Annotation Swarm: DWRLers to Illuminate Alumnus James Brown’s Book

Will Burdette

Alumni, Events

In honor of Open Access Week, October 19 through 25, the University of Texas at Austin’s Digital Writing and Research Lab (DWRL) will lead a collaborative annotation of DWRL alumnus James Brown’s new book Ethical Programs: Hospitality and the Rhetorics of Software (University of Michigan Press, 2015) using the platform. is free and open source software that allows for annotation, sentence-level critique, and note-taking on Web documents. Guided by DWRL alumnus Dr. Jeremy Dean, Director of Education at, the annotation event will open up a conversation about software, rhetoric, and networked life.

How Do YOU Use Twitter?

J Brentlinger

Pedagogy, Social Media

How do you use Twitter? I’ll bet lots of ways. Maybe you’re creative. People use Twitter to show off what they can say in 140 characters. Or maybe you make your own news feed, without any stigma attached to what you like. You really can. People follow NPR, Taylor Swift, and Pope Francis all at once, just to see what each of them says about the news of the day. But you might want to be part of a larger conversation. That’s valid, too: #hashtags, @replies, and retweets are some of the most used features on Twitter.

How I Became Addicted to My Research

Deb Streusand

Locative Media

Map of Europe and Asia with green and blue triangles superimposed on it, showing the locations of Ingress control fields.

I’m addicted to Augmented Reality. Specifically, my obsession comes in the form of a game called Ingress. Ingress uses the GPS in your phone to locate you in relation to landmarks called portals, which are placed at points of interest all over the world. Your primary goal as you walk around the world is to take portals from the opposing team – you can be on team “Enlightened” or team “Resistance” – and link them together to create triangular fields covering populated areas.

What Color is the Twitter Bird?

Axel Bohmann

Social Media

Graffiti of a black Twitter bird outlined in white on a black background.

Do a Google image search for terms like ‘tweeting’ or ‘people using Twitter’ and look through the results. Notice anything? Unless Google personalizes your search way differently from mine (and anyone I’ve asked), you’ll see a lot of images of the following type: a phone or tablet displaying some form of Twitter client, held by a hand or pair of hands. Very often, the perspective of the image asks us to imagine that hand as our own.

Cultural + Digital Literacies

Rhiannon Goad

Social Media

Black and white photo with a teacher standing behind four children and typrewriter like computer terminals.

Over the course of this semester, I’m working with DWRL instructors to develop a series of lesson plans to help students explore the intersection of race and activism on Twitter. As these lesson plans take shape, I began to think of ways learning about Twitter could help our students develop their communication skills. In other words, I’ve been thinking of the ways in which cultural literacy overlaps with digital literacy.


#AllLivesMatter: The Lives of a Hashtag

Pete Kunze

Social Media


Two features appear to characterize Tweets: the 140-character composition and the use of hashtags. Hashtags allow users a range of possibilities: expressing tone and emotion, connecting to like-minded individuals, participating in larger conversations. Their popularity has transcended Twitter, and we now see them employed on other social media platforms, in advertisements, and even in everyday parlance.


Recap: Workshop

Beck Wise


A sticker showing the logo--a black lower-case 'h' in a square speech bubble--on a Macbook keyboard
On Friday, September 18, DWRL alum Dr. Jeremy Dean returned to the FAC basement to introduce instructors from around the university to online annotation tool Tweets from the event are collected below and include tips for using in different disciplines, sample assignments and previews of coming attractions–as well as a magic trick!