Week 10: The End is Near

Do Young People Ever Vote?


Esaili, Hanan. Why Don’t Young People Vote? The Huffington Post, 12 Nov. 2015.  Web. 5 March 2016. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/hanan-esaili/why-dont-young-people-vote_b_8535936.html>

D.K. Why Young People Don’t Vote. The Economist, 29 Oct. 2014. Web. 5 March 2016. <http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2014/10/economist-explains-24>

Barnes, Brooke. President Obama’s Former Speechwriter to Join Funny or Die. The New York Times, 24 Feb. 2016. Web. 6 March 2016. <http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/25/business/media/david-litt-president-obamas-former-speechwriter-to-join-funny-or-die.html?_r=0>

Social Constructs

Students will engage with various social constructs to identify their own biases and others biases and understand that they are concepts or ideas that have been completely invented by people and accepted as truth, science and/or fact. While the idea or thing behind a social construct might be real, the idea of the social construct is a human invention – “nature did not invent it” (Torres-Rangel, 2015).

Using NewHive, student will be asked to express what they perceive to be their race, ethnicity, nationality, complexion, gender, sexual orientation, body type, education level, religion, socioeconomic status/class, ability/disability, culture, language spoke, age group, and family status in an online poster without words. They may also choose to make a video or Photoshop if they desire.

Students will present these posters, or online creations, to the class. The teacher and the classmate will be able to discuss:

  1. How does this person see themselves?
  2. Does this person have similar backgrounds? If not, what is different?
  3. Do the social constructions denote values or morals?
  4. How can these perceptions affect how the person behaves? Does it change how you behave toward him/her?
  5. Is it important to know where creations come from? Do we need to know the creator’s background to make a fair assessment of their claim? Is that fair?

Research Article

Student will learn how to outline an article for important information in class. The class will go over the first section so they realize what is important and how to successfully condense an article.

Article 1: [To be determined] Students will outline entire article and turn it in through Google Docs (after class demonstration).

Students will used this research article [non voting related] and as a class will analyze the topic, author’s claim, the counter arguments, the supporting arguments and its conclusion. Through reader questions, students will record their reactions and analyze how their social constructs affect their reactions toward the scholarly article.

Research Presentation at Library

Research orientation scheduled with Wendolyn at library.

Evaluating useful resources and discarding unneeded resources.

Video Presentation (current presidential elections)

Video 1: John Oliver sketch (Super PACs)

Video 2: PBS NewsHour Report

Video 3: Russian news outlet

Video 4: English news outlet

Video 5: Argentine news outlet

Interface Analysis

Interface of videos analyzed and discussed for students to start thinking about how design shapes what we see and how we see it.

Take out Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, QQ, email, website, Blackboard.

  • How are things structured?
  • Does it bother you?
  • Have you envisioned this to be another way?
  • Can it be analyzed rhetorically?

Candidate Drawing

Names of the remaining candidates will be placed in a bowl and students will randomly choose their candidate. They will design a campaign aimed at youth using the candidate’s personality, policies, current campaign tactics and other factors through any online platform they choose (with teacher approval).

Possible Writing Assignment

Describe your presidential candidate. Evaluation his or her current youth campaign. Compare and contrast your campaign to their current one and explain why it is more effective.

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Week 9: Lessig & DeVoss

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Movie Maker & Project Schedule, Arryo

Video: https://youtu.be/6gT_HwSULtA

Creating a Unit

I am creating a 1-week unit for the third installment of my stretch course about research so my students understand their place in the conversation when they begin to choose journal, articles, and books for their research paper(s) in Spring 2016. They will use NewHive to understand how their point of view shapes their interpretation of the world around them. I will develop an activity in where the class will analyze Facebook’s interface (still not sure). Then, they will analyze two interfaces of two presidential candidates. Students will be aware of their biases and will realize how subjectivity and objectivity influence research and they way people perceive information. Creating this proposal in two different digital formats helped shape the different directions the lesson can go. We write out an essay to the prompt we assign our students so we know exactly what steps are involved. This was definitely a version of that.

