We had a big turn-out for the first DWC Tea and Pizza, “Using Computers to Teach Reading and Analysis.” Lance Cummings introduced us to Wikispaces, a free, online site that he uses in English 112 Composition and Literature to teach in-class textual analysis and collaborative writing and researching. Using Wikispaces, a teacher can create a class site and students can collaboratively collect information about class readings for more dynamic, diverse findings; they can collectively brainstorm reading questions and textual analysis; and they can engage in research collection and citation, including composing summaries, working with direct quotations, and integrating proper citations in the most up to date style. Unlike the department Composition Wiki, Wikispaces allows simultaneous, synchronous postings without the risk of students losing their materials. Also, Wikispaces provides a class archive and enables students to return and re-engage in a particular thread at any point in the semester. To create a wiki space using Wikispaces, go to http://www.wikispaces.com/ and proceed with “Get Started.” You may download a copy of Lance’s handout, Waki Wikis.
Jason Palmeri introduced us to 5 methods for teaching reading and analysis in computer and laptop classes. He asked, how can we teach literary, alphabetic texts in laptop or computer spaces, and how do we move between using the computer for writing and research and verbal class discussion? Jason discussed classroom activities such as having students create a reader’s guide for a given text, or having pairs or individuals responsible for annotating specific chapters or sections of a reading. Jason also introduced us to a few online sites that are useful for in-class invention: Wordle creates a tag cloud of a text, and Google Lit Trips creates a digital annotated map of a literary text. See below on Blog for Jason’s thorough posting, “5 Ways to Teach Critical Reading and Analysis in The Laptop Classroom.”
Our next Tea/Pizza, “Collaboration: Designing and Evaluating Student Projects,” will be Wed., Feb. 10th at 12:10 in Bachelor Hall 337.