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Published
Jan 06 2011

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5 Resources in this collection
This presentation was originally delivered in Philadelphia in November 2009 at a convening for the National Writing Project's Digital Is Initiative. Here I've included the presentation itself with audio, movie clips, and more.
Launched in July 2007, a wiki-based project has attempted to translate the entire bible into lolcat, or "kitty pidgin English." Accessed more than 2.5 million times, thousands of people--across time, space, culture, and country--have contributed bits and books. This is a silly example, but a powerful one in terms of digital collaboration
Early on, K-12 teachers realized and put to work the amazing power of digital networks for collaboration across time, space, and other variables that often keep our classrooms somewhat isolated.
Working across and combining multiple communicative modes is where some of the most interesting work is currently happening. In 1974, W.J.T. Mitchell, a communications scholar, bemoaned the fact that we typically teach people to focus on text or to focus on the visual, but rarely do we help people to work at the intersection. Today's digital tools can place us right at that intersection.
An example of exciting multimodal work in the classroom, specifically digital movie work, comes from Clifford Lee and Yumi Matsui. Both teachers are consultants for the Bay Area Writing Project; Lee works with English language learners in teaching language arts and Matsui teaches social studies. Students create, script, write, and produce a cross-curricular digital story.

Digital Is...

Uploaded by devossda on 2010-10-01 05:49

In November 2009, I had the honor and privilege of speaking to a group of NWP leaders, teachers, consultants, and friends at a convening for the NWP's DIGITAL IS initiative.

My goal for the presentation was to get attendees warmed up for the amazing talking, thinking, writing, and working we did at the convening and to make a few arguments about what digital is.

My goal here is to offer the presentation--now converted to a digital video with audio and all the movie clips included, and to offer some resources and deeper digging into some of the content mentioned in the presentation. After the presentation itself, I've included resources that exemplify collaboration and multimodality--from the LOLCat Bible to some fantastic "technology recipes" for English language learners to kinetic type and including a showcase piece on a literacy and digital storytelling project. Each resource includes both teacherly and classroom-based examples and digitally published and pop culture examples.

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