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Why Teach Digital Writing?

Why Teach Digital Writing?

Written by Henry Cohn-Geltner
June 07, 2010

Why Teach Digital Writing

Published in the fall 2005 edition of the online scholarly journal, Kairos, “Why Teach Digital Writing?“, provides a primer on thinking about the pedagogy of teaching and the practice of doing writing using the multiplicity of new media and social media available to students. What makes this resource unique is that it is one part treatise on the merits and benefits of rethinking writing in a networked society, and one-part toolkit, providing ample support for introducing practices that encourage the use of new technologies. The authors also demonstrate how important skills and competencies, and opportunites for communcation are developed and facilitated, merging conventional theory about how individuals write with new understanding of social practices.

Unlike traditional journal articles, the text is broken down into sections separated by webpages that can act as parts of a larger body of knowledge if you are approaching digital writing for the first time, or standalone references when needed.  These sections include an overview of how computers and the world wide web are affecting the practice of writing, how shifts in the external world have changed, and new techniques for teaching students how to write by incorporating technology.

For the authors, writing is no longer just about putting pen to paper, but requires critical thinking about the meaning created from written and multimedia texts, in order to become more skilled writers.  They provide a theoretical overiew around what it means to write and how technology is changing this definition.

In an attempt to provide some interactivity with the text, the authors introduced “Pop-Ups“, footnotes that contain supplemental information, videos, games, quotes from other authors, and polls, which illustrate real-world application of the ideas they are presenting.

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