technologies and the future of writing, fall ’14

Module Overview

In this module, we’ll investigate technologies and the future of writing by critically engaging in contemporary writing practices in digital spaces while grappling with relevant research in the field of rhetoric and writing studies.

Specifically, we’re going to be considering how the writing and social connections afforded by Web 2.0 technologies are transforming our understanding of writing, reading, filtering, and a host of important social, political, educational, and rhetorical issues.

Complementing our readings and discussions, we will be introduced to multiple symbiotic writing and reading spaces that are becoming important to those who compose online:

  • microblogging using Twitter
  • blogging using WordPress
  • an RSS reader, Feedly
  • a “read it later” service, Pocket
  • an interest news service, Zite (or Prismatic)
  • a cloud backup service, Dropbox

Students will be encouraged to use their mobile devices as often as possible with the above apps, as well as with Twitter and blogging. Writing is (and has been, really, since people started writing on clay tablets) mobile. The final project will ask you to create the template and rationale for a new mobile app that builds on all we have learned and anticipates future directions of writing. The final project will be in the form of a collaborative in-class presentation using the Pecha Kucha presentation format. The Pecha Kucha format places significant constraints on what can be shown and how long each slide can be in a PowerPoint or Keynote presentation. Specific requirements for each project will be described in greater detail on a separate assignment page. Students will also write a final reflection in which they discuss their work.

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