Developing Writers
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Developing Writers
composition in the digital age, issues of teaching and learning, and theories of development
Curated by anna smith
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Cowbird · A witness to life

Cowbird · A witness to life | Developing Writers | Scoop.it

Cowbird – A Different Kind of Social Network

 

"It’s the role of the artist to remind us of those parts of ourselves we’ve forgotten, and in the digital space, there’s no one better qualified than Jonathan Harris. He "creates projects that reimagine how humans relate to technology and to each other." With Cowbird, he offers us a new kind of social network – one that’s better than most others at connecting people in a meaningful way, around personal stories and poems (fictional and non), each accompanied by a stunning, supersized image that float-scrolls as you move the cursor across it. Cowbird also allows people build collections of their own and other people’s stories by theme.

 

The effect is powerfully intimate, like reading someone else’s diary without the sense of ickiness that would entail. Spending 10 minutes on the site in the middle of a busy work day has an effect similar to that of taking a walk in the park; it allows the mind to unravel a bit, to transcend obsessive patterns of thought.

 

This is not just artsy metaphysics. Our best neuroscience suggests that we need this kind of cognitive relief from the relentless pace of the modern world. That without it, we're unable to do the kind of fluid, creative thinking our lives and professions demand.

 

Cowbird isn’t likely – or designed – to replace the dominant social networks, but at a time when Facebook's dominance of social networking seems almost unchallenged, when it's easy to think that this is the only possible way to live online, Cowbird is a keen reminder of the limitations of these tools, and of our own complexity."

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Teach the Books, Touch the Heart

Teach the Books, Touch the Heart | Developing Writers | Scoop.it

"We are trying to teach students to read increasingly complex texts, but they are complex only on the sentence level — not because the ideas they present are complex, not because they are symbolic, allusive or ambiguous. These are literary qualities, and they are more or less absent from testing materials....

 

[W]e should abandon altogether the multiple-choice tests, which are in vogue not because they are an effective tool for judging teachers or students but because they are an efficient means of producing data. Instead, we should move toward extensive written exams, in which students could grapple with literary passages and books they have read in class, along with assessments of students’ reports and projects from throughout the year. This kind of system would be less objective and probably more time-consuming for administrators, but it would also free teachers from endless test preparation and let students focus on real learning.

...We may succeed in raising test scores by relying on these methods, but we will fail to teach them that reading can be transformative and that it belongs to them."

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The writer’s guide to making a digital living - Australia Council for the Arts

The writer's guide was developed through the Australia Council's Story of the Future project to explore the craft and business of writing in the digital era. It includes case studies from Australia's rising generation of poets, novelists, screenwriters, games writers and producers who are embracing new media and contains audio and video content from seminars and workshops, as well as extensive references to resouces in Australia and beyond.

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IMAGINE: How Creativity Works

Flash Rosenberg imagines how the ideas in IMAGINE are tackled, tickled and teased-out by the author Jonah Lehrer.
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This manifesto for visual culture from Rencontres...

This manifesto for visual culture from Rencontres... | Developing Writers | Scoop.it
This manifesto for visual culture from Rencontres d’Arles is a fine addition to these 5 manifestos for the creative life.
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Qwikstory.com - a Collaborative Story Writing Experience

Qwikstory.com - a Collaborative Story Writing Experience | Developing Writers | Scoop.it
New social media site!Write part of a story in 1000 char or less & let your friends continue it http://t.co/jjB2bC4I #blogging #bloggers...
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Visitors and Residents: A new typology for online engagement

"This article proposes a continuum of ‘Visitors’ and ‘Residents’ as a replacement for Prensky’s much‐criticised Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants. Challenging the basic premises upon which Prensky constructed his typology, Visitors and Residents fulfil a similar purpose in mapping individuals’ engagement with the Web. We argue that the metaphors of ‘place’ and ‘tool’ most appropriately represent the use of technology in contemporary society, especially given the advent of social media. The Visitors and Residents continuum accounts for people behaving in different ways when using technology, depending on their motivation and context, without categorising them according to age or background. A wider and more accurate representation of online behaviour is therefore established."

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Talking with Students through Screencasting: Experimentations with Video Feedback to Improve Student Learning

Talking with Students through Screencasting: Experimentations with Video Feedback to Improve Student Learning | Developing Writers | Scoop.it

Abstract
Changing digital technology has allowed instructors to capitalize on digital tools to provide audiovisual feedback. As universities move increasingly toward hybrid classrooms and online learning, consequently making investments in classroom management tools and communicative technologies, communication with students about their work is also transforming. Instructors in all fields are experimenting with a variety of tools to deliver information, present lectures, conference with students, and provide feedback on written and visual projects. Experimentation with screencasting technologies in traditional and online classes has yielded fresh approaches to engage students, improve the revision process, and harness the power of multimedia tools to enhance student learning (Davis and McGrail 2009, Liou and Peng 2009). Screencasts are digital recordings of the activity on one’s computer screen, accompanied by voiceover narration that can be used for any class where assignments are submitted in some sort of electronic format. We argue that screencast video feedback serves as a better vehicle for in-depth explanatory feedback that creates rapport and a sense of support for the writer than traditional written comments.

