Read This Book -- Writing Inventions: Identities, Technologies, Pedagogies

All too often, computers in the classroom are treated like typewriters or filing cabinets -- just a convenient place to type and store information. For teachers and students interested in creating better classrooms by engaging with technology in a deeper way, Writing Inventions: Identities, Technologies, Pedagogies by Scott Lloyd DeWitt is a must-read.

Writing Inventions: Identities, Technologies, Pedagogies by Scott Lloyd DeWittWriting Inventions: Identities, Technologies, Pedagogies by Scott Lloyd DeWitt

In this book, Dewitt details why -- and how -- to use the web to transform learning.

Teachers can be overwhelmed by trying to balance the demands of teaching both composition and computer literacy. In Writing Inventions,  DeWitt shows that these two educational areas are, in fact, strongly interrelated and not at odds with one another. Using the concept of invention as his central theme, DeWitt begins his discussion with a series of provacative questions: How is the (student) writer's identity shaped through the writing process? How does the student's experience with technology influence this process? How do our interactions with computers influence the ways in which we think? How can computer applications help teachers imagine/ invent new pedagogic methods?

Throughout Writing Inventions, DeWitt discusses writing as a process of invention, a process that can be greatly enhanced by computer technology. He shows how computers can aid students in invention by giving them an interactive space where they can not only store, but manipulate, ideas. He also details the ways in which the web, which is an inherently collaborative medium, makes students aware of the social nature of invention.

DeWitt promotes an active approach to technology in the classroom. He shows teachers how to create/ invent effective assignments utilizing computer-mediated discussion, thoughtful web research, and hypertext. Each chapter of Writing Inventions includes examples of such assignments, narratives of DeWitt's thinking process as he invented them, and student case studies.

Writing Inventions concludes with DeWitt's reflections on why it makes sense for writing instructors to teach computer literacy. He believes that computer technology shapes the writing process in a positive way by allowing for unparalleled collaboration between students and teachers. Read the book, try the assignments,  and see if you agree. 

 Writing Inventions: Identities, Technologies, Pedagogies by Scott Lloyd DeWitt is available for purchase through Amazon.

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