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C&W 2011: Space, video, assessment, and more

Day 1 of panel sessions at computers and writing 2011!  I had an interesting day, for sure, and thought about a myriad of topics related to digital composition and the writing classroom. 

In the morning, members of the panel who spoke at the town hall encouraged me to think about the history of Computers and Writing.  Bradley Dilger made a great point about using code in a writing class, and how leveraging even small amounts of coding can provide opportunities for discussion in the classroom.  Jeremy Tirrell also showed us some pretty cool online maps which traced a geographical history of online and Rhet/Comp journals. 

After the town hall, I attended several sessions.  I went to the session put on by my colleagues from UM Ben Gunsberg, Chris Gerben, and Steve Engel, who talked about classroom spaces and the affordances and limitations of the classrooms and technologies we do or do not have access to as writing instructors.  For session B, I attended Jennifer Proctor and Rick Branscomb's session on using video, advertising, and digital storytelling in the classroom.  They showed several compelling student video work samples, and helped me to think about terminologies that are useful when instructing in video and visual rhetoric. 

For lunch, I had the honor of walking Kate Hayles, keynote speaker and author of Writing Machines, among many other books, to the banquet hall.  I asked her all about the composition process for Writing Machines, which I've recently read, and she also told me about her new book, to be out in Fall 2010, about the coevolution of humans and technics.  I was honored to be able to get to know such a prominent and wise scholar in the field! 

In the afternoon, I listened to a panel of grad. students from Ohio State talk about their evolving new media assessment practices in the classroom.  This topic was of particular interest to me since I just finished a large course paper on new media assessment.  Finally, I had the honor of watching Clemson professors Cynthia Haynes, Jan Holmevik, and Victor Vitanza speak about Web 3.0 technologies and the function of the written word in digital environments.   

I was impressed with the content of the panels I attended today, as well as the questions generated by thoughtful and respectful audience members.  Tomorrow, I look forward to more panels, my own presentation in the morning on students' use of music in multimedia environments (session F06!), and hearing Kate Hayles's keynote presentation over lunch. 


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