Monday, October 14, 2013

The Question Should be: Why Are You *Not* Blogging

cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by writer; gives himself credit to modify!
 …agreed, even if I am behind on blogging on primary blogs (e.g. Mountair Arts, Poets & Writers Picnic and New Faculty Majority), there are the other ones. Starting a new blog is one way of avoiding "blog torment," although perhaps not the best one. That topic and blogging resistance dominate comments. The conversation this post generates is another plus. 

A final comment reminds us that, ultimately, we blog for ourselves. 

Alan Levine opens,
I don’t really have to explain why I blog. Actually I am compelled to. I cannot stand to NOT blog. It’s easy, and as I said in my first post, April 19, 2003, on a them self hosted MovableType blog- I Blog Therefore I Am.
It is for me, primarily, how I think through ideas, issues, and stuff that makes me want to puke. It is as much a part of my cognitive process.
In last week’s pre class discussion for the Program for Online Teaching Certificate Class I kind of jumped on someone in the chat who said “I do not have time to blog”. I was probably kind of rude, but I refuse to buy that as an excuse. It’s a copout.
 Read the rest at The Question Should be: Why Are You *Not* Blogging - CogDogBlog

Friday, September 27, 2013

Revision is NOT editing: Revision IS writing

… good piece on revision from Brave Writer, a new found writing source thanks to Lee Bessette dta @readywriting. Although primarily for homeschooling families, Brave Writer looks to be an equally useful resource for anyone teaching writing, tutoring or working independently to improve their own writing. Tag and file this under DIY PD  and #GetSmarter.

Miss A Writes a SongRevision is “casting new vision” for the original piece of writing. It’s a “re-imagining” of the original content. You have what you want to say, now you are considering all the various ways it can be said.

Your freewrite/draft is the jet stream of thought. It’s all of it rushing out of the writer onto the page willy-nilly.

Revision is not, now, taking that freewrite/draft and fixing commas or identifying run-on sentences. It’s not addressing tone or spelling mistakes. Those practices fall under the category of “copy-editing.”

Revision is that drastic over-haul type work that literally changes the draft sometimes so completely, the original is hardly recognizable in it any more (except maybe some sentences or the germ of the idea). Revision is where you hunker down and look at specific thoughts expressed insufficiently in the draft, and then determine how to expand them, how to enhance them, how to deepen the content or insight or facts-basis.

Revision is not editing « A Brave Writer’s Life in Brief

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Words, words, words

Words, words, words…(10 short talks curated by TED) As Wittgenstein famously wrote, "The limits of my language means the limits of my world." Watch talks by linguists, data analysts and word nerds who explore the all-encompassing power of language.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Go Galactic: An Ultimate #clmooc Make?

…When G+ is not cooperating and, after two days disconnected, you are still behind on just getting through inbox and feed reader, don't just reflect. Think BIG. What songs, images or other artifacts (makes?) would you have put on Voyager's Golden Record? Imagine tasting sound! Not fattening, I hope. What about senses we can't imagine? How would we communicate without shared senses? 

Credo = Go Galactic: make to communicate and connect with whom /what /when /wherever, under any conditions, even ones you can't even imagine? Did I say, "think big"? Take a kid, a poet or both along to help.)

Monday, July 8, 2013

blogging to map virtual learning walks

…rounding up several to connect through shared practices, words, writing and the central word cloud (found, hacked to remix here as 4-way bridge connecting three separate blogs (none registered with #clmooc), with Making Connected Learning in the lower right quadrant. Going counter-clockwise from there: Poets and Writers Picnic, the New Faculty Majority blog and Mountainair Arts (a community blog but not the only one).

I wrote one reflection today for another blog, intended to write three but didn't make it. The rest, including the one I would have included here, will have to wait.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Hacking the Writing Camp Guide to Rebelling…Remixing

make icon small…by turning #NaNoWriMo Camp a into a #clmooc Make. Or maybe the other way. Why? …because I'm doing the Making Learning Connected MOOC, one of National Writing Project's (NWP) Summer of Making and Connecting activities. 

