WordPress acts as an operating metaphor to trace the implications of a moment wherein individuals can easily create and share their work freely with the world. My argument is that this fact demands a radical re-thinking of the way we imagine the role of educational institutions. Jim Groom, “WordCampEd: Permanent Revolution”
Historically, like today, we compose on all the available materials. Whether those materials are rocks or computer screens, composing is a material as well as social practice; composing is situated within and informed by specific kinds of materials as well as by its location in community…We have simply never seen it quite so clearly as we do now. Kathleen Blake Yancy, “Writing in the 21st Century: A Report from the NCTE“
Students and faculty already write in multiple modes. In other words, even though we seem to be teaching at a moment when the means of composition are changing, the change is more in our ability to recognize the array of tools students already use to communicate, than in the tools themselves. That is not to say that digital tools are standing still. Digital tools such as websites, blogs, audio/visual design software, and a host of other publication applications have changed in the last five years. They have become simpler to use, easier to access, and more affordable. The simplicity of design and accessibly of digital tools such as WordPress, iMovie, Twitter, and Facebook, allow our student to compose digitally and on a daily basis.
There are several responses available to the question, “Why should someone want to do this sort of publishing?” and predominant among them is, “students already engage in multimodal publication.” Though students do publish multimodally in informal contexts, they often do so with a lack a metacognitive attention to what they write and where they publish. Since students often compose reflexively in an array of applications, Agnes Waypoints provides an occasion to improve their rhetorical awareness, uncover assumptions about the discourse communities in which they participate, and cultivate a public identity across platforms. Furthermore, when students combine their ability to manipulate digital tools with a deep knowledge of content areas, they are better able to make bold, rhetorically savvy choices within expanding global communication networks. That is to say, Domain provides students with the know-how to manage publication opportunities that extend beyond the boundaries of the classroom and university.
Further advantages of Agnes Waypointspublication include, but are not limited to, the following: Analytics, Showcasing/Archiving Student Work, Digital Citizenship, and Collaboration.