Week 8

Print out Social Construct Handout

Lesson Plan on Social Construct

Gather 3-5 articles for literary review

Week 9

NewHive handout for students – to create poster of their social constructs / analyzing this rhetorical situation

Lesson Plan – Important of Research / Importance of the POV

Week 10

Lesson Plan – In class interface activity

Research Paper Prompt

Week 11

In Participatory Composition: Video Culture, Writing, and Electracy, Sarah J. Arroyo suggests that  a new pedagogy that includes digital literacy but also a worldview for civic engagement, community building, and participation, electracy. She supports her claim that electracy moves beyond digital literacy by blending conceptions of video and participatory culture specifically to frame the book’s central arguments. She uses Vitanza’s countertheses, nothing exists; if it did exist, it wouldn’t be knowable; and thirdly, if something can be knowable, it cannot be communicated.  Arroyo’s purpose is to bridge the proposed apparatuses in order to see how conception of participatory and video cultures merge and the purpose it serves in rhetoric and composition.  Her tone is somewhat abstract in the ways she defines different aspects of electracy and the role it plays in the classroom as her audiences seems to be a new generation of teachers looking forward to engaging in digital literacy and the new need to help student become competent in electracy. Her work is adding to the transformation of the teaching of composition. 

It was difficult to see the thread connecting all of Arroyo’s ideas. From the table of contents, I understood that she was attempting to connect electracy, videocy and participatory composition. The definition she offers for electracy moves beyond mere digital literacy in that it deals with civic engagement, community building, and participation (Ulmer). The practice of videocy validates this form of expression. It seems that Arroyo is looking to validate the practice as an academic study especially because, “it is not something that we call up when we turn on our computers or mobile devices and shut down when we power them off.” Video culture is a part of lives even when we are not watching videos and turn off all of our devices. This is why networking and participation are principle to electracy. When we consider the three apparatuses she presents in the introduction, it’s an interesting framework to analyze the changes in literacy that I haven’t seen in any of the other readings. And the tenets of electracy, according to the adaptation of Ulmer’s table, can explain a great deal about current and younger generations’ attitudes and view toward timeless issues. I couldn’t help but think about the immediacy of video and how that contributes to instant gratification. And in reference to how individuals react to immediate situations, the onset of happiness or sadness. Civil rights activist Angela Davis spoke here at CPP and claimed that one of the main problems we have to contend with as a society is our unwillingness to work through complex issues in order to address the root of the problems. Instead, there is a need to fix things right away and avoid the process which results in a complete neglect of the actual problem. When looking at electracy’s practice, style, ground, mode and axis, I realize that we’re working with a different entity that must be dealt. Students are working from a different apparatus. And instead of shifting from one to another, it seems that Arroyo is trying to bridge this change as she questions commonly accepted rhetorical approaches.  

I was interested in the areas of post-process and post-pedagogy, specifically Vitanza’s argument that calls for a pedagogy not based on any theory or predetermined form. Unlike everything I’ve ever learned, he is suggesting that our practice does not have to rooted in something that is already predetermined. However, how do we assess? How do we train for that? It there theory there that we have not yet discovered? Vitanza’s book is now a must read because he proposes a complete paradigm shift. There are some remnants of nonviolence here that could be connected. Stay tuned.  

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Week 6: Reshaping Rhetoric in Digital Age – NewHive

NewHive – Digital Argument


In her website “My Not-So-Secret-Life as a Cyborg” (1997 to present), ju90 asserts that society sees disabled people as cyborgs: an artificial human who is partially inorganic that are not deserving of human rights and are seen as a threat to humans. She supports her claim that society treats disabled people unfairly by taking us through her journey of being treated as “Other”: modifying an otherwise identity-stripping brace, taking on cyberspace to reflect her persona in its entirety, highlight the very limits the medical field often does not want to acknowledge, and adjusting to life with the brace. She highlights facets of queer identity, sexuality, ethnicity, able-bodiedness in a way that makes it obvious that the problem cannot be whittled down to one issue. ju90’s purpose is to articulate how she has manipulated technology in order to show that her physical impairments do not keep her from occupying spaces that other non disabled people occupy and impose the presence of disabled people in positions of power.

She states that she did not want to think about her audience at all in order to keep her free of self-censoring. However, given her powerful, honest and defiant tone speaks to and inspires other cyborgs, educates non disabled people, scolds the medical profession and challenges the idea of a perfect body.  