What I have here are two rather different but both "moocish" summer writing camps. Peanut butter and chocolate "make" a Reese's. Writing, is all over the place in both. 

Neither is notably oriented to my current online projects, and I have no time to shoehorn in anything that is not. Combining them to "make" my own version just might do it. The "do your own thing" aspect of Camp was irresistible, but I wasn't up to to the Spring one and fizzled ~ too many plates in the air and crashing about my ears. Maybe this will too but I won't know until I try...

The Camp Guide to Rebelling

So you’ve come to Camp NaNoWriMo, but you don’t want to write a novel? Fear not, Campers! 
Whether it was plans for a silent movie script during Script Frenzy 2012 or my hours of studying for this past Camp NaNoWriMo, I rarely seem to start my “noveling” months with a novel in mind. Now, choosing the Rebel way isn’t always easier. Along the way, I’ve come up with a few tips to keep the creative magic bright, no matter your medium. 
1. Define what success will mean for you. A major part of NaNoWriMo success is the motivation that comes from working towards goals and within deadlines. Rebelling means you get to decide what this looks like. To make it a little easier, we have some suggestions for setting “word-count” goals (you can check those out in the FAQ section for both scripts and editing), but the beauty of Camp is that you choose the rules.
How connectivist can you get? Now read the rest of Camp NaNoWriMo Guide to Rebelling 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Writing With Mobile Devices

workflow…thoughts on devices and how they relate to the writing process, myths or not, as claimed by the writer of the article, 5 Myths About Writing With Mobile Devices | Edudemic. Comments too, a relief to note that this does not reflect a consensus. It may even be the product of someone who hates to write and expects everyone else to as well. I won't get in the language abuse of overusing powerful words like myth, a tactic that smacks of advertising (another form of writing). 

Let's just say the article is interesting, worth reading and presents ideas and opinions worth thinking about. Following Jacques Barzun's definition of conversation as the sifting of opinions, it belongs in the ongoing conversation of computers (devices), language and writing.

Beth Holland opens her Edudemic article,

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Will MOOCs Work for Writing?

…a post by Chris Friend on Hybrid Pedagogy

When faced with a complex, fluid, and potentially uncontrollable situation, I’ve often heard people say, “It’s like herding cats.” I can think of no more complex, variable, and fluid task than writing. Its nuances and complexities seem to defy consistency; what works as “good writing” in one circumstance can be disastrous in another.

Indeed, the push toward multimodality in student writing means even the products can vary: essays one minute, blogs the next, videos after that. We also strive to develop stylistic variation: the strongest students develop a personal voice that makes their work distinctive. Everything about writing activities makes them seem like one-offs: what works in each instance is different than the next solution. The complex challenges of teaching students to work within that degree of variability makes me despair.

Read the rest of Will MOOCs Work for Writing?

As for my own take so far, based on the writing, discussion and peer grading components of courses I have have participated in or followed, the answer is still a resounding no. Duke's Composition 1 started out with a promising level of energy and enthusiasm among engaged participants but bottomed out early. For me, it was a combination of the disappointing first reading, the prospect of writing about an article not worth reading, and the level of analytical commentary in Forum. I'll miss the thoroughly engaging crowd L2 writers and still have hopes for Cathy Davidson's approach and deep experience with building collaborative assessment models. Otherwise, I am so with Jonathon Rees on this one. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

8 Common Writing Mistakes

…and this has what to do with #dcmooc? Strike through 'creative' or read it small 'c' to mean any and all writing as acts of creation. Clearer now? If not, then very simply: the advice here holds for all writing. If it didn't then it would not be very good "creative writing" advice, would it? 
common creative writing mistakes
We all make mistakes in our writing. The most common mistake is the typo–a missing word, an extra punctuation mark, a misspelling, or some other minor error that is an oversight rather than a reflection of the writer’s skills. 
A more serious kind of mistake is a deep flaw in the writing....grave mistakes that are often found in various forms of creative writing. 
I see most mistakes as an opportunity to either learn something new or to make an improvement to a piece of writing. While mistakes can certainly be frustrating and rewriting to weed out mistakes can be laborious, each fixed mistake is a step toward a more polished piece of writing, and every time you resolve a problem in your writing, you become a better writer.
Read on to learn more about the 8 Common Creative Writing Mistakes elaborated on in this piece. They are as follows:

