I wrote this annotated bibliography for a class on using new media in composition classes, then posted it on my blog. To my surprise, Chris Gerben responded to the partial criticism in the last line, that he does not offer concrete techniques for the classroom. I contacted him and he gave me some very good ideas for using Facebook and blogs in the classroom. I urge you to look into other articles he has written and even to contact him for more ideas on using new media in the classroom. (Since I am moving this post to my teaching blog, I have copied and pasted those comments below.)
Chris Gerben admits that any article on technology is like “writing a placard for a museum exhibit” (1) because such an article is out of date the moment it is published. What matters, however, is the collaborative process itself, an ongoing, ever-changing, ever developing conversation, “a museum-in-progress” (1). Collaboration was important in education in the past, but the opportunity, he says, was largely wasted. New technologies require writers to actively consider a real and immediate audience, who in turn co-author the text. He discusses a concept known as “versioning, which takes into consideration that as new voices join a conversation, the direction and outcome of the conversation itself changes” (15). In other words, the conversations of process become the final text. While the article helped me grasp the changes in concepts of authorship and collaboration, the article was so concerned with staying relevant that instead of offering specific advice that teachers of writing can immediately use in the classroom, he discusses only general, abstract concepts.
Gerben, Chris. “Putting 2.0 and Two Together: What Web 2.0 Can Teach Composition About Collaborative Learning.” Computers and Composition 2009. Computers and Composition Online. Web. 8 Feb 2010.
cgerben: I would love to talk about specific uses of FB/2.0 in the classroom. Let’s chat!
ronosaurus: Chatting with you about using new media in the classroom sounds great. I have a lot of ideas about using blogs, for example, but I am not sure how I would use Facebook. What do you suggest? And thanks for the truly inspiring article!
cgerben: Just drop me an email if you like. I’ve heard tons of tips of how blogs and/or FB have been used in writing courses based on literature, creative writing, argumentation, etc. It all depends on what you want the students to get out of it, but I’d love to hear your ideas!
ronosaurus: Check out this amazing visual rendition of Gerben’s article:http://prezi.com/gfllktkxeag9/putting-20-and-two-together/
More recently Gerben added a comment to my post Collaborative and Integrated Composition Classes (with New Media Support) with a link to an article of his with many excellent ideas for using new media in the classroom:
cgerben: BTW, if you ever want more details: http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/handle/2027.42/93895