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8 Great Sites for Reluctant Writers

8 Great Sites for Reluctant Writers | Developing Writers | Scoop.it
1. Storyjumper


Storyjumper allows you to create online books using a plethora of characters, scenes, and props. Teachers can, for free, create classes to register students so they each have ...
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Taking a Risk with Blogging

Taking a Risk with Blogging | Developing Writers | Scoop.it
In my last post , I asked the questions: What are the goals I have for my readers and writers? How can digital mentors support these goals?
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Welcome to the United States, Developing Writers!

Welcome to the United States, Developing Writers! | Developing Writers | Scoop.it
With Richard Andrews, Dean of Faculty and Professor of English at the Institute of Education, University of London, I argue that although existing theories of writing development have provided insights into the teaching and learning of writing, we need to bring such theories up to date in the digital age—an age in which, among other things, writing needs to be re-conceived as one crucial component of communication among other modes.
In the book, we review and compare existing models of writing pedagogy, and invite readers to discover for themselves their working theories for how writing and development happen. The theories with which we make pedagogical decisions are the driving force behind why we do what we do; however, they are often tacit, working in our lives unnoticed and unarticulated—making them very hard to be reflective about. In the book, we offer a new theory and model for understanding writing development in the multimodal and digital age. The last few chapters are all about how this model would work in teaching practice and policy....
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The Digital Humanities and the Transcending of Mortality

The Digital Humanities and the Transcending of Mortality | Developing Writers | Scoop.it
Coming to terms with what long-form scholarship in the digital age really means.

"Fitzpatrick contends, first, that authorship has never been thus isolated — one always writes against the background of, and in conversation with, innumerable predecessors and contemporaries who are in effect one’s collaborators — and, second, that the “myth” of the stand-alone, masterful author is exposed for the fiction it is by the new forms of communication — blogs, links, hypertext, re-mixes, mash-ups, multi-modalities and much more — that have emerged with the development of digital technology.

 

The effect of these technologies is to transform a hitherto linear experience — a lone reader facing a stable text provided by an author who dictates the shape of reading by doling out information in a sequence he controls — into a multi-directional experience in which voices (and images) enter, interact and proliferate in ways that decenter the authority of the author who becomes just another participant. Again Fitzpatrick: “we need to think less about completed products and more about text in process; less about individual authorship and more about collaboration; less about originality and more about remix; less about ownership and more about sharing.”"

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Written? Kitten!

Written? Kitten is an online writing tool where writers (and anyone else for that matter) can punch in text into a blank box. For every 100 words you enter, you'll be rewarded with a picture of a cute kitten.

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A Lifetime of Achievement for Gary Cartwright

A Lifetime of Achievement for Gary Cartwright | Developing Writers | Scoop.it
People ask me how I got to be a writer and I tell them I can’t remember. That’s not entirely true. The how part is a little foggy but I remember the why, and I believe the how and the why might be connected. In high school, I loved writing wild, disconnected passages in my notebook, pleasuring in the freedom of expression without the burden of too much thinking or the nasty exactitude of passing or failing grades. I did most of my writing in study hall, in the school library, enjoying the solitude and the musty smell of old volumes, secretly pleased at the sense of order and permanence they represented. Writing in my notebook was an effortless pursuit, and I thrilled as the words came flying off my pen like sweat off a wild pony.
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Why Storytellers Lie

Why Storytellers Lie | Developing Writers | Scoop.it

"A new book explains humans like to spin yarns—and why we're so likely to stretch the truth when we do.

We like stories because, as Gotschall puts it, we are "addicted to meaning"—and meaning is not always the same as the truth."

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Create Dangerously

Create Dangerously | Developing Writers | Scoop.it

"It seems so demeaning to art to tell our children that writing and reading are about testing genres and that text can be understood by listing the literary components of a specific genre (even when the list is erroneous)."

