Compose, Read, and Research (CRR): SharedResponsibilities in a Digital Economy(an unconference white paper)Action Items for CRR Colleagues 1. Review the session descriptions and please make suggestions and corrections if any occur to you. Suggested edits are always welcome. 2. Respond to the Broad Synthesis and Future Project Directions section (p. 10): • What corrections or other synthesis statements would you include in this document? • If youd like to stay connected to this project, answer the questions on the last page of this white paper in an email to Dickie Selfe <email@example.com>.Table of Contents What is an unconference? Consider the CRR Unconference.--------------- 2 Participants----------------------------------------------------------------------- 3-4 Goals, Theory, and Practice ---------------------------------------------------- 4 A CRR Trend Analysis----------------------------------------------------------- 4 CRR Unconference Sessions ------------------------------------------------ 5-11 Broad Synthesis and Future Project Direction--------------------------- 11-13 Whats Next?---------------------------------------------------------------------- 14
3/2/11 CRR Unconference White Paper—2What is an unconference? Consider the CRR Unconference.Typically organizers of unconferences begin by describing a broad issue area for theirevent. They then contact likely interest groups with the goal of attracting engagedindividuals. They set a day, time, and place to gather and then create a set of break-outdiscussion sessions in real time during the initial mass meeting. Individuals then choosesessions to attend based on their interests and expertise. Another distinguishing feature ofeach session is that, though they often have leaders or convieners, those people are notpresenters. Their job is to initiate discussion and encourage an exchange of ideas, a richsharing / brainstorming session.The CRR unconference differed only slightly in form and function. About a month beforethe event, our Wordpress web/blog site was launched and potential attendees were askedto post on topics of interest that surround the following questions: • How are professional & civic composing, reading, research, and communication skills changing? • What are the literacy skills necessary for new flextime and flex-place working conditions? • Is the teaching & learning—going on in schools, communities, organizations, and corporations—mindful of these conditions? If so, how are they mindful; if not, how should they be? • What are some models of the very best 21st century literacy education in each of these venues?While those posted topics were considered during our initial, real-time conferencebuilding meeting, most were modified or ignored in favor of more immediate concernsexpressed by the audience on the morning of March 26, 2010.During the sessions, student participants who were paid to attend, posted notes via email,Twitter, or Wordpress blog entries about what issues and questions arose and what usefulideas or resources were proposed. Attendees were also asked to do the same. Whatresulted was a rich collection of information and reflections on each session topic. Thosematerials (data) are still posted in the blog section of our Wordpress site<http://www.cstw.org/crr>.What follows is another rather unique effort in terms of unconference practices. As theconviener of the unconference, I went through each session and attempted to summarizekey issues, questions, and the ideas and resources that surfaced. In addition to sessionsummaries, I attempted an even broader synthesis of the over-arching trends from allsessions. The goal of this white paper, then, is to provide a diverse group of literacyprofessionals with some direction as they collaborate on potential community projectsand funding proposals. My current assumption is that such projects and proposals willaddress two needs: 1. Supporting Ohio communities changing literacy needs and interests 2. Setting up an Ohio-wide researh project that will address some of our questions about changing literacies.
