National Writing Project

Digital Is Events

"Digital Is..." Conference

November 18, 2009

Sheraton City Center
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The "Digital Is..." convening was an invitational one-day event supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation's digital media and learning initiative .

This convening brought together NWP colleagues and practitioners involved in the Digital Media and Learning Initiative who were invited to come together to share work and practice, to think across a variety of learning environments, and to identify and explore elements of those environments that support effective digital writing and learning for students.

The Power of Youth Voice

The convening was followed by a MacArthur-sponsored public event called The Power of Youth Voice: What Kids Learn When They Create with Digital Media. All participants from the NWP Digital Is Convening were invited to attend along with educators, parents, students, and community members from throughout Philadelphia.

Organizations and projects represented at this event included Digital Youth Network ; Quest to Learn ; The Field Museum ; University of Arizona's Sim SavvyProject ; Global Kids' Online Leadership Program ; Project New Media Literacies , and Temple University's Media Education Lab . They were joined by schools and various youth media nonprofit and community groups in the Philadelphia area.

For more, watch a video of the event.

The Talk at Digital Is . . .

"As we sit here at the beginning of an explosion of writing and composing and making, I'm reminded of our humanness and our deep desires to connect and to be heard and to make a difference, to matter."

Bud Hunt, Tech Liaison with the Colorado State University Writing Project

"If collaborative learning takes precedence, then doesn't school happen everywhere and aren't we all teachers?"

Susan Connell-Biggs, Co-director of the Western Massachusetts Writing Project

"I want to support educators as we engage in meaningful reflection on how the multimedia texts our students create are inevitably shaped in relationship to their experience with the cultural values depicted in mass media and popular culture. Even young children need the chance to explore these topics in meaningful and sensitive ways."

Renee Hobbs, Philadelphia Writing Project

"When animation, remix, video, comic, or fan vid communicates a message, is it not writing, even sans words? I think that question is at the heart of the idea of what exactly digital writing actually is. ... I would argue that writing without words - or even few words, is writing on an equal footing with the alphabetic."

Dave Boardman, Tech Liaison, University of Maine Writing Project

"New technologies allow student writing to move from the wall to the world. The mode may be similar—the development of alphabetic texts, but the ability to post to the world and to receive 17,000 hits (one audience member noted the difference mapping places of origin of those hits might make to students) changes the rhetorical situation by changing the available audiences and purposes."

Janet Swenson, Director of the Red Cedar Writing Project

Flickr and Facebook Photo Sets

View this stream of photos from the meeting to see the sessions, workshops, socials, and more through the eyes of attendees.

View all these photos on NWP's Flickr page.

View photos on Facebook ›


For more information, contact Kate Leuschke Blinn at
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