reviews by Brian Barker

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Kairos: A Journal for Teachers of Writing in Webbed Environments
Texas Tech University, Department of English
Greg Siering, Editor

Kairos, a professionally packaged and established digital journal, aims to examine the pedagogical advantages and disadvantages of using hypertext and other web technologies to teach writing. 6 back issues are archived here, along with the current issue (which at the time of review was dated Fall 1998). The Features section of the journal provides abstracts and links to hypertext scholarship, with such titles as "Not a Cosmic Convergence: Rhetoric, Poetics, Performance and the Web" and "Models of Distance Education for Composition: The Role of Video Conferencing." Readers will find a grab bag of information in the News section, including information about upcoming conferences, presentations from recent conferences, personal research, and new listservs and forums. The journal also reviews books relating to teaching writing in computer supported classrooms. In addition, Kairos provides an interactive forum where readers discuss and debate various focus topics with other teachers and scholars. Overall, there is a wealth of vital information here (so much that at times it can be overwhelming), and with the emphasis on hypertext, one can easily wander far from the journal itself (so be sure to set some bookmarks before beginning your journey).

Computers in Composition and Literature
Ohio State University, Department of English

The majority of the information found on this site pertains only to Ohio State University faculty. However, there are some valuable teaching resources that make it worthwhile for others to check out. The Teaching section presents 15 class activities and essay assignments to be used in the computer-supported classroom. These include word processing exercises (i.e., "Peerless Paper Response" and "Collaborative In-Class Writing"), computer mediated communication activities (i.e., "Listserv Reading Responses"), and World Wide Web assignments (i.e., "Analyzing Professional Sites" and "Writing Hypertext with Word"). Moreover, the site provides access to 20 syllabi (19 undergraduate, 1 graduate) for English classes that utilize computers and online technologies. The classes include Introduction to Poetry, Business Communications, Electronic Literacy, and others.

Computers and Composition: An International Journal for Teachers of Writing
University of Texas, Gail E. Hawisher and Cynthia L. Selfe, Editors

This site is the online headquarters for the print journal of the same name. Although only the contents and abstracts for the print version can be accessed here (you'll have to buy a subscription if you want more), the site does have some valuable information to offer. The Online Features section usually directs readers to one or two items of hypertext scholarship, such as "The Application and Impact of the PC-Based Software in Evaluating EFL Business Writing Error Types: A Java Based Interactive Paper" (available at the time of review). In addition, users can find much to read and discuss on the message boards addressing research, pedagogy, and technology, and the links section provides 8 links to online journals and 6 links to associations related to teaching writing and/or computers.

The Computer Supported Writing Program at Florida State University
Florida State University, English Department

This departmental site posts a complete sample syllabus for a computer-supported, public discourse writing class. This two unit, first-year writing course challenges students to examine the ways "in which public uses of language affect individuals." The section Daedalus Teaching Tips suggests icebreaker exercises and technical information for teachers using the Daedalus Integrated Writing Environment (DIWE) software. Also of interest are 20 links to online organizations, hypertexts, and network resources relating to computer supported teaching.

RhetNet: A CyberJournal for Rhetoric and Writing
University of Missouri
Eric Crump, Editor

One of the main purposes of RhetNet is to act as an archive for online conversations relating to rhetoric and writing. Inevitably, the majority of these conversations delve into the concerns of using technology to teach writing. Both archived and ongoing dialogues are available here. The journal also publishes original articles and essays, and houses 2 online books: Conversations: Computer Mediated Dialogue, Multilogue & Learning by Beth Baldwin and The Rhetorical Dimensions of Cyberspace by Beth Baldwin and Tim Flood. The InterVersity section looks promising as well; it provides two message forums that discuss ideas and projects relating to "the convergence of education and the Net and the radical reconfiguration of both." RhetNet contains a plethora of information to consider; however, the journal does appears to be updated only on a sporadic, rather than regular, basis.

The Internet Classroom
Glendale Community College, English Department

This community college English department site contains a focused collection of links valuable for those just beginning to construct a web-based classroom. There are 13 links to sites that provide tips, tricks, tools, and advice for instructors tackling web resources. These links include software reviews, MOO and MUD resources, and other various information from experienced educators. The site also has 14 links to online syllabi and syllabi databases. Simple, but helpful.

The Faculty Connection
Creative Analytics, Inc.

Although this site does not specifically address writing, it does tackle many of the technical, theoretical, and pedagogical issues pertinent to teachers that use computers in the writing classroom. The site houses 36 articles, such as "An Assessment of Training Needs in the Use of Distance Education," "Creating Online Communities," and "How Using Technology Changes What Faculty Do." The links database is ample; there are 49 links to online classes offered worldwide, 30 links to private and public institutions that offer online classes, 55 links to various educational organizations, and 29 links to academic journals. A faculty discussion forum rounds out the main features of this user-friendly and well maintained online teaching resource.

