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I'm a busy gal right now...working on my CCCC presentation, a couple of other projects that demand my attention right now but that I hope to put to bed tomorrow, and some domestic tasks, including laundry and lots of cooking meals to freeze in individual portions. For one of my projects, I've been doing reading about women and wikis and women in open source development communities. Here are some links I've collected so far; if you (esp. Heather, Sam, and Shelley) have some more, I'd love to have them.

Women and Wikis


Women in Open Source Development Communities

HOWTO Encourage Women in Linux (by Val Henson, and the more I read about her, the cooler I think she is.)
Women in Open Source
Debian Women wiki
Interview with Deb Richardson, founder of LinuxChix
Building and Maintaining an International Volunteer Linux Community (PDF)
LinuxChix Live

Summer Course on Leadership and Team Building

This summer, I'll be teaching "Group Process, Team Building, and Leadership." It's a course I haven't taught before, and I'm quite excited about it. The course description, from the catalog:

RHET 3266 - Group Process, Team Building, and Leadership (C/PE)
(3.0 cr; Prereq-1223 or equiv or #; fall, spring, summer, every year)
Group processes, team building from perspective of managers/leaders. Communication techniques in small group decision making process. Theories of team/small-group communication. Case studies. Group project for each student.

I'm already going mentally overboard in thinking about using wikis and weblogs in the course, readings on collaboration, etc. There's probably a specific textbook I'll be required to use, but I might have a course pack too. Any suggestions? I'd especially appreciate the newest, most innovative theories of effective management and leadership.

(I'm resisting the urge to show The Office, The Apprentice, and Office Space in class...)

Faculty Fellows Presentation on Blogs and Wikis in the Classroom

Today Krista and I are scheduled to lead a workshop for the Digital Media Center Faculty Fellowship Program. Much to my dismay, though, Krista isn't going to be able to make it; please leave her heal-up-soon wishes. We had agreed to post our presentation on our blogs, though, so I've attached it to this post in both PowerPoint format and OpenOffice format if any of you would like to see.

Blog Post Online Readers, CC Licensed

There's a good discussion on Kairosnews about free, collaboratively authored, online, Creative Commons-licensed, open-access composition textbooks. As you might guess, I like the idea, but the planning and execution are going to be very tricky if a group actually gets together and does this thing. But as I was writing my comment, it occurred to me how easy it would be to assemble an online reader for a first-year composition course. There's so much writing talent in the blogosphere, and many bloggers have Creative Commons licenses. I might just do it: Find great, essay-style posts that model qualities of good writing style and argumentation, group them into themes, and copy them into my course site. I could use Drupal's collaborative book module. I'm excited! I'm already thinking of posts I might want to use, like for a unit on the war, I'm thinking of Mike's post titled The Photos and Jeanne's And in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink: A scattered and contradictory post on responsibility and Abu Ghraib (To be sure, Jeanne doesn't have a CC license, but maybe she'd give permission for her work to be reproduced for educational, noncommercial purposes.). I'm also thinking of Jeanne's recent post titled Democrats, Aristocrats, and the Torturer's Assistants.

Such a reader could be assembled for any class; I'm thinking too of an intro to Gender Studies class. I might use something along the lines of Dr. Crazy's "Why Women's Studies Sucks" series (Part I and Part II, and hat tip to Jonathan for those), and the responses from The Little Professor and others. Ummmm, yeah, my argument would be stronger if these blogs actually had CC licenses, I know (heh), but again, they might allow their work to be used for this purpose. If not, there are many with CC licenses who have excellent work on their blogs, like Rad Geek, Lauren, and many more. The more I think about this idea, the more I like it. Reduced cost to students, more freedom for the instructor to design the course around themes, and more opportunity for the students to be an active audience, conversing with the authors of the work if the students also blog, or even if they don't, as most bloggers have an email address displayed.

Jill's Dissertation Now Online

This is old news, and I'm sure everyone's already seen it, but Jill Walker has put her dissertation online. It's titled Fiction and Interaction: How Clicking a Mouse Can Make You Part of a Fictional World, and I just downloaded it and skimmed the table of contents as well as part of the first chapter, and I'm in full agreement with this part of the committee's report: "Another strong point of the dissertation is its lucid and economical writing style, which make it a true pleasure to read." Over the winter break, I've been reading those dissertation self-help books and other advice*, and one of the books emphasized the importance of "telling a good story" in one's dissertation. In my limited reading of Jill's, it looks like she has done that very well. The writing is engaging, almost conversational at times. One section of the dissertation includes definitions of key terms Jill's using, and she begins her definition of "fiction" with the following (p. 27-28):

What is fiction?

