Developing Writers
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Developing Writers
composition in the digital age, issues of teaching and learning, and theories of development
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Can computers teach writing?

Can computers teach writing? | Developing Writers | Scoop.it
Some experts say it can happen. The Hewlett Foundation is sponsoring a competition to push the research forward. But I am deeply skeptical and won’t accept this until English teachers say it is okay.

"Maybe machines can score a test and approximate human ratings of grammar, sentence structure and relevance on the limited five- or six-point scales used in such exams, but that is not the same thing as teaching writing."

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Lists of Note: Fumblerules of Grammar

Lists of Note: Fumblerules of Grammar | Developing Writers | Scoop.it

"Late-1979, New York Times columnist William Safire compiled a list of "Fumblerules of Grammar" — rules of writing, all of which are humorously self-contradictory — and published them in his popular column, "On Language." Those 36 fumblerules can be seen below, along with another 18 that later featured in Safire's book, Fumblerules: A Lighthearted Guide to Grammar and Good Usage.

 

Remember to never split an infinitive.
A preposition is something never to end a sentence with.
The passive voice should never be used.
Do not put statements in the negative form...."

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Witnesses of change: from Print to Digital Literacy

Selfe explains “digital multimodal texts have encouraged some teachers of composition to rediscover aurality as a valuable modality of expression” (619). Williams reflects further on how literate environments are changing ...

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Digital Learning Day on Figment | Figment Blog

Digital Learning Day on Figment | Figment Blog | Developing Writers | Scoop.it

"Digital Learning Day is a project to inspire students and teachers alike to use the global audience that the internet provides and the hands-on technology available. You guys, as contributors to a large online writing community, are all up on, over, and IN this movement. We want you to tag one story in your already-existing Figment portfolio with DLDay. In your story’s description, share why a digital audience has been meaningful to you and why getting peer feedback has been beneficial for you.

You know how people heart your stories? This is you hearting back. Why do you post your work on Figment? So other people can see it. Why are these people important to your writing process? Tell us and tell them!"

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High school students know that their learning isn't relevant | Education Recoded | Big Think

High school students know that their learning isn't relevant | Education Recoded | Big Think | Developing Writers | Scoop.it

"Do we have the will to integrate digital technologies into students' learning in regular, frequent, and meaningful ways? Are we brave enough to cast a critical eye at the learning tasks that we assign students and ask difficult but necessary questions about their relevance in a technology-suffused, globally-interconnected society? Are we willing to look at what passes for 'learning' and 'teaching' and 'schooling' on a day-to-day basis in this country and acknowledge that the vast majority of it is mind-numbingly boring and disengaging? Can we recognize that we're infantilizing our young adults instead of enabling them to be empowered learners, thinkers, and doers?"

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Plotto: The Master Book of All Plots

Plotto: The Master Book of All Plots | Developing Writers | Scoop.it

The art of mechanized storytelling, or what a cardboard robot has to do with melodrama and Law & Order.

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25 Things Writers Should Stop Doing

25 Things Writers Should Stop Doing | Developing Writers | Scoop.it

"I read this cool article last week — “30 Things To Stop Doing To Yourself” — and I thought, hey, heeeey, that’s interesting. Writers might could use their own version of that. So, I started to cobble one together. And, of course, as most of these writing-related posts become, it ended up that for the most part I’m sitting here in the blog yelling at myself first and foremost.

 

That is, then, how you should read this: me, yelling at me. If you take away something from it, though?

 

Then go forth and kick your writing year in the teeth.

 

Onto the list.

 

1. Stop Running Away ..."

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Forecast 2020: Web 3.0+ and Collective Intelligence

Forecast 2020: Web 3.0+ and Collective Intelligence | Developing Writers | Scoop.it

"Let’s focus on the resulting element — the “collective intelligence”. Think about it as billions of human brains working using future super computers as a platform. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) professor Srini Devadas described “collective intelligence” as consisting of two pillars: cloud computing and crowd computing. Cloud computing is using the Internet as a platform and making access to information available to everyone. Crowd computing, according to him, involves the analysis of information into “collective intelligence” far beyond what we have today."


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Does Digital Media Make Us Bad Writers? | Spotlight on Digital Media and Learning

Does Digital Media Make Us Bad Writers? | Spotlight on Digital Media and Learning | Developing Writers | Scoop.it

"According to Lunsford, the writing we produce is not getting worse. Instead, it is simply adapting to the modern world.

 

“It was very clear as we entered the new millennium that writing was undergoing really, really profound changes, probably more so than in the last 2,500 years,” Lunsford says. Writing, she says, is “a plastic art. Writing always changes given the context. It molds itself to the changes.”

 

Young people today approach writing differently, she also thinks. Rather than organizing a piece of writing based on a logical progression, with argument at its base, Lunsford says they are instead organizing their content and material by association. Like a well-crafted essay, one idea leads to another in an associational framework—more akin to organizing a website.

 

Digital tools have also changed student writing by providing the ability to marry text and other media in ways that can often help them provide greater depth and texture to what they are trying to communicate.