The World Lecture Hall
The University of Texas at Austin, Academic Computing and Instructional Technology Services

The English, Writing, and Rhetoric section of this site contains hundreds of links to pages created by faculty worldwide who are using the Web to deliver class materials. The linked sites, which include brief annotations, provide a wide range of material, such as class overviews, assignments, and complete interactive syllabi. Writing classes featured include Advanced Composition, Business Writing, Creative Writing, Freshman Composition, and Hypertext Composition, just to name a few. A searchable index appears to be the only element missing from this extensive and indispensable collection of links.

The Epiphany Project: Strategies & Structures for Pedagogical Change
in the Age of the Electronic Text
Epiphany Institutes for Educators and Technology,
Trent Batson & Judy Williamson, Project Directors

This sleek site is the culmination of an ongoing, two-year project that aims to "provide[e] a full spectrum of materials and guidance. . .[to] help faculty integrate computers into writing curricula." Six sections make up the site--The Orientation Center, The Learning Environment, Pedagogy & Theory, Faculty Development, Courses & Curricula, and Community & Collaboration--and each section provides users with the opportunity to share their own experiences and resources. The Learning Environment houses a glossary for teachers and students in the computer-assisted classroom, as well as reviews of web-based , writing environments software and information on MUDs (Multi-user Domains) and MOOs (Multi-user domain, Object Oriented). The Courses & Curricula section makes available extensive narratives about others' experiences teaching in networked environments. The Community & Collaboration site provides information on subscribing to Ephiphany's listserv, as well as articles and presentations on collaborative writing using computers and the Internet. In addition, the site recently added A Field Guide to 21st Century Writing. The guide includes 11 articles, such as "Writing About Poetry with Computer Conferencing" and "Teach Us How to Play: The Role of Play in Technology Education," and various other resources. Eventually the guide will include Workbook Pages and Workshop Models. This ambitious site is an important and useful resource for teachers using, or beginning to use, computers in their writing classroom.

Writing in Virtual Space
Finn Bostad,
The Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Part of a faculty member's site, these pages present a paper titled "Writing in Virtual Space" that attempts to answer the question "What happens to writing when texts in a world on paper" are replaced by messages in "virtual space?" The aspects of new electronic writing are explored, the concept of text and the function of writing are examined, and the consequences for communication in general are argued. Well-written and intriguing.

Alliance for Computers and Writing
Fred Kemp, Executive Director

This site acts as the web base for The Alliance for Computers and Writing (ACW), "a national, non-profit organization committed to supporting teachers at all levels of instruction in their intelligent, theory-based use of computers in writing instruction." Members ( $5 yearly for undergraduate and graduate students and adjunct faculty, and $10 yearly for tenure-line faculty, public teachers, and business participants) receive a monthly digital newsletter, an email and web page directory of members, regular surveys of what equipment and pedagogy members are utilizing, and job announcements. Those who would rather peruse the site as guests will also find helpful information. For instance, ACW/WEB provides an extensive and ever-expanding links section (nearly 300 at the time of review) to information on conferences, distance learning, computer-based writing programs, essays and articles, professional issues, etc. Guests can also access letters to the editor and a section of informal book reviews provided by members. Although aesthetically this site lacks pizzazz, it makes up for it in its commitment to be the "national clearing house of ideas and information for teachers wishing to better employ computers in their instruction."

Composition in Cyberspace
Leslie D. Harris, Project Director

This site provides a wealth of information on MOOs, such as guides to basic and advanced commands and 14 links to sites with additional information on setting up and manipulating the multi-user environment. Composition in Cyberspace also boasts a Composition Course Database featuring writing courses worldwide that integrate the Internet, in one form or another, into their course design. Users can browse the database by instructor name, university, course type, course time, and begin/end dates.

The Web of Asynchronous Learning Networks (ALN)
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

Asynchronous Learning Networks, as this site defines them, are "people networks" that use computer and communications technologies to work with remote learning resources (instructors, students, databases, etc.), but without the requirement to be online at the same time. For those interested in ALN, this site is a gem. Two digital magazines are archived here, Journal of Asynchronous Learning (5 issues) and Asynchronous Learning Networks Magazine (4 issues). Both of these publications brim with articles on ALN pedagogy and theory, such as "Beyond Models: Developing a University Strategy for Online Instruction" and "Gender Differences in Asynchronous Learning in Higher Education: Learning Styles, Participation Barriers, and Communication Patterns." The site has an online forum where educators can discuss ALN issues. One will also find information on ALN conferences, onsite workshops, information about products that are useful in the practice of ALN, a bookstore in association with, and links to other sites devoted to ALN. This professionally designed site strives to be an asset to all those interested in distance education.

