going wireless

“The Changing Shapes of Writing”

Johnson-Eilola and Selber argue for a more capacious understanding of composition by arguing for the inclusion of cellphone-based genres, e.g., text messages. They make their case by emphasizing the utility of a four-part framework for planning communications. Their grid includes the terms context (immediate/micro and ideological/macro), change (goal for communication), content (the content of the message, e.g., HELP!), and tool (technological). Through this framework, Johnson-Eilola and Selber argue, communicators can plan their messages through a set of rhetorical concerns that render attitudes about a technology – cell phones are bad – ineffective in light of the potential for those technologies to help rhetors act. This framework is designed to be taught in a classroom, rendering the instructor as an expert in rhetorical concepts and not technology.

As a point of contrast, see “awaywithwords” and Alexander/Rhodes. They, unlike J-E and S, preserve the ways that media and modes are culturally-historically situated.

“Learning Unplugged”

Fishman and Yancey consider the ways that wireless technology, a everywhere-else-first-and-then-perhaps-school technology, presents a new exigency for teaching: What’s the exigence for my pedagogy in an age where virtually anything that is known can be remediated and accessed anywhere, anytime?

Fishman and Yancey argue that teaching must mean more than simply disseminating information. It must also be about learning – about how knowledge is constructed and delivered.

Fishman and Yancey point to a handful of ideas: that wireless technology connects multiple contexts and that wireless technologies depend on contexts for connectivity

Wireless technologies can function on one of three levels

  1. Authentic activities
  2. Actions oriented toward specific goals
  3. Operations (rote mechanized behavior)

For the classroom, this means providing students the opportunity to consider how to learn in the classroom. It also means that wireless in and of itself cannot lead to good pedagogy. It must be deployed in a coordinating effort with other technologies, i.e. camera, feedback technologies like clickers.

“Perpetual Contact”

Kimme Hea critiques the double articulation of ubiquity and mobility, noting the ways they refigure communication and education practices as “anytime, anywhere”

Ubiquitous computing: argues for the invisibility of technology – making critique of technological practice nearly impossible or irrelevant – and perpetuates the idea that individuals need not consciously engage technology — assuming that agency in relation to technology is unnecessary and undesirable

These devices, Kimme Hea argues, construct expectations for how students and teachers should learn and teach.

Noting that these technologies are tethered, Kimme Hea argues that “As we become communicators in transit(ion) we must remain mindful of the practical and theoretical shifts in our writing practices and contexts for composing. These changes are spatial, politicial, cultural, and social. “We must strive for dynamic praxes of teaching and researching with, through and about wireless and mobile technologies, and we must come to view those technologies as both enabling and constraining certain aspects of our lives”

In short, these technologies should be contextualized in our everyday lives and everyday acts of literacy (Barton and Hamilton)

“Writing in the Wild”

Bjork and Schwartz argue that while mobile technologies allow students to research in a myriad of new ways – through multiple media and modes – asking them to take that data and compose elsewhere diminishes the potential literacy/learning experiences inherent in researching fieldsites. They argue for a kind of “in the wild” composing and publishing in order to help students understand the way that rhetorical spaces and the actions carried out in those spaces are shaped politically, economically, and socially.

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