To College Division Homepage Writing Online: A Student's Guide to the Internet and World Wide Web

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Activities for Learning and Writing Online
Chapter 16 of Writing Online offers a list of fifteen activities to help you learn and write online. Many of the Crosslinks on this site also offer activities. Here are even more. If you have ideas for activities, or would like to contribute one you've found successful, get in touch and I'll try to use it.
    Internet History
    Visit the Internet Society's Collection of Internet Histories, and you'll see that the Net has both a technological and a cultural history. Make it a personal history by creating your own Internet and World Wide Web (IWWW) timeline, then annotate that time line. When did you first hear of the Internet? When did you first go online? When did you first use email? When did you use your first computer? Think back, and tell the stories of your own awareness and use of computers and the IWWW. How much is this technological and social phenomenon a part of your life?
    Role Playing
    Remember all you've learned in life by playing and pretending? You can do that online as well. There are a number of ways you can do this:
      Take Opposites: Be a Devil's Advocate
      Join a Usenet group or email discussion list and play devil's advocate. Make fair and logical arguments against a position you favor. Or, you can listen for a while to what the group consensus is, and politely challenge it. The idea is by turns to doubt your own beliefs and to believe your own doubts.
      Play a Character (real or literary) in a MOO
      With class members, join a MOO and choose character names from a book you are reading or an issue you are following. For example, enter a MOO and become Hamlet, only play him not in Denmark, but at your school, as a teacher who must challenge authority. Or become one of the candidates running for office in your state, and in the MOO create a room where other players represent a group that's opposed to your candidacy because of your stand on gun control or some other sensitive issue. Defend your position as you believe that candidate would based on what you know of his or her record and public statements. See if you can discuss an issue without falling into name calling and the kind of intolerance that often marks public debate. 
      Create a Home Page for an Imaginary Character
      Make a homepage for a character you create for a story you want to write. If this character had a homepage, what would be on it? What kinds of journal entries, photos, history, family, links to favorite sites would your character have?
    Create a 'Zine
    Did you ever dream of being a managing editor? Probably not, but now's your chance. Create an online magazine with some friends or as a class project. Got someone who's into drawing and art? That person is your art director and can be in charge of getting original graphics. Got someone with a sense of style? There's you fashion editor. Have a bunch of sports nuts in the back row of class? There are your sports writers. Got the kid who's running for a spot in the student senate? There's your political pundit. Give everyone in the class a role to play, a job to do. Then, while you're all thinking about what content to generate and how you want your publication to look, each person can be responsible for finding a role model, a sportswriter, editor, fashion maven, movie critic, and so on who has work regularly appear online. Study them, write a profile of them and their work. And then imitate their style in much the way young athletes imitate the mannerisms and moves of their favorite players. Pull all your work together and make a 'zine; make it cool.