Prologue to The End of the Essay by Norbert Elliot

“We would be not only consumers but creators… learning 2.0, school 2.0”

“none of us saw the mediated impact that computers would have”

“I think we were right about media. People were very quick to embrace video… lot of talk about visual literacy”

(available on iTunes)

“The technology became a mediating experience…”

“k-20 this idea that it is one long continuum”

“what’s the rate of change in a k-12 system?” fast, but lots of restrictions

“critical literacies, information literacy, visual literacy”

“hs is still driven by what they think colleges want”

“What drives what colleges are teaching?” the marketplace, but “more conceptual”

“don’t want essays” “a controversial issue”

“I think that is a discourse form that is no longer required.”

“I wonder how much of this is driven by students. I think there’s kind of a grassroots driving of technology, that students are asking things of the teachers…”

“Students are driving the way they want to report.”

“They want to bring sound. They want to bring music…. a more diverse audience…”

“hope would be that folks would listen to these, … blogs, … NCTE…, all places that actively engage the new media”

I don’t know which guy was which. At the beginning the guy in the polo talked the most. At the end the guy in the suit did. It was a very odd juxtaposition of clothing and quite a switch in emphasis as well.

Again, I’m listening to this and not hearing a lot of unexpected things. EXCEPT I’m hearing this from an English teacher and as a rhetorician, I can value literacies, but I’m wondering how we can have multimodal presentations and not drift back into speech communications… Are we going to re-merge the rhetoric departments? Are they suggesting that we are moving to a third kind of rhetoric, a multimodal rhetoric?

It’s an interesting thought, but I am not sure how much of this is a realistic picture of the future for English and how much is a fad. Obviously, I am not technology phobic. I need to do more than I do, but I do fairly well with what I do. I have introduced students with no computer literacy at all to the web and the information on it and brought them into an academic and personal integration of that knowledge.

It is something to think about though.

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