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Multimodal Response and Writing as Poetry Experience Chapter Proposal

Multimodal Response and Writing as Poetry Experience Chapter Proposal

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Published by Ian O'Byrne
A chapter proposal written, submitted, and accepted for an upcoming book on writing, technology, and educational implications.
A chapter proposal written, submitted, and accepted for an upcoming book on writing, technology, and educational implications.

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Published by: Ian O'Byrne on Oct 17, 2012
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Proposal for book chapter entitled: “Multimodal Response and Writing as PoetryExperience”
 September 30, 2012
Author(s); J. Gregory McVerry (jgregmcverry@gmail.com), W. Ian O‟Byrne
(wiobyrne@gmail.com), Sue Ringler Pet (sue.ringler.pet@gmail.com)
Introduction
 Given the changes occurring to reader, text, and activity in the classroom as aresult of technology (Coiro, Knobel, Lankshear, & Leu, 2008), educators bear aresponsibility to include and privilege alternative modes of text in instruction (Rose &Meyer, 2002; New London Group, 2000; Alvermann, 2002). Furthermore, the ubiquitousinflux of new and free Internet and Communication Technology (ICT) tools into our culture provides educators and students with an opportunity to experiment with andmaster the use of these tools for writing in and out of the classroom. Individuals constructcontent in blogs, social networks, and video sharing sites with the intent of communicating the human experience to others around the world. With these greatfreedoms afforded by the presence and use of ICT tools, educators must focus on theauthor and the text rather than on the tool in determining authentic and effective uses of technology in writing instruction. Toward that end, we share opportunities for the use of multimedia authorship and response used as a tool to assist teachers and students inexperiencing poetry.What do multimodal and digital information afford to the student and teacher withregard to responding to and writing poetry? In our view, important work in this arenamust not use technological writing tools for the sake of using technology in theclassroom, but, rather, for the sake of enriching experiences with poetry. In this chapter,we present authentic and effective uses of technology in writing instruction that center onexploration and celebration of the work of U.S. Poet Laureates. The instructionalopportunities reflect years of theory, research, and practice investigated by the authors,tested by educators, and presented at literacy conferences. The use of various digital textsas tools to assist teachers and students as they work together to respond to and write poetry represents a common thread across the work presented.
Theoretical Perspectives
 Considering theoretical perspectives associated the work presented in this chapter,the authors focused on the richness of theory and research informing writing and
literature instruction. The theory section will evolve from the tenets of Rosenblatt‟s
(1938/1995; 1978) transactional theory of reading and response and from the theory,ethics, and philosophy of Bakhtin (1981). Second, we will include a concise examinationof the abundance of work on multimedia, design, and visual literacies (Rose & Meyer,2002; New London Group, 2000; Alvermann, 2002). Herein, we aim to definemultimodal poetry as it is enriched by the interweaving of theoretical perspectives fromthe realms of both literacy and technology. The theoretical section will thus capture andshare the introspection on the part of the authors, as we worked with and expanded our 
 
own thinking on the theory and practice associated with this work.
Classroom Examples Celebrating Poet Laureates
 The remainder of the chapter will explore and discuss work the authors haveconducted on response, authoring, and construction of multimodal poetry in teaching andlearning. While defining multimodal poetry, we will also discuss instructional techniquesassociated with using these digital texts and tools in classroom instruction. The work wasconducted over almost five years of exploration, research, and instruction by the authorsand classroom teachers. Each of the sections focuses on U.S. Poet Laureates, representingour attempt highlight authentic uses of technology in middle and high school classroomswhile celebrating the rich culture of poetry currently alive in the nation.
Robert Frost and William Carlos Williams: Exploring Tone and ExtendedMetaphor.
Recent research has begun to examine approaches to teaching poetry thatembrace either response or authorship merged with new technologies (see for exampleBailey, 2009; George, 2002; Jewitt, 2005; Hughes & John, 2009; McVee, Bailey, &Shanahan, 2008; Pappas & Varelas, 2009;). Our work examined the integration of technology to potentially enrich English classrooms, looking at
both response to and authorship of poetry.
We will begin by sharing results from a research project that hadstudents use images both to respond to and write poetry. Using thematic network analysis(Attride-Stirling, 2001), we found that non-verbocentric approaches using technologyimproved student engagement with poetry, and that technology acted as an identitytoolkit (Gee, 2005) for young authors. The results of this study acted as a catalyst for our efforts to develop pedagogical strategies to use technology to teach poetry writing.
Billy Collins: Poetry Exploration and Movie Production.
Billy Collins (2003)
famously wrote that students try to beat poetry “with a hose to find out what it reallymeans” rather than “drop a mouse into a poem and watch him probe his way out” (p. 3).We took the metaphor of a mouse and encouraged students to “read with a mouse inhand.” In this project students used
movie-editing software to create retellings of poems.The images selected provided insight into student responses to a poem, and the editing process required a close analytical reading of poetry not found in traditional lessons.
Kay Ryan: Twitter and “Twitpoems.”
The poetry of Kay Ryan has often beendescribed as having a style and wit that is often reminiscent of the short staccatocommunication found in the
microblogging
 
service known as Twitter. In this project,
the authors encouraged students to read and respond to many of Ryan‟s works, while
comparing and contrasting these pieces
with “twitpoems” found online. Students alsoconstructed their own “twitpoems” in the same style as discussed in class. Finally,
students worked to author multimodal representations of the poems using visual anddigital media.
W.S. Merwin: Poetry for Social Justice.
Concerned with the impact of digital texts andtools in the society, the authors use the words of W. S. Merwin to focus on issues of 
social justice in students‟ lives. In this project, students used photographs taken with their 
cell phones to spark civic engagement. Students began by writing prose and selecting
 
 powerful phrases. These phrases were transformed into poetry through juxtaposition of multimodal content with textual expressions of social justice.
Robert Pinsky: Celebrating the Jazz of Poems through Podcasting.
Continuing thefocus of the richness of language in poetry, the authors used technology as a tool to limitthe media students consume and create while experiencing poetry. Through the use of audio podcasts, students were encouraged to focus on the lyrical and rhythmic quality of spoken performances of poetry, appreciate the history of oral tradition, and feelempowered to record poetic podcasts of their own creation.
Discussion and Concluding Thoughts
 The final section of the chapter will summarize the theories and perspectives usedacross the work conducted on writing multimodal poetry. The authors will also shareinsights gained from working with teachers and students during the work process andthrough assessment. The chapter will conclude with an exploration of the ways in whichteaching and learning have changed as a result of work such as ours. Specifically, we willaddress the opportunities and challenges associated with teaching and assessment of work  process and product included in exploring multimodal poetry. The chapter will alsodiscuss the changing roles and responsibilities needed by teachers and students whenusing ICTs as a writing and response tool in the modern classroom. Finally, the chapter will be accompanied by a website that shares student constructed examples of multimodalauthorship as described in each of the projects.

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