Technology Camp at Wheaton

Patrick Rashleigh, Faculty Technology Liason and Professor Tanya Rodrigue, English Department.

When we turn on our computers and connect to the Internet, we enter into a virtual world that has transformed writing, writing practices, and writing environments. With a scroll here and a click there, we move from page to page, navigating through a chaotic, complex network composed by and for people across the globe.

The web invites us to write individually and collaboratively in many platforms, such as blogs, forums, chat rooms, instant messages, and Facebook status updates. As the Internet and technologies have changed what writing is and looks like, web writers use much more than text to relay messages, present information, or make arguments; they use various combinations of images, photographs, video clips, hyperlinks, and sound. Learning how to compose in the digital age is not easy; it requires particular skills, abilities, and strategies.

This January, Wheaton students will have a chance to gain some of the skills needed to write in the age of technology, as well as the opportunity to compose digital texts. Several Wheaton Technologists will offer a two-week intensive technology training session during winter break from January 10-21.

The January Technology Immersion Program (jTIP) offers students a chance to focus their studies in one of three areas-graphic design, multimedia, or web design.

Participants in the graphic design group will learn how to use Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, ultimately constructing a collaborative art gallery. Those on the multimedia track will learn how to write digital stories with still images, audio, video and hypertext, while those who study web design will learn HTML and CSS code-the “language” needed to write a Web site.

After learning their new skills, participants will collaboratively construct functional Web sites for real clients in the area. Students who participated in the program last year created Web sites for the Jessica Park art exhibit and the Norton Food Pantry. This January, jTIP participants will again collaborate with local organizations. One project will be to construct a digital archive from Wheaton artifacts ranging from historical film footage to a recording of Eleanor Roosevelt.

The jTIP program costs $350, which includes the two weeks of full-time instruction as well as campus housing.