3/2/11 CRR Unconference White Paper—3At two points (summer and fall of 2010) the soft release of this white paper (tounconference participants) was intended to ellicite comments and clarifications. This isthe second such release. Dickie Selfe <firstname.lastname@example.org>ParticipantsThese are the participants who gave permission to use their names andtitles/associations for the CRR Unconference white paper. Please understandthat there were ~ 50 participants, all of whom were important to the event.They included representatives from local city and school libraries, the OSUExtension office, communication professionals from a range of businesses,technology specialists, and of course teachers from many public schools, two-year colleges and universities. The diversity of this list speaks to thecompelling nature of the issues discussed below. Again, many thanks to allthose who continue to be willing participants. First Name Last Name Email Address Corporate, Organizational, or Educational affiliation Kristine Blair email@example.com Bowling Green State University Professor School of Teaching and David Bloome firstname.lastname@example.org Learning, Ohio State University Digital Humanities Specialist @ James Calder email@example.com Ohio Humanities Council Jeff Dollard firstname.lastname@example.org OSU--recent graduate Jessica Heffner email@example.com Kent State University Charlene Henkaline firstname.lastname@example.org OSU Student Digital Media Curator, Knowlton Lorrie McAllister email@example.com School of Architecture, OSU Ben McCorkle firstname.lastname@example.org OSU Marion Dept. of English English Department, Miami Heidi McKee email@example.com University OU Doc Student/Former Band Director and Secondary Math Kristofer Olsen firstname.lastname@example.org teacher Interactive Media Studies, English Jason Palmeri email@example.com Dept. Miami University Boise State EDTECH Graduate Steven Poast firstname.lastname@example.org Program The University of Akron Wayne Paulette Popovich email@example.com College Dickie Selfe firstname.lastname@example.org OSU, Director, Center for the Study and Teaching of Writing
3/2/11 CRR Unconference White Paper—4 (CSTW) Pamela Takayoshi email@example.com Kent State University Innovation & Change @ the OSU Extension Leadership Center/ Department of Human & Community Resource Jerold Thomas firstname.lastname@example.org Development Teaching Fellow Kent State Elizabeth Tomlinson email@example.com University Associate Professor of English, Lewis Ulman firstname.lastname@example.org The Ohio State University Co-director, Columbus Area Melissa Wilson email@example.com Writing Project, OSU Ph.D. Student, The Ohio State Erica Womack firstname.lastname@example.org University OSU, Assistant Provost, Undergraduate Education/Office Mindy Wright email@example.com of Academic AffairsGoals, Theory, and PracticeThe CRR provided a group of state-wide stakeholders from educational, community, andprofessional institutions an opportunity to discuss the changing nature of academic,workplace, civic, and personal literacy practices (composing, reading, and research).During the unconference, we identified critical issues and opportunities as we re-imagined how to promote 21st century multimodal literacy practices that would benefitOhioans of all ages.The Center for the Study and Teaching of Writing (CSTW) at OSU is now in the processof coordinating the formation of a statewide research collective that will address the mostpressing issues and opportunities developed during the Spring 2010 event.A CRR Trend AnalysisThe underlying assumption for most of our conversations during the March, 26-7, 2010unconference sessions seemed to be that literacy practices (how and what we compose,read, and research) are changing and will continue to change. Traditional practices (forinstance, a command of traditional genres, standards, and rhetorical approaches) are notlikely to diminish in importance. But in each case, emerging literacy practices (forinstance, new online genre that incorporate media assets, shifting standards and etiquettefor each genre, and additional rhetorics of persuasion in new online environments) willchange the nature and complexity of professional, academic, civic, and personalcommunication.CRR discussion strands seemed to address the following questions (Session titles are inbold italics.):
3/2/11 CRR Unconference White Paper—5Where and in what venues can/should traditional and new literacy practices bedeveloped? • Community Knowledges and Literacies • What is the role of literacy in a recession economy? • Mobile Technologies • Creativity and social action? • Creating a culture of learning in corporate environments & non-student situations • Leveraging state Extension services & Libraries for the 21st century learning • Academia vs. community: developing strategies & bridge building (reciprocity) • Facilitating community media centers and librariesUnder what conditions can/should traditional and new literacy practices be developed? • Learning to Learn • The relationship between teachers and learners re: literacy • Assessment • Turning passive training into active training • Creativity and social action? • Moving to a project-based curriculum • Using public access media?What characterizes an excellent 21st century communicator? • What it means to be a 21st century citizen-learner? • Written Language in Structuring Social RelationshipsHow can the CRR project move forward? • Methodologies rich enough to incite progress • Hijacking technologies for “good” purposes (grrilla techniques) • Using public access media?CRR Unconference SessionsThe email notes, tweets, and blog comments generated during each session aresummarized for the benefit of white-paper readers. Other interpretations and summariesare encouraged. The raw data can be found at <http://www.cstw.org/crr>. Community Knowledges and Literacies Summary: New motivational structures seem to be necessary to encourage literacy learning in communities. Academics trying to engage communities in this work, should consider • the unique nature of that local community and how they "get along." • place community members in the role of expert, director, production coordinator, and media and event organizers.
