Networked Writing

Open Networked News Curriculum

Monday, July 06, 2015 Comment group of news photographers journalists news cameras covering an event

Newsactivist was born when Gabriel Flacks, instructor and chair of the Humanities Program at Saint-Lambert Champlain Regional College in Montreal, started looking for ways that students could write about the news in a networked way. “It started as an extracurricular local group,” recalls Flacks, “then expanded to sharing with other students in other parts of the world. Within a year, the idea became a curriculum.” Working with a collaborative teaching partner, Dr. Eric Kaldor, assistant professor of sociology at The College at Brockport, Statue University of New York, Flacks and his partner started with 140 students


Writing in Libraries: Processes and Pathways to Inquiry and Learning

Monday, November 17, 2014 Comment hands writing on large poster board with ebola case studies brainstorm

Earlier this year, I wrote about the possibilities for libraries that embrace writing as the literacy of the masses and how libraries might function as more powerful sponsors of literacy if they were to be more inclusive of writing literacies. During the last year, my colleague Jennifer Lund and I have been collaborating with our faculty at Norcross High to explore the use of written conversation strategies with students as a starting point for inquiry and participatory learning. Inspired by a December 2013 Harvey Daniels workshop sponsored by our school district on written conversation strategies, Jennifer


Paper Circuitry Illuminates ‘Writing as Making’

Monday, August 18, 2014 Comment student paperwork projects drawings showing writing is making

There has been a great deal of buzz lately about “making” and production-centered learning. As a professor of literature and writing, I have been enthusiastic about the role “making” might play in the classroom. (Even those classrooms or courses that don’t inherently seem to lend themselves to making in the most obvious sense.) But the truth is, this new found enthusiasm is sometimes an uphill march. Should we relinquish our valuable classroom time to such endeavors that seem at best a crafty indulgence, or at worst, a waste of precious instructional time? This summer, I have


Writing Like the Web

Thursday, August 16, 2012 Comment street signs like the web internet padaria locadora

In my last few posts, I have argued that network writing—that is, writing that mimics the conventions of emerging, online genres—should occupy a larger place in writing instruction. However, it can be challenging to imagine how literacies that students have developed in writing, say, text messages, can be applied to writing traditional genres like the argumentative essay or the academic writing that are the centerpiece of most writing instruction. While many innovative instructors have developed assignments that integrate network-native writing like Twitter into classroom settings, how does this writing inform or lead to writing that is


Writing Without Networks

Thursday, July 12, 2012 Comment sticky notes posted on white wall connected by colorful lines showing social netwrok

In his essay, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?,” Nicholas Carr relates an exchange between Nietzsche and one of his friends, in which the friend remarked that the philosopher’s writing style had changed after he began to use a typewriter. As Carr tells us, Nietzsche’s reply was to agree, stating, “our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts.” Those who study technology (Carr credits Kittler, who has written extensively about the effects of technology on culture, as the source of the Nietzsche story) tend to readily agree with these conclusions: technologies impact our behavior


The Challenge of Teaching Networked Writing

Monday, June 25, 2012 Comment young boy holding flip phone over his eye

In my last post I wrote about what Derek Mueller calls the “digital underlife,” the writing practices of students that fall below the radar of classroom practice, but which are crucial ways in which these students practice literacy. In that post I argued that it is important for teachers to acknowledge the ways in which our students actually write and encourage them to think of themselves as writers. Yet doing so doesn’t answer another crucial question: how does this writing fit into our instruction? For a sense of perspective, it is worth noting that this is a