Looking at the five categories and considering whether or not our classroom lessons fill each aspect, I think the Meme Group does a good job of engaging in critical evaluation of information, exposing epistemic characteristics of information technology, and preparing students to be reflective practitioners, while our group on cell phone technology makes good use of hands-on application. I suppose trying to meaningfully engage in this discussion is a mute point though when debating over the idea of ‘solving problems with technology’ as outdated. Guess I’m still a fish out of water in this class.
Blogs allow for conversations related to particular niche hobbies or interests to freely take shape and easily connect with readers. They give anybody with internet access an opportunity to potentially build a mass audience and publicly promote their work while creating space for personal touches. Distribution of information is more interactive on a blog since readers can comment on posts and create on-going discussions. For me, this is where I lose interest in blogs in a classroom setting. The conversations that are created, while seemingly in-flux, are forgotten by my fleeting attention. After I respond to my classmates’ posts, I usually do not think to go back and look for subsequent comments since my time doesn’t warrant for a lot of blogging diligence. However, it was brought to my attention in class that all I need to do is check the box allowing for emails to alert me to responses. So I realize now that it is once more my lack-of-techno-literacy that has proved me a nincompoop when trying to meaningfully participate.
“The point is not to teach writing with computers. It is to teach writing in spaces that also allow students to write with computers.”
Even if we give our students opportunities to work in new spaces (i.e. computers), are they accustomed to explore and discover all the possibilities these newfound spaces can offer in a school setting? I question if we have predisposed our students to finding comfort in the box, expecting to be told what to do and how to do it. Will they willing seek out innovative ways of expressing their ideas when they recognize that they will be given a grade on their project? I think the system has maybe conditioned them to playing it safe. When we talk about deconstructing some of the writing rules they have been taught, they find it liberating, but also confusing – where do they go from here – the space is so wide there is no beginning or end.
I found this chapter most useful when Selber discusses his vision for how a composition classroom could incorporate functional, critical, and rhetorical literacy into the curriculum. Selber suggests students join a forum of their interest and study its intricacies on each level (Selber 197). For instance, when looking at the function of the forum, students would note discursive codes and topics discussed; a critical analysis would examine power relations; and finally, a rhetorical read would reveal the context of the forum (where is this discussion taking place, by whom, etc.). I think this could make for an interesting approach when thinking about the kind of awareness students would (hopefully) bring to their work as both readers and writers in learning environments and beyond.