Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Abstract

Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Improving Your Messages to the Community

Abstract for workshop/paper I will give at the 2015 SIGUCCS Conference, in St. Petersburg, FL.

Whether it’s an outage, scheduled maintenance or an announcement about a new technology resource, the pressure is on you to create effective and readable messages.

Henry David Thoreau once said that he had received no more than one or two letters in his life that were worth the postage. thoreauTo be sure, most of your communications don’t require postage and won’t be cherished forever. But they should be worth the time it takes to read them.

University faculty, staff, and students are bombarded with hundreds of messages every day, from multiple sources. They appreciate it when your communications are organized, concise, and readable.

In this session, you’ll learn ways to improve written content for emails, blogs, and other communication channels. We’ll concentrate on how to cut the flab from your writing and strategies for organizing information. We’ll also cover how to choose the best words for promoting your organization’s resources and services.

Elizabeth Cornell is the IT Communications Specialist at Fordham University. Before that, she was post-doctoral fellow with the English Department at Fordham, where she taught composition and literature.

“Teaching Digital Writing” Conference and Workshop at Bard IWT

At the 2013 Institute for Writing and Thinking Conference and Workshop, held at Bard College, I believe I was the lone tweeter. Given that the conference title was “New Kinds Attention: Teaching with Writing in the Digital Age,” I was a tad surprised. But only at first. Many of the conference participants, made up of K-12 teachers and college professors, were new to digital writing. Others were using technology in their courses, but often with resistance and even resentment. I arrived to the conference expecting to discuss with others strategies for digital writing and planned to leave with new techniques and ideas, but that did not happen. Instead, I learned a great deal of first-hand information (much of which should be familiar to anyone who reads about education) about how teachers are contending with technology, from everything they like about it (SMART Boards) to what they dislike (unauthorized use of devices in the classroom; the tools change too quickly to be mastered). The experience gave me insight as to how to better work with people, whether a student or a teacher, who are skeptical or hesitant to try new technologies for writing projects. I plan to expand on those ideas in a future post. Below is a collection of tweets I made, mostly during Cynthia Selfe’s talk, “New Kinds of Attention: Teaching with Writing in the Digital Age.”