Hacking Composition with Prezi

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Welcome to the DRC’s First Hack Series! Over the next two weeks, we’ll be exploring the use of online software in a composition classroom. This four-post series, developed and composed by Dr. Paulina Bounds, an Assistant Professor of Linguistics at Tennessee Tech University, will chart her experience using Prezi software as a composition platform with first-year students. You’ll hear how she employed Prezi to hack the traditional essay, what her students gained from the project and what they struggled with, and, most importantly, how Prezi can facilitate better writing and collaboration among students. In each post, Dr. Bounds will describe and reflect on a week’s worth of instruction, class activities, and student experiences. From these condensed narratives, we hope you’ll see one way that digital technology can be brought into the classroom and be inspired to think about how new software and programs might help us develop new ways to teach so that our students can in turn create innovative compositions.

But first, we’d like to introduce Dr. Bounds and the project she is going to share with us.

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Meet Paulina Bounds
Paulina Bounds received her Ph.D. from the University of Georgia in Sociolinguistics and Language Variation. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Linguistics in the English Department at Tennessee Tech University. Her research interests and teaching focus revolve around perceptual dialectology and multimodal composition.

Project Snapshot

In this project, the students will investigate a music artist. First, students will find interviews featuring a singer of their choice (either printed or recorded) and analyze them. Based on information from the interview, they will come up with their initial thesis that will focus on the image that person projects in connection with a larger social/cultural/historical issue (i.e. “This singer seems to be connected with/portraying/an example of….”).

After that, they will perform the first task of the project, which is an annotated bibliography. They will research the social/cultural/historical issue through scholarly and non-scholarly sources to complete their annotated bibliographies. The annotated bibliography will have at least four scholarly sources and at least four other sources. For each source, students will compose a summary and list useful quotes. Students will submit this bibliography for grading.

In the second task, the research described in the bibliography will be used to create their final thesis connecting and explaining the role of the singer in a “bigger picture” in society. This paper will be created using Prezi software. They will include the text of their paper, the research they performed, the interviews they used, as well as other videos, images, and effects of Prezi to develop their arguments.

Stay tuned. This is a series you won’t want to miss.

About Author(s)

Lindsey Harding graduated from the University of Georgia in May 2015 with her Ph.D. in English. She is now the Assistant Director of the Writing Intensive Program at UGA. Her research and writing interests include composition and rhetoric, creative writing, and digital humanities. In May 2011, she graduated from Sewanee University’s School of Letters with her M.F.A. in creative writing. She earned her B.A. from Columbia University in 2004. She lives in Athens, Georgia, with her husband and three small children.

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