NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
PDF on ERIC Download full text
ERIC Number: EJ890600
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-May
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 15
ISSN: ISSN-1945-3248
Disruptive Technology: What Is It? How Can It Work for Professional Writing?
Godwin, Mary
Writing Instructor, May 2010
Writing in 1995 for the "Harvard Business Review" audience of executive managers, Harvard business professor Clayton Christensen coined the term "disruptive technologies" to describe innovations that improve a product, service, or operation in ways wholly unanticipated by leaders of existing markets. Christensen's economic theory offers a launch point to discuss "technology" as a disruptive force in professional writing pedagogy today. This essay resists Utopian urgings and pedagogical renditions of "if you build it, they will come"; instead, the author argues for a pragmatic cooperation with current student computing practices and an anticipatory confidence that the learning outcomes will surprise them. She situates the writing instructor's role as demonstrating the persistently rhetorical nature of writing--regardless the form or tools employed--and guiding students to the work of more and more intentionally crafting their language patterns to effect the purpose, message, and medium-specific outcome(s) desired. Presuming the situatedness of writing, the author aims any insights offered here at praxis and invite readers to challenge cultural assumptions about the disruptive nature of technology. Her purpose is to argue for the value mobile, cellular, and cloud computing contributes to professional writing pedagogies and to open a dialogue with instructors willing to explore the productive potential of disruptive technologies for creating and protecting a space of critical reflection. (Contains 2 figures and 9 notes.) [Figures containing video footage are not available in ERIC version.]
Purdue University (with California State University, San Marcos). Department of English, 500 Oval Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47906. Tel: 765-494-3772; Fax: 765-494-3780; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A