I'm willing to do something other than a "war story" presentation on my
online teaching experiences. I suppose I didn't make that clear/explicit
in this conversation. I'm really interested in IP issues, but than might
be only one aspect of any presentation I may dream up in the next year.
But you're right, I didn't exactly hear a chorus of voices volunteering
to present on the issue of teaching/learning online. We usually have at
least five or six presentations in the roundtable-- so we'd need a few
more people to make this a viable session. I'm willing to present on
this topic whenever we feel the time is right for this community, but
I'll be in Minneapolis whether or not I'm presenting.
So let's make a decision so that we can put out a call for proposals on
the relevant lists and ensure a spot on the program for next year.
For those who haven't seen it, here's the statement of the conference
theme from the CCCC Y2000 site (http://www.ncte.org/cccc/2000/):
Theme of the 2000 Convention: Educating the Imagination and Re-imagining
Imagine. Cognition in action. That essence that allows us to leap tall
buildings in a single bound. That encourages us to thread the past
through the needle's eye of the present into a better future. We've
grown up and we're entering a new century, but we need to stay in touch
with what makes us the best humans, teachers, writers, students we can
As we gather in Minneapolis to hold the 51st annual meeting of the
Conference on College Composition and Communication, I urge us to think
what we haven't thought before. As we address the needs of our
students, schools, and communities, we should remember our own entrance
into literacy and the excitement and opportunities such an arrival
to us. How do we extend that welcome—and those possibilities—to each
writer-reader-thinker we work with? What stories do we need to tell
about the art(s) of teaching writing and the state-of-the-art of theory
and research in our educational worlds?
Educating our imaginations does not mean we substitute flights of fancy
for the hard work of finding solutions to old problems. It may mean, as
it means for any learner, trying and not-at-first succeeding.
Experimentation, the play of ideas, invention, essaying, all offer us
necessary space to grow. We can insist on excellent teaching, access for
all learners, and honorable working and learning conditions. We should
support ethical technological advances.
Like you, I'm aware that educational initiatives too often originate in
the bleakest of locations—under the fluorescent lighting of
unimaginative classroom architectures or within contentious academic
departments. These try our spirits. The members of our conference
regularly undertake the hard work of the nearly impossible.
For the year 2000—for our next meeting of the Conference on College
Composition and Communication—I encourage proposals that investigate
questions you feel are central to improving writing instruction where
you are. Proposals that raise issues you feel perhaps are not of the
mainstream yet are of recurring importance to you as a conference
Offer us your most creative approaches to history, theory, research, and
practice—and to their joinings. Tell us what these approaches look like.
Help us consider who we serve. How could your ideas play out at two-year
colleges and four-year institutions, in workplaces and in literacy
Overall, I'm encouraging you to hazard guesses; harbor dreams; explore
provocative, radical, and exciting options; and then leaven these with
humor, practicality, and commitment— attributes I've come to rely on
from those in our field. I'm trusting you to educate our imaginations as
you re-imagine our field into productive new spaces.
Florida State University
2000 Program Chair
Robert Irish wrote:
> Janice and all:
> The fact that _only_ Cathy has raised her hand to say that she has
> anything to say on the on-line course issue confirms for me that this
> group is not ready to present papers on the topic. The fact that, as
> Janice notes, "many of us are doing the online work, ready or not" and
> many for the first time in 1999-2000 from what I can gather, does not
> encourage me further.
> I guess the resolution to the issue depends on what you think the forum
> is for. If it is to be a pooling of limited experience to talk to each
> other, then we might as well take this topic, either that or "the
> efficacy of advanced neurotransmitters in imagining [note the use of the
> conference theme!] multicultural/multilinguistic ornithography."
> If, however, the goal is to share with the wider (ie. international)
> writing community something about which we are uniquely knowledgeable,
> then I'd say we should wait another year before launching this topic, so
> that we can speak from a perspective of experience. Let's get more than
> one or two with experience behind them before we go proposing the topic.
> If I'm the only naysayer, I'll shut up, but I haven't noticed much on
> the list since Cathy raised her hand to say she for one could/might be
> interested in saying something on the topic. Is this the silence of
> complacency? end of term? ignorance? acquiescence? How, in short, am I
> to read my colleagues' (doubtless pointed, maybe even guilty) silences?
> Oh for Tania's ethnography so that we'd know how to construct the
> inter-e-textual gaps!
> Boy, can you tell that classes ended here on Friday? Anyway, the worst
> part about being a naysayer is that I don't have an alternative
> proposal. Did one emerge at the SIG in Atlanta, Anthony?
> Rob Irish