 

“Writing isn’t just black marks on white paper. It’s full of sound, images, color,” Lunsford says. “I think that students today have an ability to use a combo of words and images. Words free up the images and the images free up the words so they’re both incredibly important but they are doing different things.”." 


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University of Melbourne deploys Espresso Book Machine > News > ProPrint

University of Melbourne deploys Espresso Book Machine > News > ProPrint | Developing Writers | Scoop.it

"The University of Melbourne purchased the EBM (pictured), which prints, trims and binds a paperback book on demand, from local distributor Central Book Services, and unveiled the machine at the opening of the CBC last week.

 

CBC executive director Simon Strong told ProPrint that while the machine was originally intended to merely "serve the needs of the university", access to the machine is in the process of being opened to the general public.

 

Strong said that an online submission system will be set up for manuscripts, and is aiming by the end of the year to have a system in place that allows printed manuscripts to be completed within 48 hours."

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Twitter by Post - The Morning News

Twitter by Post - The Morning News | Developing Writers | Scoop.it
Twitter is the contemporary postcard—social updates that are limited by size, but not imagination. For a month, with a billion stamps, our correspondent moved his tweets from the laptop to the post office, and rediscovered the joy of mail.
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Digital Literacy: Search Algorithms are Mechanical Turks | DMLcentral

Digital Literacy: Search Algorithms are Mechanical Turks | DMLcentral | Developing Writers | Scoop.it

"In most cases, algorithms aren't autonomous machines, however. From the perspective of digital literacy, it is better to think about an algorithm like Google's as a kind of Mechanical Turk. The "Turk" was a chess-playing machine that made it seem that it operated autonomously, a robot capable of challenging human players in a game of skill. However, the machine was not autonomous, but was operated by a person concealed in a compartment of the machine. Similarly, even though algorithms give the appearance of autonomous behavior, maintaining that semblance of autonomous action requires frequent tinkering and is dependent on guidance from human controllers. In this sense, algorithms are mechanical, in that they have features that enhance the speed or accuracy of these human decisions, but they are not independent of those decisions.

 

This is not to say that what these algorithms produce can't be considered "true" or accurate, or that some algorithms don't produce superior results than others; rather, it is to say that information seekers must examine the information available about these algorithms and the contingencies that produced them if they wish to come to reliable conclusions about that information. As such, examining these contingencies is as important a factor in digital literacy as the examination of the publication history of printed texts—the name and affiliation of the author(s), who printed it, what form it was printed in, how it was edited, etc.—was for print literacy."

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Infographic: Timeline Of Text Messaging History

"Timeline Of Text Messaging History: A timeline of how 160 characters changed the way we communicate."


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10 Inspiring Social Networks for Writers

10 Inspiring Social Networks for Writers | Developing Writers | Scoop.it
These 10 social networks can help you receive valuable feedback, gain exposure for your own work, brainstorm ideas and evolve as a writer.
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INTERTEXTrEVOLUTION: Using Multimodal Poetry to Engage in ...

Multimodal Poetry One area that I have been working on for the past five or six years is to integrate digital texts and tools into my teaching of poetry. There is something rewarding about using the oldest genre of litertature with ...

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Hip-hop teaching, performance and culture - University of Wisconsin-Madison

Hip-hop teaching, performance and culture - University of Wisconsin-Madison | Developing Writers | Scoop.it
Hip-hop teaching, performance and cultureUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison27 – "Using hip-hop pedagogy as a teaching tool to integrate topics from history, politics and art to culture and performance in the classroom will be the topic of the second annual lecture series "Getting Real II" at the University of Wisconsin-Madison this spring.
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Apple Announces iBooks 2, iBooks Author; Textbook Partnerships - Tech Trader Daily - Barrons.com

I’m at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, where Apple (AAPL) is showing off the “2.0″ version of its iBooks application, which will allow for feature-rich books that can have interactive elements, as for example with textbooks that have activities...
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Google Form as Choose Your Own Adventure Tool « Bionic Teaching

Google Form as Choose Your Own Adventure Tool « Bionic Teaching | Developing Writers | Scoop.it

"Embedded below is a simple example of a choose your own adventure story using the branch logic options in Google forms. It’s a little hard to keep the pages straight at first but it gets easier as you go. Were I doing something large, I’d probably have to map it out first."

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BBC News - Children who use technology are 'better writers'

BBC News - Children who use technology are 'better writers' | Developing Writers | Scoop.it
Using social network websites and texting improves core writing skills, says the National Literacy Trust.

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Students can’t write (or read) « The Berkeley Blog

Great quotes about how writing is going downhill-- a chronology from 1896


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Life in a 21st-Century English Class | MindShift

Life in a 21st-Century English Class | MindShift | Developing Writers | Scoop.it

I teach in an inquiry, project-based, technology embedded classroom. A mouthful, I know. So what does that mean? To begin with, I don’t lecture. My students don’t take notes, at least not in the traditional sense, and we don’t read a novel and simply answer the questions.

 

It means my classroom is a place where my students spend time piecing together what they have learned, critically evaluating its larger purpose, and reflecting on their own learning. It also means my students don’t acquire knowledge just for the sake of acquiring it. They need to do something with it — that’s where “project-based” comes into play.