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Adrienne Rich: Resolution Amid The 'Turbulence' : NPR

Adrienne Rich: Resolution Amid The 'Turbulence' : NPR | Developing Writers | Scoop.it
The memorials for poet Adrienne Rich, who died Tuesday, include plenty of references to her political activism and eventful personal life. Amid this, Critic David Orr pauses to reflect on one poem — a testament to her perseverance and her art.
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Billy Collins: Everyday moments, caught in time | Video on TED.com

Billy Collins: Everyday moments, caught in time | Video on TED.com | Developing Writers | Scoop.it
TED Talks Combining dry wit with artistic depth, Billy Collins shares a project in which several of his poems were turned into delightful animated films in a collaboration with Sundance Channel.
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Distributed Writing: From Bad to Brilliant | DMLcentral

Distributed Writing: From Bad to Brilliant | DMLcentral | Developing Writers | Scoop.it

"We have some wonderful examples of how the distributed features of networked writing can lead to impressive results, like Commentpress, a WordPress theme that allows easy comment and feedback on specific sections of longer texts.

What we need is to standardize the use of tools like Commentpress for students, tools that go beyond the basics of web writing and more directly facilitate the movement from tentative, early-stage writing to the more mature writing typical of both traditional genres like the essay, but also web genres like blogs. Wikis facilitate this type of writing, but they take away too much control from individual authors. While I'm sure many innovative instructors have begun to develop and adopt activities that support this type of learning, it will only be when this practice of teaching becomes widespread that people will stop thinking that early-stage writing is faulty, but rather see it for what it is: one step in the writing (and learning) process."

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Building 21st Century Writers

Building 21st Century Writers | Developing Writers | Scoop.it
Student achievement scores take off with the implementation of tech-supported writing initiatives that cross curriculum lines.
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Framework for Success Postsecondary Writing PDF

"Habits of mind refers to ways of approaching learning that are both intellectual and practical and that will support students’ success in a variety of fields and disciplines. The Framework identifies eight habits of mind essential for success in college writing:


• Curiosity – the desire to know more about the world.
• Openness – the willingness to consider new ways of being and thinking in the world.
• Engagement – a sense of investment and involvement in learning.
• Creativity – the ability to use novel approaches for generating, investigating, and representing ideas.
• Persistence – the ability to sustain interest in and attention to short- and long-term projects.
• Responsibility – the ability to take ownership of one’s actions and understand the consequences of those actions for oneself and others.
• Flexibility – the ability to adapt to situations, expectations, or demands.
• Metacognition – the ability to reflect on one’s own thinking as well as on the individual and cultural processes used to structure knowledge.


The Framework then explains how teachers can foster these habits of mind through writing, reading, and critical analysis experiences. These experiences aim to develop students’
• Rhetorical knowledge – the ability to analyze and act on understandings of audiences, purposes, and contexts in creating and comprehending texts;
• Critical thinking – the ability to analyze a situation or text and make thoughtful decisions based on that analysis, through writing, reading, and research;
• Writing processes – multiple strategies to approach and undertake writing and research;
• Knowledge of conventions – the formal and informal guidelines that define what is considered to be correct and appropriate, or incorrect and inappropriate, in a piece of writing; and
• Ability to compose in multiple environments – from traditional pen and paper to electronic technologies.

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Common Core & Writing – Let's Write

Common Core & Writing – Let's Write | Developing Writers | Scoop.it

In the Fall of 2011, Bud Hunt facilitated a P2PU School of Ed course exploring the new Common Core Standards in Writing. He created an annotatible version of the CCSS that address writing as a way to begin to "internalize & critically consider the text of the writing standards." This is well worth spending some time exploring. ~klbz


Via Karen LaBonte
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Learning and Teaching Writing | Education.com

Learning and Teaching Writing | Education.com | Developing Writers | Scoop.it
WRITING DEVELOPMENT
Not surprisingly, these two basic approaches to conceptualizing writing have led to different views of writing development. For example, Graham (2006) argued that four catalysts spur writing development. These involve changes in writer's strategic or self-regulatory behaviors (e.g., becoming more sophisticated in planning), motivation (e.g., heightened sense of efficacy about one's writing capabilities), knowledge (e.g., increased knowledge about the attributes and structures of different types of writing), and skills (e.g., automatization of handwriting and spelling and proficiency in sentence construction). These catalysts all reside within the individual, and this approach to development is consistent with cognitive/ motivational theories of writing.

In contrast, Schultz and Fecho (2000) offer a different view of writing development—one that is consistent with sociocultural theories of writing. They argue that writing development reflects and contributes to the social, historical, political, and institutional contexts in which it occurs; varies across the school, home, and work contexts in which it is situated; is shaped by the curriculum and pedagogical decisions made by teachers and schools; tied to the social identity of the writer(s), and is greatly influenced by the social interactions surrounding writing.

These two approaches (and the theories underlying them) clearly privilege different aspects of writing and writing development. However, neither is complete, as cognitive/motivational views pay relatively little attention to context, and sociocultural views do not adequately address how individual factors shape writing development. ...
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