Kim Jaxon

Kim Jaxon

Kim Jaxon is an associate professor of English (Composition & Literacy). She received her Ph.D. at UC Berkeley in the Language & Literacy, Society & Culture program in the Graduate School of Education. Her research interests focus on theories of literacy, particularly digital literacies, participation, classroom design, game theories, and teacher education. She has published a variety of book chapters and articles focused on classroom design, mentoring, and the uses of digital platforms. Kim was awarded the Teacher of Excellence-College Award by the California Association of Teachers of English in 2014. She recently co-authored the book Composing Science: A Facilitator’s Guide to Writing in the Science Classroom (TCPress 2016), which is the culmination of a three-year, NSF funded project focused on the teaching and learning of writing in science. Kim Jaxon Website


Blogs (11)


Connecting Rural Educators: Professional Development Goes Digital

Monday, July 16, 2018

NWP professional development Many educators in our DML network will be familiar with The National Writing Project (NWP), a 45-year-old professional development network, whose focus is on improving the teaching of writing across all grade levels. With close to 200 writing project sites spread throughout the U.S., the NWP network is within reach of thousands and thousand of teachers. But even with the reach and impact the network has on teachers and students, the NWP still seeks to improve access to their professional development communities. One of the challenges, particularly in rural areas, has been the difficulty for teachers


Amplifying Student Voice Through Digital Resources, Part 2

Monday, May 21, 2018

screenshot from student class assignment video “Our stories that we tell are so powerful because when we are the one’s telling it, we have control over our stories and the messages that we are sending.” — Alejandra Ramirez Bermudez I am regularly in awe at the goodwill our students extend faculty, myself included, as they attempt to make sense of and successfully complete our idiosyncratic assignments. Too often, students hear faculty respond to any confusion students might have by telling them to “read the syllabus” or “read the assignment,” as if none of the faculty have ever tried to put together an


Amplifying Student Voice Through Digital Resources, Part 1

Monday, May 14, 2018

Students in Kim Jaxon's English class on digital culture As I shared in a previous post, I’ve spent this semester working with 84 incredible freshmen and 10 writing mentors, exploring digital culture and identities in our first-year writing course. We read blogs by Audrey Watters, watched films like “The Internet’s Own Boy,” we tracked and analyzed our digital selves, and were moved by the digital activism of people like Esra’a Al Shafei, Alicia Garza of #blacklivesmatter, and Jose Antonio Vargas of Define American. We used these resources, and other models of digital civic engagement, to inform our own research. A few weeks ago, students turned


Taking Control of Digital Identity

Monday, March 05, 2018

My college freshmen, all 84, are deep into a study of digital cultures and digital literacies as we head toward Week 4 of our semester. I designed this first-year comp class so we could weave the practices of academic writing — research, citation, revision, editing, etc. — while also working toward, in a nutshell, simply being more awesome at using the web. I am deeply committed to cultivating the democratic potential of an open web, still believing in the possibility that our most marginalized students can be heard and their ideas amplified in ways that traditional distribution


Connecting Making, Designing and Composing

Monday, January 01, 2018

craft making In her closing keynote at FabLearn a couple years ago, Leah Buechley turned a critical eye on the maker movement. If you don’t know Buechley’s work, she is arguably one of the maker movement’s central players, founding the former High-Low Tech group at the MIT Media Lab and inventing the LilyPad Arduino, among many other contributions. She is a champion of making, which makes her all the more thoughtful in her critiques. Buechley asks us to consider who gets to make and who is represented in the maker movement. I thought about her keynote a lot


No Shortcuts in Course Design

Monday, August 07, 2017

prep for course design Like many of my friends and colleagues, August is the month for deep engagement in course design. If you were to shine a flashlight into this world, you would find me on a couch in the living room, hair disheveled, clothes unchanged for days, various plates and cups tossed to the floor, surrounded by books ranging from Vygotsky’s Mind in Society to Scieszka and Barnett’s Battle Bunny. I love this time of year. And, once I get started on design, it is almost impossible to stop. For me, imagining a learning environment, curating the texts, and


Connected Learning in Teacher Education: Come Make With Us

Monday, July 24, 2017

Kira Baker Doyle A couple of years ago, I worked in the summer to build Connected Courses with some amazing colleagues. I dabbled in the work of connected learning prior to this invitation, but this was my first real attempt to put the principles into practice. Our goal with Connected Courses was, and remains, to support faculty who are “developing online, open courses that embody the principles of connected learning and the values of the open web.” At some point in the middle of our week of building, Mimi Ito made a comment, an aside, that stuck with me.


Building Community With Peer Mentors

Monday, June 05, 2017

mentors “The more I give my teacher-power to students and encourage them to take more responsibility for their own learning, the more they show me how to redesign my ways of teaching.” — Howard Rheingold, “Toward Peeragogy” Howard Rheingold has been a champion of peer-to-peer learning for years. Howard’s ideas are often in my head, milling about with Lev Vygotsky and social theories of learning. When I set out to design a large writing course for college freshmen, I was particularly focused on the role more capable peers would play in our writing class. In fact, I


Rescuing Student Participation Through Digital Platforms

Thursday, April 20, 2017

two students in fox masks Like many of my colleagues who think carefully about digital literacy and pedagogies, I began seriously considering the use of social media platforms in educational settings — sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr — around 2008. Despite nearly a decade of innovative uses of digital platforms in educational settings, the use of these platforms and spaces continues to be trivialized by the public and teachers alike, with cries echoing about attention spans and nostalgia for the loss of face-to-face interaction, which seem more “real.” But, to continue to dismiss digital platforms, particularly those focused on social


Making Science: When Does Spaghetti Become a Light Ray?

Monday, March 20, 2017

spaghetti artifact For the past few years, we have been fortunate to work together in a scientific inquiry class. Bringing together science faculty and composition faculty makes for some lively conversations about the teaching of writing. The course is offered to future elementary school teachers who are typically non-science majors. We recently co-wrote with Irene Salter Composing Science: A Facilitator’s Guide to Writing in the Science Classroom (TCPress 2016), which describes our work with these future teachers and our practices for teaching writing in science. The book lays out how we engage students in practices that mirror the


Epic Learning: Large Class as Intentional Design

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Jumbo class Last October, I gave an Ignite talk at the Digital Media and Learning Conference called “Epic Composition.” Below, I offer a more extended look at the design and structures of my “jumbo” first-year writing course at California State University, Chico. Walking into our “jumbo” first-year writing course as an outsider can be a bit intimidating. The room is packed with people: 90 students, nine writing mentors, and the instructor. Students sit in new desks: rolling chairs with a bottom “saucer” for storing backpacks, a moving tray designed for a laptop. Students have nicknamed the chairs “George