The author's first-year rhetoric/composition course, titled "Writing, Technology and Writing Technologies" and comprised of a diverse body of students in an urban public university, engages students in the processes of critical thinking, reading and writing using various communication and information tools. In addition, we explore how these tools shape our critical thinking, reading and writing experiences. Throughout the semester, we “interact” in numerous ways (e.g. via chat, threaded discussion board, e-mail, peer review with print drafts and a pen or pencil for editing).
Since our contemporary era and culture of digital media signals a multiplicity of possibilities for literacy, it becomes increasingly important to develop literacies in writing, technology and writing technologies, not only so that we may make our research and writing more effective, but also so that we may see how and in what ways such literacies and tools enable people and their ideas to connect.
“Writing” is both a process and a product; it is using language to form compositions that (whether placed on a page or on a screen) convey our thoughts and ideas to a reader who will in turn respond to the thoughts and ideas we have expressed. In this sense, writing is an “interactive technology” in which one must become fluent in order to utilise it effectively. Although “technology” is often associated with computers and digital media, it is also the technical processes of a given trade. "Technology” in research-based writing is: 1) conducting research; 2) composing essays that are focused, clear, honest, exciting and convincing; and 3) using various communication and information tools to meet these goals successfully and responsibly. While “writing technologies” refers to the actual communication and information media we use to meet such goals (e.g. the alphabet, pen and paper, word-processing programs, print and digital texts, etc.), we also consider “writing” technologies as reflecting on and re-defining these technologies, their applications and their impact on us as researchers and writers.
|Keywords:||e-learning, Multiliteracies, Technology in Writing Courses, Student Engagement|
Assistant for Faculty Development, Academic Affairs, Adjunct Faculty, English Department, Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, CT, USA
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