Project Groups

Here’s how the class voted on project topics and group breakdowns. Links are to project descriptions.

Amy, Steve, and Kenton need to choose which group they want to join by sending their top two choices (ranked) to me in an email (cball@ilstu) by SATURDAY. I will assign you based on your rankings and which group needs you (i.e., since not everyone’s going, I have to make sure a majority of the group members are going, etc.)

homework: Watson session and research prep

Hey all, here is your updated assignment to prep for next week’s class (our last before the Watson conference).

(1) Read through the linked session descriptions for all the lettered sessions (Concurrent Session A-G) and choose one session during each time slot that you plan on attending. Most of your choices should figure into your group topic, although not all of them have to. Pick some you just find interesting as well. Post these 7 sessions (titles and authors) to your blog by midnight, Tuesday, October 7.

(2) Also in that blog post, list 5 assets you plan on gathering to support your project topic. These might include specific things like the following:

  • I will interview Richard Selfe, Laura McGrath, and Geoff Sauer [i.e., three people listed in the conference program who seem to know about what you’re going to ask them about, given what they’re presenting on…] about faculty technology training in English departments.
  • I will read Richard Selfe’s article about “Sustainable Techno-Pedagogy” that I found in Teaching Writing With Computers (Takayoshi and Huot, editors).
  • I will ask 10 of my dorm/apt/living-mate/students what computers they have access to on campus and whether and how their teachers ask them to integrate technology into their assignments.
  • etc.

iow, these assets can be things you want to gather at Watson AND (esp for those not going to Watson) things that you can research while you’re here.

(3) Meet with your groups prior to class next week and strategize how you will go about collecting assets and who wants to do what part of the group work, etc. Remember the pre- and post-production readings we did earlier this semester and assign roles accordingly. For instance, in the group consisting of [made-up names] Susy, Daisy, John, and Jonah, Susy isn’t going to the conference, then obviously she needs to choose a group role that doesn’t involve interviewing people at the conference. Maybe she does more research, or video-editing, than someone else does. It all will/should balance out, as you share responsibilities in the group. I can help you with this in class, but the more you can do before class, the better prepared you will be for the conference. (See the other post for a listing of who’s in what group, with which topic.)

Let me know if you have questions.

Grant Application for Watson project

Hi all. I wanted to upload a finalized copy of the grant application (minus cover sheet and signatures) that I turned into the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology this past Monday. It includes a full budget, including some additional technology purchases that will make our filming and behind-the-scenes work more effective, fyi. Here are the grant guidelines I was writing towards. My narrative of the project is longer (twice as long, actually) than what they recommend, but I couldn’t figure out (in the time limit I had to write this) how to get it any shorter. Besides being team members on this appilcation (since although it’s my teaching project; you all are the ones who will see it through!), you’ll find this narrative of interest because it gives you another view into the audience of faculty members your projects will reach. Particularly the assessment part, I think. Let me know if you have questions. We should hear about this grant (acceptance or rejection) by, I hope, the week we go to Watson.

If we aren’t able to get this grant, we will try pursuing the Graduate School grants I mentioned earlier this semester, although I don’t want this class project to take away from other research opportunities for which you might need that money this year. Either way, I am encouraging you to present your final project (perhaps as a group?) at the spring research Symposium, which will make you eligible for the $125 research grant from the graduate school. (See the Resources page for that grant-application link. In rereading the application, I realized you don’t need a project blurb; just a budget. And you can apply for the grant post-travel, with your hotel receipts, for instance. We’ll work out the details IF we don’t get the CTLT grant.)


Watson preview

This email, from one of the featured speakers at Watson:

Jackie Rhodes (CSU-San Bernardino) and I are delighted to announce a sneak peak of our multimedia installation for the upcoming Watson Conference.  We’ve been keeping an installation blog-as-archive, which you are invited to check out:

Enjoy!  And hope to see many of you as possible at Watson!


Jonathan Alexander
Campus Writing Director
Associate Professor of English
University of California, Irvine

remember when we were joking about bad news?

