first post for English 658

Internet regulation consistently seeks to limit our access to common, everyday websites like YouTube, Wikipedia, and Google. Without being aware of such legislation, we risk committing copyright violations for simply using digital media in our classrooms.

The only way to prevent such legislation from passing is continual awareness, meaning people must engage in conversation to understand how legal regulation of technology affects our everyday practices. Composition classrooms are a fundamental site for encouraging this discursive action and awareness. Our discipline’s focus advocates literacy, especially public literacies. We must attend to how government encroachment upon access to information, information which permits critical scholarship and supports our curriculum, affects our lives.


4 thoughts on “first post for English 658

    • this is required of me for my English class. I have the sneaking exhilaration that they might meet the theses sooner rather than later.

  1. Les, my dear:
    Yup. You’re bringing the conversation up to the minute. For all of Selfe’s good intentions about what we should be paying attention to regarding the tech in the classroom debate, that whole conversation is a bit dated in regard to what matters to us today. Maybe I’m out of touch with the out-of-touchers, but the “should I or shouldn’t I?” aspect of Selfe’s piece left me thinking “how could I not?”
    I’m once again reminded of Plato’s Phaedrus and the idea that removing the immediacy of orality from rhetorical performance would somehow limit it. We are only limited if we accept the limits associated with the technology (be it writing, printing, etc.), bringing me to what I felt was Selfe’s strongest point: that the important aspect of what we do is the critical thinking. If we merely ask students to blog instead of writing out their thoughts on a piece of paper, we haven’t done much, but if we ask them to consider how the medium affects their message and how they can work within that medium and/or hack that medium to fit their needs, we’ve given them something they can apply to any old thing. It is a rather “well, duh” argument, but something we should probably be reminded of now and then so as not to lose sight of the bigger picture.

    • I love the fact that you say “hack the medium to fit their needs” as this is precisely the direction I’d like to go with my own work–if I change my mind and stay in composition. Our students benefit from not just learning our classic composing strategies, but the options and rhetorical awareness of voice in composing for the technologically connected world as an audience through blogging in the ‘public sphere’.

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