3/2/11 CRR Unconference White Paper—6 • make the object of the exploration more than knowledge creation … make the end result something useful to the community or the work force or make it political in nature. What it means to be a 21st century citizen-learner? Summary: While comfort levels vary, a 21st century citizen-learner continues to be a productive involved citizen. An understanding and valuing of new literacy systems seems to be more and more important. We certainly need to become sophisticated producers of media (video, audio, online materials, in addition to traditional paper forms). But we need to encourage belief systems: believing that productive change is possible, that collaboration is essential, and that f2f and digital events are central to social changes and citizen action. Learning to Learn Summary: New systems and global challenges will generate new literacy practices for the foreseeable future. What we teach will not, by itself, help our students in the future. Rather, it is how they learn and how quickly they adapt that will make the most difference. Each of our classes offers us opportunities to share learning strategies and approaches that will continue to serve our students well in occupations that may not even exist today. Students and teachers both bring important skills and knowledge to the table. The relationship between teachers and learners re: literacy Summary: Schools need library media specialists and teachers who are immersed in the best teaching/learning practices during their 3 days of professional development (PD) each year. More importantly, teachers need to make the literacy work important and meaningful to students. Attend to their learning styles, intelligences, and personalities. Methodologies rich enough to incite progress Summary: Lets find a compelling action research agenda in which literacy professionals across Ohio will want to engage. We will use that agenda to form a research consortium. While the action research will go on across the state, this meeting should move to other locations. Kent State has tentatively volunteered to hold the next unconference. We need to go into communities, find champions, write grants, provide leaders with information and resources they do not currently have, and connect with extension centers and libraries. Several action research approaches were suggested: collect literacy narratives; storymap digital histories, apply feminist and queer perspectives on digital literacies, use social media to maintain connections between academic, business, and community partners.
3/2/11 CRR Unconference White Paper—7 Written Language in Structuring Social Relationships Summary: Written language (and now multimodal expressions) structure social reality outside the classroom (businesses, communities, and families). Studying how these processes work will provide literacy professionals with powerful tools inside and outside of classrooms. Twitter, Facebook, cell phones, and Skype were used as examples of how language structures identities, communities and knowledge creation these days. What is the role of literacy in a recession economy? Summary: We need to understand the literacy challenges of struggling workers and employers. Students in college and graduating are very concerned and looking for additional literacy instruction. They also struggle to find summer jobs as those get filled by layed-off workers. Service learning and internship programs will continue to be popular. We need to prepare traditional and returning students for jobs that dont currently exist by being open to new literacy systems but maintaining our traditional literacy expectations. People need to graduate with area expertise and an ability to be literacy brokers (managing complex information in new literacy environments). Assessment [Got down to here] Summary: Students have methods of learning that are new to us. We should be in the business of understanding their learning strategies and sharing our own. Students need to learn to assess writing as write and to do this in online evironments. Engage students in assessment regimes, dont just impose regimes on them. Crowdsourcing (for instance, user ratings) can be applied to most media and messages. Mobile Technologies Summary: We can use locative technologies as multimodal storytelling tools that incorporate interactivity into the process. We need to incorporate popular mobile technologies that we carry with us into our literacy activities. Try to be inclusive and ask major corporations to support our work. These technologies are part of our collective consciousness. Quality of production issues will be determined by audiences, clients, & venacular practices. Turning passive training into active training Summary: Designing literacy opportunities for professionals is a lot like creating them for students K - college. Make them active and have people apply them in safe situations before taking them our into to the field. Assuming students and professionals are working towards a career path, make sure they leave training able
3/2/11 CRR Unconference White Paper—8 to answer these questions: what sort of professional are you? what can you do? how do you learn? Resource: instructional design training, http://bit.ly/cdOnqJ Creativity and social action Summary: Art is a form of social action and should be integrated into literacy learning situations on a regular basis (e.g., the Metro School). STEM curriculum in this case can become STEAM and in line with Root Bersteins study on Nobel scientists. Architecture (Knowlton) has students engaged in creative activist projects around town. They compete and are judged by outside specialists and presented to city officials. Columbus neighborhoods are becoming the focus of creative, activist (CA) art projects too (Weinland Park and Hilltop). We need high-level collaborative interdisciplinary efforts to address a CA agenda. Project-based CA activities need to be tailored to teachers abilities and students needs. Hijacking technologies for “good” purposes (grrilla techniques) Summary: Infrastructure representatives can be "pleasantly" or surprisingly on board with compelling projects. Its hijacking but not. The bandwidth of university enterprise systems (particularly digital systems) are often over engineered and may welcome alternative uses for important literacy projects. Write your dream projects up and be attuned to system upgrades and large purchases, good moments to bring your projects forward for funding. The Digital Archive of Literacy Naratives (DALN.osu.edu) is an example of a growing resource built on the back of state systems with small grants. The DALN and other projects should consider allowing "Web 2.0" access to submitting and use of materials: queer theory suggests this as a queering of research method, expectations, and even things like attention. Grrilla techniques around literacy technologies also engage feminist perspectives that emphasize inclusion, consumption and production, purposeful action that is mutually beneficial to students, teachers, clients, etc. in safe, experimental spaces. Creating a culture of learning in corporate environments & non-student situations Summary: For those who aren’t students and work in institutions focussed on the "bottom line," how does one make learning a desirable thing? A medical business in Columbus is using an online system that tracks where sales people are in the process of closing a deal. It’s like bio-feedback for the sales process. A culture of learning requires that you tap into the motivational structures of the corporate players: the workers and management. Its not all that different from schooling when students are required to be in classes that they dont intrinsically value. Our job is to convince them that they will meet their life goals they have to become constant learners. Moving to a project-based curriculum Summary:
3/2/11 CRR Unconference White Paper—9 Project-based learning involves a focus on something “real,” whether it is a community-based project, something with a real, intended audience or a hypothetical one/case study. Service learning seems to fit the bill whether students all have the same experience, in similar places, or in individual self-chosen projects. Instructors need to be able to help/assist/navigate and give up total control. The DALN project allows people to study literacy and produce multimodal literacy materials. In a nutshell • Let students know who their audience is • Keep the audience real to the students • Give students flexibility, but some structure as well—constraining and openning. • Provide examples and samples • Keep explaining the process of the class • Allow them to showcase their work Field Work: Ethnography for Students by Chiseri-Strater & Sunstein Living Folklore by Martha Sims Leveraging Ohio Extension services & Libraries for the 21st century learning Summary: Library funding is dependent on local and state governments. They have a direct literacy commitment. Extension does as well but in service to many things, including youth development: helping students foster positive habits and values. We are watching libraries and extension services re-invent themselves for the 21st century. Its a good time to collaborate with them. If you do initiate projects, also consider how to sustainably withdraw. Do more engagement work (mutually beneficial) and less outreach. Make use of retired boomers, young people for digital producers, & community centers. If you are going to do research, use participatory action research methodology. The relations between educational institutions and the public are bad. We need to work hard to repair relations by valuing local publics. Using public access media Summary: The CSTW’s Digital Media & Writing project produces a series of video and audio interviews for radio and PBS and educational channels as well as WOSU & OSUs iTunes channel. The School of Architecture is repurposing educational media from within the school and making it available on the web. Sharing the materials with the public allows teachers and students to interact with real audiences around their work. This is much easier said than done. There are intellectual property (IP)
3/2/11 CRR Unconference White Paper—10 issues. An activist rhetoric requires an expansive concept of Fair Use. Quality issues come into play here. Strangely there can be too much quality. Academia vs. community: developing strategies & bridge building (reciprocity) Summary: Certain tensions between academics and the community are inevitable: • Academic work is linear, but community work is not. • Community members should speak for themselves and not be asked to rely (entirely) on an academic spokesperson. • We need to have a dialogue between the two, one that is open and flexible. The DALN responds to these tensions by making public contribution to the archive as easy and possible. They value their voices and work. Its scholarship 2.0 with a long tail. Business communities and sales groups end up learning from each other about their customer base. K-college isnt focussed in this way. Funding and grants for community work should always come with expectations that should be negotiated with the "public." It is NOT a romanticized relationship. There is a huge gap between academics and the general public. Facilitating community media centers and libraries Summary: Community media centers need to be in trusted, safe, accessible places with lots of technology training and support. A face-to-face relationship with the community is important. Community extension offices and libraries, churches and other places have great potential. "Center" is deceptive. What does a rhizomatic "center" look like? State-wide broadband funding might help develop such places. Find important projects that community members will want / need to work on and make that part of the "center." Perhaps use the "unconference" meeting model to get local publics involved in a media centers development. Media Bridges in Cincinatti is an excellent model: <http://www.mediabridges.org/>. The Fuse Factory in Columbus is another <http://thefusefactory.org/>. Resources: • Power 3 is a proposal that a central Ohio group has proposed. The lead institution is OSU, and the lead researcher is Jay Ramanathan. • Linden Revitalization project beginning conversations with Greater Linden Development Corporation–Exec Director, Donna Hicho.Broad Synthesis and Future Project DirectionsAs a review, the Spring 2010 CRR unconference sessions seemed to dwell on theseoverarching questions:
