I had the great pleasure of being the keynote speaker for the ending of the 4T Virtual Conference on Digital Writing last night, and I wish I had had another hour. My aim was to bring to the surface some thinking about our notions of defining the term “Digital Writing” and share out some of the ways in which I use digital canvasses for writing and composition.
But I had to rush in the second half of the hour I had in the keynote, due to the clock, and so I didn’t give people enough time to explore some of the projects on their own and the come back to reflect, which was my intention, nor did we get to a collaborative activity around brainstorming the affordances of Digital Writing. Luckily, the session was recorded in the Blackboard platform, and the slideshow and resources will be shared out in the coming days.
As I was speaking and sharing, though, the chat room inside Blackboard was a streaming, scrolling site of pretty intense activity by those attending live in the session. I kept an eye as best as I could on it all, but I know I missed a lot of the conversations.
I don’t mind.
I like that there was this parallel track of my sharing with their wondering and sharing, and the swirling pool of ideas is exactly what this kind of session should be about. I aim go back and dig deeper but some of the themes in the Chat Room included:
- Access and equity issues around technology in some schools
- Perceptions of doing Digital Writing in the classroom, by students, by administration, by parents
- The overarching question of why do we need “Digital” as part of the phrase itself — why not just “Writing”?
- Integrating writing in digital spaces a seamless mix with what we are already teaching (and are expected to teach)
- Acknowledging the real-world literacies of our students outside of the school
- Amount of screen time, for younger students in particular, and how concerns over time on screens impacts technology use in the classroom
- Curation of student work over time
The Word Cloud above is my attempt to gather up all of the chat room and see what themes emerged a day later. It’s cool to look at, but no one element jumped out at me from the chat room, at least in this particular Word Cloud formatting. The Word Cloud image almost invites annotation (ThinkLink?), so that the phrases and words (I tried to remove people’s names as best as I could) have meaning.
Here, they are taken out of context. And, really, context is everything.
Peace (together, we learn),