Writing Technologies: Creative and Rhetorical Environments

Dealing with Writing Spaces and Technology

As writing technologies have evolved, so has our understanding and incorporation of these technologies into the writing classroom. Be they cuneiform, papyrus, or a screen, the use of such technologies as teaching tools help to extend our understanding of writing as well as our understanding of the social order from which they were produced.

Presently, technology has afforded writing instructors the ability to deal with intertextuality, multi-genres, combine visual and alphabetical texts, as well as shape how they interact with students.

This website provides insight into the usage of technology in creative writing classrooms, in the composition of multimodal projects, and in the identification of the rhetorical value of online writing instruction.

The first part of the website, created and written by David DiSarro, deals with the creative writing process. He uses "how to" videos created by Jing, a screen capture software agent, which affords the audience the opportunity to see and hear the thought process of a poet at work. Essentially, the entire website is a creative construct. The very process David describes in his episodes are echoed throughout the process of creating this website. It is also easy to see the multimodal components of each webpage - compositions created to showcase their rhetorical value. Such value is then documented in the section dealing with online communication, which parallels the creative writing process through technology and online teacher/student interaction.

Nicole Williams has created the second part of the website - turning it into a multimodal compilation of pedagogy and examples. Her section reemphasizes the styles incorporated throughout the entire website as all three sections use a variety of texts (visual, sound, video, alphabetical, etc) to reach their audience. Thus, not only is the site creative, but it also displays the finer points of multimodality as described by Nicole. All parts are presented through a multitude of modes via video, pictures, and alphabetical text, as well as being a fully integrated and linked design - thus, the pages reflect one another.

The third part of the website, designed by Casey McArdle, is the integration of the previous two components - it also contains examples created by another screen capture software: Camtasia. Casey's online communication, which is the very medium in which this website resides, examines several possibilities for interacting with students in a digital environment. This section, with its collection of data, both alphabetical and visual, can serve as a fulcrum for writing instructors who wish to utilize technology.

We hope this website can serve as a means to a greater understanding of the creative nature of online writing technologies, their use to communicate via multiple modes, and their effectiveness in online communication.