1. Dull Beginnings
2. Unnecessary descriptions and details
3. Verbiage (excerpt included: this one is a particular bête noire
Despite popular belief, verbiage is not a synonym for words or text. It specifically means an “overabundance or superfluity of words, as in writing or speech; wordiness” (source). Verbiage is not a good thing. It means you’re using too many words and the work could be more concise....Don’t spend an entire paragraph saying something that could be said in a single sentence. You’ll put your readers to sleep!
4. Redundancy and stating the obvious
5. Unnecessary or ineffective repetition
6. Failure to use or over-dependency on spelling & grammar check
7. Filler words and phrases
8. Lackluster ending 

(Take note: these can infest any form of writing ~ why should we be satisfied let academic, reporting, blog posts, articles in popular or niche mags, how-to or any kind of writing be bad reads? I won't get into how much the expression, "creative non-fiction" pisses me off)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

I am an old fashioned letter writer

…yet another MOOCthis one about writing, so I'm putting CWL back in harness to post assignments and reflections. The course is English Composition I: Achieving Expertise, from Duke and on Coursera. It may seem like an odd choice for someone who has taught FY comp: since I have already blogged recommending it to my ESL self-paced study group and on Facebook to local GED students (albeit both with qualifications), I should check it out personally ~ and definitely before recommending it further or adding it to my GED and Independent Learning pages on 

The first writing activity, "I am a Writer," is a "brief essay (~300 words) in which you introduce yourself as a writer to your classmates and instructor. How would you describe yourself as a writer? What are some of your most memorable experiences with writing? Please draw on your experiences with writing and refer directly to some of these as you introduce yourself as a writer. After you have written and posted your essay, please read and respond to two or three of your classmates' postings." Mine (also here on the course Forum) follows:

A “letter writer” long before the internet, I penned and snailed hand written letters in another lifetime. I come from generations of inveterate letter writers. That shapes my earliest writing memories. Learning languages, I would start writing letters in the new language as soon as I had a handful of words to rub together. I still am one: same genre, different medium. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Google Poetics | World Poetry Day Challenge

World Poetry Day Challenge
Google Poetics celebrates the World Poetry Day with a special poetry challenge!
Use existing and/or newly made google poems to create a longer poem and email it to with WORLD POETRY DAY in the subject line. We’ll publish the best ones as they come in.
If possible, please use an image editor to create the combined poem so that we don’t have to do the editing for you. Also, let us know how you wish to be credited.
We're kicking off with the poem above put together by our founder Sampsa Nuotio.
Let the poetry flow!

Google Poetics | World Poetry Day Challenge Google Poetics...

Monday, March 4, 2013

A plea for syntactical sanity

…on US National Grammar Day…tolerance and being less judgmental prescriptive the rest of the year too would be nice too. As Kory Stamper points out in this essay,"Vigilante peeving does nothing to actually educate people. What it does instead is shame them and make them feel bad about how they speak, write, and even think."

Most dictionaries feature usage guides and and tips, though,
like grammarians, not all agree. Photograph: Felix Clay
This National Grammar Day, I'd like to see the smugly correct put aside their peevs. English is hard enough without asshats

I love National Grammar Day. I also hate National Grammar Day. That may be surprising – after all, I'm a journeyman grammarian. I make my bread deciding whether a word is an attributive noun or adjective, parsing adverbial uses over conjunctive uses, writing those delightfully boring usage notes in your dictionary.

I love National Grammar Day for all the reasons you'd expect a massive nerd like me to love it: a chance to revel in and highlight the most-dear idiosyncrasies of my language and our feeble attempts to explain it. All you need to do is read through all the Grammar Day haiku that have been written, each falling like a cherry blossom in late spring, to get in the spirit.

