New Media Interfaces & Affordances

CCTE 2017 Conference

Composing, Connecting, and Curating Identities: Blogs, Microposts, and Social Media Spaces as Sites of Rhetorical Analysis and Self-Representation

PANEL TITLE: “Students Authoring and Engaging in Interfaces: Blogs, Wikis, and Digital Media as Sites of Negotiated Collaboration in Composition” (Co-panel presenters:  Stacia Dunn Campbell, Gilchrist White, and Stacey Burleson)

Using Social Media Is a Process

Focus in 2016/2017: Using new media projects to support student critical thinking practices and collaborative discourses as students become change agents.

Focus in 2015/2016:  Using microposts and blogging to teach new media writing.

Focus in 2010-2015:  What is new media writing?


5 Most Important Trends in Blogging 2016Blog Tyrant Predictions for Blogs 2015
105 Author Blog Prompts


Twitter opens the classroom, energizes students, and changes expectations of engagement for both me, as the instructor, and my students.  Students use Twitter for . . .


Now more than ever students need the analytical skills necessary to critique authority and speak truth to power, whether the information  is mediated via peer-reviewed/professionally edited news sources or directly from political figures (or citizen journalists) using social media.

cjg2 Twitter

Twitter Assignment Resources

TIPS FOR iNSTRUCTORS:  Twitter-Tips Handout
TWITTER RESEARCH EXAMPLE:  Twitter Research Example


Researching, Writing, Engaging

HOW:  Lurking : Liking : Following : Curating : Connecting : Creating & Sharing*


“For children of the 21st century, technology is like oxygen–a necessary component of their life . . . Integrating blogging into classroom writing instruction can engage students and motivate them to participate more fully in the writing process” (“Blogging as a Means of Crafting Writing,” Jan Lacina and Robin Griffith).

Personal Note

In Fall 2015, I added WordPress blogging as a tool for teaching writing, for conducting research, and for engaging the public.  I follow blogging rock stars like Jeff Bullas (@jeffbullas) and his ‘guest bloggers’ Diana Kightlinger, Aaron Agius, and Julie R. Neidlinger .  I’m discovering more about my blog statistics through the WordPress Annual Report, which helps to give me an impetus to increase the number of blog posts I write about my experiences teaching and learning.

Writing and Self Representation

 In “Can Anyone Read the Writing in Your Blog,” Diana Kightinger reports that professional bloggers use Readability Statistics to ensure their blog posts are accessible to their readers.  Kightlinger notes that “the National Adult Literacy Survey” states “most U.S. readers [read] at about the 8th grade level.”  Kightlinger advises bloggers to keep the Flesch Reading Ease score between 60-70, to watch for passive construction, and to trim the number of sentence per paragraph.

Jill Walker Rettberg (2014) conducts in-depth research about self representation in digital media (written, visual, and quantitative–all “intertwined”) [Seeing Ourselves Through Technology].  She quotes Vivane Serfaty (2004) who compares diaries from earlier centuries to today’s personal blogs (4).

Nina Amir (2015) provides insight about how to become a successful writer through blogging [How to Blog a Book].  She identifies the affordances of blogging, such as immediate access to audiences, access to a test-market, and access to a systematic writing platform.  See her blog and her latest advice for writers.

Annotated Bib & Blog Posts Assignment Summaries

Annotated Bibliography:  Build subject knowledge and use critical analysis
Five Components:  1) summary of argument/information, 2) author analysis,
3) audience analysis, 4) compare to other research, 5) how will you use?

Blog Posts:  Using your Annotated Bibliography research, create 6 blog posts that provide interesting information or critiques about your topics. Be sure your posts are approximately 300-500 words each, have an image or videolinks to other supporting research articles or posts, and links to authors who support the analysis provided in your blog post.

TWEET to your post:  Question & link.  Title & link.  Quote & link.

Blending the Personal, Public, and Professional [Relationships]




Includes classroom and Rambler projects with links to Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter




Includes classroom projects w/ link to
her professional website






Includes: Social Media Writing for the Fort Worth Museum of Science & History (Intern)







Includes: editor for The Rambler, writing articles/feature stories/editorials, and posting grammar rules to help her staff





Individualized research projects—that do not privilege text.


Public (Creative Work & Courses)  

Professional:  Texas Wesleyan Student Life FB  and Twitter        

 Driving Traffic to Your Blog

What Professionals Do:  1) Tweet the title of your blog post & the blog link; 2) Tweet a question that your blog post answers & the link; 3) Tweet a provocative quote from your blog post & the link.

What Students Like Jeremy Do: 1) Find like-minded people with shared interests on Twitter and retweet or like their posts; 2) Once they follow you, IM them to build a “friend connection.”

Top 50 Writing Blogs 2016

The 100 Best, Most Interesting Blogs and Websites 2016

Top 50 Writing Blogs 2015

The 100 Best, Most Interesting Blogs and Websites 2015

wp2015yearinreviewReflecting on Last Year’s Posts & Traffic

WordPress conveniently provides statistics and analytics related to your blog.  Use it to improve your reach!

Students Discuss Need for Social Media Skills