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Digication workshop notes: 10/6/17

We met on Friday for a two-hour workshop on Digital Writing Portfolios & Digication. I can share some notes with you here, and if you want more background materials or one-on-one help using Digication for supporting students’ work, just holler and we’ll set something up. 

I’ll use our three-bullet agenda and add some notes & materials for each section:

  • Why do we use Digital Writing Portfolios in First Year Writing?
    • We began by talking for a bit and refreshing our memories about why we use writing portfolios: they began as an alternative to and a replacement for proficiency exams (SUNY Stony Brook c. 1984) and have since evolved into a pedagogy for helping students to become more self-aware of their own writing processes —meta-awareness/metacognition.
    • Why we use digital writing portfolios: opportunities to explore digital literacies, or print/digital-hybrid literacies
    • At least two of the five rhetorical canons — Arrangement and Delivery — seem particularly well suited to digital writing portfolio design and typography, or multimodal composing
    • Students can see their work differently in a collection, selection, reflection, and presentation process, often demonstrating more ownership over the work along the way, and more pride; portability and skills transferability to other courses, contexts, and environments
    • You can read about our own FYW Digital Writing Portfolio Initiative here:
  • How do we use Digication
    • We than spent about 70 minutes on the technical and literacy components of Digication: what we see first when we open the program; what composing and writing opportunities we can identify; what literacy practices seem to be promoted and which ones might feel constrained
    • We worked on Introductory Home Pages, practicing inserting both textual and graphic elements, aligning and integrating them, learning about Digication’s “slides” as composing and editing spaces 
    • We practiced embedding PDFs, while discussing the rendering process and the typographic and readability results for portfolio readers
    • We discussed some new Digication vocabulary — Pages and Sub-Pages (no more “Sections”); grid; gear; drag tool — chasing metaphors! — and noted some features that didn’t make it into the new version: site map; the previous font library has been replaced with a new font library. But a more visible slide grid is on Digication’s To-Do List. Conventional > Insert Image > Word Wrap is no longer available, but can still be achieved in an embedded PDF file, which protects the editorial and typographic integrity of our work.
    • Our digital writing portfolio submission process remains the same; our dashboards remain the same 
  • Where do we find good resources & support?  

Finally, we talked about a January 2018 D-WRD shared reading for discussion — see the Introduction to Daniel Keller’s Chasing Literacy: Reading and Writing in an Age of Acceleration, attached as a PDF. Serendipitously, this mornings New York Times has a technology/sports-reporting article in which a working sportswriter notes that, 

“But most people still have stories to write. So at the end of games, when the important stuff is happening, none of the reporters are tweeting because they’re all writing on deadline so that their story can hit the web first. It is speed versus substance. I’m glad to report that substance is making a comeback.

—  “Documenting Sports With Tech, or It Didn’t Happen” —

Thanks for reading!