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English Audio Request

638 Words / 2 Recordings / 2 Comments

Teachers of writing at the college level are confused as never before about what they should be teaching their writers. Most of the confusion results from the impact of information technology—and, more specifically, the Internet—on the lives of their students. These teachers get little support and guidance from their institutions and mentors on how to identify and respond to the changes of electronic communication; there is little consensus in the field of composition as to exactly what teachers of writing need to understand about emergent technologies in order to do their jobs. Both in popular culture and the media, new forms of electronic writing such as blogs and wikis have recently garnered a lot of attention, yet no one is sure exactly how to respond in the classroom to these new forms of writing. If the teachers quoted are any example, teachers of writing are still wrestling with issues of academic authority initiated by the advent of the World Wide Web more than ten
years ago.
The technical definition of a wiki is, surprisingly, the simplest: A wiki is a webpage users can modify. The earliest known wiki, the WikiWiki- Web project, was envisioned essentially as a software development tool; it started on May 1, 1995, when a software programmer named Ward Cunningham posted a note to a developers’ electronic mailing list (
wiki?InvitationToThePatternsList). Cunningham had developed a database to collect the contributions of the mailing list’s members. He had noticed that the content of the list tended to get buried, and therefore the most recent poster might be ignorant of posts preceding his or hers.
A wiki is a software piece that combines the contemporaneous focus of an electronic mailing list with the data storage capabilities of a database. It is an electronic mailing list with a memory. Knowing these details, however, does not capture the full dynamic of writing in a wiki; even experienced writing teachers will find that contemporary electronic writing environments present challenges to their conceptualization of the writing classroom. There can be little doubt that wikis are already a part of their students’ writing experiences. Writing teachers know they are training students to write in a landscape that, if the last decade serves as any indicator, will probably be radically transformed by as yet unforeseen aspects of electronic literacy.
These teachers do not need another book on hypertext or new media theory. What they do need is an overview of which particular aspects of the ever-evolving information technology field have the greatest potential to impact the lives of their students as writers. And, counter to what might be expected, such an overview need not be immediately obsolete due to the fluid details of technology: if guidance for composition teachers can stay focused on how emergent technology shapes writing practices and environments, rather than on the nuances of the technology itself, a great deal of information can be summarized in some useful ways. Examining the ways in which CBPP affects writing environments and writers’ motivations for composing will lead teachers of writing to the most concise and relevant key for translating rapid technological developments.
But it will take some work to make a useful connection between existing composition pedagogy and the future writing landscape of our students. Teachers of college writing should be confused, for the rhetorical foundation of their training, practices, research, and basic instincts as teachers has fragmented. Aristotle’s touchstone rhetorical triangle— indelibly positioning us into the roles of speaker, speech, and audience— is less and less the monolith it seemed five years ago. Even contemporary appraisals, which accommodate the anxieties of postmodernist thinking, have been further ruptured by the continual evolution of computer applications that would appear to be furthest removed from the teaching of writing in the college classroom.
(Robert E. Cummings.- Teaching Writing in the Age of Wikipedia, 12-13)



Sept. 16, 2011

Hope this helps. Thanks as always for recording my Spanish audio requests!

Oct. 9, 2011

Thanks britneysusanne and Thomas. both of you have done a great recording.