Writing teachers enter the MOO world

For a small group of us writing teachers, the path into this territory came from internet discussion groups for writing teachers such as Megabyte University and Purtopoi. In December1991, David Sewell mentioned on MegaByte University the possibility of real-time chat using Internet Relay Chat (IRC), and soon we were meeting once or twice weekly on IRC channel #CW to discuss using computers and networks in writing classes. In early 1993, we were invited to join Media MOO, a virtual environment for media scholars hosted by Amy Bruckman of the MIT Media Lab.

The Tuesday Cafe

In IRC, we did not have the capacity to describe environments and to create objects that would help us share ideas, but in MOO, the object oriented programming environment allowed us to create environments and tools to help with our work. Soon we were meeting in MediaMOO for our weekly discussions, and Greg Siering and Tari Fanderclai organized these meetings into the regularly scheduled Tuesday Cafe discussions as part of their Netoric project.

Sharon Cogdill, Associate Professor of English at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota, is a regular participant in the Tuesday Cafe. She has provided us with a helpful introduction to this weekly discussion group. In "@go tuesday" Cogdill explains the ways in which the Tuesday Cafe provides writing teachers a site for exploration of scholarly, pedagogical, and theoretical issues in computers and writing, and an occasion to share advice on professional issues and classroom strategies. But along with advantages come drawbacks, and Cogdill explains both in her web.

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