In Social Privacy in Networked Publics: Teens’ Attitudes, Practices, and Strategies” (2011), danah boyd and Alice E. Marwick assert that teens relate privacy to agency and ability to control a social situation via social norms rather than particular properties of information. They support their claim that teens want to control how their information flows by delineating the different social and structural strategies teens use to carefully construct borders within and around their social circles. boyd and Marwick explored teens’ privacy view in networked publics in order to show that privacy values haven’t changed but instead the infrastructure through which people engage with each other has. Teens still deal with spatial, temporal and object-related limitations, but now they have to engage with public networked spaces to negotiate more limitations. Both boyd and Marwick work or have worked at Microsoft Research and they are interested to see how the youngest generation views privacy settings and the role it plays in their information-sharing life in order to help developers know enough about teen boundaries and still collect their data. It seems boyd and Marwick have an older audience in mind as they present the inner workings of teen rationale when it comes to privacy. They use academic discourse and lexicon and a very scholarly tone to address the concerns and perspectives of teenage children.

In “Of flags, Online queer identities, writing classroom, and action horizons” (2004), Barclay Barrios argues that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer pedagogies have been too exclusively focused on identity. He supports that identity-based pedagogies cannot fully account for LGBT identities by introducing the action horizon which is a pedagogy that encourages students to imagine themselves as actors in the public sphere, shaping policies and confronting complex real-world problems. His purpose is to show the complexities of LGBT issues and staying away from the pro and con debates in order to decipher what LGBT means in the new discourses that have arrived on the Web and alter what LGBT means. His tone is hopefully and one that seeks to inspire a different point of view when it comes to identity by introducing action horizon to begin the process of a more critical pedagogy.

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Week 5: Arola and Carnegie

In her article, “The Design of Web 2.0: The Rise of the Template, The Fall of Design” (2010), Kristin L. Arola argues that in a Web 2.0 world where the template reigns and designing is becoming a vessel or container for content, composition teachers and students need to engage in the work of design as a rhetorical necessity. She supports her claims about the separation of form/content by homogeneous social networking platforms such as Facebook and MySpace by discussing how users have little control over their representation if they do not produce their own online designs, and that the composing of texts helps individuals think through the ways in which design functions make meaning and produce selves.  Her purpose is to change the shape of our students’ discursive consciousness and rhetorical awareness of templates (that are not going away) by analyzing the interfaces of Web 2.0, redesigning an interface themselves, and creating the terminology of design within the classroom, and allowing for a discussion of the rhetoric of terminology to analyze shared texts in order to question design’s potential and helping them interpret their role as interface users and creators.  She seems to speak to educators because her tone is persuasive as she suggests that fewer and fewer students and teachers know how to code or applications, all necessary components if visual rhetoric occupies space (form) and information (content).

In “Interface as Exordium: The Rhetoric of Interactivity” (2009), Teena A.M. Carnegie asserts that the interface should be viewed as an exordium, Cicero’s rhetorical move that draws the audience in before introducing content, therefore making the interface rhetorically significant again. Unlike web designers that advocate that good design equates to invisible design, she supports her claims about the importance of the interface by examining the three modes of potential interactivity between the user and design: multi-directionality, manipulability, and presence, each of which promote different degrees of interactivity.  Her purpose is to prove that the rhetorical moves of the interface are not just modes of argumentation, but rather of an introduction (exordium) in order to alert teachers and students to a set of rhetorical questions that can be asked of all design, rendering the interface quite visible and significant. English teachers and students are her primary audience as she writes in a clear and persuasive tone to explain that by accepting the interface as invisible, we will accept our roles as merely receivers and diminish our role as interactors.

In “What Should Be An Unforgettable Face” (2004), Ann Wysocki claims that interface design has no longer been emphasized with students and therefore students view interface as a function than a rhetorical move. She supports that teachers should emphasize that interfaces are rhetorical by offering suggestions of strategies teachers can use to help students develop reflexive and more generous interfaces. In order show that form does contribute to the relation between the user and message, Wysocki’s purpose is to show that new modes of communication and interfaces must be address in writing textbooks. There is an efficiency layer to the interface that makes us look at getting things done quickly and easily without pausing doe critical interpretive thinking. Her tone is prophetic and insists that teachers, her audience, do not gloss over the important of the interface with their students.

