Technology and Teaching Writing

The cutting edge of composition

  612 Tech Experiments

English 612 Voicethread Project

English 612 e-portfolios 

English 612 Reading Blogs

English 600 Google Pages

Moodle discussion forums

Nicenet Internet Classroom

Dr. Stacey's Google Page

 Dr. Stacey incorporates technology into his classes--hence this e-portfolio final project--because he wants us to be prepared for the ways technological advances may influence the future of teaching and learning. The students entering classrooms today are likely to be more technologically competent than many of their teachers. A growing proportion of today's kids, teenagers and young adults have learned to use technology in their daily lives from a young age, from e-mailing, to internet researching, to instant-messaging, texting and to an overall cell-phone mastery. While this is an enormous generalization and definitely not true in all cases, there is a growing average technological literacy that educators must recognize.

 Dr. Stacey is optimistic (though also critical) about the potential for technology to enrich the writing classroom. We played with technology a lot in this 612 class, through reading blogs, discussion forums, the course Moodle site, the course Nicenet site, and our final e-portfolio project. We also held class in a "smart" classroom where we could access the internet efficiently with a projector and where we also had full audio capabilities. Through Dr. Stacey's openness to technology, we were able to see how many different ways a class can benefit from being online. It was all experimental, though, because there is a certain amount of anxiety students sometimes feel about using new modes of production--especially when they will be graded on them.

  English 612 taught us to be open to technology, to bring it into our classrooms and learn about the ways others are doing the same. At the very least, Dr. Stacey showed us that there is a fast growing tendency for teachers, and writing teachers are no exception, to be relying on and creatively incorporating technology into their classrooms. And for those of us who were inspired by the great potential for new spaces of learning that can be created through technology, and the internet in particular, Dr. Stacey gave us experience using online forums, making google pages like this one, and blogging.

 Every time Dr. Stacey allowed the class to "digress" into an internet search on whatever it was or whoever it was we were talking about, I saw a real dialogue happening that was collaborative, non-authoratative and rare. There was a mutual respect among all members of discussion, partially because we were all slightly awed and at the same time slightly reserved about the internet as a simultaneously liberating and limiting (often quite frustrating) tool. The use of technology in this class was invaluable, and as we all submit to this kind of educational experimentation we become more present and aware of modern reality in our pursuit to become teachers.