Computers & Creative Writing
Thom Conroy & Eric Schwerer, Editors

This website is a good resource for both creative writers and for those attempting to integrate computers into their creative writing classroom. The site catalogs over 50 links to resources for creative writers, such as journals, text archives, organizations, and reference materials. The MOO section presents a short essay that highlights the main points of the online writing environment and provides 4 links to MOO tutorials. The site is also a fine reference on listservs and newsgroups. The editors give a detailed overview of listservs, and an essay suggests possible uses for listservs in teaching creative writing. In addition, there are 38 links to sites with information on fiction and poetry writing listservs and newsgroups. 16 links to on hypertext fiction, software, and forums round out the site's repertoire.

Voice of the Shuttle: Technology of Writing Page
University of California-Santa Barbara,
Alan Liu

This massive gateway (over 450 links) proves to be indispensable for anyone interested in the various ways technology intersects with education and writing. The General Resources on New Media and General Theoretical Works on New Media & Technology of Writing sections boast over 130 links to sites that focus on topics from general cyberculture terminology to the fate of rhetoric in the electronic age. Likewise, over 100 sites address hypertext and hypermedia and the 20th century fusion of language arts and digital technology. Those who are more technically inclined can explore the 31 interface theory links, the 13 Virtual Reality Mark Up Language (VRML) links, the 4 Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) links, or the 8 Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML) links. Those interested in pedagogy will find 9 links to sites presenting research and theory on virtual communities, MOOs, & MUDs, 13 links to sites on computers and composition, and 29 links to syllabi of technologically enhanced classes. Still not satisfied? Check out how technology is changing the face of the publishing industry (18 links) or consider the history of language technology (print and other language technologies as reseen from the vantage point of the computer age; 90 links).

Computer-Mediated Communication Magazine
December Communications, Inc.

Computer-Mediated Communication Magazine, which ran issues from May 1994 to January 1999, reported about people, events, technology, public policy, culture, practices, study, and applications related to human communication and interaction in online environments. 57 issues of this insightful and well-edited digital publication remain online. Of particular interest to educators is the June 1994 issue, "The Electronic Schoolhouse: Thinking about Computer Technology in Education." The special features section of this issue presents essays that examine such topics as how to construct a plan for integrating computers into the classroom, and how the computer has transformed the face of moral, cultural, and functional literacy, and. This issue, as well as the others, includes book reviews, links, and commentary.

The HyperTextBooks
College of DuPage,
Daniel Kies

The New Century Handbook cites this College of DuPage faculty member site as "one of the best composition courses on the Web." Mr. Kies notes that the core of the website stems from twenty years of handouts, exercises, notes, conference papers, and publications. There are 4 writing classes and 1 grammar class that can be accessed, all of which contain complete online syllabi and assignments. This site is beautifully designed and graphic intensive; thus, although it's easy on the eyes, it can, at times, be a slow download. Kies says, "Unlike some who argue that hypertext may destroy literacy, I am inclined to see hypertext as an evolutionary, rather than revolutionary, move toward literacy." Well said.

The Labyrinth-Forum
Maricopa Center for Learning and Instruction/Maricopa Community Colleges

Two simultaneously published online journals are housed on this site, The Labyrinth (Sharing Information on Learning Technologies) and The Forum (Sharing Information on Teaching and Learning). Full versions of both are available online or in Acrobat format, fully formatted for printing. The site archives 17 issues, including the current issue, are accessible here. Each issue has a theme (i.e., "Cultural Diversity: The Changing Face of Students"), and a series of hypertext articles address each topic from various angles. The site also provides a discussion forum so readers can have a chance to put their own two cents in. A new magazine on assessment has also been added recently.

Monitoring Order: Visual Desire, the Organization of Web Pages, and Teaching
the Rules of Design
Anne Frances Wysocki, Michigan Technological University

This hypertext paper, presented at the Fourteenth Conference of Computers and Writing, won the IBM Computers and Writing Award for Excellence in Graduate Research. The paper argues that in order to write for the web one must be conscious of how we enlarge what we mean by "composition."Not only is the action transformed by color and image and sound and animation, but also by the differences in white space and margins. Wysocki states in her thesis, "In this writing I consider how those of us whose lives have been concerned with the composition of words, and words alone, might set about helping people in our classes think critically about composing with words and images and how that compositional ordering affects our senses of ourselves and each other." The design here is sleek, while the thought is innovative and fresh.

Journal Online
Dr. Sylvia Charp, Editor-in-Chief

This site is the online home of the largest and oldest technology publication in the country, Technical Horizons in Education (T.H.E.). The site houses 60 back issues that can be browsed or key word searched. The intelligent articles published here come from top scholars and educators. In addition, the journal provides supplemental material, such as information on presentation products, links, software assessment, conference information, and much more. In short, this is a an established, smart, and resourceful online publication.