Archive for the 'Software' Category

Facebook as a Genre
As students and, increasingly, faculty move into Facebook, the slew of applications catering to their needs have been slewing fast, sent forth by the release of the API back in May. While many of these merely add on a new infective meme to the wildly-popular social network, […]

The world of chatbots still thrives today because of its user-creators. Whether made by kids who dream of making their computer talk even in print statements or adults who enjoy playing with programming toys, the chatbot is a means of evoking a conversation with your computer. Consequently, there may always be a market […]

We at WRT have been looking at the use of new technologies (specifically web applications) for storytelling for a while. In particular, here are some of the web technologies we’ve covered here: Diigo Fiction, Snap Fiction, Wiki Fiction, PYOP (pic-your-own-podventure), Google Maps and Earth. Despite all this flurry, it is very rare to find a simple app, or web app, […]

After a semester of testing out the all-computer writing classroom, during the somewhat-contested reign of Web 2.0, I append the following update to my earlier post on Computers and Composition. Soon, I will add a version of this page to the Pedagogy and Games subpages.

The question of the day is how is the composition class a social or 2.0 experience? To any of us who have taught comp, who know write away that writing is a tremendously social activity. What many of the tools below emphasize is the ways in which research is also a fundamentally social activity. We not only stand on the shoulders of giants, but we follow their RSS feeds, we enjoy their bookmarks, and we share their PowerPoint presentations.

The second set of tools has to do with building a browser that is a research engine, something that can act as a notebook (literally, in the case of Google). From Diigo to Zotero, student writers can build custom browser that can enhance their research experience, while often linking them to other scholars or at least allowing them to share information easily.
For last, I save the novelties.

PowerPoint has been an artistic medium perhaps since David Byrne’s IEEE, but as more students grow up on PowerPoint, its place in our culture is becoming more and more dubious. Recently, several artists used PowerPoint to create PowerPoint Valentines, which parody the pervasive medium, by imagining lovers whispering sweet nothings with fly-on effects or delivering dear john letters on custom “bad news” templates. These stand-alone pieces raise the question: what is a slideshow without a presenter?

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