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The goal of Teaching Writing with Computers is to provide a broad, yet detailed, explication of major issues within the field of computers and composition. As such, the book's primary audience is not the already-initiated, as our editors note in their introduction, but the newcomer to technology and teaching.

While the authors of this collection return to the basic concern of applying computers to composition - how do I best use computers in my writing classes? - they also explore technologies in which contemporary writers are actually engaged.

Similarly, scholarship which introduces teachers to writing technologies needs to be updated in terms of what we now know about the place of writing technologies in writers' lives and in classrooms. Although more teachers every day are facing the (forced or embraced) integration of writing technologies into their curriculum, current scholarship does not address very well the needs of teachers new to a computerized teaching environment. The field's current scholarship largely assumes an audience familiar with the ongoing debates and issues that shape current conversations in the field. This broader and more detailed exploration of the many facets of writing with technology grew out of a basic concern for teaching with technology. (2)

In addition to this goal (of trying to reach newcomers), our editors suggest that composition teachers "must become technology critics as well as technology users" [emphasis theirs] (4). That is, they facilitate discussion and analysis not only of the technology but of ways in which computer technology might promote or even hinder learning in the classroom.

In their introduction, Takayoshi and Huot finally remind us that analyzing the relationships among teaching, language, literacy, and technology "helps us guard against practices based upon beliefs and assumptions that are irrelevant to or in conflict with what we currently know about the teaching of writing" (5). They successfully remind us here of key distinctions between lore and informed practice. "But," they add, "the process of critical examination also reminds us to connect all classroom practices, including the use of computers, to relevant and defensible instructional goals. Technology for its own sake is dangerous.... A notion of pedagogical practice grounded in theory, reflection, and inquiry that drive our practices is an important component of this volume" (5).

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