Sometimes, when I’m sweating away at the gym, I imagine that I’m an Olympic weight
lifter. The crowd is cheering me on, Mum and Dad are close to the podium holding
banners with “You’re brilliant, Jillikin!” emblazoned on them in huge letters, and if only
I can lift those gigantic weights above my head I’ll win the gold medal I’ve been working
towards for a decade. Actually, of course, I’m pulling handles fastened to pulleys and
weights on a contraption that looks nothing like a dumbbell, and 5 kilos is a significant
load for me. Just as we all do every single day, I am imagining a situation that isn’t real.

Though my daydream was prompted by my being in a gym, my imaginings were
not prescribed by the gym or the apparatuses. I could have imagined completely
otherwise (that I was skiing or lying on the beach in the sun), or not imagined anything
at all. Indeed, my daydream may have been prompted as much by things internal to
myself as to the machines around me. The process of completing a PhD makes
daydreams of lifting impossible weights come easily.

What fun! I wonder if I could get away with something like that. :-) Speaking of my dissertation, in case you wanted an update on it, my prospectus is done and I'm awaiting responses from committee members on possible dates and times for the defense. As you might expect, I'm anxious to get started on the chapters, but I want to get some feedback from my committee first (and I want to get some kind of at least provisional imprimatur from them before I start posting more here about the content of my dissertation). Last semester, I took a writing practicum in the Women's Studies department and got comments on drafts of my prospectus from seminar participants and the professor of the course. They were helpful, of course, but I need to see what my committee thinks. Wish me luck!

* In a comment to his post, Collin writes, "You know, I'm thinking that this [dissertation advice] would be a great wiki project. Maybe it's something I'll get going this spring." Well, Collin, I think it's a good idea too, and I hope you don't mind, but I'm trying to get one started myself (with many thanks to James Farmer for setting it up for me). Anyone who would like to contribute, please do so; I'd greatly appreciate it!

More Rhetoric & Composition-Related Articles Wikipedia Needs

Move along, nothing to see here. These are really just my bookmarks for when I eventually teach a rhetorical theory and methods course that I can design myself and make Wikipedia articles part of the required work: when, not if. 'Cause the students in my first-year composition class would be flabbergasted and would not like it at all if I waltzed in there tomorrow and said, "Hey, you guys, change of plan! Instead of doing the research papers you've been preparing for all semester, we're going to do Wikipedia articles on the following list of topics instead!" Anyway, on to the needed articles:

I searched for Toulmin out of curiosity, but I'll bet there are easily a hundred compositionists, rhetoricians, and pedagogical theorists who aren't represented in Wikipedia. Those searches are for another evening, though. By the way, I searched for myself too, but alas, there was nothing. :( :P

PHPWiki or TikiWiki?

With much-appreciated help from James Farmer, I am going to start a wiki (subject matter TBA, :) but I think everyone will like it and find it to be a useful resource). He has asked me if I want PHPWiki or TikiWiki. Based on what I know of each, I'm leaning toward Tiki, but I'd like to hear more opinions.

Takeaway Prep for Weblogs and Writing Pedagogy Presentation

I'm still preparing for Friday's presentation, and starting to stress about it, as I have several other deadlines this week. Clay's marvelous suggestion to put all projects in a spreadsheet is working wonders for me; I am a machine right now, knockin' it all out. Eh, not exactly, but I know I need to be making progress on this presentation, so here are some items I'm planning on including in the takeaway. I'm planning on doing ~100-word annotations of them, but one step at a time. These are some of the pieces on teaching with weblogs and wikis that have stood out in my mind over the last couple of years. In no particular order:


Falling out of love ... by premmell at Kairosnews

Moving to the Public: Weblogs in the Writing Classroom by Charles Lowe and Terra Williams

Remediation, Genre, and Motivation: Key Concepts for Teaching with Weblogs by Kevin Brooks, Cindy Nichols, and Sybil Priebe

A Course About Weblogs

(this) Space by Austin Lingerfelt

When Blogging Goes Bad: A Cautionary Tale About Blogs, Email Lists, Discussion, and Interaction by Steven D. Krause


Wiki by Matt Barton

Embrace the Wiki Way! by Matt Barton

My Brilliant Failure: Wikis in Classrooms by Heather James

Posts on Kairosnews about Wikis


And, just for my own edification, a crash course on Writing Across the Curriculum:

Purdue's WAC handout

WAC links

I think the information on WAC will help me to create better "If your objective is ______, weblogs and/or wikis can help fulfill it by doing _____" statements. Any other thoughts? Your comments on my last post about this were very helpful!

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