Thursday, June 19, 2008


I'm especially interested in what to call technology-based composition teaching. It seems to me that teaching with technology is not simply the addition of a tool to the traditional classroom work. Nor is it enough to say, we only should use a technology if it helps us achieve our traditional composition teaching goals. Because I believe that technology changes what our goals for teaching are and what those goals should be.

Teaching with technology tends to radically alter the learning environment. It facilitates active work by students, whether that is clicking links and reading or word processing. That can be a problem if students multi-task to check their fantasy football roster while they also are supposed to be reading over someone's draft. But if we are modeling "real life" to any extent in the classroom, multi-tasking is the work mode of the age. So I like to give students multiple tasks that help them experiment with a range of ways to learn and think about any given topic. This also helps decenter the classroom, to an extent, by making students' own work as much a focus of a class as my teacher talk.

But I'm not yet sure what to call this pedagogy as I'm not totally happy with the terms I've seen used. Do you have any suggestions?


K. McClure said...


Anna Harrington said...

How about Decentralized Learning? Or is that too simplistic? (Or already taken?) I can envision the classroom power-structure as decentralized, with the instructor removed and the task newly situated as the focal point, as you described. But also the process of approaching each task would be decentralized. With computers, nothing is composed linearly anymore; the focus shifts continuously as we "orbit around" the task and shape it on multiple levels at the same time. Writing on computers doesn't even seem to be part of a process anymore--"process" itself implies an orderly approach, and with computers, it seems that writing is more of a continuous shaping rather than a "process" as we've come to think about it in writing classrooms. Writing itself seems to have become an act of creation through "multi-tasking the document" rather than processing through a draft.

Rachel said...

Compositech (com Pah si tek)
....just thinking outside of the box (on my head)