Writing New Media: Theory and Applications for Expanding the Teaching of Composition

By Anne Frances Wysocki; Johndan Johnson-Eilola et al. | Go to book overview

ACTIVITY 1
TECHNOLOGICAL LITERACY
AUTOBIOGRAPHIES

TEACHER’S NOTES
The purpose of this activity is to find out what literacy practices and values— both in new media and more conventional media—that students are bringing with them to composition classrooms.Teachers should provide students the following questions as an early homework assignment, and ask them to respond as fully as possible with narratives from their own experience as literate individuals.After the autobiographies are completed, have the class read at least 4-5 of them and reflect on their similarities and differences.
EARLY LITERACY DEVELOPMENT
What stories did your parents tell you about their own efforts to learn to read and write? Speak and listen? Compose/view/interact with texts of various sorts?
What kinds of values did they place on reading and writing, speaking and listening, viewing/interacting and composing in various settings?
What specific kinds of reading and writing, speaking and listening, viewing/interacting and composing did your parents do? (Think about—but don’t limit your response to—such things as the following: reading newspapers, magazines, books, or novels; writing poems, lists, plays, or letters; speaking in front of groups or to individuals; listening to speeches, sermons, or lectures; viewing television, movies, or plays; interacting with computer games, kiosks, or video games; composing posters, songs, rhymes, or Web sites.)
What stories can you tell about your parents and or family and the kinds of reading and writing, speaking and listening, viewing/interacting and composing activities they did and encouraged you to do? (Consider—but don’t limit yourself to—the kinds of activities done online, in print, and on television; at home, at school, among relatives and friends, at church, in the community)
What stories can you tell about when, where, how you first came in contact with computers? (including mainframe computers, personal computers, computer games)
What stories can you tell about when, where, how you first learned to use computers to read or write? To speak or listen to others? To

* This activity has been developed in various forms by Gail Hawisher and me, and by Dickie Selfe, Karla Kitalong, and Tracy Bridgeford. This particular version of the technolical literacy autobiography is an amalgam of the work of these scholars.

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