The Epiphany Project
Epiphany Institute: Interesting Thought #20

I don't think that the definition of rhetoric is getting changed as much as the technology is making writing teachers see something that was always there. We've always has these multiple ways of looking at text. If you look at the first paragraph of a student essay vs. television commercials, it seems to me that what technology is doing is bringing into our classrooms ways that we've always had text, but have never talked about because as writing teachers we always thought that we had to teach only the 8.5 by 11 inch page essay.

There's this frustration that I see in teachers when I'm training them how to use a computer lab and they're doing it for the first time. It's the realization that it's not just about word processing, it's "now I have to teach graphics, and now I have to think about helping them be critical of computers."

And so this issue is a really important one for us as writing teachers to be thinking about, because I think it points to the way that technology changes a lot of what we do and a lot of what we've always thought about what we do. I think that computers have revealed to us how long we've been holding on to a form that's really not in dominance and more in our culture. -- Pam Takayoshi

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