This week, the MOOC is coming to an end and we’re finishing up our only “graded” (not really the best word; it’s more of a peer assessment) assignment of the semester. As part of this assignment, I’ve created a digital artifact that incorporates both text and image to convey my message, which is the idea of writing as a technology (a huge takeaway for me in both ENGL516 and the MOOC):
I used Adobe Photoshop CS2 (I’m old school and also too cheap to buy newer versions) to create the artifact. Specifically, I wrote out the text and then used a selector tool to choose groupings of letters at once. I then overlaid different images of some of the tools and things that come to mind when I think about writing technologies. In choosing these images, I wanted a good mix of the more “obvious” tools that we think of as writing technologies (for example, computer and phone keyboards) as well as tools that I have grown to appreciate as writing technologies (carvings, pencils, pens, etc–the less obvious ones).
All of these images, then, make up the overall message that “writing is technology.” And as much as we discussed and read about the various digital tools and inventions that are out there these days to make our lives easier (maybe?)–and to make writing easier (and multimodal)–I have come away from the “E-learning and Digital Cultures” with this overarching message in my mind. And as we continue to think about how new writing technologies may develop or how existing technologies may be adapted to teach, reflect, create, and connect, I think it’s important to come back to this message every so often.
Writing is not an inherent skill that any human is born with. We’re not hard-wired for it (though perhaps in a posthuman world we could be). For now, we learn it through modeling, practice, and more practice. And as technologies develop to make writing “easier,” this is something that needs to be kept in mind.