Some Quick Thoughts on Digital Composition

A few friends of mine — Troy Hicks, Andrea Zellner and Aram Kabodian — are doing a virtual presentation for NCTE, and they asked folks to create a short video about our thoughts about writing in the digital world. Here is what I gave them. (More information is here about the session, which takes place on April 15. Bonus: Bud Hunt and Sara Kajder are also on tap for the day’s sessions — too bad the three-day-conference costs $250, though. That’s half the cost of an iPad, for goodness sake.)

Troy and others are building on his work in the book, The Digital Writing Workshop. And over at the Ning site for his book, Troy has started a conversation around ways to use technology with poetry. I added the ideas of using webcomics and also of creating hyperlinked poetry books. Maybe you could add your own ideas?

Peace (on the digital canvas),

PS — Hey, this was the first time using my relatively new Mac laptop for recording any kind of video and using iMovie at all. I like it, and need to really find more time to delve into my classroom Mac.

  1. Teachers in my building are dealing with these issues, too. We are all considering how asking students to compose online, in any way, is similar to and different from writing with paper and pencil. I find that you’re right on target about how students need help understanding how to be a producer and consumer in the digital world. They often don’t quite understand how much they are affected by the music in a commercial, for example, until they are creating a commercial and have to decide which music to include. Having those conversations with them helps them to see the digital writing process at a deeper level.

    Thanks for the shout out about our upcoming webinar. It’s amazing how every step I take regarding using tech with my students turns out to be a positive learning experience for me; sharing my experiences hopefully helps others, but I always learn even more in the process of sharing…risky, though it may be. I’m sure you have had the same experiences in your journey, which I enjoyed reading on the NWP ning. By the way, as far as I know, Andrea is not part of the webinar; it’s Dawn Reed that is the other teacher.

    I appreciate, also, the bullying rap session you shared recently. My students have recently read The Watsons Go to Birmingham — 1963 and have discussed bullying a bit. The video made me wonder if a similar opportunity might be needed in my community…before any major harm comes from student misbehavior.

    • Darn it — I thought it was Andrea, and now I feel bad I didn’t shout out to Dawn.

      We just read Watsons, too, you know, and had similar conversations.

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