Experience and Interests

Teaching  |  Research  |  Publications  |  Professional  |  Education

My interest in the computer as an educational resource began in the late 1980s when I noticed that teachers and students alike were benefitting from using basic wordprocessing, spreadsheet, database and multimedia software. I saw that the opportunity for students to do things like publish their writing, research, and creative work on the web, make virtual visits to museums and libraries anywhere in the world, as well as save and distribute text and media files via transportable and increasingly affordable storage media—floppies, zip cartridges, CDs, DVDs, and, now, USB flash drives—motivated them to do more and better work.

In 1998 I began teaching introductory courses on using computers in the classroom in CSLA's Charter College of Education. In addition to teaching at CSLA, I have been a language arts teacher,a technology coordinator—or both—at various schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District for the past 27 years. I worked at Nightingale Middle School from 1992 to 2000: two years as a language arts teacher, two as Title I Coordinator, and four years as the technology coordinator: installing internet cabling, setting up school-wide network, running the computer lab, writing grants, and conducting teacher training workshops for both school and district. Since 2000 I have been a language arts teacher and technology coordinator at two LAUSD high schools: Pueblo de Los Angeles High School (2000-2007) and San Antonio High School (2002 to the present).

In 2004 I began to see the value of database-driven websites and began experimenting with various PHP and MySQL based software platforms, including WordPress, Joomla, WebCT, Blackboard, and Moodle. This also involved learning CSS, XML, and XHTML. I settled on WordPress as the "best" online software platform for my purposes: it's free, public, and secure enough so that school districts don't have to build firewalls that block it.


I have been teaching literature and composition at the secondary and college level since the early 1980's. I began using computers with my students in the mid 80's, the early days of the Apple II, the PCjr, and early MS-DOS clones. Even then computers were revolutionary in the advantages they provided over pen or typewriter. In those early days, because of the ease with which computers enabled use to repeatedly revise and format, I encouraged my composition and literature students to use computers whenever possible. With no messy white out, carbon paper, or eraser crumbs, there were fewer excuses for not taking the time to revise. Good writing is, usually, revised writing.

I have been teaching workshops to beginning, intermediate, and advanced users of classroom computer technology since 1995. I am currently designing new workshops and revising older ones to accomodate new developments in computer-related technology for the classroom. I also enjoy working with colleagues to design and implement computer-hanced projects and lessons for a standards-based curriculum.

Most recently I have been using online course sites which I have developed using WordPress, Moodle, and Blackboard/WebCT. I would like to use more of the Google Apps toolset, but many districts block Google Apps or Google Mail which renders their online tools and services impossible to use.


Since 2005 I have been designing, developing, and implementing web- and multimedia-based curricula for online instruction using database-driven platforms like Moodle, WordPress, and Blackboard/WebCT. This as involved learning CSS and, most recently XML, XPATH, and XSLT.

In 2008 I began working with the RelaxNG XML language established by theText Encoding Initiative (TEI) consortium to encode about 300 pages of Melville's manuscripts for the online Melville Electronic Library (MEL). This is taking me deeper into XML, XPATH, XSLT, PHP, MySQL, and various webservice protocols that underlie WordPress and Moodle, the platforms I use to develop online instructional sites. Since 2006 I have been the Web Editor of Melville Society Website which runs on a php/MySql engine - Joomla to be specific.


Professional Activities

  • LAUSD Technology Coordinator: (1995 – present)  Facilitating educational technology workshops focusing on practical applications of computer technology in the classroom.

  • LAUSD Virtual Academy (LAVA): (2000 – present) Designing, developing, and making available online standards-based activities, resources, rubrics, lessons, units, templates, and projects for use by LAUSD teachers and students.

  • Testing Coordinator   LAUSD, Los Angeles, California (9/07 – present) Working closely with administrators, teachers, staff, and parents to improve student achievement as measured by State and Federally mandated testing instruments.

  • Technology Committees: Chair, San Antonio High School (2007 – Present); Chair, Pueblo High School  (2000 – 2007)

  • Los Angeles Annenberg Metropolitan Project and DELTA/Weingart Annual Report Committees, LAUSD, 1999


Writing and Publications

Much of my writing involves creating materials for workshops and courses showing teachers various ways of incorporating digital technology in their curricula. In addition to basic instruction my workshops and written materials demonstrate how to use the internet, educational software, and multimedia for standards-based lessons, activities, projects, or units.

I also write grant proposals for purchasing hardware, software, and resources for staff-training on how to use purchased computers and software.

In addition to teaching literature and educational computing courses, I am one of several editorial associates working on the multi-volume Writings of Herman Melville series published jointly by Northwestern University Press and Newberry Library. One of the two volumes I have been most involved with, Published Poems, will be published in the fall of 2009; the other, Billy Budd, Sailor and Other Uncompleted Writings is expected sometime in 2012.

In 1989, I published two essays based on my Ph.D. dissertation research on Herman Melville. While working on my dissertation and transcribing some of Melville's handwritten poetry manuscripts at Harvard's Houghton Library in 1982, I transcribed a prose piece that had never before been transcribed, printed, or published—the preface to a collection of poetry and prose Melville had been working on from time to time during the last 10 or so years of his life. The complete text of this unknown preface, "House of the Tragic Poet," was finally published as part of an essay I wrote for the November 1989 issue of the Melville Society Extracts.

Sandberg, Robert. “Literary Reprises: Rhetorical Staging and Dramatic Performance in Melville's Prose-and-Verse Writings.” in Melville as Poet: The Art of Pulsed Life. Kent State University Press, 2014.

——. Melville, Herman. Billy Budd, Sailor and Other Uncompleted Writings: The Writings of Herman Melville: Volume XIII. Editorial Associate. Evanston and Chicago, Northwestern University Press and The Newberry Library. 1968-. Forthcoming Fall 2012.

——. Melville, Herman. Published Poems: The Writings of Herman Melville: Volume XI. Editorial Associate. Evanston and Chicago, Northwestern University Press and The Newberry Library. 1968-. Forthcoming Fall 2009.

——. The Melville Society. Web Editor. Official website dedicated to the study and appreciation of the nineteenth-century American author Herman Melville. http://melvillesociety.org 2006 to the present.

——. Annenberg Annual Report for the Los Angeles Annenberg Metropolitan Project - Lincoln Family of Schools, Pasadena: Public Works Inc., 1999.

——.  'The Adjustment of Screens': Putative Narrators, Authors, and Editors in Melville's Unfinished "Burgundy Club" Book. Texas Studies in Literature and Language: Melville and His Narrators, 31(3), 1989, 426-450.

——. 'House of the Tragic Poet': Melville's Draft of a Preface to His Unfinished Burgundy Club Book. Melville Society Extracts, 79, 1989, 1 and 4 -7.



Ph.D. 1989  English

Northwestern University • Evanston, IL

M.A. 1980  English

Northwestern University • Evanston, IL

M.A.T. 1975 Teaching of English

Northwestern University • Evanston, IL

BA 1972  Anthropology

Northwestern University • Evanston, IL