ERIC Number: ED402605
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Mar
"Don't Believe the Hype": Electronic Textuality and the Composition Classroom.
The use of computers in English departments, especially in composition classes, has become a primary site of contention between those who find technology liberating and those who find only new configurations of the same old hierarchies. Much of the excitement stems from a perceived connection between new classroom technologies and current theories of composition pedagogy. For example, computers, especially in networked classrooms, seem to provide a more useful environment for exploring the ways in which knowledge is made collaboratively; constructed by communities rather than discovered by individuals. The computer environment also makes possible a new medium--hypertext--in which many pronouncements of contemporary literary theory can be actualized. This technology democratizes classroom discussion, allowing the students to transcend the limits of the traditional writing classroom. Hypertext is a revolutionary tool, a uniquely electronic form, which denotes text composed of blocks of text and the electronic links that join them, and which can demonstrate the links between different areas of expertise, helping students to see the connections more clearly. The hypermedia system can employ hierarchies of permissions that permit users to read, link to, or modify texts. Questions of how the physical community can be made closer to the virtual one and vice versa and issues of authorship and copyrights remain to be answered. (Contains nine references.) (CR)
Descriptors: Classroom Communication, Classroom Techniques, Computer Assisted Instruction, Computer Mediated Communication, Computer Networks, Discourse Communities, Educational Environment, English Instruction, Higher Education, Hypermedia, Learning Strategies, Technology Integration, Writing (Composition), Writing Instruction
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (47th, Milwaukee, WI, March 27-30, 1996).