More English 516 stuff for Winter 2009

These aren’t exactly “new” news kind of articles, but still new things that might find their way to a syllabus for English 516 this coming winter (and this list of stuff all comes from the latest NCTE Inbox):

  • “Can Technology Make Teens Better Writers?” an article on MSNEncarta
  • “Teachers disciplined for Facebook postings” from the Charlotte Observer. The headline here should be “Charlotte teacher incredibly stupid in use of Facebook.” Among other things, she wrote in the “about me” section “I am teaching in the most ghetto school in Charlotte,” listed as one of her activities “teaching chitlins in the ghetto of Charlotte,” and she skipped the option on Facebook where you info stays private to only you and only the people you friend. Who says that students are the only ones who are stupid about this kind of thing?
  • “In Florida, virtual school could make classrooms history,” from the Orlando Sentinel web site. According to the article, a new Florida law will require every district to set up an online school for K-8.
  • Maelstrom over metadata from Inside Higher Ed, which might fit in to a unit on library stuff if I decide to do that again this coming winter. This is a fairly geeky piece though

Two observations about English 516 for this coming winter, which I really ought to be working on developing sooner than later: first, this might be the first time in a long time that I don’t use any specific textbook for the class. There isn’t anything out there right now that strikes me as both current and “worth it;” instead, I think I might have a lot of eReserves readings and structure the course around what I guess I would describe as “important units” for issues having to do with computers and writing. I dunno; we’ll see.

Second, this is a good term to contemplate a revision of the course since it’s the first time in the last few years I will be teaching it in person and on campus. Interestingly enough, I think a number of our current students were actually looking forward to the online version of the class. I had a couple email exchanges with potential students who more or less said that they’d see me next year when the class was back online. And I ran into a student in the student center who didn’t realize the class was face to face and who had signed up for another class the same night. What strikes me about this is how quickly students have gone from being a little leery of the whole online thing to actually seeking it out.

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