Temper Optimism with Critical Analysis

 Not many of us would argue against the importance of advancing computer-mediated instruction. I mentioned in my introduction only a few of the many advantages this technology offers us and our students. We must, therefore, make strong arguments for increased funding and resources that are dedicated to computers and writing. In doing so, we focus on the positive. But we must remember, especially when talking among ourselves, that this technology is not without faults. We cannot, for example, ignore the fact that students from low-income families are at a disadvantage in computer classrooms. And we cannot forget that girls are given less encouragement and less opportunities to gain experience with computers in K-12 education than are boys. Nor can we continue to pretend that racism, sexism, and other biases are not as rampant on-line as they are in real life. I am not suggesting that we lose our enthusiasm for technology in the writing classroom, or that we focus on negative characteristics at the expense of our optimism. I simply claim that we must not let our optimism obscure critical attention to issues of equality.


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