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.

A tardy semester wrap-up

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Like in the fall, I completely fell off the blogging bandwagon at the end of the semester. I guess that’s just the nature of the beast – writing so much for your courses that there’s not much desire (or anything interesting to talk about) to blog. What I was up to (scholastically) this April & May:

  • Attending CCCC (which I posted about here and here)
  • Presenting at the 2nd annual CRDM Research Symposium, “Environments, Risks, and Digital Media
  • Completing research for my three graduate seminars (which I will talk about in a separate post) – 
    • “Big Power, Big Controversy: Duke-Progress Energy Merger and Environmental Controversy in the Carolinas”: An analysis of discourse about an upcoming local utilities merger completed with Ashley R. Kelly for a course about communication in a networked society
    • A methods theory paper about studying social media in the humanities, also completed with Ashley R. Kelly, for a course in communication and social change
    • The WPA’s Guide to the Hybrid Writing Classroom, a website designed for writing program administrators to help them think through the process of adopting hybrid writing courses in their first year composition program, for a class on being a WPA
  • Grading three course projects for my ENG 101 class and holding their final research presentations
  • Submitting research presentation proposals to next year’s CCCC and this fall’s SIGDOC (in Italy!)
  • Starting my research assistantship with Carolyn R. Miller 
  • Completely re-designing my online portfolio

I’m going to blog more specifically about a couple of these things – particularly about doing collaborative research, which you can see I did for two of my projects this semester. It was a highly rewarding experience and worth sharing (or at least, I think so). I enjoyed the end of this semester in terms of teaching. I had some really bright students this spring, and they tackled some great final projects (for which their task was to identify a problem within a social issue and propose a solution). Many students discussed environmental issues in some aspects, whether it was clean energy, greenhouse gases, preserving marine life, etc. I am very pleased at how much environmental issues seem to be on the radar of freshman students this year (in both classes I taught).

Finally, the first “summer” project that I tackled was redesigning my online portfolio. I had initially completed the portfolio last spring for a course in online information design. When I got my new Macbook Pro last Christmas, complete with the whole Adobe Suite, my plan was to completely redo the look. Redesign accomplished! (Though I still have to update some of the information.) But overall, I’m quite pleased with the look – fresh, simple, easy to navigate. To me, minimal still rules in site design, and I wanted my portfolio to reflect that.

My revamped online portfolio

Hopefully I will be back before long talking about my web project (the WPA guide) and my collaborative research. What was the end of the semester like for you?

Web portfolio updated!

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After realizing that my CV was out of date (read: still listed my Master’s degree “in progress”), I spent some time today updating my web portfolio. It now includes a section on my newest research focus, environmental communication (though I’ve haven’t posted any research products, yet).

Take a peek!