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As they contextualize this collection, Takayoshi and Huot provide a brief history of computers and composition with special attention to the scholarship surrounding our field. They reference, for example,
  • Thomas Baker and Fred Kemp's "Network Theory: A Postmodern Pedagogy for the Writing Classroom" (1990);
  • Nick Carbone's "Trying to Create a Community: A First-Day Lesson Plan" (1993),
  • Janet Eldred's "Pedagogy in the Computer-Networked Classroom" (1991);
  • Gail E. Hawisher's "Electronic Meetings of the Minds: Research, Electronic Conferences, and Composition Studies" (1992);
  • Cynthia Selfe's "Redefining Literacy: The Multilayered Grammars of Computers" (1989), along with Selfe's "Preparing English Teachers for the Virtual Age: The Case for Technology Critics" (1992);
  • Richard Selfe's "What Are They Talking About? Computer Terms that English Teachers Might Need to Know" (1992);
  • Pat Sullivan's "Taking Control of the Page: Electronic Writing and Word Publishing" (1991); and
  • Robert Yagelski and Sarah Powley's "Virtual Connections and Real Boundaries: Teaching Writing and Preparing Writing Teachers on the Internet." (1996).

The list could have gone on and on; however, their point is well made. Several wonderful resources do exist - though somewhat dated by now - for teachers who head into the classroom on that first day in a computer-supported environment. And new resources are acknowledged as well - e.g., Computers and Composition: An International Journal for Teachers of Writing, Kairos: A Webbed Environment for Teachers of Writing, and Computers and Composition Online.

Our editors also point out that such sources and those from the early 80s tended to focus on a few broad questions: Why teach with technology? How do we teach with technology? And how does technology affect writing, writing instruction, and writers in practice? More recently, they suggest, our inquiries have yielded rich discussion in terms of gender, race, class, and we have honed in on issues of computer literacy, visual literacy, and information literacy. But these discussions have also been reserved, to some extent, "for sophisticated users and scholars of technology." Teachers who are new to computer-supported classrooms, on the other hand, may have "more broadly defined needs based on the materiality of technologically mediated writing practices." This is what makes Teaching Writing with Computers most helpful.

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