Teaching Twitter

Pete Kunze

Pedagogy, Social Media, Tools

Last week, #BlackLivesMatter launched its new website here. “Not a Moment, but a Movement,” the main page declares, underscoring the ongoing efforts to criticize racial injustice, especially in regards to police brutality and mass incarceration. Though the Black Lives Matter movement began as a hashtag on Twitter, it has blossomed into the public conversation on race, and its message has spread across social media.


Seeing Past the Littlefield Fountain

Keith Leisner

Locative Media

side view of the Littlefield fountain, statue. the fountain is frozen midstream.

For my first individual blog post on my research into the six Confederate statues that line UT’s South Mall — as well as my research on similar projects at the University and how they both relate to current national controversies surrounding what the Confederate flag stands for, as well, more generally, race relations in the United States – it seems appropriate to open with an article by Travis Knoll, a history PhD student at Duke University who, as an undergraduate, wrote

Inspecting Lesson Plan Templates

Rhiannon Goad


Students and teacher stand together, text reads "Planning a Successful Lesson"

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m currently working on lesson plans for our instructors. Starting out, I knew I wanted ways for instructors to simplify using digital resources into a writing classroom. However, I didn’t realize how from scratch I’d have to start.

What Does the Font Say?


Multimodal Writing

We are writing more than ever before—in the US we send 6 billion text messages a day, while every minute Facebook users share nearly 2.5 million pieces of content, Twitter users tweet nearly 300,000 times, and email users send over 200 million messages. How often are we trying to convey emotion in those messages? How often does our messages get misinterpreted? How many people can recall a disagreement that happened because text is bad at conveying emotion? Can fonts convey emotions?

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

Will Burdette

Alumni, Events

A "swarm" of post-its in a forest.

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 Hypothes.is platform. Hypothes.is 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

How Do YOU Use Twitter?

J Brentlinger

Pedagogy, Social Media, Tools

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


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


Two Types of Type: Part I

Jake Cowan

Multimodal Writing

A few weeks ago, on September 10th, Adrian Frutiger passed away in his native Switzerland at the age of 87. If you don’t recognize his name, that’s just as well: Frutiger was among the foremost typographers in the latter half of the Twentieth Century, and a strong proponent of the belief that a typeface is best when its not noticed at all.

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.