As we seek to conclude this piece, we realize that we are again "in the middle of things.” But the middle we find ourselves in today is different from the middle where we began. We have convinced ourselves (and hopefully our readers) of the importance of family in our techno-rhetorical composition work. With our families, we learn the basics of rhetoric—how to wheedle, argue, charm, persuade. But when we enter the composition classroom, the basics our students have learned from their families are too often forgotten.


Our insightful responders have reminded us families have been using technology for more than staying in touch throughout their lifetimes. These communication technologies are rhetorical technologies. ThroughTechno-velcro to Techno-memoria we learned that they can be used as the sonic barrier Victor Villanueva described in his use of an iPod, or as a symbol foreshadowing something tragic as when Barbara Monroe recounted her family’s use of the telephone. These technologies can be used as a textual preference for communicating something just right, like Michael Day’s explanation of his preference for texting with his daughter. These technologies can even be an invitation to participate in a community one doesn’t have access to, as Rachael Shapiro recalled when she Skyped her grandmother into a graduate seminar.


As we have argued in our techno-velcro-memoria, families are rapidly adopting digital communication devices and extending family rhetorics into the sophisticated, digital techno-rhetorical realm. Parents and children are teaching each other about rhetorical practice in their adoption and manipulation of techno-rhetorical devices. Some might argue that the techno-rhetorical family is prefigurative—a cultural unit in which the elders can provide little guidance on the future (Mead, 1970, p. 70). Using Mead’s (1970) terminology, others might argue that the digital age is cofigurative—an era in which young people look to each other for cues on how to make choices (p. 25). Our belief is, however, that the techno-rhetorical family does not fit neatly into any of Mead’s (or anyone else’s) cultural categories. We understand these families as collaborative. Much of the learning, the cues, the rhetorical skills needed in the digital communication era are being co-taught by parents and children. The learning goes both ways.


As scholars and teachers, we seek to include family rhetorics in our research and our classrooms. Echoing Victor Villanueva’s (2004) request, we want to bring memoria into our work. We agree with Villanueva that memoria can "call and push us forward” (p. 19). Memoria is as much about foreseeing or imagining the future as it is about recalling the past.


Oblivio is too often the rule in composition classrooms. Instead of forgetting what students know as they walk into the classroom, we would like to promote a pedagogy of remembering, recall—a pedagogy of memoria rather than one of oblivio. A pedagogy of memoria encourages students to remember and, through remembering, imagine the future. By encouraging students to remember their histories—as the scholars in Techno-velcro to Techno-memoria have done—we are giving students credit for what they already do and asking them to know what they know about these memories and rhetorical practices. With a pedagogy of techno-memoria we push students forward so that rhetorical practices become choices or intentions rather than intuitions.