National Writing Project News

By Joan H. Anderson

After establishing a web page, the National Writing Project is moving further into Cyberspace with a group called the Netheads and a subgroup of them called the Network Design Team. The facilitators of this new work have already built a web site for NWP and are busy at work on the final phases of a Network Plan. Lately, the group has been MOOing at DaMOO to move the project toward the initial completion date of June 30.

Within the NWP, the Netheads are a self-selected special interest group with a special interest in advancing the cause of technology and networking in support of teaching and learning of writing. This group serves as a sounding board for the network development efforts. The 21 members of the Design Team are using a computer conferencing space on the MetaNet to facilitate their work. The plan is on the web.

The parent organization, NWP, is a collaborative university/school staff development program to improve the teaching and learning of writing in the nation's classrooms. It is a university-based teacher-centered program. Across the nation, sites conduct intensive five-weekSummer Institutes in which successful teachers of writing from all levels are identified, screened, and then selected to participate. After the Institute, these Teacher Consultants plan and conduct year-long staff development workshops on the teaching of writing in project-sponsored programs in schools.

The planning process for the Network Plan has two parts consisting of creating The Vision, the focus of the Design Team, and Implementation. The three thrusts of the Plan are building on (and developing) existing networking capacity, pooling resources and creating and open/scalable system, and rethinking the work of supporting the teaching and learning of writing. Five goals are suggested for the Network Plan:

  1. to facilitate communications among its sites

  2. to expand professional development opportunities for classroom teachers

  3. to increase leadership opportunities for classroom practitioners

  4. to develop and disseminate new knowledge in the field of writing instruction

  5. to establish NWP as the premiere source for materials and training related to the teaching and learning of writing.

This latest venture onto the Internet began with the creation and maintenance of the NWP homepage by Webmaster Christina Cantrill and Uilani Hunt. Then Cantrill conceived the idea of having a mailing list for those people interested in NWP's electronic connections and future networking plans. With the approval and support of NWP's Executive Director, Richard Sterling, Cantrill started the Netheads and continued to expand the web site. The electronic activity attracted the attention of Gary Obermeyer of Learning Options, and he subsequently became Design Team Co-facilitator with Cantrill. Together the duo screened and selected from volunteers among the ranks of the ranks of the Netheads, 21 Design Team members for the NWP Electronic Network Development Plan .

Team Members

Members of the team and their partner sites are as follows:

Name Role
Joan Anderson Writing Center Consultant Southeastern Louisiana Writing Project;
Elizabeth Bogatin NWP Administartive Assistant National Writing Project
Shirley Brown Teacher Consultant Philadelphia Writing Project
Herb Budden Teacher & Co-Director IndianaTeachers of Writing
Linnea Burmeister Project Outreach & Elementary Teacher Alaska Writing Project
Christina Cantrill WebMaster National Writing Project
Gordon Coonfield Web Designer Washington State Writing Project
Elyse Eidman-Aadahl NWP Associate Director National Writing Project
Uilani Hunt National NWP Project Support National Writing Project
Judy Jenlink Teacher / Project Outreach Oklahoma Writing Project
Claudine Keenan Program Administrator Lehigh Valley Writing Project
Carolyn Knox-Quinn Technology Co-Instructor Oregon Writing Project
Tina Krejci Teacher Consultant Wyoming Writing Project
Vic Kryston Teacher Consultant Northern Virginia Writing Project
Rob Lamm Teacher / Rural Challenge Arkansas Writing Project
Greg Larkin Site Director, Task Force, & Rural Challenge Northern Arizona Writing Project
Mike Mathis NWP Budget Manager National Writing Project
Gary Obermeyer Project Co-Facilitator Learning Options
Richard Sterling NWP Executive Director National Writing Project
Joan Taylor Teacher & Site Director Nevada Writing Project
Mary Weaver Teacher / Project Outreach Michigan Writing Project
Vic Wong Technical Support / Sysop Berkeley School of Education

Watch for news and updates on the Design Team Home Page.

For more information, contact Gary Obermeyer or Christina Cantrill.

KAIROS Kairos: A Journal for Teachers of Writing in Webbed Environments.
Vol. 2 No. 1 Spring 1997