Keynote Address: “Teaching Writing in Digital Environments: the Good, the Bad and the Sometimes Ugly”
Over the last three decades, digital technologies have moved from being an added part of our classrooms to the point where now, with online classes, they may define our classrooms. For some, the change has appeared to be natural and almost seamless. However, for most instructors, some, or sometimes all, new digital technologies seem like one more impediment to good teaching. Drawing on my over thirty years’ experience of using digital technologies in my writing classes, I want to set the stage for our day-long conversations. I’d like us to confront questions such as but not limited to:
Do I have to use digital technologies to teach writing?
Will using digital technologies help or hurt my students?
Are some technologies better than others?
How can I get my students to pay attention when their technology distracts them?
Can my students compose more than 140 characters?
Barry Maid is Professor and Founding Head of Technical Communication at Arizona State University. He has spent most of his career doing some kind of Writing Program Administration. Before coming to ASU, he spent nineteen years at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock where, among other duties, he directed the Writing Center and the First Year Composition Program, chaired the Department of English, and helped in the creation of the Department of Rhetoric and Writing. He is also interested in academic/industry partnerships and is presently Vice President of the Phoenix Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication.
Maid is the author of numerous articles and chapters primarily focusing on technology, independent writing programs, and program administration including assessment. He and Barbara D’Angelo have written multiple articles on information literacy and writing. In addition, he is a co-author, with Duane Roen and Greg Glau, of The McGraw-Hill Guide: Writing for College, Writing for Life. He is also co-editor, along with Barbara D’Angelo, Sandra Jameison, and Janice Walker, of Information Literacy: Research and Collaboration across Disciplines.