Networked Composing

Computers & Writing 2010: 4th Panel
Networked Composing: Mashing the Gap Between Home and Academic Literacies

“Digital spaces allow composition teachers to bridge academic and nonacademic literacy practices that occur…”

I came to this talk because I expect it to be on pedagogy. I hope it will be. (It was, though not all at my level.) I am looking for ideas that will help my teaching.

Some of the presentations here are much more theoretical. I might be more inclined to go to those if I were doing a lot of non-pedagogical research. Right now, though, I’m going with pedagogy.

Thinker on ComputerSabatino Mangini, Rowan University (south Jersey, 10 min from Philly)
“Twitteratives: Tweeting toward Multimodal Narratives that Connect Digital ad Non-Digital Literacies”

Note: He spelled the word they created multiple ways. Twitterive and Twitterative. I have no clue if those are two different things.

Twitterative (students’ created definition)
multimodal narrative that emerges from a collection of personal tweets and Twitpics
Multimodal: “texts that exceed the alphabetic and may include moving images, animations, color, words, music and sound” (Takayoshi & Selfe …)

Advanced course for Writing majors
2.5 hour course in a smartroom (But students didn’t have access to computers)
Portfolio assessment
literacy narrative
translation piece

None of students were active users. 5 had before.

Community: used multiple ice-breaking exercises, group-work
Joined students in writing

grow more mindful of environments
interpret what it means to be a writer in our digital age
critique our own conepts of what constitutes purposeful “writing”
explore how social networking languages impact our cultures

Kress’ 2003 semiotic approach to literacy
Language modes (p. 36)

Joanna Dunlap and Ptrick Lowenthal (2009)
Jeffrey Young (2010)
Jonathan Alexander (2008) digital youth
“literacy is being redefined, recast, and reshaped as more and more communication occurs via networked platforms” (p. 6)

Kress 2003
screen is new dominant medium
more active approach to using imagination
many modes
competent performance measured by “selection, arrangement and transformation” (p. 171)

Keith Kroll (2008) mindfulness
autobio practices
students are more engaged b/c fully present (p. 73)

Constructing a Twitter Community:
reserved a computer lab
set up accounts
-talked about privacy settings, background, photo, bio
-followers of each other
-set up Twitpic
Discussed etiquette and language and courtesy

Our Twitter community
public v private
identity construction
language and symbols
(Could students drive the community? If prof is facilitator, what happens?)

How does character limit change the writing?

4 phases
tweets and Twitpics
collaborative workshops
composing the narrative
writing the critical analysis
Planned as one week sections. Instead it ended up being four weeks on all of this.

Emergence: A New Twitterive
multimodal narratives
memoir (200 wds or less)
short story

Tweets: Vignette/Memoir
“idea for narrative: detective report, found diary, historical document for interpretation…”
In analysis:
I started the first draft with the idea of turning tweets into a detectives’ report of my activities. I realized the narrative was going to be boring … decided to explore the vignette format..
51 tweets/recurring themes
stream of consciousness contrasted with short/clean sentences

Emotional Downsizing

Used hashtag, responded to other profs with
looked at other students’ tweets
“emotional downsizing” People are getting rid of their material things to try to feel better about themselves.
She used other students’ tweets and responded.
Community Memoir

On this day, as I waked my dog, I observed the entire holy family… neatly piled up and placed at the curb…

Twitter Resistance

Dated March 26, 2009- still trying to figure out what the hell Twitter is
August 19 posted once
So had tried it, didn’t like it, but began to appreciate it through the community of classroom
She’s talking about how she did her design.
“that sounds like fun. This is the girl who sits next to me in class, right?”

Students got to know each other through Twitter.

DRock, a cartoon character
Her twitterive narrative of 2 cartoon characters trading places for a day
cartoon character…skeptical about his new experience, so was I…. in less than a week I tweeted “about 100 times.”

Example: Picture a Hiro
getting stuck
having trouble writing
takes pictures of her cat
came up with idea: Hiro (cat)’s Personal Ad
“I could write a narrative from his point of view and a detailed description of his life.”

Example: Photos Tell a Story
struggled with focus
many conversations on that
why not take pictures?
Do a photo essay
What she found was that a lot of her pictures revolved around a student of hers.
She wrote about her student, age 4, from that student’s perspective.

“I am Alex and that’s all”

Many students don’t continue to use Twitter. Some do.
Conventional rhetorical principles (Selfe, 2007, p. 5)
exert their own agency (Hawisher, Selfe, Moraski, and Pearson, 2004, p. 666)

instant_messageLaura Reynolds
IU of Pa
“Social Networking as Literacy Sponsor for Second Language Learners”


non-native speakers of English graduate students
emerged as a project to explore my classmates
more than 50% are in TESOL and non-native speakers
started noticing them on fb

Study explores the impact of social networking on academic socialization.

quote Brandt 1998 a lot “literacy sponsor”

Why social networking?
Brandt and Clinton 2002 p. 348

sample conversation taking place now…
new book on new kindle
academic conversation in fb

Bandura’s social learning theory “Learning Theories Knowledgebase”

“what literacy is doing with people is a setting is as important as understanding what people are doing” (Brandt and Clinton 2002)

What are students doing with literacy? What are they gaining? Are there any negatives?

