My Techno-Teaching Philosophy

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This week, for my CRD 704 core class, Technology and Pedagogy in Communication Arts, I created a techno-teaching philosophy to present to the class. Our guidelines were basically to create a teaching philosophy using some kind of technology. I ended up using several different software programs, online freeware, and hyperlinks in my finished product: Adobe Indesign, Adobe Dreamweaver, Adobe Fireworks, Adobe Acrobat, Glogster, WordPress, and Apple’s Pages to create my techno-teaching philosophy infographic.

I’ll include a small image of the file here, with a link to my online portfolio where the infographic is actually posted. I encourage you to check out the full-size view, complete with all of the embedded links that help to explain many of the graphics. What follows is the brief written description of the infographic that I’ve included as an accompaniment to the visual representation of my teaching philosophy. I welcome any feedback that you have. Hope you enjoy!


For a full size view, click here
Teaching is a major part of my identity as a scholar; indeed, it is a major part of the reason why I have chosen this profession. The same commitment that I have to the scholarship of rhetoric propels my teaching. This infographic represents key points of my teaching in the academy. 

I have chosen to present my techno-teaching philosophy in an infographic format to reflect some key components of my scholarly and teaching identity: to feature my interests in new media, design, and visual rhetoric; to visually represent myself as a cheerful, upbeat person; and to demonstrate that I stay informed of current trends (one of which is currently the use of an infographic to represent data and other information). Infographics feature carefully selected research and data, presented in a highly-organized but visually-pleasing format, in order for the audience to draw a larger conclusion about the featured topic. My argument with this presentation is that it echoes my teaching style: thoughtfully constructed lesson plans, presented in a way that is provoking and fun for students by relating to their interests, which allow them to draw larger conclusions about the topic as a whole that we are discussing. 


My teaching philosophy infographic is divided into three main sections: who and what I teach, my scholarly grounding in teaching, and evidence of teaching excellence. This presentation shows a trajectory of planning, implementation, and results, a reflection of how I approach assessment of my teaching. 

I begin with the audience for my instruction, “digital natives,” who while they may have grown up using a computer cannot be assumed to understand technology as those in my graduate program understand it. Here I can bring to my students a level of critical thinking and technological competence that will benefit their own use in years to come. I also use technology, social media, and digital media as a konoi topoi, or common topic, to spark discussion or use as an example. 

Knowing my audience also means recognizing not only what they want to learn, but how they want to learn. I teach both face-to-face and hybrid classes, knowing the growing trend in higher education of students take at least one of their courses in blended format. I’ve also linked this statistic to my web resource, The WPA’s Guide to the Hybrid Writing Classroom, to demonstrate my work in the scholarship of teaching and learning. 

The central portion of my infographic represents my scholarly grounding for teaching. As a rhetorically-trained scholar, I build my courses around principles of rhetoric that will most benefit students both while in school and once they begin their careers. I emphasize the rhetorical canons – invention, arrangement, style, memory, delivery – and the rhetorical triangle, incorporating related topics of genre and the rhetorical appeals as we explore a wide range of texts, including written, visual, oral, digital, and multi-modal. This approach demonstrates a valuing of the foundational scholarship in the field while at the same time letting students realize that these key concepts can still be applied to the work and the technology they have today. 

I end with a demonstration of my teaching excellence. While in graduate school, I have endeavored to acquire many skills and listen to many excellent teachers to improve my own instruction. I’ve completed the Certificate of Accomplishment in Teaching, and next fall, will be doing the Preparing the Professoriate program. My commitment to teaching is recognized by both my students and my department, as evidenced by my evaluations and TA of the Year award. 


From this infographic, it should be clear that my teaching is dynamic, disciplinarily cutting edge, and demanding, all while being grounded in scholarship and principles of effective pedagogy. This multi-modal infographic has allowed me to expand my understanding of what a teaching philosophy can be and to better represent my personal approach to teaching.

Latest academic adventure: Guest editor for Enculturation

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I am very excited to announce today that my fellow CRDM student Ashley R. Kelly and I will be guest editors for an upcoming special issue of Enculturation, based on the Computers and Writing Conference that will be held at NCSU next May!

Here’s the official call for manuscripts. Please share widely. Computers and Writing 2012 will be a great conference, and this special issue will highlight the best work!

