Digital Composing History

PART 1: Questions for Dr. D

Please answer each question with as much detail as you can offer. (You don’t need to answer these in essay style; you can just provide your answer under each question.) Your answers will help me make sure this class suits your needs.

1. Describe your level of familiarity with the following applications, using the following criteria: Not familiar / Somewhat familiar / Fluent  (explain any answers if you wish to give me as much context as possible)

  • Adobe Photoshop (or other image editing software)
  • Adobe InDesign (or other page layout software)
  • WordPress (or other blogging applications)
  • iMovie (video editing software available on Macs)
  • Audacity (free online sound recorder/editor)

2. What technologies or applications listed above could you teach other students about?

3.  How do you best learn about technology? Choose all that apply.

  • Demonstration
  • One-on-one
  • By yourself through trial and error
  • Other—please explain

4. Please tell me about any knowledge/familiarity you may have with rhetoric. Have you taken any classes in the Professional Writing major/Rhetoric & Writing Minor? Have you ever been introduced to rhetorical theories, concepts, and/or terminology?

Part 2: Your Digital Literacy Narrative

In a 750-1000 word essay, respond to the following questions. Please don’t try to answer them all; instead, choose a few that most intrigue you. Your goal here is to narrate and reflect on your use of and relationship to digital literacies (or lack thereof). I encourage you to include specific anecdotes and details to better illustrate your experiences, but there is no need to include any secondary research.

Early Literacy Development

  • What kind of value did your family place on reading, writing, speaking, listening, viewing/interacting and composing in various settings and media?
  • Tell me about your first interactions with computers. How old were you? What did you use computers for? How did you learn to use computers? How often did you interact with computers? How did you feel about computer technologies?
  • When you were growing up, what did your family and friends think about using computers to compose?

Current Literacies

  • Do you currently own a computer or other digital composing technology (tablet, smart phone, gaming console)? Why do you own this/these specific tools? What do they help you do/create?
  • Describe and reflect on your writing/composing process for higher-stakes projects: Where, in what literal places, do you compose (home, library, computer lab, etc.)? When, at what times in the day, do you work best? Do you work on single projects all at once, across different increments of time/days? Do you revise (re-invent or re-arrange ideas and content) your work, not to be conflated with editing (sentence-level reading for errors)? Do you share your work-in-progress with peer readers or visit the Writing Center for feedback?
  • What kind of reading, viewing, composing and interacting do you use your computer for at home? In school? At work? Elsewhere? How or why do these environments shape your use of technology?
  • What does your family think about computers and/or digital composing technology today? Do they value specific uses or features of computers? Does this influence how you interact with computers in any way?
  • How do your professors or major classes value computers and/or digital composing? What kind of texts do you produce the most in school?
  • What are your strengths as a writer and/or composer of digital texts? Recall a past experience when you felt proud of your writing and digital composing: what was this project? Who was the audience? Where did this piece of work circulate?
  • What kind of texts are most difficult for you to create or read/listen/view? What’s challenging about these texts, and why?
  • How comfortable are you working with new technologies and new computer programs?

Looking Ahead

  • What kind of literacies do you see children acquiring today? Which are like your own, and which are different? What are they learning about digital composing? What are they learning about print composing? Does that change how or what they are learning?
  • Which literacies do you think will be most valuable to you in the next ten years? What kind of texts will you need to compose and/or read, and for what purposes? Do you think you are currently learning enough about how to create or understand these texts?
  • How do you expect this course to change your understanding and use of digital media? What are you looking forward to learning? Does anything about this course make you feel nervous?

Due: February 5, 2015 (post to your Google drive)

25 points


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