CFP: Deploying 21st Century Writing on the Frontlines

Call for Papers and Webtexts

Computers and Composition: An International Journal for Teachers of Writing
Computers and Composition Online

Deploying 21st Century Writing on the Economic Frontlines

In a time where budget cuts are the norm, the dream of computer-mediated classrooms for all writing students, with some lucky exceptions, is just that—a dream. For the vast majority of our peers, desks, chairs, and maybe a whiteboard is their reality, at a variety of institutions. At the same time, as computers and writing specialists, we know that writing in the 21st century is more than text on paper.  The March 2013 special issue of Computers and Composition and of Computers and Composition Online investigates the clash between theory and reality for compositionists moving from technology-rich graduate training to the less-than ideal setting normal for most new writing teachers.  Rather than mourn about how much more must now be done with less, articles included will examine pedagogical strategies and underlying theories from teachers who have found ways to work technology into their writing classes even when support or resources, i.e. funds or equipment, don’t exist. We request articles representing a variety of areas and education levels, including but not limited to the following:

  1. Pedagogy: What are your hard-won ways to teach with technology in a non-tech setting? From another angle, what are your battle stories? Much can be learned by analyzing the dynamics and speculating theoretically about those semi-comical days you tell war stories about.
  2. What to do with one computer, one hundred computers, or none: Sure, you know what to do, but how do you get your knowledge across to your colleagues who may say, “I have students type their drafts in class or do research, but I don’t know what else I can do with them” or “I only have a computer at the podium to project my ppts; anything else is impossible”? What do you tell them in return? How do you answer the question “in a room full [or void] of computers, what do YOU DO with your students”?
  3. Open Source software and the open source ethos: How can we best inform, train, implement these possibilities to our peers? Both theory and praxis welcome.
  4. They made me do it: When faced with a university-mandated overarching technology such as Turnitin, or Blackboard, what are your options? How do you deal with systems that are a poor fit for your pedagogy? How can writing teachers find out how to use these systems effectively when tech support lacks the context for writing instruction?
  5. Making do: Have you revived, reexamined, or repurposed existing technologies (i.e., overhead projectors, notecards, texting, Facebook, sock puppets)? Tell us how and why (praxis and theory).
  6. Reviews: Cloud computing, software, books, or other media that fits this special issue.

Please send proposals of up to 500 words in an attached file (Open Office preferred, but Microsoft Word also accepted). The file name should include last name and first initial. Send a single email to both Lanette Cadle (lanette.cadle@gmail.com) and Elizabeth Monske (drlizm@gmail.com) by August 1st, 2011 at 11:59 p.m., Central Time. Also include within the proposal document: your name, contact information (address, phone, email), and institutional affiliation. Those with accepted proposals will be notified by September 1, 2011. Completed manuscripts are expected by November 30, 2011. Final manuscripts uploaded by September 2012 for early 2013 publication.

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Author of the poetry collection The Tethered Ground and Professor of English at Missouri State University. Contact me for readings or for workshops on writing/publishing and on teaching writing online.

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