Free-sliding into NCTE
My friend and colleague, Rick Kreinbring and I have been working on our presentation for the November NCTE convention in Houston. Yes, we know we’re not typical (in this and other ways 😉 but we know how we work; we need time to think, then reel in our thoughts.
In line with the theme of this year’s convention, amplifying student voice, we’ve called our presentation “Can you hear me now: Blogging to become public thinkers.” Our blurb
“If my voice is clear, my message powerful, my delivery flawless…” goes a Verizon ad. Teachers who want students to attempt this, need to teach them to connect brains to words, thoughts to voices. Two teachers demonstrate and discuss challenges of bringing familiar traditions of rhetoric into the digital world.
We admit it: we are shameless about our devotion to the good ole’ rhetorical triangle. We’re also completely convinced that the digital world, in this case, blogging, offers the perfect place to have students grapple with all kinds of challenges with aspects of said triangle.
What’s really exciting to us, though, is how blogging asks kids to tackle the hard work of developing a public persona that reflects their identities as thinkers.
We’ve been thinking about this subject for several years now; we’ve done a couple of presentations in online writing conferences (find a 2017 session here). This morning, we spent the first hour of our Facetime meeting talking about my new bicycle, the air quality in Portland, amazing old buildings of Detroit, the annual Diner en Blanc flash mob dinner party, how we use libraries.
We realized we didn’t really want to work, not because we’re lazy bums, but because we’re done. We’ve gotten out all the ideas, we’ve discarded the stupid stuff, we’ve determined what we want to keep. We’ve got a crazy collection of possible slides in our Google slide deck. So here’s our next assignment for ourselves, due in a couple of weeks.
We’re going to free-slide. The rules are simple. We add any slides from former presentations that we think are relevant. We fiddle with the order. We move any slides we don’t think belong to the end of the deck. We use the comments feature to say why we added, or did whatever else. Anything goes– we’re free-sliding. Kind of like freewriting, except with a slide deck.
Actually, this is the second iteration of free-sliding. We started our planning with talking. And talking. And making notes. Talking some more. Our notes started turning into a book. So after we realized we could create an online course about this, we returned to our presentation.
We each created subheadings we thought might make a skeleton to hang a presentation on. But we didn’t sped much time on that– we realized we needed to just start making slides.
Since that initial jumble of slides, we’ve stripped our thinking down. We’re ready to free-slide some more. Or maybe this is a first pass at drafting the real deal.
I love this process. And I think we’re going to have a really cool NCTE session.
Slice of Life is the weekly Story Challenge on Two Writing Teachers. Come write along with us!