Computers and Writing - Pedagogy


Computers and writing pedagogies encourage students to think critically about the connections among composition, technology, and media. By exploring complex concepts such as visual rhetoric, issues of access, and the social implications of online writing, students learn practical applications and implications of writing using technology. Students and teachers, together, interrogate the computer as an environment where writing can be facilitated in a variety of successful ways. Particular attention tends to be paid to the production and consumption of digital, multimodal, and new media texts. Computers and writing pedagogy also considers students’ previous knowledge of computers and technological skills as an asset. The majority of computers and writing scholars seem to agree that engaging students in the production of such multimodal/digital texts is crucial to the learning process in our digitally infused moment, but how best to do this is somewhat controversial.

Computers and writing pedagogies must be dynamic and adaptable to the ways in which technology, media, and the sociopolitical spaces operate in a constant state of flux. Discussions about negotiating paradigm shifts abound in disciplinary journals, and teachers continually develop new approaches that engage with and build upon developments in digital technology and new media texts. Because most scholars in this area work within a university system that privileges print-media over digital text, much of the work produced and assigned by these teachers and scholars continues to be relatively traditional. While a computers and writing pedagogy should encourage the use of sampling, remixing, and filesharing that invites students to conceive themselves as reproducers or co-authors of digital compositions as well as consumers, this is not always an achievable goal. In the pedagogical paradigm shift that computers and composition scholars strive for, students play a vital role in the construction and transformation of knowledge.

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