Rethinking Instructional Scaffolding

This article is a collaboration with Dr. Dori Coblentz, third-year Brittain Fellow in the Writing and Communication Program at Georgia Tech. It is the first part in a series on the development and implementation of an interactive ethics training module for Georgia Tech’s first-year composition and computer science students. When… Continue reading

7 Brittain Fellows Reflect on Summer Pedagogical Experiments in First-Year Writing

Frankenstein in alternative genres, freshly redesigned periodic tables, poetry and digital archives, feminist editorial interventions in Wikipedia, sustainable futures, pop culture, and crisis—these are the Writing and Communication course topics that Brittain Fellows experimented with in the 2019 summer semester at Georgia Tech. The compressed six-week course schedule and opportunities… Continue reading

Learning to Teach in the Anthropocene

How do I teach while the world burns? How can I teach in the Anthropocene? I thought one night while washing dishes. In the face of the Anthropocene and its harbinger, climate change, teaching seemed futile. At the time, I was also listening to a video essay by Oliver Thorn… Continue reading

The Office Hour: MetaPod

In this episode of the Office Hour, Tobias Wilson-Bates and Jonathan Shelley discuss their experiences of integrating podcasting inside and outside of the classroom. Has the revolutionary energy of podcasts dissipated with the influx of corporate projects like Mark Zuckerberg’s Tech & Society Podcast? Or do they still serve unique… Continue reading

Picture This: Infographics in English Class–Part Four: Visualizing the Writing Process

This post is the fourth in a series about our class project in “Teaching Composition.” Read Part One, Part Two, and Part Three.   In addition to learning about theories of rhetoric and writing, the future English teachers in this fall’s “Teaching Composition” course needed to think about how to apply… Continue reading

The Spring 2019 CS Junior Design Capstone Expo: a Recap and Interview with Amanda Girard and Alyshia Jackson

This is the seventh part in a series on the intersections of technical communication in the tech industry and the academy. Read the series introduction here. Recently the College of Computing and the School of Literature, Media, and Communication (LMC) sponsored the Spring 2019 Computer Science Junior Design Capstone Expo…. Continue reading

Picture This: Infographics in English Class–Part Three: Teaching the Teachers

This post is the third in a series about our class project in “Teaching Composition.” Read Part One and Part Two.  When I designed an infographic assignment for students in my “Teaching Composition” class last semester, I hoped it would be directly applicable to the careers of the students in… Continue reading

On Teaching Computer Science: an Interview with Bob Waters

Shot from the second floor of students beginning to set up table displays on the first floor at the Spring 2019 Expo.

This is the sixth part in a series on the intersections of technical communication in the tech industry and the academy. Read the series introduction here. As I have written about in an earlier post, many of Georgia Tech’s Computer Science and Computational Media majors are required to take our… Continue reading

Mapping the Maximalist Novel: A Dialogue Between Students and Teachers

This article and interview are a collaboration between Dr. Benjamin Bergholtz and Dr. Alok Amatya, first-year Brittain Fellows in the Writing and Communication Program at Georgia Tech, and FYC students Gabriel Wang, Harsimran Minhas, Simrill Smith, Justin Coleman, and Kartik Sarangmath. I didn’t think I would be able to to… Continue reading

From First Year Comp to Tech Comm (and Beyond): an Interview with Dori Coblentz

Inside a studio a group of people in fencing attire stand around a lecturer who is describing a fencing technique.

This is the fifth part in a series on the intersections of technical communication in the tech industry and the academy. Read the series introduction here. As former Brittain Fellow Kate Holterhoff has detailed in this post on her move from teaching to software development (and as my own career… Continue reading

The Office Hour, “Building Stuff”

Students in first-year writing courses at Georgia Tech are sometimes asked to build things. Based on the comic strip that currently hangs in the WCP interns’ office, those students react to these assignments with a mixture of bemusement, annoyance, and–eventually–acceptance. But in this episode of The Office Hour, we hear… Continue reading

Picture This: Infographics in English Class, Part Two

This post is the second in a series about an infographic project in “Teaching Composition,” a course led by former Brittain Fellow Dr. Anna Ioanes at the University of St. Francis. Read Part One here. Part Two: Writing is a Beast; or, Visualizing Metaphors When we teach students to write, is it best… Continue reading

Taking Twitter Higher, Further, Faster: Leading the #Womenonpanels Event

In our current moment, when many of us think of Twitter, we think of it as a space of broadcasting, unproductive argument, or even, for some, of violence. In comics fandom, Twitter has been the primary space of Comicsgate, a hate group against the diversification and what they term politicization,… Continue reading

Public Tech Comm: Preparing Students for Tech Expos

Rows of lunchboxes are lined up on a table. Each box has a label with the words "Junior Design Capstone Expo" and an image of two people trying virtual reality technology.

