One Man's Vision of Technology & Teaching in Phoenix
Andrew Higgins, American University

Following the pattern of recent CCCCs, this spring's conference continued to broaden the boundaries of the academic conference. No longer is CCCC simply a collection of panels and workshops. The conference is increasingly becoming an online space where the line between speaker and audience is hazy, and an event which takes place not just over a long weekend in March, but throughout the year.

At this year's conference, CCCC Online created and maintained by Eric Crump, continued to play an increasingly large part in the conference. And a number of the presenters have taken advantage of the Web to provide online resources; so now, rather than frantically scribbling notes during the session lest we forget what is said, we can take time to listen to the speakers (or frantically scribble URLs).   :-)

And, going one step beyond all previous CCCC's, the Phoenix conference even included its own UFO sighting!

I mention the UFO only because my students considered it far more worthy of note than the conference -- it's important that we know who (or what) the competition is.

The panels:

The following represents a by-no-means-complete survey of some of the conference panels focusing on computers and writing. In addition to the following panels, there were also panels on a variety of topics such as "Women, Hypertext, and Narrative;" "Developing Critical Cyberliteracy Skills;" "Visions of E-Spaces: Privacy, Multiple Selves, and Acts of Literacy."  Panels ran from practical "how-to" lessons to theoretical explorations of cyberliteracy.

Researching the Web: Transitions and Transformations

The Epiphany Project: Structures and Strategies for Pedagogical Change in the Age of Electronic Text

Hypertext Theory in Practice: An Interactive/Electronic Exploration of the Rhetoric, Poetics, and Pragmatics of Hypertext

In Print and Pixel: Cross-Publishing in Moos, Webs, Books, and Journals

Multi (Rhetoric+Technologies+Classrooms) Medias: On What Is + What Might Be Possible With New Media In Composition Classrooms If...

Not Just Teaching and Not Just Writing: Implications of Webbed Rhetoric for the Classroom 

CCCC'97 Online:

CCCC/97 Online is the fourth, and most complete, version of CCCC Online. From its humble beginning in 1994 as a list of files, CCCC Online has grown to an exciting interactive website, created and maintined by webmeister Eric Crump of the University of Missouri-Columbia.

For a history of CCCC Online, and some thoughts on its future, see Where it's Been/Where it's Going.

This year's version of CCCC Online consisted of four main components: Hypernews; an index of session, workshop, and event abstracts, webpages, and texts; CCCC-supported listservs; and a listing called "Realtime Online Events," which listed the times for the C-Fest series held in LinguaMOO.

The success of CCCC/97 Online is difficult to gauge. In terms of crude numbers, 4540 people have visited the site since its creation in October of 1996 (though I think I've skewed the number up a bit in the course of this review). That number is down from CCCC/96's total of 5669 hits since February 1996. Granted, CCCC/96 had an extra year of post-conference hits, but the numbers still point to a drop in usage.

But numbers are a crude measure. When we look at the content of CCCC Online, we see it moving from a collection of texts to a forum of interaction. However, this is a nascent trend, and it won't continue unless the members of CCC, especially the members of the computers and writing community, make a committment to get out and use it.

CCCC/98 is already taking shape so now is your chance to look at some of the past versions of CCCC Online and offer ideas and suggestions about the shape you'd like to see CCCC Online take. Make some noise.