|How We Got
Schulze and I met face to face in Milwaukee at the NCTE 2000 National convention. This first meeting was actually like
seeing an old friend again because we'd been gabbing online through the
NCTE list serv for over three years at that time. We would also meet at
the Moo on occasional
Fridays for a more relaxed conversation. As she began to develop her own
Cyber English approach, it was natural for us to work together more and
This project is the result of us wanting to design a unit together
using online communication exclusively. We had also both used multigenre
projects with our classes. The extension into oral histories was Pat's
idea. Creating the web site hub was mine. Our conversations about this
project took place in our Blog, via email,
and at the Moo.
I think this experience has shown me even more how
the Internet facilitates long distance professional development among
like-minded professionals who want to try something new. It is something
anyone can do. And what's more, it is a lot of fun. Pat's a great
colleague. She's got great ideas. She loves her students and she has their
interests at heart more than anything.
Once this all got rolling, I realized it might make
a great interdisciplinary project and my colleague
Lee McGlade thought so,
too. He added his P.A.S.T.E. system to the plans.
When I first started developing my
Cyber English class and website, I turned to the people whom I consider
the true gurus on the topic, Ted Nellen and Dawn Hogue. In fact, in
setting up my site I borrowed heavily from Dawn. As Dawn mentioned, we
had met long before we met face to face, and since our friendship had
grown through the list serv and the MOO, it seemed only natural for us to
collaborate on this project in the same way. Not to mention that
Wisconsin and South Dakota are a little far apart to get together over
lunch to plan.
The whole idea of the multigenre
oral history web came to life one Friday night in the MOO when
we were discussing collaborating on an article on Cyber English
for the ACE online Journal, and expanded into actually putting
together a unit we could use in our classes. We started
with email and our Blog, but we quickly realized we wanted more
immediate feedback, and being long time MOOers immediately though
of the NCTE MOO. Once we conquered the recorder we were
ready to go. Dawn and I met in the MOO at 9:00 on Saturday
or Sunday mornings to put together this project, brainstorm,
assign each other jobs for the week, and then evaluate our progress.
The whole experience has been
incredible. It has been a lot of work, but also a lot of fun. Dawn
was incredible, saw all the fine
points that I sometimes tripped over, and kept us on track. I loved
collaborating with her and hope we can do it again on another project.