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516.1 Streams (25%, 25 points)

Streams: this project asks you to compose public, digital writing regularly throughout the semester. Beyond this basic standard, the parameters are highly flexible. You can dedicate your efforts in a single platform (e.g., one blog) or dabble in a variety of platforms (e.g., Twitter, Delicious, Flickr, etc.). Rather than adopting an event-modeled logic in which there is some planning, build-up, and revision that culminates in a coherent and polished text, Streams operate according to distributed and immersive logics. Early in the semester you will shape a bundle you want to follow:

Example Bundle 1 (Blogging+Bookmarking)
±15 Wordpress.com blog entries
±20 delicious.com bookmarks with tags

Example Bundle 2 (Blogging+Twitter)
±10 Wordpress.com blog entries
±40 tweets

Custom Bundle
±x blog entries (Wordpress.com)
±x social bookmarks with tags (Delicious.com)
±x tweets (Twitter.com)
±x Shared Google Reader items with annotations (i.e., Google Buzz)
±x Some other distributed, immersive platform or application (Flickr, Diigo, etc.)

Decide on a bundle you will pursue by Tuesday, January 18. Your decision will become more formal when we set up shared documents that will serve as a record of your activity. Think of the shared document as 1) expressing your commitment to a specific bundle and 2) functioning as a ledger to inform the Learning/Activity Inventory due at the end of the semester. Everyone will be asked to sign up for a blog by the end of class on Tuesday, January 11, and to commence with blogging right away.

The Call to Write
You might be thinking, What will I write? Why? The call to write is foremost a question of rhetorical invention: where do ideas come from? How can I come up with something? For the blog, you may want to think of it as a space for developing and posting reading notes. Or you might want to spend some time reading other blogs, looking into how teachers, graduate students, faculty, writers, and other smart folks are using blogs. This may make focal the ways in which you come up with what to write or what to make in the venues to adopt. You should explore all of the platforms you select for their heuristic value—for the how each involves experimentation, play, and design, and for how it challenges you to think differently.

[Added] What Is Everyone Working On?

What does an exemplary convergence of writing streams reflect?

1. Evidence of rigor (e.g., inquisitive thinking about course readings, about writing done by colleagues, and about self-selected materials)
2. Evidence of a sustained, regular rhythm (e.g., intervals, such as weekliness and dailiness)
3. Evidence of connective thinking (e.g., hyperlinks and citation)
4. Evidence of experimentation (e.g., pushing at the edges of what is familiar and what is possible)

Use these four criteria to frame your account of this project in the end-of-semester Learning/Activity Inventory. If you find it helpful to do so, you can relate the criteria to the following scale:


EX: Exceptional. The writer has applied the criterion with distinction.
AC: Acceptable/meets expectations. The writer has applied the criterion to a satisfactory degree.
NI: Needs improvement. The writer has minimally applied the criterion in the project.
NA: Not applied. The writer has not applied the criterion in the project.

You might also find it helpful to relate your LAI account of Streams to the six dimensions of learning associated with The Learning Record.

Contact Information

Derek N. Mueller, PhD
Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Writing
Director of Composition
Department of English
Virginia Tech
Office: 315 Shanks Hall
Spring 2019 Office Hours: T, 12-3
Phone: +1-734-985-0485

"In a digital universe, word, sound, and image share a common notation. They are, at a fundamental level, convertible into one another" (465). Richard Lanham, "Implications of Electronic Information"

"These days all technology follows computer technology" (159). Kevin Kelly, What Technology Wants

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