National Writing Project

“Twitterdee, Twitterdumb”: Teaching in the Time of Technology, Tweets, and Trespassing

By: Shelbie Witte
Publication: California English
Date: September 2009

Summary: Through "many trials and even more errors," Shelbie Witte, director of research for the Florida State University Writing Project, has found ways to help students make connections between their classroom writing and recreational writing off campus.



Once, while reading the writing on my classroom blog, I noticed a hyperlink to a student's personal blog and followed it to discover a treasure trove of original poetry and song lyrics. Overwhelmed by his talent and proud of the work he had done, I posted a positive response to one of the poems in the space for comments. I was shocked to read his response to my comment "Thanks for trespassing."

Trespassing? Had I invaded his personal space? The World Wide Web, with its infinite capacity, seems to have an "Everyone's Welcome!" sign. I was filled with regret as I contemplated the concept of students writing online for school as different from students writing online for different purposes.

Copyright © 2009 California English. Reprinted with permission.
Witte, Shelbie. 2009. "`Twitterdee, twitterdumb': Teaching in the Time of Technology, Tweets, and Trespassing." California English 15 (1): 23–25.

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