Every Tuesday night (nearly), at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, for an hour (or so), a group of teachers gets together to MOO about teaching writing with computers. Or at least, that's the simple way to put it.
They MOO about scholarly and pedagogical issues in the field of computers and writing: classroom issues, professional issues, theoretical issues.
These teachers talk together about teaching . . .
A pretty good sense of the Tuesday Cafe can be gotten by looking at the list of past discussion topics and by reading the logs of those discussions.
- getting creative about using CMC (computer-mediated communication) in the classroom and in their departments
- batting around ideas for using the Internet in their classes
- strategizing ways to let go of old ways of teaching writing that don't seem to work anymore
- arguing about flaming
- recommending and reacting to new ideas, new books, new articles, new websites
- passing along news about grants and opportunities for getting funding
- showing off students' webfolios and MOO designs
- doing post mortems on assignments that did and didn't work
- sharing successes, websites, and creative work elsemoo
. . . and they do it by MOOing
. . . by constructing a verbal, intellectual, and emotional environment for interacting, thinking, and learning. By
The acts of construction are real, and so are the interactions.
- interacting--real-time--in writing with people who might be anywhere in the world
- thinking about that week's discussion topic
- learning about CMC and how it's used effectively, and about how environments are collaboratively made by the people who live, work, or hang out in them
The Tuesday Cafe is a good example of what sociologist Ray Oldenburg calls a "third place." He sees three sites for necessary human interaction: the first place is where we live, the second is where we work, and the third is where we hang out and unpurposefully build very purposeful communities.
For the computers and writing community and for many teachers who use computers in their classes, the Tuesday Cafe has become a kind of home away from home.
What is the Tuesday Cafe?
What are some of the benefits offered by this kind of community?
What are some of the disadvantages of MOO discussions?
How do people get to the Cafe?
Sharon Cogdill wrote this webticle. E-mail her at
or check out her homepage at
Last updated: 10 June 1996.