 

Finally, technology is embedded into the structure of all we do. It’s part of how we research, how we capture information, and how we display our learning. It’s never an accessory tacked on at the end.

 

In my English classroom, this looks a lot different than in my biology and chemistry classrooms (which you can read about here). My English curriculum is largely skills-based, which provides a fair amount of flexibility. Many people ask me how I have the opportunities to do what I do in my classroom. My answer? It’s all in how you look at the curriculum.

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From Positive/Negative to Affordances/Constraints

From Positive/Negative to Affordances/Constraints | Developing Writers | Scoop.it
Most technological changes (i.e. from ink to pencil, and typewriter to computer, and now to digital networked communication) have been framed as a issue of the “ruin” of previous forms of communication. Rarely, if ever, has the new compositional tool completely supplanted previous forms and ways of composing. Instead it has been a “both/and” experience—old practices remain, are influenced by new forms of composing. Instead of positive and negative effects to existing ways of thinking, I’ve found it generative to frame the question as affordances and constraints. Instead of worrying about the effects of new tools, what if we asked questions such as:

What kinds of compositional decisions, practices and challenges do digital, networked communication afford a developing writer?
What are the constraints of composing with networked and/or digital devices (not necessarily the same thing)?
At the same time, what are the affordances/constraints of composing with a pen and paper?
Each of these affordances and constraints has implications for the rhetorical, compositional and framing decisions we make as we compose. Conversations about the affordances and constraints, as well as conversations about the implications for compositional decisions are generative for both teachers and their students to investigate.

What affordances and constraints have you noticed when using particular digital tools? How have you found these to relate to your compositional practices?...
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Why Write…Together? by Andrea Lunsford

Why Write…Together? by Andrea Lunsford | Developing Writers | Scoop.it

Why Write…Together?
posted: 12.8.11 by Andrea Lunsford


Lisa Ede and I asked this question almost thirty years ago in an essay of the same name, and we’ve been trying to answer it ever since, trying to persuade the academy in general and our departments in particular that writing is thoroughly social, that even sitting alone at our computers we are writing “with” all the voices and texts in our heads and at the tip of our fingertips on screen, that all writing is collaborative writing.

 

For decades we thought our message would never be heard. Especially in the humanities, scholars (and teachers) still resist collaboration and collaborative writing, and the so-called single-authored article/book is still the gold standard for tenure and promotion. Students also resist collaborative writing, since they’ve been implicitly taught to be suspicious of others who might “steal” their ideas.

 

But then came the digital age and Web 2.0, with its participatory, collaborative, distributed ways of working. Perhaps the time has come, we’ve thought (and hoped). And indeed, those studying and writing about new media and new literacies invariably note the necessity, the inevitability, of collaboration. If we live another decade, perhaps we’ll see collaborative grades given routinely, collaborative dissertations valued, collaborative teamwork the norm, even in the humanities.

 

We can always hope! In the meantime, thanks to Bedford/St Martins, we are celebrating our own thirty years of collaboration and collaborative writing with the publication of Writing Together: Collaboration in Theory and Practice.

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Women in high-income families outpace their brothers in college | Inside Higher Ed

Women in high-income families outpace their brothers in college | Inside Higher Ed | Developing Writers | Scoop.it

"The working paper, which uses data from the U.S. Census and the National Longitudinal Surveys of Youth, also notes a striking and substantial difference between the sexes in educational attainment, with women outpacing men in every demographic group. The largest gap between men and women in completing college is at the highest economic range, with women at a 13-percentage-point advantage over their male counterparts.
“It was surprising to us to find the female advantage is the largest among the highest quartile,” said Susan Dynarski, a co-author of the study and associate professor of public policy and of education at the University of Michigan. “When you hear about ‘the boy problem,’ you tend to hear about low-income groups.”
Dynarski said it is well-documented that rich children have been outpacing poor children in postsecondary attainment at an increasing rate. In addition, there is no shortage of evidence that girls have the advantage over boys in higher education. Dynarski said she and her co-author, Martha Bailey, assistant professor of economics at Michigan, wanted to look at this cross-section: How did this relationship between boys and girls look when family income levels were factored in?"

Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/12/06/women-high-income-families-outpace-their-brothers-college#ixzz1gAHCP2Rt
Inside Higher Ed

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Poetry Daily Prose Feature - Anne Carson: "Variations on the Right to Remain Silent"

Poetry Daily Prose Feature - Anne Carson: "Variations on the Right to Remain Silent" | Developing Writers | Scoop.it

"Every translator knows the point where one language cannot be translated into another. Take the word cliché. Cliché is a French borrowing, past participle of the verb clicher, a term from printing meaning "to make a stereotype from a relief printing surface." It has been assumed into English unchanged, partly because using French words makes English-speakers feel more intelligent and partly because the word has imitative origins (it is supposed to mimic the sound of the printer's die striking the metal) that make it untranslatable. English has different sounds. English falls silent. This kind of linguistic decision is simply a measure of foreignness, an acknowledgment of the fact that languages are not sciences of one another, you cannot match them item for item. But now what if, within this silence, you discover a deeper one—a word that does not intend to be translatable. A word that stops itself."

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