Session 3

Digitizing the Analog Freshmen Composition Classroom
Presented by Kaitlin Clinnin

The need for university students to develop digital literacies is a constant source of debate and engagement for pedagogical practitioners, yet not enough work has been done to integrate computer science and digital editing practices into the literacy skills taught in the freshmen composition curriculum. As in the humanities approach to digital texts, digital editing and traditional computer science practices raise questions regarding the impact that seemingly benign choices made by the editor have upon the text and resulting interpretations, as well as the necessity of collaborative efforts and the constant process of revision. When these pillars of digital production are applied to the standard freshmen composition curriculum, it is possible for students to begin to develop these vital new technological and textual literacies. To demonstrate this mutuality, I will utilize Peter Schillingsburg’s theory of the knowledge site as well as Yochai Benkler’s analysis of collaboration to demonstrate how to take the “analog” writing classroom to a digital interdisciplinary laboratory space that allows for the development of multiple literacies. Additionally I will present practical applications for utilizing digital editing practices and theories in the freshmen composition classroom in order to foster a collaborative environment of information producers.

Kaitlin Clinnin is completing her Master’s degree in English at Virginia Tech. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Women’s & Gender Studies and English from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her interests include digital rhetoric and multimodal composition, embodiment in new media, and cybercultural theory, as well as postcolonial and ethnic studies.

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