Friday, September 29, 2006

On the use of recoding technology in the writing center

iPods invade FU classrooms - News: "Last fall, Fairfield began to use iPods to record tutoring sessions in the Writing Center. Other professors simply wanted a way to create podcasts of their lectures to put on their Web sites."
Beth Boquet, Fairfield Writing Center director reported on this subject on WCENTER recently:
I really credit Vicki Russell and the folks at Duke for getting us thinking about this. They did a poster presentation at IWCA in Minneapolis last year, and our tech folks here at Fairfield have been terrific in helping us to launch the project in our Writing Center.

We have not yet sent recordings of sessions to students, though we did talk extensively in the discussion portion of the presentation about that being a natural next step. At this point, we are using it primarily for staff development--discourse analysis of segments of sessions.

I do think there are challenges...to forwarding files to students. Some of them are technical--the files are large. Sending the entire session is not manageable--student's mailboxes here couldn't handle them. And even if they could, it's unclear whether the kind of discourse recorded in a session--with all of the fits, starts, and circling back that makes conversation both interesting and surprisingly non-linear--would be useful for students as they revise. It would be overwhelming. Editing sessions down to something more manageable takes time and would involve the tutor making decisions about which segments would be most useful to students as they revise.

So, for now, we have not shared any recordings with students, but we have found the technology unobtrusive and very useful for staff development. (WCENTER posting via Michele Eodice, 28 September 2006)
My own College has recently started a learning project with Apple. I'm quite curious to use iPods in the Student Writing Center for both staff and student writer education purposes--if the ability to send the files to the student writer were simple. Somehow I think that is the greatest barrier.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Inner life of writers, anonymous

The folks at Temple University Writing Center have a really cool idea:

The Temple University Writing Center is looking for contributions to a community art project. The project is inspired by PostSecret – the internet site that invites viewers to write a secret on a postcard and send it in to be posted on the site. (Check it out at www.postsecret.com to see what we mean. But watch out – it’s addictive.)

We're looking for writers, teachers, and tutors to tell us something about the inner life of writers. Do you have an epiphany, a revelation, a story, or a secret about yourself as a writer, or writers you’ve known, that you’d be willing to share with other writers?

If so, write it on a “postcard,” or scrawl it on some cardboard, or paint it onto cotton, or chisel it onto stone tablet—well, okay, maybe not a stone tablet—and send it to us. The more creative the better. We will display the “cards” in our writing center and we will post photos of the exhibit on our website: www.temple.edu/wc

Cards can be sent to:

Jaime Lynn Longo
Postcard Project
201 Tuttleman Learning Center (008-00)
1809 N. 13th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122