In “Visualizing English: Recognizing the Hybrid Literacy and Verbal Authorship on the Web” (2000), Craig Stroupe claims that web-based communication make verbal expertise only one among many forms of literacy and rhetorical authority that a worker may need to master. He supports his claim that English departments must changes their approach to writing to support the new collaborative approach to writing by discussing Castro and Elbow’s word choice and working framework. His purpose is to point out that writers need to make the conscious decision to resist isolating themselves in the proverbial kitchen and become a master of using words to talking to every feature of an iconographic page in order to truly acknowledge the global needs English needs to meet. His tone is insisting and full of warning as if letting the audience, English departments and teachers, know that they cannot fall behind.

In “The Invisible Interface: MS Word in the Writing Center” (2008), Amber Buck suggests that computer-based tutoring sessions in writing center using MS Word need to aligned with writing center mission statements to be effective to both the tutor and the student. She supports that tutoring from a digital file on a computer during a face-to-face tutoring session may cause problems by having found that the computer interface had adjusted to both the needs of the students and tutor, and an uncertainty with the lack of a paper record. There was a certain comfort with a paper copy that led to more microstructure changes rather than macrostructure. Buck’s purpose was to show that a greater attention to use of computers is needed to assist students with their writing and therefore the development of techniques unique to each writing center in order to keep in line with the mission statements. Her tone was informative and her audience was for writing centers but very helpful for students and tutors alike.


Interfaces are designs that are praised for being invisible and easy to maneuver. When we consider an efficient interface, it is termed “user-friendly” but the design itself is not a rhetorical move. Of the readings that were assigned, Carnegie made a compelling argument that was very much rooted in the rhetorical tradition and allowed me to look at interfaces from a different point of view. The value of interfaces is that is an additional form that carries content and continues convey a message. It’s interesting that in 2004 there seems to be a strong movement that the interface not be dismissed as unimportant. On the contrary, Wysocki argues that teachers need to show their students how to create their designs since textbooks have perpetuated an “expansive understanding of seeing seems to have been forgotten as we have moved with the web in our classrooms.” If students are not taught how to decipher these forms that are not mere vessels, then, as she describes, audiences become restricted and reduced in complexity by what we produce. We need to see interface, according to Wysocki, as the border between us and us. There is a real push for English departments to see the value in this rhetorical situation.

I also found Buck’s article particularly useful because I have worked in labs and academic support centers for the last five years. I work at a language technology center and I worked at a writing center for two years. I coordinated the ESL section of the lab and the issue of paper drafts versus digital drafts was a huge point of contention. Our policy requested for students to bring their drafts in paper form and many of the students would bring in their digital file. I ran into similar problems that Buck outlined in her article. The main focus would be local errors versus global errors. Considering the majority of our ESL students wanted grammar to be fixed, this process worked out for them, but the true purpose of an essay review was to look at the global structure and idea development. Buck is completely right where she suggests that tutors and their supervisors need to consider new ways to tutor on computers in order to reach the same goals. The English side of the writing center actually tutors over the internet by recording videos and audio giving students suggestions about their essay. It’s been successful in that the students like that sort of interaction, but based on Buck’s prediction, we need to be ready to make such feedback on new forms of writing.

Week 6

When I constructed this image in Photoshop, I was very emotional because I had just lost my uncle in Colombia. Of course, I wasn’t able to attend the ceremony, but my father made it in time. This is the pueblo where my father grew up and fortunately my grandparents’ home still stands after two generations. I used the tools that I learned during week 5 and used them at my job and therefore got more practice with photo shop. There are so many tools to manipulate that it could be potentially frustrating if a user was completely unfamiliar the basic tools. It was very difficult in class and previously at work. Now, while I’m no expert, the experience has allowed me to play around with the image a bit more and take risks. This is a picture of Nuevo Colon, a small pueblo where I escape to when life gets very overwhelming in our capitalist society. While Colombia is already on the path of neoliberalism, this small town is a reminder of my childhood, my father’s roots, and beauty of knowing where you come from, even if I don’t belong. The text are the lyrics to an old folk song that sings to the pueblo. It tells the pueblo that through his youth ran through its roads; he learned to love for the first time because of the pueblo and it never taught him to be ungrateful. Using pictures of the people I love and a place I consider scared has help encapsulate what these lyrics mean to everyone. It’s a picture I will forever treasure and I appreciate when I am back upon the very soil and under the sun’s rays  that saw my father’s birth.




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Week 5: Tom


Attempt #2

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Week 5: Photoshop Experience


Image provided by CIRyu (image modified)

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