I feel like I kept getting foiled in my attempts to go to a few different sessions today. I went in too late to catch the 9:30 session, but made it for the session following that, "Open Source Is Ready and Waiting for Composition," which was pretty interesting. I didn't really hear too much unexpected, other than to hear what people were doing, and how they were doing it, which is what I was hoping for. The crux of the session seemed to be that there was a lot of collaboration and programming one could learn and incorporate into the classroom; and the relationship between composition and open source, itself a potential type of writing literacy, is something that could be really interesting to investigate. Each speech seemed to touch, however briefly, on collaboration, though, which isn't surprising, but there do seem to be quite a few options in terms of what an English or writing teacher could do to incorporate Open Source software into the classroom, even if the teacher could have the chance to do that programming herself. There were four individual speeches: "Open Source Chewing Gum"; "Creative Commons in Composition: The Collaborative Construction of a Classroom Identity"; "Building Software Applications for Education: The Writing Teacher-Researcher-Programmer and Open Source"; and "The Technology Funding Crises and Open Source Solutions: An Interdisciplinary, Collaborative Process." A few web sites that I made a note of were mentioned, and I shall have to dig them out and check them out.
Meridith and I had made plans to meet at the location of the next session, itself one that I wasn't specifically interested hearing about ("The Power of the People's Language and the Culture of Literacy"), but I was interested in hearing Peter Elbow speak. He was one of the better speakers I heard, and his speech, "Literacy and the Struggle for The People's Eloquence," was interesting insofar that he touched on the problems of student voice in writing, how that conflicts with American standardized English, and the problems associated with relegating other Englishes to the outskirts of written language.
Meridith had also wanted to go to Harry's session - "(Un)Covering Identities: Theorizing the construction, resistance, and interplay of minority identities in a majority academy and world" - another session in which I hadn't marked to attend - but I had a free block of time and I knew three of the speakers so I was happy to go. Unfortunately we got sidetracked by the Exhibit Hall so we missed most of the session, and were too wimpy to go in at the end just to hear the Q-and-A.
I'd originally planned on staying for one more session - "Studies of Blogging in Composition Classrooms" - which I now wish I would have stayed for - but I was heading back to Pennsylvania this weekend to get Mom's car inspected (temporarily on loan while the clutch in my car remains in the broken state that it's in) and I didn't want to be so tired on the drive home that I was dangerous. I probably could have stayed, but as these things go, it's really easy to go to four or five or six sessions in a row and not eat or take a break, and I suppose one has to draw the line somewhere.