Thursday, February 20, 2014

Times are a' changing, and I am on board for the ride. It's good, actually...these dang digital tools.

My goal this week has been to conference with every student I teach to lay out a plan of action for the writing to come. Meeting with me, however, is somewhat tricky as I'm off campus this semester more than I'm on. Thank-you, Shahid, for being the guinea pig for this post. You were, after all, my first official FaceTime writing conference and it makes a lot of sense to do it this way.

Now, I have Skyped with the twins at Brockport and other students in Cortland and OCC, but I've yet to host a digital conference with any of my students at Fairfield. Having tried to schedule face-to-face meetings unsuccessfully, the logic arrived post-gym, why not try FaceTime. Sure enough, Shahid called and read his essay as I followed along on my laptop and offered feedback with probing questions for further development.

This was a perfect solution, and it worked very well. The only difference was that each of us was behind a screen and not within the chaotic clutter of my desk.

I told Shahid, "I'm totally screen capturing this because it's a first, and I want to to acknowledge are ingenuity for providing an alternative to our schedules. This rocks!"

In the end, writing is always about communication and, alas, so is the iPhone, FaceTime, and the tools available to advance what we have to say to one another.

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