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BNS Week 2

Page history last edited by PBworks 11 years, 10 months ago

SERVICE LEARNING

 

 

Chapter one and two of "service learning" offers an array of connections to our current mission as a class, and works to relieve some axiety for me, and I'm sure for others regarding the nature of the concepts "technical" and "professional" writing.  Using samples of other service learning projects the reading shows us how the creation of different applicable texts (flyers, pamphlets, web-sites, ect.) can contribute a much needed service to organizations while assisting in a process necessary for polishing technical and professional writing skills.  The text consistantly notes the importance of observation, refelection, and involvement in this process, continually suggesting that an understanding of the community in need of assistance is as essential to service learning as is the actual products a student might create for an organization, cause, group, or program.  To describe the message of these first two chapters even further, I would say that an emphasis is placed on the need to metaphorically "dismount" from the high horse of the educational institution, and discover learning as a process and not just an outcome within societal contexts.  The message seems to be that the level at which the goals of a service learning project are realized is proportionate to the level of engagement.  For me, the reading thankfully defines technical writing as totally opposite from the connotation the term previously evoked.  Instead of the dry idea of heavily scrutinized, never-perfect-enough, boring creation of documents necessary for the acceleration of an organizations goals,  service learning helps to define technical writing as a needs-meeting process dependent on an informal, human nature like observance of a situation.  I like this idea because it allows me to approach this project in a drifty, lofty, reflective, open-ended sort of way, subject to change, grow, and teach, and born out of real human motivation to connect with people instead of focusing on rules, deadlines, or too much structure.  In a way service learning is about creating your own structure.  While generating our list of needs for Mt. Zion is a necessary and logical part of the process, the real magic is going to be when we are immersed.  I suppose one of the attributes of service learning is its ability to generate self-motivation, and reflect on on the fulfilment of realizing that sometimes a detachment from the glory of academic or professional rewards is what may bring these rewards about even quicker.  The neccesity to adjust writing styles, and apply visual design when participating in a technical writing project is easily connectable to our employment of the Wiki.  The idea that service learning is part of an "invention stage" is also applicable.  The part of the reading that I found most familiar to our growing Wiki collaborations was the point made that we must "follow the life cycle of the text."  This clearly establishes the importance of documenting the path or journey as a method to understand, learn, and influence the final outcomes. 
Chapter 3
I feel like chapter three presents itself at the perfect time.  With all of our discussion on branding, both ethics, and a situational understanding of our audience need a closer look.  The beginning of the chapter speaks of the need for technical and profesional writers to orient themselves as a primary step in the persuasion process.  Aristotle instructs us to "discover the available means of persuasion."  Advice that we have not ignored considering all of the information we have collected regarding concerns, programs, funding, and rhetorical strategies for our Mt. Zion adventure.  Service learning explains how persuasive force is created through a narrowing down or concentration of this collected information into a format or package that is comprehensive and motivating for our potential supporters and collaborators.  This seems to be the juncture we have arrived at on our road to generate an incresingly more synergystic space to operate. 

 

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