Computers and Writing

Computers and Writing is being held in June at UCDavis.

However, in February, many of the conference presenters will be using Second Life, Sakai, and blog posts, for an online conference.

This blog will host one of those series of blog posts the last full week of February. The schedule (with addresses) will go up on the Computers and Writing site on February 9.

Check it out and check in here. Comments will help make all these presentations more interesting and more useful.

My presentation proposal:

A series of blog posts, one a day, on the following:

Many of our students are digital natives. Because of this, we search for new contact zones in emergent technology. But if we presuppose that our students are already computer savvy because of their age or texting ability, we are doing some of them a disservice. A Pew survey indicates that twenty-three percent of college age people never use the internet. Most often these students are from a low socioeconomic background. How can we move beyond short-term interventions and help all our students develop information literacy and sustainable lifelong learning?

One part of the answer is to understand the value patterns that students’ communities have historically championed and invoke those as a means of engaging the students in their own educational development. We need to understand and follow their cultural mores in order to introduce them to academic culture.

Another part of the answer is to create a multimodal composition course which predicates a minimal expertise with technology and engage our students, at all levels, by building towards information literacy for everyone that is on par with the most technology-immersed. While the early levels of expertise will be basic to some of our students, they will be a stretch for others. We can enhance student learning for the former by decompartmentalizing their knowledge and applying it in new configurations, expanding its domains and applications, thus building their framework for sustainable learning. We can enhance student learning for the latter by creating a system for the active construction of knowledge through intense involvement with accessible technologies.

Addressing the difficulties of providing information literacy across socioeconomic backgrounds is a challenge that we can meet in the multimodal composition classroom. Through institutional support and sustained instruction, our students can gain the expertise they need for work, school, and play.

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