Collaboration, Conversation, and Reflection at the 4T Virtual Conference on Digital Writing

September 01, 2017
Educator Innovator Blog,
National Writing Project
By Tim McIntyre

Get ready for this year’s 4T Virtual Conference on Digital Writing with a look back at some of the conversations and resources that resulted from last year’s edition, and prepare to share your own reflections and creations inspired by this year’s sessions on The Current.

Where do digital tools like Tumblr, texting, and video fit into modern writing instruction? What role could collaborative writing play? What is “digital writing” exactly, and does it even exist? These are just a few of the topics and conversations inspired by last year’s 4T Virtual Conference on Digital Writing, an annual free online gathering of educators, featuring interactive presentations and conversations exploring the complexities of teaching writing in a digital age. The conference is a collaboration between the University of Michigan School of Education, Oakland Schools ISD, and five National Writing Project sites in Michigan.

The heart of the conference is a series of video presentations, but it’s much more than a passive viewing experience. The sessions are deeply interactive, incorporating conversation and collaborative activities, and seeding conversations that extend beyond the time and space of the conference itself. Conference organizer Delia Decourcy captured some of those conversations last year in a wonderful collection of resources on The Current, our newly redesigned open publishing site.

For example, check out Karen LeBonte’s reflections on multimodality, and the new kinds of thinking and composing potentially afforded by new digital tools. Or dive in with Ari Dolid and his experiments with collaborative writing and social composition. And there’s lots more to dig into, including contributions from Dawn Reed, Jianna Taylor, and Kevin Hodgson.

This year’s edition of the conference is taking place over two days, October 15 and 16, and will feature a keynote address from Kelly Mendoza, the Senior Director of Learning and Engagement at Common Sense Education, an Educator Innovator partner dedicated to building tools and knowledge for digital literacy and citizenship. There will also be as a yet-to-be-announced slate of presenters, sure to include many familiar names from the Educator Innovator and National Writing Project communities. It’s completely free to attend, and you can even receive continuing education or graduate credits, but all participants are required to register in advance.

But don’t just attend, write! This year’s sessions are sure to be as inspiring and thought-provoking as ever, and we would love to see your reflections, eureka moments, and multimedia creations inspired by the presenters and conversations with fellow conference-goers on The Current!

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