The Kairos of the Conference: CCCC and C&W

by Doug Eyman,

with a report on
Ethical Problems and Consideration in the Electronic Classroom
by Bob Whipple

The Conference on College Composition and Communication and the Computers and Writing Conference have always been vibrant and exciting meetings--presenting new ideas and new voices in the continuing conversation of our field; this year I decided to attend those sessions that were less likely to be well-attended (because they were scheduled opposite the "big names" like Bolter or Selfe and Hawisher) in order to report on them for Kairos. Although the two conferences are really very different venues, there is certainly an overlap between the conference attendees and there are some shared concerns about the ways technology either enhances or detracts from the teaching of composition.

In both conferences, several presentations were devoted to expanding the definition of composition to include graphical as well as textual elements, and the issue of teacher training for new technologies also surfaced at both conferences; the 4Cs conference, however, devoted more time and energy to making comparisons between earlier educational technologies and computers in writing and to casting a critical eye at the possible failures (and even dangers) of computer mediated technology in the composition classroom. At the Computers and Writing conference, as may be expected, the issue of whether or not to use technology in our classes is no longer questioned--the issue becomes how we use that technology to further our pedagogical aims.

This series of lexia is a rather loose overview of the conferences as I experienced them (with some editorializing, I admit), but each conference maintains web pages with copies of texts and/or abstracts and discussions of the presentations. For a more comprehensive view of each conference, join in the discussions and ask some questions--contribute to our continuing conversation in the field of computers and composition.

Link to the CCCC Site                 Link to the C&W Site

Evaluating CMC Expanding Composition Teacher Training for Technology Comparing CMC and TV
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