Training Teachers in Technopedagogy

Sessions addressing adequate training of faculty in the use of technology-facilitated composition pedagogy appeared at both CCCC and C&W--it seems that the understanding that such training is vital to a successful technopedagogical curriculum is slowly being acknowledged by practitioners of composition in general, just as the technorhetoricians in the computers and writing field continue to work out successful training programs.

At the CCCC session on "Support for Teachers and the New Technologies: Different Contexts, Different Needs," Mike Palmquist argued that while traditional teaching strategies cannot be transplanted wholesale into a computer-facilitated classroom, the opposite may be true--teachers making the transition from a computer classroom to a traditional classroom tend to bring with them the decentered authority structures they had developed as part of their technologically-facilitated pedagogy. At the same session, Greg Siering reiterated the importance of developing new pedagogical tools for use in computer-assisted classrooms and presented a clear and compelling call for training and support for computer-assisted composition instruction. Dickie Selfe finished the session by examining the reasons that our field is ambivalent about providing training and instruction in computer-facilitated pedagogies; he calls for us to work toward a "critical, technical literacy" by examing the technical, institutional, social, esthetic, and theoretical dimensions of technology use and access.

The Computers and Writing Conference went beyond simply calling for the implementation of training programs to describing such programs, and in some cases providing workshops which themselves could be construed as vehicles for teacher-training. Presentations on technology training issues included Ellen Strenski's "Teach a Man (or Woman) to Fish (or Use the Internet)," Greg Siering's "Keeping Up with Technology and Change: Multiple Approach Designs for CAI Training and Support," and Anna Laskaya's "Using Computer Discussion Groups for Graduate Student Teacher Training." The "Labless in Logan: Helping Students and Teachers Get Wired, Turned on, and Tuned in Without a Dedicated Computer Classroom" forum provided technology training for instructors who don't have the access to technology that our more fortunate colleagues at technology-rich institutions may take for granted. The Epiphany Project's workshops at C&W also provided a forum for considering the role of teacher training in the implementation of a structured, carefully thought-out computer-assisted composition program.

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