Integrated Reading and Writing Using New Media

I’m wondering how I could scaffold an IRW type assignment with new media.
What are the reader expectations for new media? I’ve been told in several classes that online posts should either be short and zippy dialogue (with text, comments, and counter-comments) or long and synthetic monologue (with an optional string of comments following the post).
As a reader I find myself forming meaning as I read the posts and then renegotiating this meaning as a string of subsequent posts and counter posts trickle in. Eventually certain tropes of meaning emerge, like tag clouds; I feel myself either gravitating towards original ideas or provocative terms.
In terms of scaffolding, blogging seems like a great way to teach the recursive nature of reading and writing.
I have two questions: 1) What is the function of this collaborative discourse? 2) How will discussion via blogs be integrated in a meaningful way into an integrated reading and writing classroom?
Some tentative answers: The function of the online blog is to discuss ideas (schema development), to discern important and irrelevant information (topic selection), to listen and to respond to others’ ideas (reader response), and to learn to make meaning in a tentative space where meaning is being constantly renegotiated (participatory composition?).
I think there must be ways to carry the blogs into reading assignments and then integrate these readings into writing assignments including essays or multimedia essays–Does anyone have any ideas?


One comment on “Integrated Reading and Writing Using New Media

  1. I’m not sure if this would help at all, but Cheryl Smith wrote an article for The Journal of Basic writing (check the Zotero annotations folder) where she talks about her experiences using blogs in a classroom for the first time. I realize it’s more explicitly a writing classroom as opposed to an IRW class, but some of her ideas might be helpful.

    One anecdote of hers deals with students posting their negative reactions to a book reading they attended. Smith decides to follow up by asking them to discuss the reasons she might have had them attend the reading, and how it might relate back to the other readings they have been doing and liberal arts education in general, which she follows up with a class discussion on the topic. I think you could also address the students’ reactions more directly by assigning difficulty blogs instead of difficulty papers. I realize opinion is somewhat split on the difficulty paper, but it might be a way for students to explore issues in a less formal way, and engender some discussion.

    Smith also talks about an assignment where her students blog about music, which allows them to do something they enjoy and may help expand students’ definition of “reading”.

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