How Pedagogy is Changing

Digital rhetoric seems to define who we are as writers in today’s society.  Facebook posts, tweets, texts, and emails are among the many ways we write digitally.  The audiences vary in these situations and, as a result, our voice and how we want to perceived must also vary so that we can best portray ourselves.

The Buzzfeed article, 25 Of The Most Regrettable Celebrity Tweets sums this up perfectly.  By simply saying the wrong thing, these celebrities are called out for their lack of filter.

Creating digital rhetoric in Writing 220 has undoubtedly related to the many benefits Elizabeth Clark mentions with regards to there being a “digital imperative” in writing instruction today.  From the beginning of the semester, I can see how my voice has developed as a confident writer as a result of peer feedback on my multimodal projects and blog posts.

I agree with Clark when she talks about “[…] the importance of audience and the nature of public and private writing.”  She goes into detail about how one of her students documented publicly her story of how she came to the U.S. illegally.  As a teacher, she had to make the tough decision of telling the student to take the post down.  What we have to remember, as writers in a digital world, is that as soon as we click “publish” or “post” or “tweet”, we cannot take it back.

Digital Writing
Digital Writing

Those words or images are forever public.  This convenience is great in a lot of instances, but in other cases it can be detrimental.

Although I agree with most everything Clark says, I find myself disagreeing with her view of PowerPoint and Youtube videos being “prosaic”.  Her underlying argument is that the classroom needs to be transformed as new technologies are developed.  I completely agree with this.  But, I still think that we get value out of other teaching strategies too.  As great as e-portfolios are, a simple PowerPoint or a short video clip go a long way in making a connection for a student in the classroom.

I believe that there are alternative visions of 21st-century pedagogy.

Some may feel that technology is too much of a distraction.  Some may prefer older methods of teaching since these encourage student-teacher interaction, versus student-digital.  And some may prefer immersing the student in the subject by holding class in a lab, museum, etc. (I had an art class in a museum at UofM and this was very impactful).

Regardless of these alternatives, I think that digital pedagogy is something of value for these 3 reasons:

  • It forces the student to step outside of their comfort zone in their writing.
  • It creates a great environment for peer feedback.
  • It allows a student to continually edit their online presence with work that accurately represents them.

Amanda Kemmer

Amanda (noun): Ross BBA senior. Avid puppy lover. Detroit International Half-Marathon runner.

One thought to “How Pedagogy is Changing”

  1. Amanda,

    This post was certainly thought-provoking. I definitely agree that while digital rhetoric is an important part of classrooms of the future, there is a lot of value that comes from more traditional teaching styles. For example, in my ethics in journalism class, my professor does not allow laptops in this class. This makes for more interesting and engaging conversations in this small (about 15 student) class. However, in one of my comm lectures (about 100 students) my professor similarly doesn’t allow laptops. Yet, in this class, because of the sheer size, most students resort to talking to each other or going on their phones. Thus, this method is less effective. I think this is a prime example of when traditional vs. newer technological methods differ in their effectiveness according to setting. As you said, a simple, powerful pointpoint could still be relevant in engaging a class of 100 rather than a class of 10 that can be captured by active discussion.

    I also think your ideas about social media are interesting. While something like twitter has enabled us to become closer in a sense to our favorite celebrities, it also gives us the power to challenge figures who before seemed unapproachable, almost unreal. Your three salient points at the end of your post sum up your viewpoint effectively and succinctly. I agree with these three, simple benefits and think that these should be the guiding points behind using digital rhetoric in the classroom.

    Thanks for sharing!

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