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I wanted to write a brief note recommending Troy Hick’s excellent blog, Digital Writing, Digital Teaching. I live in a schizophrenic shadow world of being an instructional designer (lots of tech) and a former English teacher (where’s the pencil sharpener?), and I really appreciate the natural merging of these fields that this blog represents. Recently I heard George Siemens define literacy as facility in the dominant media of the day; this blog is a great big step in that direction. This is generally rare in English departments. It is also a very useful blog because he links to his syllabus, teaching tips and assignment ideas.
When today’s students go into the modern workplace, they will not be asked to write a 10 page paper on how new media can be used to promote collaborative work. They will be judged on their ability to actually do that. English departments can be the place where the traditional writing skills, rhetoric (in the good old classical sense), and critical thinking can be brought together with social networking and the new media.