Aug 05 2006

Online Writing Labs

So any­way, I meant to post about those Online Writ­ing Labs (OWLs) that many col­leges have put online.

Their con­tents and qual­ity vary widely from one col­lege to the next. They’re intended to help stu­dents write their papers at what­ever time they get around to doing them, wher­ever they hap­pen to be. Good ones include online access to ref­er­ence tools such as dic­tio­nar­ies, the­sauruses, and gram­mar usage guides, a link to the school’s library, any for­mat­ting stan­dards estab­lished by his school in par­tic­u­lar, and some­times more spe­cific mate­r­ial depend­ing on the type of stu­dent expected to be using the OWL.

Unfor­tu­nately, some schools have slapped a list of links up on a set and called it an OWL. I won’t be rec­om­mend­ing any of those piti­ful lit­tle things.

Yes, it’s per­fectly fine for oth­ers to use these sites. They aren’t behind the school’s fire­walls, so they are a resource that has been gen­er­ously shared with the pub­lic. If you find one espe­cially help­ful, con­sider send­ing an email to the site’s authors/editors, thank­ing them for their efforts


Aug 05 2006

Neat resource!

I was brows­ing through a mag­a­zine about writ­ing today and came across an arti­cle about online writ­ing labs (OWLs), sug­gest­ing that writ­ers make use of them as ref­er­ence tools.

I was dis­tracted, though, by this: Ink, “A Free, Mul­ti­player, Online Game for Writ­ing & Community.”

Imag­ine that you’re surf­ing the Web and you dis­cover a site called Ink…You click Enter, and your browser loads a chat win­dow and the image of a cityscape. A cap­tion informs you that you are in the City Cen­ter. Almost imme­di­ately, some­one notices that you’ve arrived and begins talk­ing with you in the chat win­dow. “Wel­come to Ink,” the stranger says. “This is a great place. But we have a prob­lem right now, and I’m hop­ing you can help. Our neigh­bor­hood isn’t doing well. We need to get a group of peo­ple together to address this prob­lem. Can you help us? We need to design a flier that will moti­vate peo­ple to come to a meet­ing where we can talk about this prob­lem. We need to draft a res­o­lu­tion that we can cir­cu­late to those who show up. We also need a brochure that explains why other cit­i­zens should vote for our pro­posal. And we’re going to need a white paper to explain to City Coun­cil the prin­ci­ples that inform our pro­posal. We’ve got a lot of work to do. Can you help us?”
The pub­lic beta opens on August 15, and they’re doing this as a Cre­ative Com­mons project. I need to put that date on the calendar!

Jul 06 2006

Today’s assignment

Tag:TechnoMom @ 16:05

Go watch Hans Rosling talk. You’ll need your sound on. If you ever need to give a pre­sen­ta­tion of any kind, it’s “how to do it” train­ing. You’ll enjoy it, and this is good stuff to know.


May 25 2006

Writing Wednesday

Tag:TechnoMom @ 0:24

Today was the resched­uled date for Katie’s writ­ing group, so off we went to one of our favorite bookstores.

Unfor­tu­nately — due to the resched­ul­ing, I think — Katie was the only “mem­ber” who showed up. The group is just for high school “womyn,” and the only other per­son to attend was the facil­i­ta­tor. As it turns out, other peo­ple (not high school­ers) wan­dered in and out through­out the sched­uled time. I think the girl got a lot of atten­tion, which isn’t a bad thing at all. She missed see­ing her sis­ter writ­ers, though.

I hung out in the front of the store, stitch­ing. I was insanely early for a Stitch ‘n Bitch ses­sion sched­uled there for 7, but I got a good two hours of time in on the Fairy Tale Sam­pler, along with some good conversation.

The offi­cial SnB was the first they’ve hosted. I was a lit­tle uncer­tain about going, as the focus was clearly on knit­ting. I needn’t have wor­ried, as peo­ple were doing a vari­ety of needlework.

Katie wrapped up the lit­tle test piece she was knit­ting, but she ran out of yarn. She picked out her next piece, though, which will require a trip to Nease’s. Oh no! The horrors! ;-)

We got to edu­cate at least four dif­fer­ent peo­ple about home­school­ing, too, which was a bonus. Meet­ing Katie is the best answer there is to the “S ques­tion,” as she’s clearly not lack­ing in social skills. We def­i­nitely left peo­ple with good impressions.

I think I’ll go to their next adult women’s writer’s group, as well. It’s been so long since I’ve writ­ten any­thing but non-fiction that I feel a bit odd, but Katie is a good influence.