Writing Program Mini-Grants

The Writing Program will award five mini-grants up to $100 each to pay for materials needed for a Writing Program course class project. Students in the class should write and submit a proposal using the mini-grant application form. Successful applicants will be asked to contribute their project and relevant documents to the Illinois State University Writing Research Archives. Applicants should also consider contributing an article based on their project to the Grassroots Writing Research Journal.

Classroom Technologies

How much technology is the “right” amount?  How do we reconcile our traditional teaching practices with a digital world?  Here’s a list of common technologies available for the writing classroom and some links to help use them more effectively.

Popular Links

Continue reading

Video Podcasting: A Student Project

Like to add a video project to your syllabus?  Not sure about having students edit their videos?  Not even sure where to get a camera?  No worries!  With our sport cameras which you can check out from STV 133 and the Windows Live Movie Maker software already installed on the computers in the STV 250 suite, you are ready to lead your students into quick and easy video projects.  The video below offers a quick guide to getting started:

Below I’ve included the basic outline for the video above – feel free to share this with you students so they can see one approach to organizing a video.  Or for the printer-friendly version, see Video Podcasting for Students: Your Quick How-To Guide!

Yes, these are just the notes I used for making the video podcast.  But they offer a quick reminder of what you’ve seen.  Plus, you can let your students see that video-making doesn’t need to take forever.

Part 1: Equipment Check-Out – STV 133

  1. Considering a video project for your Fall Syllabus?  We have the tools for you!

  2. Video of one of the cameras.

  3. Show how to turn on, turn off, and open USB.

  4. Show an example of shooting a video and then plugging in USB.

Part 2: Downloading Your Video

  1. Using Camstudio to record this.

  2. Recommend that students save all their work to a thumb drive.  Video files tend to be large, so students should use thumb drives with at least a gigabyte.  The Student Temp Drive may also work, but only as a temporary solution.

  3. Create a single folder on the drive for your Windows Live Movie Maker file.  This folder should also contain your video files.  If you move these files to different folders, your Movie Maker file will lose access to the video files, so keep them all together.

  4. Reminder: All movie files MUST be on the thumb drive BEFORE you start using Movie Maker.

Part 3: Editing Your Video

  1. Open Movie Maker

  2. Simply drag-and-drop video clips into Movie Maker

  3. Hit “Save Project” to save your Movie Maker file (you should still do this often…)

  4. Hit “Save Movie” to export your edited film.  (“Recommended for this project” works well, but watch your file size).

Group Projects: Online Collaboration Keeps Students Working

Online technologies allow for asynchronous, delocalized collaboration. This not only means your students can avoid those awkward group meetings where one person never shows up, but it also means that you can have direct evidence of which students are contributing the group’s efforts.

Continue reading

Facebook Groups: The Real-Time Discussion Board with Notifications

Fellow teachers often find it “unusual” that I would recommend Facebook as a teaching tool.  However, the factors which make Facebook such a popular (and powerful) tool for social media can also make it a highly effective means of fostering interaction among your students – so long as you mind your privacy settings.  Or, for a step-by-step guide to setting up a group, go straight to the WikiHow.com guide: Creating Your Facebook Group.

by Ryan Edel

Continue reading