why teach digital writing?

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index of popups




We think that if you are reading this, you are not someone who needs to hear the answer to the overriding question posed: Why Teach Digital Writing? Rather, you are someone who needs to construct an answer to the question, for many different audiences, over and over again. It's what you do. And it's what we do, too. What we have collected here are some of our best constructions, including some of the ways we've done our work in the past for various audiences (students, colleagues, administrators) and in various types of professional settings (classes, meetings, presentations). This webtext "talks" in all the ways we are asked to talk about teaching digital writing: in the hallways to colleagues, in policy documents to administrators, in classroom exercises to graduate and undergraduate students, and to colleagues at conferences, in journal articles, and other scholarly genres.

We hope you'll enjoy reading these snippets, documents, and other attempts at answering the question Why Teach Digital Writing? But we hope, even more, that you'll take them and use them. We give you our express permission to do so.

How To Use This Webtext

This webtext is as much toolbox as it is anything else. We present it in a variety of forms and in various voices and registers, choices we have made to make sure that everything here can be appropriated. Used, that is, by you.

We are counting on you to be as creative and resourceful as we know our colleagues to be, so we won't try to guess all of the "whens" and "wheres" in which you might find yourself using this webtext. But here are a few considerations to bear in mind as you enter Why Teach Digital Writing?:

  • The body text of each node, generally, is presented linearly for use in situations that call for scholarly arguments. This is, after all, something that a print-like layout and linear organization do pretty well. You could use it to spark discussion among colleagues and students, or cite in something you are writing.

  • The information in pop-ups, denoted by , is put there because it can, to some degree, stand alone as something you'll want to keep handy. It could be a list of links, a definition, a diagram, or a document you might want to use. (You can access an index of all of the popups via the star in the main navigation, to the left.) Some are interactive bits, like the quiz and the God Term Game. We hope all are documents, media, and ideas you might use to kick off a graduate teaching practicum or a staff meeting. They show us, as a field, as serious but not humorless. And we hope they launch productive conversations.

  • The policy and curricular documents we have referenced and also embedded might be useful when you are arguing for resources for your program, planning a change to your writing requirement, or making a case for hiring new faculty. We present them here so that you can see them as they appeared on administrators' desks or in front of participants seated around a conference table. The genres and messages are sometimes inseparable and sometimes not.

Give Us a Shout, Let Us Know How We Can Help

If you have questions, comments, or stories to share that might add to this modest collection of resources, by all means let us know. The pictures below link to a bio page, with our contact information included.


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