About the Technology

In this Expo class, we’ll be working with several online resources. The most important of these will be

  • Canvas
  • the course website
  • hypothes.is, an annotation app
  • several of OU’s Bizzell Library databases

You may now be thinking “omg! much fail! so tech! such worry!” Let me emphasize that my goals are simple: I don’t want to focus on technology for its own sake. But we should all remember that writing itself is a technology! The newer technologies we use in this course, then, are there to help us better understand and use that old-school technology called the written word.

The Canvas page for this course consists almost entirely of a link to the site you’re at now. (Canvas will also be used for the submission and grading of major assignments.) Our course texts will be made available on this website. All written texts will be in .pdf form. Download these pdfs and keep them on your computer/tablet! Print them out, if handwritten annotations work better for you. (On any particular day, you must bring that day’s reading to class—either a printed-out copy, or, if you work more effectively in a “paperless” mode, on your laptop/tablet. ) Whichever format you use, annotating your reading is vital: take notes on the document itself! Learning to read as a writer is one of the skills that will serve you well over the course of your university career.

When reading texts ranging from short essays to Oscar Wilde’s “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” we will also use a separate web plugin, hypothes.is, which allows for collective real-time notes and commenting. (Imagine that the notes you wrote in your margins appeared simultaneously in everyone’s margins.) Certain of your annotations will be made “public” (shared with the class), via the Hypothes.is annotation plugin; but I expect you always to annotate when reading seriously.

Much writing flows out of reading. Writing in the margins of what you read, then, is the beginning of joining the conversation that text itself participates in. Our discussions, and our use of hypothes.is, are meant to help make that conversation metaphor start to work for you all…