Frames & Questions
The purpose of this first assignment is for the student to conceptualize the role writing has taken in his or her life so far—the student will use personal experience as evidence to support his or her arguments.
There are two parts to this project: (1) a collection of experiences and (2) reflection. The completed project will be hosted on WIX.
The first part of this project is to write a series of segments, chunks, flashes of text that highlights specific and significant experiences in the student's life related to writing. This part of the project functions as a mosaic—a collection of flashes that speak to your experiences with writing.
Each segment should be about moments in the student's life that involved writing or composing. Logistically, a complete project will include 5-7 segments of texts that are 250-500 words in length. Students may also include RELEVANT images or videos or other multi-media texts to accompany the flashes. Each segment will have their own page on the WIX site.
The focus of this course is research—the purpose of this first part of the project is to construct the pieces of evidence that will be used to support the reflection on writing in part 2 of this project.
Using the personal experiences the student wrote in the first part as evidence, the student will define writing and reflect on the role writing has taken in his or her life. Students are encouraged to consider the trends and keywords that they used in their flashes—what connections exist between each experience? What connections can be made to personal experiences and to other texts/information/concepts?
Logistically, this text should be 4-5 pages in length. There should be no need to re-tell each of the flashes already written in Part one; this should be 4-5 pages of critical reflection. This text will have it’s own page on your WIX site—the completed project should have links to the flashes on other pages on your WIX site or other places on the internet. By the end, this should be an interesting and interactive text.
Compose a Vine. The content of the Vine should be one of the student's flashes of Project 1, Part 1. In the reflection, the student will discuss the medium of Vine—How did you go about creating your Vine? What things did you consider when producing it?
The student will be doing this in groups of 4-5 to help complete the Vine, but each member should have their own independent Vine. If one of the group members does not have a smartphone, there are iPads available in the Digital Studio or ACE tutoring center.
This presentation is my attempt to bridge theory and practice.
I present one way I have used new, unfamiliar tech to help teach writing. While this presentation specifically looks at the use of Vine, my hope is that I'm also contributing to larger questions about how to incorporate smartphone technology into the classroom productively.
While I have my own fundamental questions going into this presentation, there are also out-going questions about the role 21st century technology has in literacy, pedagogy, and theories of writing/composing.
Frames & Questions
A look at my guiding questions and the scholarship that informs those questions
My own example that demonstartes how this assignment might work
An outline of the goals of the assignment and how this assignment assists in revision
The logistics of the project and assignment that work to productively use Vine as a tool for revision
“Through producing and interpreting print, nonprint, and print-mixed representations in the digital world, people have developed new social literacy practices”
-Suzanne M. Miller & Mary B. McVee (2012), "Multimodal Composing: The Essential 21st Century Literacy"
“...the process of layering literacy, stacking in effect one grammar on top of another, has a profound impact in that individuals making the transition from page text to screen text must change the ways they read, write and making meaning form written text.”
-Cynthia L. Selfe (1989), "Redefining Literacy: The Multilayered Grammars of Computers"
"I was certain that introducing computers into classrooms had implications beyond having to learn a new technology, because not only would we have to become familiar with the technology, but we also would have to recognize the changed perceptions of reality and self created through the use of it”
-Sibylle Gruber (2007), Literacies, Experieinces and Technologies: Reflective Practices of an Alien Researcher
The following presentation is split into four sections:
If we accept that the medium of a text affects how we compose and understand that text, how can we productively use 21st century technologies in the writing process?
How can we emphasize in the classroom that new media and traditional media are not mutually exclusive concepts with mutually exclusive practices, but are part of a network of literacy practices that are layered and interrelated?
If the digital world is influencing a major shift in social literacy practices, how do the new social literacy practices affect other literacy practices?
Florida State University’s First-Year Composition program offers “strands”—which are template syllabi—for teaching assistants; they are meant as a guide and are not required for all TAs. Most strands have a final project that has students explore other media and genres—the strands either have the students remediate a previous written project or create another independent project with composing technology other than on an 8½ by 11 typed format.
In the Spring of 2013, I taught ENC1102 First-year Writing Reading Research for the first time—I had a project at the end of the term that was influenced by the projects in the strands. After the class was over and the projects completed, I reflected on the experience. Was the concept of technology and medium being treated as an after-thought? Was technology playing a separate (and equal?) role in discussing writing and composing?
When creating my syllabus for the same course the following semester (Fall 2013), I wanted to emphasize that concepts of technology and medium are necessarily involved to the writing and composing process—including when writing in traditional/familiar forms.
I am presenting one assignment from my syllabus that attempts to incorporate new media as part of the writing process.
"...we call the representation of one medium in another remediation, and we will argue that remediation is a defining characteristic of the new digital media."
Jay David Bolter & Richard Grusin,
Remediation: Understanding New Media
I’ve designed a remediation assignment that can be used as an activity for revision. If we accept that a change from a print to digital medium allows the print text to be re-imagined through the constraints and affordances of the digital medium, then remediating a written text into a new medium—such as Vine—should allow students to re-imagine and re-see his or her text.
My goal is to emphasize that the new way the student interacts with the new interface of the new medium shifts how the students understands the original text.
What is Vine?
Vine is a mobile app that allows users to record six-second videos on their smartphones. These videos can then be shared directly to Twitter or Facebook, and can also be embedded on other sites. Video in Vine is recorded when users press their fingers on the screen—this allows for easy shifts in scenes or stop-motion animation.
Because each video clip can only be six seconds long, students need to consider how to bring the core of their argument into focus. They may ask themselves: what’s the most vital, important aspect of this text and how do I show that?
Watch the video for an overview of the interface!
Click documents to view examples of prompts from the strands
The major project—see the full prompt below—asks the student to write a brief, succinct, and specific narrative about a defining encounter the student has had with writing. I then ask the student to take one of these narratives and remediate it into a Vine video. The student then reflects on the experience and uses their new knowledge to revise the original text, which is due later in the term.
"Office help systems...are not limited to manuals, vendor Web sites, IT departments, or on-line files. The office social system plays a major part in keeping tools (and people) up and running"
John Steely Brown & Paul Duguid,
The Social Life of Information
First, my goal is for students to work together to familiarize themselves with the new technology--they can explore the interface together instead of individually.
In this way, I hope the students will explore new uses of the technology through their own individual expertise and interests.
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
I've designed the assignement to recognize that using and learning new technology is contigent upon how that technology is situated within current social system. Students will be working in groups to create their Vines.
Collabortaion is key to this assignment--I'm thinking of collaboration is two senses:
Second, my goal is for students to give and receive feedback on their texts when creating the Vine, but this feedback on the Vine is also meant for the student to re-see and re-imagine their original texts.
In a way, students are workshopping each other's texts, but instead of giving feedback on an already written draft, the students are recreating, remediating, re-imagining each of their texts together.