“It is easy to see that a greater self-reliance must work a revolution in all the offices and relations of men; in their religion; in their education; in their pursuits; their modes of living; their association; in their property; in their speculative views.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson in “Self-Reliance”
The goal of Digital Composition is to offer students opportunities for creating that still require all of the planning, attention to detail, and sophistication we hope they learn from traditional writing assignments. These are not intended to replace all traditional writing assignments, but instead to compliment them and illuminate the connections between traditional and modern. The planning document is one that is used to analyze nonfiction but also gives students an opportunity understand the elements of good design and planning. All of this is a work in progress and my next step is creating more explicit lessons that help level the field in technology prowess; right now I offer lots of in-class support and most class periods are workshops for planning, creating, researching, and editing.
The culminating project is the creation of a digital portfolio in Word Press that highlights their work over the semester. The student portfolios are still works-in-progress but you are welcome to view them in unit four and my own is published as a model of students.
Our class syllabus is a live document and often tweaked in the months prior to a new semester of class.
We follow a challenge or project based learning model. Students have a great deal of input into the challenges and are always given ways to challenge themselves further.
This class is as paperless as possible; this means I do not hand out paper copies of most assignments, nor do I collect paper copies of writing. Instead, we will use a variety of online Web 2.0 tools to move and share documents, including formal writing, planning, and drawings. To facilitate this approach the class extensively uses Moodle and Google Docs to create a hybrid/blended learning modeled class.
We follow the traditional rhetorical modes in our units of study and all units directly correspond to ISTE standards. See the navigation menu for details and examples of our work.
“The curriculum supports a venue for students to explore and apply knowledge of digital tools and related resources as a means for increased media literacy, written expression and publishing. Students will practice the process and art of composition and then transform select pieces into one of many electronic forms, such as movies, podcasts, blogs, electronic surveys, and websites. Essays, articles, and literature selections are integrated through the unit plans. A critical review of websites (content and design) is another component of this class, as well as an examination of the ethical responsibilities of electronic publishers.” – Anchorage School District