Disruptive Technologies

The Lake Michigan Writing Project has some neat stuff--i love that they have a video--it is a nice way to acquaint people with the wp experience. http://www.lakemichiganwritingproject.org/index.html -val

I've taken the liberty to copy and paste the first comment in this category. I received it on Saturday before the team was introduced to our Wiki.

I looked at the impressive Colorado State University site. They have exceptional design, I think, but it's not surprising. They created "The Writer's Workbench," a very early text analysis tool. Theirs is more menu-driven and less cluttered. Maybe we should aim for that?


Tim Says: For young writer's camps, Red Cedar Writing Project is simple, straight forward and, fairly user friendly. I think it's critical that we have an on-line application process as well. You'll note that many do that already! As for how to pay, it would seem more simple to have payments sent in still, unless we wish to link with pay pal or some such thing. Bay Area Writing Project does something simple and straight forward too. It looks to be to our advantage to lay it out there, who we are, what we have to offer and who would be a good fit for the program. I like Red Cedar and Bay Area very much. The only concern I have about RCWP is it's a bit buried and not readily obvious if you don't know what you're looking for, I think we should keep the Young Writer's Camp, or some such tag kept on it. If there wasn't an awareness of what the RCWP camps names are, then could you find them there?

One thing for us to think about--maybe--is whether we want our website to be more informational, more interactive, or some kind of combination. The ones that I'm immediately most attracted to are the ones in which the information is easily accessible (what is available for teachers, upcoming dates, downloadable forms, etc.) But I'm starting to imagine how the tr group could use some kind of interactive talk component--i think, though, we'd want it only accessible to the group, so people can feel they're in a safe environment when they talk. ---Cathy

I will check on how other sites work their online application process. A lot of them had the brochurs available. There are freeware pdf writers available. I could check out what's there. I can also check on "copyright" with Troy. Deb

The Lewis and Clark WP in Oregon also has a website connected to their page for a young writers camp called Fir Acres Workshop in Writing and Thinking. This page holds some intrigue as it's more of a "traditional" webpage with multiple pages with the mission to simply get the material across. I like the use of pictures here. Tim

Return to Eastern Michigan Writing Project

Ideas from Sarah: I'm going to be out of town when the group meets again in November, so here are my thoughts. After looking at many websites, I noticed that they have a LOT of info about the writing projects, but little or none about writing or teaching. We discussed this a little at the end of our last meeting. Afterwards, I was working on putting together a new presentation for writing across the curriculum, and Bill emailed all the directors across the nation to try to find some ideas for me. I did get a few good things, but it got me thinking. With so many sites, many of us have to be re-inventing the wheel with inservice presentations. It was so helpful to get a couple of sample agendas and some links to websites. I didn't even end up using that much of them, but they served as a springboard for me.

Why couldn't we start a trend among the various sites by posting some helpful information about a particular area of writing and/or inservice topic? If each site did that, we would have a wealth of info available. For us, I'm thinking about the strenghts of our site--teacher research, this new collaboration with NCA, or even this new WAC series I'm working on. Other sites have areas that we'd love to learn about, like digital portfolios or looking at student work, etc. Or just the straight elements of writing--teaching voice or revision, for example. It would be great to be able to find four sites across the country who have posted annotated bibliographies, handouts from demonstrations, and workshop agendas or activities.

I think that some people might have reservations about posting too much info. They wouldn't want their inservice agendas "stolen" so that they lose work. But I think it's fairly unlikely. And actually, from the agendas I looked at, you can write things in such a way that the reader has to already know what the activity is, like "lifemaps" or something similar. You can also refer to your resources with similarly cryptic titles, so that the person has to go to the book and read it to find out (loop exercise from Elbow). Maybe folks would feel better if they knew others using the info would be going to that much work. And I know that there are schools out there, like my old one, who have zero dollars for inservice presentations, so having something like this available would be a true service, not just cutting possible inservice work out of their line-up.

So anyway, talk it over and see what you all think next time. Hope you have a great meeting!