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VSTE Goes Green: Over the years we’ve made an effort to reduce the amount of paper waste that gets accumulated by reducing the scope of the printed program. This year we will provide a printed conference program with only a summary schedule of the sessions available during each breakout session. For the full detailed listing of each session we encourage attendees to make use of our online schedule here which will work on mobile devices and all major platforms.

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Tuesday, December 9 • 10:00am - 11:00am
Digital Tools for Climbing the Topical Writing Ladder

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In this presentation, two college of education faculty will describe their professional development course for in-service teachers taught via study abroad in England on the topic of “integrating writing and technology.” More than 50 teachers have participated in three summer iterations of the course since 2011, learning about new writing strategies and tools for multimodal production that they can readily put to use in their own classrooms. Course projects are designed around the “ladder of abstraction” popularized by English educator James Moffett (1992), in which a writer learns to negotiate progressions in writing for different audiences and about different topics. This presentation focuses on our use of varied digital tools to give teachers multimodal writing experiences from the bottom to the top of Moffett’s topical ladder, or writing about familiar to more abstract concepts. The lowest rung on Moffett’s (1992) topical ladder represents sensory verbalizations about “what is happening” in the moment, “immediate and unpondered” (p. 198). In our course, we encourage teachers to use mobile apps to capture voice memos as well as still images and video to represent what is happening or being sensed in the moment. These memos are put to use as teachers write about their impressions of England and craft sensory text for post cards home, then merge these words with captured imagery using editing tools like Pixlr. Moffett’s second topical level relates to “what happened,” or recalling experiences from memory rather than the immediate senses. In our course, teachers keep track of where they went and experiences they had each day of the course on personalized Google Maps with placemarks, annotations, and images. Teachers write duologues representing conversations they had with persons in the host culture and combine this text with animated graphics using GoAnimate. They also use the research feature in Google Docs to determine what happened in England’s past, and prepare presentations for peers on sites we will visit using Prezi as well as historical timelines using MyHistro. Moffett’s third topical level relates to “what happens” or recurs as a generalization, whereby the writer classifies a set of elements as similar or divergent and provides illustrations. In our course, teachers create memes using text and popular culture images to depict what happens in another culture, and they collect visual instances of culture on a Padlet wall with short annotations. Teachers look across these collected “instances” and write syntheses of cultural themes represented by the class. Moffett’s fourth topical level is referred to as “what will, may, or could happen,” or theorizing based on several generalizations. To support this level, our teachers write letters to the self with the tool FutureMe--predictions about what may happen in the course that can be revisited and reflected upon post-course. Teachers also reflect on assigned readings via journals and prepare lesson plans, as predictions for what could happen with writing and technology in their own classrooms. Reference: Moffett, J. (1992). Active voice: A writing program across the curriculum (2nd ed.) Montclair, NJ: Boynton/Cook Publishers.

avatar for Kevin Oliver

Kevin Oliver

Associate Professor, NC State University
I am an Associate Professor and Program Coordinator for the Digital Learning and Teaching program at NC State University. Our online master's programs (M.Ed., M.S.) prepare in-service teachers to serve in technology coordinator/director roles in public schools, prepare future designers to develop varied learning environments (mobile, online, game-based) (design strand), and prepare future inquirers to research and evaluate technology-enhanced... Read More →
avatar for Ruie Pritchard

Ruie Pritchard

Professor, English Education, North Carolina State University
Please consider that the "E" in STEM education, could be ENGLISH!

Tuesday December 9, 2014 10:00am - 11:00am

Attendees (22)