Course: Digital Writing

Open-Source Learning

I teach composition through digital writing tools. The born-digital assignments I create are modeled after an open-source approach to knowledge production. Rather than assessing students as competitors that possess private knowledge, the collaborative use of social technologies – such as wikis, blogs, tumblr, twitter – enables my students to build off each other's expertise to make knowledge collaborative.

Technical Resources, Social Topics

Digital tools often work best when they are not the center of attention. I focus composition courses on contemporary themes, such as the historical construction of race, gendered identity presentation, or the city's social fragmentation. By casting the content-focus beyond the digital, we benefit from powerful technical resources while letting social concerns drive the conversation. 

Resource Example: Class Wiki

Students kept a public wiki for the "Metropolis 24/7" class. They added resource links, outlined in-class conversion, "live blogged" discussions, and then posted related material. Popular materials received over 100 discussion items. The wiki facilitated engagement with authors of the material we read, and now serves as a public archive for others to find.