Just skimmed the Praxis article in the new issue of Kairos, "A Productive Mess." The article reports on an interesting classroom collaboration: four classes extended their f2f discussions not by going online in a discussion board, but by putting the four classes together in a drupal site. Smart. Students resist simply carrying conversation online when they talk to the same people all the time.
They authors also used a nifty schema to direct discussion: launch, query, extend, connect. I have tried a few different schemas for directing online discussion, but this one looks better than anything I have used. Of course, it also leads to stilted conversations and, as the authors report, it did not elimate "I agree" kinds of responses and it lead to one hostile exchange.
This article also reminded me that I could use the Virtual Peace Garden as a site for NDSU students to exchange ideas with students at the United States International University in Nairobi. That little project seems to be picking up a bit of steam.
"Rhetorical Velocity" by Ridolfo and de Voss has a nice paragraph on McLuhan; they also have an interesting press release assignment that makes the concept of rhetorical velocity a reality. Are rhetoricians ready to take over the PR world? I do think we have the potential to bring fresh insights and thoughtfulness into that realm.