Call for Papers: Special Computers and Writing Special Issue of Enculturation

ArchiTEXTure: Composing and Constructing in Digital Spaces
Guest Editors
Meagan Kittle Autry, North Carolina State University
Ashley R. Kelly, North Carolina State University 

We welcome manuscript submissions for a special issue of Enculturation: A Journal of Rhetoric, Writing, and Culture. For this issue, we invite papers originating from presentations given at Computers and Writing 2012, “ArchiTEXTure: Composing and Constructing in Digital Spaces.” Under this theme, conference organizers encourage submitters to consider issues, challenges, and benefits specifically related to the production of digital texts. Additionally, submissions are encouraged to consider questions that both address “archiTEXTure” in the classroom and as part of a scholarly agenda. If your presentation is accepted for the C&W conference, we encourage you to submit your manuscript for publication in this special issue.  
The goal of this conference is to move beyond traditional, print-based examinations of new media objects as texts. Thus, we are interested in how digital spaces and new media objects interact with and influence the ways that we compose ourselves, our classrooms and our scholarly work. The archiTEXTure of new media can be the media object itself, but can also be the the contexts, spaces, bodies, materials, ideas, and histories of media. The TEXTure of the media could be the screen, but it could also be the differing surfaces and materials of media. In the space between the competing materialities of classroom and text, we can ask questions about construction, process, movement, and change.

Media & Genres

We welcome a mix of media and genres to reflect the various presentation types featured at Computers and Writing 2012: individual presentations, interactive installations, CREATE! sessions, or ConstrucTEXT presentations. Traditional essays, hypertexts, videos, and multimedia projects are all suitable for publication in Enculturation

Inquiries from authors to guest editors begin: September 25, 2011 (Not all submissions must be queried first, but authors are welcome to correspond about their ideas)
Conference proposals due by: October 22, 2011
Notifications to presenters sent: December 15, 2011
Manuscript submissions due by: Final day of C&W conference, May 20, 2012
Notifications to authors sent: July 15, 2012
Revised manuscripts due by: September 1, 2012
Publication date: October 1, 2012

Submission Guidelines

Please send queries and submissions to guest editors at cwspecialissue[at]gmail[dot]com. 

Email should include author name(s), email address(es), and title of submission within the body. Please ensure no identifying information is contained within your file submission. Submissions should be attached as .doc or .rtf formats. If you are submitting a non-print text, please email the guest editors to inquire regarding appropriate formats for your submission. 

A wild time at Wildacres: Carolina WPA Conference recap

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For two and a half days this week, I got to escape my tethered technological lifestyle and escape to the mountains of North Carolina to Wildacres, a conference center and retreat in Little Switzerland, NC. There, I attended the Carolinas Writing Program Administrators’ fall conference with fellow administrators at North Carolina State. It was my first year attending the conference, and I am glad for the opportunity to meet other WPAs from institutions around the Carolinas – it was an excellent networking opportunity.

The entrance to Wildacres. Source:

We arrived late Monday afternoon, weaving up the top of a mountain. The conference center is a quaint assemblage of wooden cabins and larger buildings, some residential, some with open conference space, and one large mess hall. Yes, a mess hall – we were commanded to each meal by the ringing of a bell. (I didn’t know anyone still did that!) The mission of Wildacres is to provide a retreat and conference space for non-profit organizations, particularly in the arts, and to give attendees a chance to reconnect with nature. There are no TVs in the rooms at Wildacres, nor phones nor clocks, and our group quickly ate up the limited wifi bandwidth available – and crashed it for the remaining time that we were there!

This year’s conference theme was grant writing and funding, an increasingly important component of a WPA job. Our own Susan Miller-Cochran spoke the first evening about national WPA council grants that are available, providing insight from her years of experience on the council. Tuesday was a full day of workshops, including discussion from Tim Peeples at Elon, who spoke from his experience as an Associate Provost about how to apply for and win internal grant funding. Meg Morgan at UNC-Charlotte talked about finding national funding sources, and Michelle Eble from East Carolina University gave an overview of researching and writing grant proposals. The sessions combined informative discussion and writing (hey, we are WPAs, after all) that left us all feeling a little more confident about applying for grant money for our own programs.

Our two day mini-retreat was not all work, though – there was plenty of time for socializing, games, and and bonfire. While I certainly learned a lot about grants, the best part for me was the social time, talking to other WPAs from the Carolinas and making important connections for when I’m on the job market in two years (still such a long ways away!). Groups members are clearly close friends, and were open and welcoming to newbies/grad students in attendance. On the first night, we had an informal ping pong (table tennis for all the serious players out there) tournament, which yours truly is proud to say she is the champion of. Guess I’ll have to go next year to defend my title! Our final night, the staff at Wildacres held a bonfire for us, and we enjoyed more socialization, roasting marshmallows, and some banjo and guitar entertainment provided by a couple of members. We awoke Wednesday morning to a dreary, rainy day at the top of the mountain, and after a quick breakfast and “beat you in ping pong next year!” we were on the road back to Raleigh.

The rocking chairs were a popular spot for socializing. Source:

It was truly a good time had by all, and I got the sense that the writing program administrators’ community is not just a professional group, but a community in the true sense of the word, where members look out for one another and are working together to achieve their goals and to improve writing programs at all institutions. This was also a good time for me to get to know my fellow NCSU administrators better, too. Special thanks to the First Year Writing Program at NCSU and director Susan Miller-Cochran for the opportunity to participate!