Monday, August 29, 2011

lab time

I have a few spare moments, and a computer lab to my advantage, so I might as well make myself minutely useful and blog.

Finishing up the Bedford Guide for Writing Tutors, has brought some really interesting possible situations to mind. I was kind of excited to read about something I remember so well. Such as how oftentimes writers will nod in agreement because they don't want to look confused or lost, when in fact they do not understand. It would help if the tutor rephrased - maybe making sure to not use any idioms in their directive - or have the writer repeat what was just said to ensure his or her understanding. This is often especially relevant in consulting students who have English as their second language. It's easy to get caught up in our own localized, fast American dialects, but gauging where the writer stands with English and adjusting your speech in a session to be a more standard form of English may be necessary.

I feel like this Guide is extremely practical and thorough, and I really like the ideas presented throughout. (No, I am not kissing the Guide's red, soft-bound tookus.) There are some ideas that I was unsure of though, such as the synchronous online session possibly taking a form similar to that of the "Sims" game, in which there is a virtual tutoring session. How wild! This seemed a little spacey and weird to me at first, but then I had to remind myself that everyone learns differently, and if a "Sims"-like environment can make someone (maybe a "Sims" player who is familiar with the atmospheres, gestures, communication methods, etc.) more comfortable in an otherwise potentially intimidating or unfamiliar atmosphere, then great! I don't know if we'll be using that specific kind of technology at the center, but more than anything, reading about it existing just showed me how nothing is really too off-the-wall to ensure a student's growth as a writer. Hmm...well, some things definitely are, but yeah.

I especially like the idea of making lists of what does work and what does not work, and taking the opportunity to actually ask the writers visiting the center what they feel works and does not work. Comparing these lists with one-another would be immensely valuable for all of us as consultants.

There is a couple standing next to me, looking like they need a spot in the computer lab more than I do, so I'm going to post and sign off. Oh, they just kissed. Hmph.

1 comment:

  1. We'll definitely be exploring the use of technology in the Center more in a few weeks. One of grad students is currently studying how other centers use technology. We re-evaluated our current email schedule service last year, and we determined that it actually works really well for us and our students, even if it is a fairly low-tech service. More to come about all of this in the near future!