Surrounded by a sea of kindles at the beach, last winter, I remember feeling quite smug with my, however old fashion, paperback book. I liked the way it felt in my hands, the way it smelled, and being able to fold over pages, to see how much left of this novel world there was for me to explore.
I felt similarly about converting to the digital realm of writing. I had always been satisfied by a typical academic writing scenario in which you wrote pieces for your instructor, and potentially a few peer reviewers in your class whose faces you knew. For the first month of this class, the idea of writing academic blogs that were really, for the whole world to see was scary. So was the idea of publishing an eportfolio that could be searched on the internet, or posting a haiku on facebook that could be linked back to my name. All of these Web 2.0 interactions in an academic setting scared me. But do I think that I have grown from being forced to engage in them? Absolutely.
Yes, we are much more technologically advanced than our parents who still struggle to take photos on iPhones, but as Clark addresses, we as millennial students did not grow up exposed to digital texts in an academic setting, and thus, we resist that integration. My sister, on the other hand in her fourth grade class is using ipads to create google powerpoints. She has grown up with the idea that new media technology has a place in the classroom. She could teach me a few things about various technologies and sites that I have never even come across!
Ultimately, as Clark addresses in one of the final lines of her article, “We need to work to help the profession embrace digital rhetoric not as a fad, but as a profound shift in what we mean by writing, by literacy, and by cultural communication.” Although the shift to eportfolios and public domain is frightening for us millenials, it is the direction in which our culture is going and we must grapple with the fact that academic writing no longer involves simply student-to-teacher sharing, rather our writing might be shared with anyone who happens to click on our page.