What literacy practices participating?
Do social practices integrate into academic life?

20 students, PhD
average length of time in US was 3 years

100% of them used fb
80% on these sites more than once a day
nearly 80% reported over half their friends were native language speakers

What literacy practices using?
reading, writing, skimming, uploading pictures

How does it transfer?
“ineract, when we had to do something… I think I improved my writing skills and the use of informal register.”

Lots of commiseration and expression.
Apparently lots of them are presenting here today.

Future Research
how these sites may work to prevent other forms of literacy acquisition
explore the possibilities of these sites beyond grad students

Intellectual atmosphere in antebellum print shop among apprentices … incubator for literacy and political discourse Brandt 1998 p. 165

vzzh at
will send the project or references

moose-cartoonJessica Schreyer, U of Dubuque
“Evolving Literacies and Discourse Conventions in Online Social Spaces

transitions from Laura’s
connecting from multiple countries

What global online networks are youth engaging in?
How influencing/influenced by pop culture?
What can we learn about literacy?
How harness those skills?

Contextualizing transnationalism online:
Black and Steinkuehlerstate p. 271
movement, moving across, between and/or among borders
Brittain p. 15

Evolution of Digital Literacies
framework of new literacy studies Street p. 77
Lea p. 230
Faigley 257 “pronouncements of the Internet as our salvation or our demise is that significant new practices of literacy have come into existence along with the internet”

Pop Culture Online
most involved with pop culture: gossip, talking about friends
where: blogs, Fb, online gaming, fanfiction, comics, YouTube
students learn a lot about aud, context, and genre by constructing online

McGinnis, Goodstein-Stolzenberg, and Saliani p. 302

Black and Steinkuehler “gaming … is not replacing literacy activities but rather is a literacy activity” p. 283

Facebook is offered in 64 languages.
Playfish’s Pet Society can be played in fb.
14,000,000 players
twitter feeds on this, websites, forums, blogs, and email lists
google search of “pet society” had 25million hits
YouTube had 20,000 videos

Writing the “story” of Pet Society
fan videos

How online networks allow them to demand recreation of game environment to best suit the group’s needs
lobby Pet Society to get what they want.
Users quit playing game until these features are added
May create hacks or add code to a game to create the features they want, even though it’s against the user license.

At the same time, they passively or actively accept some of the values or norms
consumer based culture
friending to get more coins
asking for gifts or items—getting things from other people
buying more items and clothes for pet—pet wants more stuff all the time

Showed her pet.
Las Vegas cowgirl
Has the biggest house among all her friends. When sign in, my house is 2x as big compared to students.

Create a society of its own
many profile pages fansites, forums, blogs, in multiple languages
develop new literacy practices
read and respond in multiple languages, so post in French responded to in Chinese—so people can’t read
Not everyone can read what is happening.

Pet Café

Cultural outfits:
tribal outfit
a Cancan outfit
a hula dress
a pharaoh dress

Cultural home décor
put the stereotyping furniture

so users are
engaging in dialogue within the game
dialoging outside the game
creating a unique youth pop culture
contributing to or accepting stereotypes of other cultures –never really did any criticism

Culture in a Box
Japanese restaurant in a box.
Learning about culture through kimonos, bento…
Not a story or not a background.

Online Social Networks and reinforcement of Capitalistic Principles
concern over youth’s passive cultural consumption and consumerism
perhaps virtual worlds could allow adolescents to change pop culture
still were reinforcing consumer culture

Pet Society encourages
competing at the stadium
selling produce
receiving gifts from friends
visiting friends
Friends are financially rewarding.
Want house filled with cool stuff. Bars, alcoholic beverages.
Cars in.
Emphasizes giving.
Cash store allows players to purchase items for the pets and support the World Wildlife fund.
Gift items reinforce friendships.

Connecting Pedagogy to Online Youth Popular Culture and Social Practices
By communicating and publishing online they “have an integral, real connection to the”
Rhodes and Ronbolt

While the literacy practices may be valid, they provide opportunities for educators.
critically examine nationalistic discourse, consumerism, diverse literacies, linguistic diversity
discuss collaborative authorship and ideas about textual ownership
demonstrate and examine instant publishing

Jschreye at

Interesting response:
bullying online
“You should have said x.”
They correct each other and discuss that.
Probably not a helping vein.

Adolescents using this.
How do you know that these are adolescents?
I looked at the profile pictures.
Some tell you how old they are.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge