Undergraduates are tutored by graduates.
They limit who can schedule whom. That means scheduling is an issue.

Moved to TutorTrack. When 1st purchased, loved it. Thrilled about the upgrade. Began getting complaints about how long it took to get a tutoring session scheduled.

TutorTrack was paid extra to make a new scheduling session. RedRock said they should just shut up and do it like everyone else.

Relationship with RedRock further dropped. The newest upgrade took them farther away from what they wanted. Like a wife who moved across the country for her spouse and then is abandoned.

The technology becomes status quo and we are the prisoners of the programmers.

Example 2: School-created Encore
Online course management – Encore
The system was supposed to be intuitive. And it was. 40% of the faculty was using it, 2% had training. It was working without additional explanation.

EncoreCL changed. After 5 years they are still waiting for the usability of the older system.

How much time do we have to spend educating our students to use the tech?

Programmers want new bells and whistles. Plus, new bells and whistles bring in $$.

The Tyranny
Choices once change takes place is problems.
For our writing center to stick with TutorTrack would require a change in our culture. We weren’t willing to change.
Can you continue to work with the technology while meeting best practices?

The Future
Will be piloting an Online Writing Center. Using Adobe. Must have synchronous tutoring. Does not require student to download software and create accounts.

Only person tutoring online this summer.

How long will it be before there is another upgrade? How long will it be until the program’s upgrades no longer work? How long will it be before the university doesn’t associate with Adobe?

computer-openMarcy Leasum Orwig, Iowa SU
“Confessions of a Blogagogue”

Rethinking technology. Rethinking cultural studies in relation to tech and comp.

“how computer technologies, literacy, and culture are connected” (Selfe and Hilligoss Literacy and Computers 13)

Consumers become users. New figures of mediated practices form.

Brief description of cultural studies
Politics of literacy
Cultural Studies was a reaction against Reagan and Bush I “back to the basics”
Berlin argued impossible to separate literary and rhetorical texts from political life.
Bruce McComiskey Teaching Composition as a Social Process 2000
incorporate social-process methodologies, not neglecting grammar, language, etc
Henry Giroux argues cultural studies connects knowledge to everyday life.

Theory used
Stuart (sp?) Hall’s “Encoding/Decoding” 1973
Can this concept be used in studying blogs.

Had students write about things related to their major. All business majors.
Her blog, students had their own blogs and were on a sidebar blogroll.
One student wrote about Mustangs: how, $, beauty, man’s car, features
Then there was a rash of comments. 8
friend had a Mustang, but he sold it
I’ve wanted a Mustang since I started playing with Barbies.
I personally think they are poorly made.

How could we use Hall’s decoding?
Dominant (hegemonic) What they want you to think
Negotiated (bargained view)
Oppositional (counter-hegemonic)

“Man’s car” = hegemonic
Barbie = negotiated
? = oppositional

No oppositional? Why isn’t “they are poorly made” oppositional?

I asked that question and she said she wanted substantive comments on the culture inherent in the blog topic.

If the students reproduce the hegemonic view, is it really democratic? –If you don’t accept hegemonic, then it isn’t democratic. Some of the choices should include the hegemonic.

*Lack of critique, people go to the section of the internet who agree with them.
*Paris Hilton brings in a lot of dialectic conversation, but about Paris Hilton
*Matt Barton’s Wikitiki- peer response and a response on the response (Look for this.)

facebookJennifer O’Malley Florida SU
Beyond the Margin of Student Papers, fb

did not register for the conference! How can you not register and present? Maybe she just didn’t pick up her packet. I’ve heard several people saying they haven’t done that. I think they are rebelling against the cords and green name tags of conformity.

(Re)Articulating Writing Assessment –Huot, book
Reflection in the Writing Classroom -Kathleen Blake Yancey, book

effort to est. dialogue with student, but then lost
so most often the dialogue is engaged in and then abandoned

Teachers respond to papers. Students respond to the critiques.
What if teachers and students kept this conversation going?

not as pretty a PP as 2nd speaker
more movement, however, which catches attention- good choice

advocating fb for teacher-student conversations

I don’t like that idea. I don’t really want my students on my fb and I am not sure I would feel comfortable being on theirs. An earlier discussion gives my viewpoint which has been substantiated by other issues I’ve recently had with fb that don’t have anything to do with students. Maybe we shouldn’t friend anyone!

ways to respond:
line by line response
end note

Ideally a teacher’s response to the student during the term invites a conversation.
“any response we formulate needs to adhere to basic notions of how people communicate with each other” Hewitt, (Re)Articulating

Interactive options are available.

Yancey suggests: Talk Back
opportunity to read comments, reflect on them, and “tell me where you disagree”
Talk Back is important for student because it encourages them to reflect and have authority in their revision.

In a discussion where teacher is authority, the things in Talk Back might be fake.

Used fb because:
1. familiarity and comfort (social networking is choice of students)
2. convenience (This is not her 2nd point, but was what she talked about.)
3. invites a kind of exchange (posting is encouraged- the whole point is communicating)
4. offers opportunity for collaborative reflection or reflection-in-community

1980s-1990s “Generation M” (MySpace) Bye?Bai?Bhai? author, female
comfortable with social media

fb turn in paper, teacher comments in fb about main points, student can respond
In public we want to talk about our students’ problems? Sure for success

fb discussion forums
Here students have an expanded audience.
Students can be and are authority.
Writing is no longer limited to academic space.
Students begin to think about writing “on their own.” Really?

Student could think out loud.
Peers could discuss the writing on the fb discussion board.

Reflection in isolation is insufficient. Reflection in community is a requirement.

Kairos 1998 Joel A. English –teacher must allow students to reflect

Urban “Reflections on the Computer Classroom”

Do I think reflection is that important? Do I think discussion boards would be useful? If I did this for online class, it would require everyone to respond at least twice to each piece of writing.

*We want to do something, so we use the technology to get it done. So we are expecting the technology to encourage them to do the thing. Tech reconfigures the practice, but if they aren’t already doing it, they won’t necessarily do it.

*In writing, in a public space, and with an offer of repetition, the student comments are more useful.

*No structural integrity….

* in these blog posts is going to stand for non-speaker comments.

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