After class I went to book the Ramada we talked about, not even having realized in class that the price had jumped from $45 a room to $80 a room. Obviously, with the cost having doubled since I looked at it (the day before!!), the new total would have put us well over our $1100 budget (of which we really only have about $900 to spend on hotels). Actually, fwiw, here’s our estimated budget:

  • ISU van rental: ~$50
  • gas for van: ~$300
  • hotels: ~$985 (5 rooms)
  • registration: $480 (waived)
  • per diem (meals): $1350 (~$115 per student for 3.5 days)

TOTAL: $2685

Actually, for 12 students (averaged), this is a prety cheap trip! 🙂 The school is not covering your meals, so you will need to bring money to eat. (The hotel I’ve booked includes a continental breakfast.) The school is covering $1100 of the rest of the expenses ($1335), so we’re almost covered and I’ll worry about any overage we may have. (The school may help some more, or the other grant I’m applying for may help. Or there’s still kegger/bakesale fundraisers 😉

OK, so for the hotel: The Ramada would have been over $1300, so I spent some more time looking for an alternative that would satisfy my and your requirements: clean, safe, as close to the U as possible, cheap, free wireless, breakfast, parking, pool/fitness area, and possibly an onsite restaurant. After weighing some pros/cons — like distance vs. pool :: cheap — I found the Howard Johnson’s right by the Expo Center/Six Flags. It’s about 3 miles (driving distance) from the conference building and the public bus system goes right by it (in case you don’t want to wait for Andrew to drive you back). The only drawback I could find is that they don’t have a pool. Sorry Tom. 😉 There’s also no restaurant on site, but there are plenty of restaurants in walking distance of the hotel. They also have an airport shuttle, so you may be able to ask the driver if they’ll go to the U (and maybe tip him a few bucks…). (Oh, and I see from the conference schedule that they also have breakfast and lunch available. It’s part of the registration fee, so those are meals you don’t have to pay for. Also, any “Reception” held at night will have hors d’oevres. So there won’t be too many out-of-pocket expenses for you on this trip.)

OK, so good news/bad news… it all works out in the end, eh? See y’all next week.

UPDATE 9/25/08 — As discussed in class today (re multiple vehicles), our budget has exponentially increased. I’ll post a revised copy after I’ve finished writing up the CTLT grant I mentioned in class today.

reminder about CFP revisions

Hey all,

Just a recap about the YouTube part of the assignment: Make sure that you treat the upload of the video as if the entire Internet (via the YT site) and specifically the Watson conference attendees are your audience. Make sure to provide some kind of citation and/or more information in the “more info” section of the upload. As well, give your video a good title that reflects its genre/purpose.

NOTE: Something I forgot to mention in class — make sure you export a BIG version of your CFP from MovieMaker/iMovie. Use the largest format available: in MM, this will be the “playback on my computer” setting (or similar). On iMovie, this will be the “CD-ROM or DVD” quality. This is so there won’t be any pixelation when we play these on the BIG screen in Louisville. 🙂 So — KEEP this large version handy (for me to compile later, after we do any more revisions, if necessary). When you upload this large version to YouTube, it will compress everything to their needs. K?

Finally, just a reminder that Y’ALL TOTALLY ROCKED the CFP assignment. I am seriously impressed with your first drafts and am excited to see the (near) perfection that next week’s drafts will be. Yay!!!


open lab hours

Here is a schedule of when our classroom is unoccupied and available for your use outside of class time. Keep in mind that this schedule may change weekly, as our secretary sometimes schedules meeting in the lab during open hours. Posting these hours does NOT coincide with when Andrew or I will be there; it just means the lab should be open for you to use.

  • Mondays/Wednesdays: 8-9am; 3:20-5:25p
  • Tuesdays 8-9:30am; 5pm-
  • Thursdays 8-9:30am
  • Fridays 8-9am; 2pm-

For your CFP revision, I’m not sure that we’ll be able to have consultant hours next Tuesday; we’ll let you know. I will be at school Friday afternoon, tho, but in a meeting, but could help from 2ish-3ish and then maybe a little after 4pm. Come find me in my office (STV 421g), or I’ll pop in/out of the lab.

lab times & URL update

Hey all. I will stop by the lab today around 4:30, but it might be closer to 5ish. Also, we will have lab hours, with Andrew’s help, from 2pm-8pm tomorrow. We may not be there the whole time, but the lab WILL BE OPEN for you to use.

Secondly, for those who wanted a permanent-ish URL for the book CFP, use this one:

It’s not live yet, but it’ll prolly be what the actual URL is. And we can always change it later, especially seeing as what’s due tomorrow night is your first draft, so revision will likely be in order before the conference.