This is the fourth part in a series on the intersections of technical communication in the tech industry and the academy. Read the series introduction here. One of the more interesting aspects of the Computer Science Tech Comm Course sequence at Georgia Tech is how it evolves from semester to… Continue reading

Picture This: Infographics in English Class, Part One

This is the first part in a series by Anna Ioanes (Brittain Fellow, 2015-2018) on teaching infographics and writing at the University of St. Francis where Dr. Ioanes is Assistant Professor of English. The series originally appeared at the USF Lit Works blog.  Introduction In my first semester at the… Continue reading

From Academic to Developer: Why Career Changes are No Longer Off Limits

Dr. Kate Holterhoff is an Affiliated Researcher and Former Brittain Fellow at Georgia Tech. She is currently a Front-End Engineer at Nebo in Atlanta. This article originally appeared on Nebo’s blog on January 25, 2019. Read the post at Nebo here.  The humanities have become more and more digitally engaged and… Continue reading

BTS (방탄소년단) in an English Composition Course

As my students chatted, I situated the camera onto the computer screen. They seemed excited about the class activity: filming a reaction video and posting it to YouTube. Opposite the students, on the screen at the front of the classroom, a music video was paused at a blank white frame…. Continue reading

(Re)designing the Instructional Artifact: The Poetry Machine Project

In the 2017-18 academic year I executed a lively experiment integrating poetry into LMC 3403, a traditional technical communication course at Georgia Tech as the direct result of receiving a Poetry@Tech pedagogy development grant. Technical communication is defined by Elizabeth Tebeaux and Sam Dragga as writing “that occurs in a… Continue reading

On Conferences in Academia and the Tech Industry

On stage at the Container Power Hour session at the 2018 AWS re:Invent conference. The session agenda is projected on a screen to the left; the session presenters are seated on stage to the right.

This is the third part in a series on the intersections of technical communication in the tech industry and the academy. Read the series introduction here. For me, January 2019 was bookended with conferences. I started the month (and year) with a trip to Chicago for the 2019 Modern Language… Continue reading

Agile Composition: Promoting Fairness and Efficiency in Group Work

The Group Problem A cursory scroll through the Facebook group, GT Memes for Buzzed Teams, turns up a number of meme gems related to group projects. Take, for instance, the image below of a red-faced man (labeled “me”) straining to pick up a giant boulder (labeled “group project”) while a… Continue reading

Letter from a New York City Jail: Reacting to the Past in First-year Composition

When my student Patrice was arrested, I was amused. We were in my English 1101 seminar, “Romantic Revolutions,” and Patrice had been assigned the role of an indebted farmer in 1770s New York. My class was using Patriots, Loyalists & Revolution in New York City, 1775-76 to revive the independence… Continue reading

Applications Open for 2019-2020 Brittain Fellowship

Applications are being accepted for a new cohort of Marion L. Brittain Postdoctoral Fellows through February 1, 2019. Please see both ads that appear below, the second of which is for specialists in business and technical communication. General information for all applicants appears following the ads. The job ad has… Continue reading

Against Argument; or, 25 Notes Toward a Descriptive Pedagogy by Way of Stephen King and Jacques Rancière

  1) Twitter can be a pretty disingenuous place. The tricky thing is that to call attention to any one tweet, however atrocious, risks making a mountain out of a molehill. But as a teacher of writing, literature, and communication, I’ve found myself returning again and again to one particular… Continue reading

The Office Hour, “Fixing the Academic Conference”

Is the academic conference an important place for sharing and developing knowledge or an increasingly boring relic of a bygone era? Given the cost of attending, the increasingly precarious market for academic jobs, and the psychic toll graduate school takes on early scholars, these questions are more important than ever. In… Continue reading

How Poetry Saved My Pedagogy

Most of my students did not like poetry. I don’t remember what prompted the realization—probably something banal like analyzing a poem by Dickinson, Keats, or Frost—but I remember the crushing sensation of disappointment and dismay, even despair, that settled over me. Many of them actively disliked it, a few of… Continue reading