But I also hate National Grammar Day, because it ends up being less a celebration of the weirdness of English and more an annual conclave of the "peeververein" (as gentleman-copyeditor John E McIntyre so eloquently calls them) [and] correct[ing public] signage in the name of "good grammar". Grocer's apostrophes are scribbled out, misspellings fixed, and... [an] orgy of less/fewer corrections.
Remember, this National Grammar Day, that there are people all around you with varying degrees of knowledge of and appreciation for the intricacies of English. Instead of calling people out on 4 March for all the usages they get wrong, how about pointing out all the thing things that people – against all odds – get right?

Read the rest of A plea for syntactical sanity on US National Grammar Day | Kory Stamper This article was originally published by harm•less drudg•ery is crossposted by kind permission of the author

Monday, January 28, 2013

What’s the secret to learning a second language?

What's the secret to learning a second language?
(Credit: Digital Storm via Shutterstock)
…The challenge is to learn faster than you forget…not unlike dancing as fast as you can to stay in one place…
The various elements of language learning have long been disparate. Now intensive, integrated online programs may radically change the landscape. 
What’s the secret to learning a second language? follows the emergence of these programs, briefly discussing the following:  
LinguaStepdeveloped in 2006 by Loren SiebertRosetta StoneUniversity of Maryland Center for Advanced Study of LanguageMiddlebury College, which runs the foremost language-immersion school in the countryuse language in interaction with others, 2009 study led byAndrew Meltzoff at the University of Washingtononline program, Middlebury Interactive Languages
Read What’s the secret to learning a second language? in

Sunday, January 27, 2013

a random thought on tagging and declaring

Week 2 =  Declare "who you are and what you hope to achieve in this session." This is where I tell everyone why I'm here. That's always been a problem because I'm usually unsure why and am here to find out. Maybe more than just one thought altogether. Central and shaping thought is about going at it backwards: not quite reverse engineering my declaration, but considering it already declared and laying it bare, exposing even quantifying it. 

Declare by blogging, tagging, tweeting, bookmarking and aggregating. ✔ already do all those: the necessary ingredients should be there. I've got the tagging habit (albeit with occasional gaps), mostly thanks to Vance and earlier Multiliteracies sessions.

So let me look at the tag clouds on my blogs and bookmarking accounts. Twitter tags and textual analysis of files are not out of the question but possibly more than I want to think about taking on just yet, but a tweet cloud would be an interesting and revealing experiment. creates a Wordle from any public account name. There are a number of other apps. 

Nor will I limit myself to education/teaching related blogs and posts because that is only part of my online online life. Most of my blogging and projects, from community and advocacy to personal interest, are information sharing and learning related. Including them in declaring could be a big step in integrating digital identities, already somewhat overlapping. That is the other thought and corollary that raises it above a counting game.

Maybe this will even help me wayfinding and sensemaking through multiple massives (whatever was I thinking /not?).

@VanessaVaile, @VCVaileNFM, @NewFacMajority, @PWPicnic

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Sharing a message from @EDCmchat

Two hours until E-learning and Digital Culture's (#edcmooc) first student-led #EDCmchat All of the questions (easy ones to start with) are on Facebook #edcmooc

Twitter Chat, Saturday, Jan. 26th from 4:30 pm EST to 5:30pm EST. 

Please use the hashtag #edcmchat to tweet about our pre course thoughts. 

This is a great way to meet newer members, learn more about each other's goals for the course, and just hold a friendly pre course discussion.

These are a few of questions we will be tweeting about:

Q1= Introduce yourself to the group

Q2= Share something interesting about your culture/country/yourself.

Q3=What are you most excited about learning in EDC MOOC?

Q4=What is the most insightful thing you've heard someone say about digital cultures and e-learning?

Q5=Open to discuss questions you may have. 

Posted via email from Multiliteracies for Social Networking and Collaborative Learning Environments

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