Wednesday, September 26, 2012


In response to Brooke's "Underlife" with my students today . . .

Twitter, twitter
Tweet, tweet
About what's being said -
But in critique of it
Cuz critique is not
Engagement here.

Underlife then,
On a social network,
Heavily engaged
But "disruptive"
Surveillance begins.
Conversation moves
And becomes deeply engaged
Away from watchers.

Quietly engaged.
Under the radar
While "teacher" looks into backs of laptops

Convincing herself that students
Know their roles, their positionality.

Their place.

As receivers of knowledge rather than makers.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Dumpster Diving and Storify

I've been thinking some more about Pickles the Cat and the idea of Dumpster Diving has come across my screen and into my readings quite a bit lately.

So, in order to create an example or how interesting and easy to use Storify is for my students, and to give them yet another quick image of possibility for their ethnography project while still thinking about the rhetoric of help

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Julia's Coffee Dig

One of my favorite places to work is Julie's coffee on Monroe Road.  It's an independent shop attached to the Habitat to Humanity Store that sells awesome coffee, has an incredible used book section, and lovely places upstairs and down to work.  The furniture is all recycled from Habitat donations.  Because of my obsession lately with the Rhetoric of Help, I thought this a fine place to begin a little literacy dig in order to model the ethnographic projects my 1101 students are going to be getting into.  In this post/ dig I'm focused on the art in the place.  What can be read about the place based on these photos of their original art?
Wall Art In Loft
Ceiling Collage - Taken from Loft

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Assessment Thinking - An Experiment

I've been thinking a lot about assessment over the past couple of years, and Chris Gallagher's article "Being There"  where he talks about the teachers and the students as the major steak holders in education and thereby assessment.  For me, and for colleagues Tony Scott and Lil Brannon, whose article studying assessment in First Year Writing should be coming out very soon, this rings true.

With that in mind, my students and I worked today to decided how we wanted their first project, a digital literacy narrative, to be assessed.  I gave them a quote from Gallagher's piece and some time to write and think about that, what they wanted to get out of our class by the end of the semester, and what they thought were most important aspects in our reading talking and thinking   so far that might show up in these products.

Here's our brain storming.

(Quick aside. This classroom has those cool chalkboards that slide up and down and I feel like the professor in Good Will Hunting  - but cooler because we aren't using all those numbers) every time I get to use it!)

From here, we talked about what we felt was most valued and important, and while they worked in writing groups, I came up with the following rubric for us to work with.

_______  (10) Effort/ Risk Taking

_______ (10) Effective Use of the Digital Tool

_______ (10) Narrative hangs together ( Coherence/ Organization)

_______ (30) Reflects what we’ve learned about literacy

_______  (30) Is the narrative appealing?  Do we care?

________ (10) Grammar/ Conventions

We talked about it and agreed upon it, which feels great.  The students are happy with the way things are weighted and what is valued.  They will also turn in a reflective letter with the project.

This "Rubric" feels a little better than one I've just made up by myself, and CERTAINLY better than one handed down from on high by a text book company or testing corporation.  It's  really, really subjective.  Of course, there's no getting around that.  But something is still bugging me about it.