3/2/11 CRR Unconference White Paper—11 • Where and in what venues can/should traditional and new literacy practices be developed? • Under what conditions can/should traditional and new literacy practices be developed? • What characterizes an excellent 21st century communicator? • How can the CRR project move forward?The following came out of the Community Knowledges and Literacies session and seemslike an excellent set of guidelines for engaging with communities across Ohio. New motivational structures seem to be necessary to encourage literacy learning in communities. When academics (on a mission) consider setting up literacy projects, they would do well to • address the unique nature of that local community and how they "get along." • place community members in the role of expert, director, production coordinator, and media and event organizers. • make the object of the exploration more than knowledge creation … make the end result something useful to the community or to a company, or political in nature.If indeed we hope to make the end result something useful, then project-based activitiesmight want to follow these general guidelines: • Let those engaged in the activies know who their audience is. • Make the audiences real to them. • Give them flexibility, but some structure as well. • Provide examples and samples. • Keep explaining the process to those involved. • Allow them to showcase their work to these real audiences and receive feedback or ideas for elaborating on the materials produced from real audiences.Keep in mind that there are many public and private media outlets for the communitywork our projects might inspire.Several sessions dealt with what it means to be a literate 21st century citizen-learner.Ideally these are people who have robust learning strategies, who value traditional andemerging literate practices and belive, as well, that productive change is possible, thatcollaboration is essential, and that face-to-face and online communication are central tosocial change and citizen action.In order to encourage these approaches, literacy professionals (in schools, civic venues,professional venues, and community centers) need to make the literacy work importantand meaningful to students of all ages and attend to their learning styles, intelligences,and personalities. Following this line of thought, we need to continue to recognize that artis a form of social action. STEM activities themselves are not enough. STEAM (Science,Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) projects will get us farther along the road toencouraging literate 21st century citizen-learners. This will require us, however, toengage in intense, high-level, collaborative interdisciplinary efforts.
3/2/11 CRR Unconference White Paper—12Where does this all lead us? If we wish to both conduct research and generate usefulcommunity projects, lets find a compelling action research agenda in which literacyprofessionals and citizens across Ohio will want to engage. We need to go intocommunities (by connecting with community programs, professional venues, extensioncenters and libraries), find champions, write grants, provide leaders with funding andinformation they do not currently have. Besides new grant funding, we can also offerthese communities access to the residual bandwidth of university and professionalenterprise systems.The goals for our research should be two-pronged. For teachers and academics, we needto better understand how written language and multimodal expressions structure socialreality outside the classroom (in businesses, communities, schools and families).Studying how these processes work will provide literacy professionals with powerfultools to use inside and outside of classrooms. For community members, we need to betterunderstand how literate activities can help the young and experienced communitymembers who are trying to perpare themselves for a very difficult work environment.How do we assess either the community engagement or research component of futureCRR work? A team of assessment experts led by Brian Huot (assuming we can find somebasic funding) has agreed to put together a student-involved, stakeholder-involvedassessment regime for whatever project / grant activity we come up with. Because we areworking in communities, crowd-sourcing assessment possibilities might be integratedinto this regime.There are many fine examples of community, academic, and professional organizationsand programs that have strong commitments to literacy development in the state of Ohio.We need now to begin the process of joining with like minded folks, making contacts andbuilding relationships. The CSTW and the research collective that we hope will developout of the initial CRR Unconference, are willing to provide energy and resources for theill-defined but immensely important tasks we will be setting for ourselves.
3/2/11 CRR Unconference White Paper—13Whats next?Please answer these questions in an email to Dickie Selfe <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Are you interested in ___ participating in and receiving updates on CRR events? ___ being a part of the research collective and planning group?The CRR research collective and planning group will try to address the followingquestions. If you have suggestions for any or all of them at this point, please include themin your email. When & where should we gather? What type of community and professional literacy activities do we want to encourage? What research questions do we want to investigate? What grant opportunities are available?