Keynoting and presenting in a virtual site like Blackboard Connect is sort of like hanging out with roomful of ghosts. They're very friendly and curious ghosts, sort of like Casper if he were to become a teacher instead of just a cute spirit. You feel the presence of participants in the scrolling chat room as you talk to a screen featuring slides you made and know by heart (mostly). Sometimes, they take the mic. Yeah, being a presenter in that kind of screen-based format is slightly odd.
I teach sixth grade in Southampton, Massachusetts at the William E. Norris Elementary School, where my students use technology for publishing and creation throughout the year (http://epencil.edublogs.org/). I am also the co-director of technology with the Western Massachusetts Writing Project (http://www.umass.edu/wmwp/) and a co-editor of the book collection Teaching the New Writing: Technology, Change and Assessment in the 21st Century Classroom ( http://store.tcpress.com/ 0807749648.shtml) that examines the role of technology in the writing classroom in the age of standardized testing and assessment. I also dabble in the world of classroom-based humor through my Boolean Squared webcomic (www.booleansquared.com) and other assorted places. I also spent a fair amount of time on Twitter (https://twitter.com/dogtrax)
Writing Project Site
(This is a post for DigiLitSunday, a regular look with other educators at digital literacies. This week's theme is connected to the upcoming National Day on Writing, which takes place on Thursday with the theme of Why I Write.)
Yesterday was International Dot Day, and this is the first year I had my students join the millions (6.6 million from 139 countries, in fact) people making circles and dots as a way to nurture a sense of creativity and imagination. The Dot Day idea stems from a picture book by Peter Reynolds, called The Dot. We connected with Peter and his brother, Paul, last school year, and we hope to do so again this year.
It's quite possible this is impossible. I am trying to narrow in on the affordances of what we mean by the phrase "Digital Writing." I may even veer way off track here, and perhaps it is best for all of us just to drop the "digital" once and for all, and just call it .. writing. Although, I, for one, still prefer the word "composing."