Saturday, November 08, 2008

YouTeach YouTube? YouCrazy?

Our panel about "Video/Writing" at the Future of Writing Conference generated a lot of interest from the crowd and some provocative questions from our peers, as we described the challenges of teaching about college composition, public reception, critical analysis, and technical and aesthetic production with online video in a kind of pedagogical Wild West. Joseph Squier showed his exemplary website at Writing with Video, a course in creativity and visual argument that also has its own YouTube channel.

My talk, which began with a re-reading of the Wesch-Marino debate as a story about college composition, emphasized both the promise and peril of this new form of writing instruction with online video. Slides for my talk are here. In particular, I emphasized the importance of reaching outside your own discipline to find as many models for student work as possible. If you are teching a writing with YouTube-type course, check out this gallery and feel free to suggest works from your own students to show the range of possible compositional approaches.

Alex Juhasz posted her talk "On Video Writing" on her blog. As in the case with previous performances, she showed a series of YouTube videos rather than read from a traditional paper or gesticulated at a conventional PowerPoint. Notably, she screened a number of the difficult-to-classify-as-academic genres among her students' work that are similar to the products that I have seen in my class as well, such as parody rock video and satiric slideshow.

The day's keynote speaker Lester Faigley, who claimed that there was relatively little difference in the writing produced in his travel writing course and that turned in for his digital production course, opened his talk by apologizing for not being able to show such entertaining student creations.

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