Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Rules I Don't Know

I'm writing today, and while doing some editing I realized I wasn't sure of a mechanics rule.

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If I place an independent clause after a colon, do I capitalize the first letter of the independent clause?

So, I looked it up.
That's how I write.

I have no qualms about publicly sharing I don't know this rule.

I know to seek the rule out during the editing stage of my writing.

Again, that's how I write.

I draw on a ton of outside resources as I go. My writing ability is by no means housed exclusively in my mind. In class, I refer to this by its fancy name, distributed cognition.

It is something I work hard to teach my composition students - and something I work hard to teach future instructors. Writing is a socially supported ability. You can't do it all by yourself. Most of "learning how to write" is the process of discovering what resources you need and how to access them.

This is one reason I shared a minor objection on social media yesterday about a NYT opinion piece on technology in the classroom.

The author wrote an excellent argument for disallowing laptops in her lectures, but the argument went a step too far, suggesting that everyone ought to ban laptops.

I let my students use their phones, laptops, and tablets in class. If they're on Reddit, I ask if it's related to what we're working on (sometimes it is). I want them to incorporate the technologies they use every day into their writing practice. I design classroom activities around that goal and my technology policy.

I would not ask another instructor to model their classroom (or their lecture hall) after my own.

This is all to say, I had a nice moment while writing today. It helped me reflect on my writing practice - both how that is related to my teaching of writing and how it is related to my teaching of pedagogy.

Now, back to editing.

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