ENC3417 Literacy, and Technology

Douglas Walls

Contact Info

Douglas Walls


twitter @wallsdouglas

Campus Location: CNH307C


Digital tools, technologies, and spaces have, in many ways, radically transformed both literacy and writing practices. In other ways, however, our understanding of digital tools, technologies, spaces haven’t transformed to adapt much of an impact.

In this class, we’re going to explore the ways in which digital tools, technologies, and spaces have changed our current intellectual, professional, and personal theories of literacy, writing, and technology itself. We’re going to do so from several directions:

  • First, we will develop a critical understanding of the study of Literacy as an ecological practice.
  • Second, we’re going to read about, explore, research, analyze, argue about, and critique the ways in which digital tools, technologies, and spaces have transformed (and are continually transforming) the ecologies of literacy and writing practices.
  • Third, we’re going to create, design, craft, mash, mix, and produce using digital tools, technologies, and spaces, and reflect on the ways in which such practices enhance, inform, or change our relationship to a multitude of literacy and writing practices.

Course Texts:

  1. Baron, Dennis. A Better Pencil: Readers, Writers, and the Digital Revolution. Oxford University Press, USA, 2012. Print.
  2. Barton, David. Literacy: An Introduction to the Ecology of Written Language. 2nd ed. Wiley-Blackwell, 2007. Print.
  3. Phillips, Andrea. A Creator’s Guide to Transmedia Storytelling: How to Captivate and Engage Audiences Across Multiple Platforms. 1st ed. McGraw-Hill, 2012. Print.
  4. Stephenson, Neal. The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer. Spectra, 2000. Print.

Course Objectives:

This class is a hybrid delivery course. What that means is while the amount of content and work will is the same, we will only be meeting one day a week. Additionally, this course is an “inverted” course meaning that much of “lecture” will happen in online elements while class time will be project and tasked focused. If you have a laptop or tablet, bring it to class as often as you can.

You are expected to have course readings available during class. Do not depend on the wireless in the building. Download everything.

In this class you should:

  • become more be thoughtful, critical, and reflective users of digital tools, technologies, and spaces;
  • explore different notions of what literacy is and how one learns it;
  • create web pages, slideshows, digital movies, and other multimodal, multimedia work;
  • practice writing and communicating (through and with text, graphics, sound, still, and moving images), revising, and editing using digital tools, technologies, and spaces; and
  • understand that all technologies are tied to literacy practices that are complex, socially situated, and political tools through which humans act and make meaning.